How To Turn An Old Laundry Basket Into A Beautiful Decorative Planter

Tired of spending your plant budget on decorative planters? Or, are you struggling to find a way to breathe new life into a laundry basket that's cracked or simply past its prime? Luckily, you can use an old laundry basket in multiple ways to create a beautiful, decorative planter basket perfect for your patio, garden, or house plants! Either by wrapping the laundry basket in decorative materials and adding drainage or by using the laundry basket as a cement mold, you can repurpose this household item into a beautiful DIY custom planter.

The materials you'll need for this upcycling project will depend on which variation you choose. To use the laundry basket as a base and decorate it, you'll need your decorative materials of choice, such as rope or burlap, plus a plastic drop cloth or large trash bag for the lining and a hot glue gun to bring it all together. You can find 98 feet of jute cord for less than $20 at Michael's, making this method quite affordable if you already have a hot glue gun and use a garbage bag or a thin drop cloth from Dollar Tree.

To use the laundry basket as a mold, you'll need papercrete, packing tape, and cooking oil. A scraper tool, a sanding block, and rubber gloves will help you complete the project. This method is similarly affordable since you can make papercrete out of simple materials like sand, cement, and recycled paper.

Use a laundry basket as a base

Creating a unique decorative planter using an old laundry basket as a base is the more beginner-friendly of the two methods. To start, gather the materials you'd like for the outside of your planter to match the style of your home or patio. The most straightforward variation of this project uses jute cord or rope, which you can find in various colors to customize your planter. You could also use burlap or another flexible material to wrap around the basket.

Use a drill to add drainage holes to the bottom of your laundry basket to ensure that excess moisture can drain from the soil and save your plants from root rot. Then, use the garbage bag or drop cloth to line the outside of the laundry basket, attaching it with the hot glue. To add your rope, begin at the bottom of the basket and wrap the cord tightly around it in spirals, adding plenty of hot glue between the cord and the liner. Keep going until you reach the top of the basket.

At the top, you can either leave a visible plastic lip to keep the stability of your laundry basket, bring the rope up over the top, or cut this top layer off of the basket. If you leave the plastic visible, you could always incorporate some paint to ensure it matches your desired style! Tie the rope off and tuck it in, or use it to create decorative handles.

Use a laundry basket as a cement mold

For an extra sturdy planter that can hold up to the elements, the cement mold method is ideal. This route requires some extra time investment, but you can reuse the laundry basket for multiple planters, and they'll hold up for years to come. To make a durable yet lightweight planter, you'll need to make papercrete, a mixture of paper pulp, sand, and cement. Make the paper pulp by soaking recycled strips of paper in water. Then, mix three parts paper pulp with two parts cement and one part sand to create your papercrete.

A laundry basket with a fun cutout design is ideal for this project, but you can use whatever is available to you. Surround the outside of your laundry basket with tape, pressing it down firmly and evenly on the edges. Then, spray the inner adhesive side with cooking oil. Next, wearing rubber gloves, mold a layer of papercrete firmly onto the inside of the basket and add a hole at the bottom for drainage.

For the first two days, leave your planter drying with a garbage bag draped over it. Remove the bag and use a scraper or knife to remove excess cement from the outside of the basket. Once completely dry, remove the cement from the mold and sand down the top edge. You can keep a rustic look with the original cement color, or you can apply paint to match the style of your garden or patio.