Now that the holidays are over, our bay window area is looking a little sparse; it’s nothing that a blue jean planter won’t fix. I’m starting to crave spring and while we’re still a long way off, a little more greenery indoors can’t hurt in the meantime!
Today I’m demonstrating an adorable blue jean planter that literally stands on its own two feet. It’s so easy to make by following my step-by-step tutorial. All it takes is a pair of blue jeans, scrap wood and few other things from your local thrift store. You can even upcycle items you already own if you have them on hand!
This project was inspired by my husband who made the first one out of his jeans and boots after he left the construction industry (which you’ll see at the end of this post). I thought the blue jean planter was so much fun that I’ve been making them occasionally as gifts ever since. Although the one I’m demonstrating for this tutorial is just a small tyke, you can make this blue jean planter in any size you desire!
I got my supplies (jeans, sneakers and oval container) at my local Value Village; it’s a great resource if you want to start with a small blue jean planter but don’t have young kids that have outgrown their stuff.
This YouTube video gives you a quick overview.
To start, you’ll need (in no particular order):
- blue jeans
- a pair of shoes (high top sneakers or short boots are best)
- oval container (it can be plastic or metal; the shape is more important)
- 2×3’s or 2×4’s used for wood studs
- scrap piece of 1/4″ – 5/8″ plywood
- Wood countersink head screws (at least 1 1/2″ long for this project and longer if you use taller jeans)
- two plastic veggie bags (recycled from the grocery store)
- panty hose or knee highs (a great opportunity to upcycle the ones with runs in them)
- pool noodle (you can substitute soft foam or batting)
- quick set cement (use regular or quick setting cement)
- paint stick (for mixing)
- tape (painters and/or packing tape)
- belt (optional)
- recycled plastic container (to mix the cement)
- cotton batting
Measure the jeans from the hem to just above the crotch area and add some additional height for the shoes (my measurement was 14 1/2″). Cut two 2×3’s to the length you measured.
Drill through the centre of one end using a drill bit that’s big enough to accommodate the width of the wood screw.
Draw an oval shape on the piece of board and cut it out with a jigsaw or band saw. Since this project is small and the blue jean planter won’t be too heavy, I’ve used 1/4″ plywood but you’ll want a heavier piece for bigger projects that are going to be loaded up with plants.
Place the wood ‘legs’ into each shoe and set the oval on top to determine the spacing of the legs. Drill two holes into the oval platform (mine were 3 3/4″ apart).
Attach the oval platform to the wood legs. Countersink the screws slightly into the platform so they won’t stick out and interfere with the planter once it’s sitting on top.
Pad the Legs
Next, cut a pool noodle in half. I used it because I had it, but soft foam or batting will also work for this next step too.
Tape one half of the noodle to the flat end of each leg (this will be the front).
As I mentioned, you can substitute soft foam or even cut some pieces of batting from an old duvet to wrap the legs. If you’re using softer material, I usually staple it on and also cover it in a nylon stocking to keep it all in place. In this instance I could have added some more packing tape; I didn’t really need the stocking but I wanted to demonstrate it as an option to keep things from shifting.
Now you’re ready to put it all together, but before you do, unlace the top of the shoes to expose the interior and insert two plastic bags; the kind used to hold your veggies at the grocery store. Sometimes I don’t add the plastic if the shoe or boot is made of heavy duty leather, but since I’m working with a relatively porous fabric the plastic will prevent the water in the cement mix from soaking through.
The cement stabilizes and weighs down the blue jean planter to keep it from tipping over. Pour some water into a recycled plastic container, add the cement and mix thoroughly with an old paint stick.
To prop up the legs in the shoes before I poured, I temporarily added in a scrap piece of wood and a small screwdriver at the heel; just be sure to remove your items before you pour the cement! Pour cement into each shoe.
Tamp the mixture down with the paint stick to make sure it’s evenly distributed all around the posts.
Once the shoes are full and before the cement is dry, lift up the tongues, lace the shoes up and tie them up so the cement can finish setting. You can also cut back the plastic bags that extends above the top of the shoes.
Once the cement is fully set, remove the oval piece of wood temporarily.
Add the pants onto the legs, then reattach the wooden oval platform.
As I was screwing the right leg back on, I decided to swing the foot out a little to strike a more casual pose. Pull the pants up and insert the planter so it sits on top of the wood platform. If this pair of jeans didn’t already have a snug waste band, I would typically add a belt at this point to tighten the jeans around the planter so it doesn’t shift. You could glue the planter to the platform if you wanted it to be permanent, but I like the option of being able to remove it if I want to switch out the plant materials in it.
The back end will look a little saggy so I filled it out by stuffing some cotton batting into the area between the planter and the seat of the pants.
Here it is from the front before I added the plants:
It’s all done after you add the plant material! All the garden stores in our immediate area are closed so I picked up an arrangement at our local flower shop for the reveal. The container was bigger than I would have liked, but it does the trick!
Here she is all decked out with her greenery!
I think the small ones are SO adorable but my favourite has got to be the pair of bride and groom planters I made for our wedding to adorn either side of the aisle at our venue!
Here’s another an example of a full sized blue jean planter we’ve done in the past as a birthday gift for our niece:
And here’s a shot showing a few different sizes of blue jean planters gathered together. You can see the original one that my husband made (the one that started it all!) on the right. We’re growing some basil in the middle one!
With a larger blue jean planter, it’s fun to add accessories like this bottle opener/key chain and belt:
The only thing that would improve on this project would be if it could walk itself to the sink to get a drink of water, but that may be a little beyond our skillset 🙂
My next craft post will be a fun indoor water feature with step-by-step instructions that you won’t want to miss (shown below, bottom left)!
- Soda Bottle Vertical Garden
- Paint Can Water Feature
- Paint Stick Pallet
- Blue Jean Planter
- Paint Chip Portrait
- Craft Rebab category to explore more….
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