Our Blue Jean Planter was a conversation starter when it was first posted on Facebook. It all started with a pool noodle and ended with a video that went viral with over 11 million Facebook views! Most people had a chuckle, but a few were startled. Either way, we love that people have such strong opinions about it 😉.
This is where our journey to making planters started, like these 10 Outside the Box Planter Ideas.
By the way, before we get to the nitty gritty, don’t forget to subscribe :).
How To Make a Blue Jean Planter
This project was inspired by Hubs who made the first one out of his jeans and boots after he left the construction industry (you’ll see it the end of this post). In fact, I thought the Blue Jean Planter was so much fun that I couldn’t wait to share it with you! Although the one I’m demonstrating for this tutorial is just a small tyke, you can make the Blue Jean Planter in any size you desire!
I got the majority of supplies (jeans, sneakers and oval container) at my local Value Village; it’s a great resource if you don’t have young kids that have outgrown their stuff!
To start, you’ll need (in no particular order):
Supplies for Blue Jean Planter
* [If you’re looking for some of the things we used, we’ve got you covered (disclosure): Clicking on the affiliate links below means we may receive a commission. But don’t worry, you don’t pay a cent more and it helps us make more unique crafts to share with you! Thanks for helping to support our blog!]
- blue jeans
- pool noodle (you can substitute soft foam or batting)
- 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)
- 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
1. Cut Wood for Legs
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.
2. Create Platform
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.
3. 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.
4. Fill Shoes with Cement
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. In addition, 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.
5. Assemble Blue Jean Planter
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.
Baby’s Got Back!
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 adding plants:
It’s all done after you add the plant material! Of course, all the garden stores in our immediate area were 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!
Blue Jean Planter
All decked out with her greenery!
Grow flowers or herbs, real or faux; it’s completely up to you!
I think the small ones are SO adorable. But we don’t just make pants planters! My favourite version of our idea is the pair of bride and groom planters I made to adorn either side of the aisle on our wedding day!
Again, you can make these in any size. 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:
As you can see below, the original one that Hubs made (the one that started it all!) is on the right. The plant material is faux. Comparatively, we’re growing basil in the middle one.
With Hubs’ original Blue Jean Planter, he added accessories like this bottle opener/key chain and belt:
Check out the video here (and subscribe to our YouTube channel while you’re at it).
If you have any questions about these instructions for making a DIY blue jean planter, leave us a comment below. We love to answer your questions!
Pin Blue Jean Planter
Pinning is always welcome and appreciated! 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 🙂
This is my first official full craft post in my new craft studio and there’s plenty more ahead! See our Craft Rehab category for more craft ideas!
Get your craft mojo on at Birdz of a Feather and subscribe here if you don’t want to miss another unique idea! Follow us and you’ll get an e-mail next time we post a new project. You can also follow us on Pinterest, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram.
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Hi, Yes I followed your link off Hometalk and I wanted to follow your blog on bloglovin but there’s no way that I can. Also when I clicked on to see the other pant planters, I got no pictures….You are on my pinterest but not as a follower as you stated bloglovin
Hi Marsha – sorry you had trouble with the Bloglovin’ link. I think I fixed it so please try it again and let me know if it works for you 🙂
I just now clicked on follow and have the same problem you did Marsha.
Hi Dennie – did you try from an iphone or computer? The only two things I can think to suggest is trying different hardware or a different browser. Let me know if you have any success.
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I dearly love these, but many of the pictures won’t show. 🙁 I was expecting you to fill the jeans with concrete, LOL – which would mean it would almost HAVE to be in an entryway or outside, never to be moved again 🙂
LOL! Sorry the pictures aren’t working for you!
Jeannie – please try again and let me know; I’ve re-imported the pics.
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I would really love to make one of these….the smaller one. But I can’t figure out how to get the photos that are included in your tutorial. If you don’t mind would you please go back and incorporate your photos into your tutorial? Thanks a lot. I love these.
Hi Dennie – So happy to hear that you love this project. Thanks for bringing the picture issue to my attention. I have re-imported the pics so I hope you can see them now. Please send me a follow up note to let me know 🙂
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The wooden dowels, used for the legs are removed prior to adding concrete to shoes. When you put them back into the shoes and concrete, do you use anything to secure it (there was mention of screws in the shoes)? Super cute idea! I may have kept it to myself and sold them on Etsy! Thanks, Adrianne
Thanks Adrianne; I guess some people would have kept it to themselves but I love to share and inspire others to try crafting. For me, it would be quite boring to make planters for Etsy and not have time to create other projects for crafters to enjoy 🙂
Yes, it’s probably a good idea to secure the dowels with two screws so they can’t twist or come out if you’re planning on lifting it and moving it around a lot. There’s always the chance that the concrete can shrink and leave the wooden part loose which could be an issue if it’s moved around. it’s really up to your own preference.
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Awesome. Gonna have to try this.
Great! Thanks for stopping by 🙂
Send me a picture if you do; I’d love to see it 🙂
Love this, must make one.
What a brilliant, cute idea. I’m going to do a couple of these with the grandkids for summer projects when school is out and stand them on the front porch. Thank you for a great idea.
Thanks Beverly! Send me some pics when you do; I’d love to see them 🙂
I love your idea and want to make one for a friend to put outside her door, so I will have to spray some type of sealant for the weather. Also as far as the inside of the jeans if you use a planter with succulents, you will need some type of barrier in jeans when you water the plants?,
Yes, it’s always a good idea to double up the container so one can sit inside the other one (add drainage holes to the bottom of the inner-most container). Drainage is especially important for succulents; they don’t like their roots to sit in water.
I love this Sara, how cute!! Pinned!
Thanks Susan – and thanks for pinning!
I love everything about this project, your attention to details is wonderful. Pinned
Thanks so much Anita!; I appreciate that!!
Oh, I love love love this project! I am just the type to make something like this!
I also thought at first, you were going to fill the jeans with cement! 😂 ill take pics when I do mine. Thank you so much! Pinned!
Awesome! I can wait to see how it turns out 🙂
😀 😀 😀 awesome idea. No wonder you went viral, it’s classic Sara
Yes, and doesn’t it just figure that it was Hubs idea? He comes up with the most brilliant things – lol!
I had to come have a looksee again. Still the best planter in the world of wacky, crazy, amazing planter ideas 🙂
Aw, thank so much Michelle! Of all the planters we’ve done, it’s my fave – and it was Hub’s idea to begin with!
What fun! I imagine they are quite the conversation pieces?
Thanks Lynn; they sure are conversation pieces 🙂
Such a sweet idea!
Absolutely adorable! I love these. What a unique idea, Sara.
Thanks Deana! I love them too; I have to give my husband credit for this one. We have a lot of unique upcycle ideas, but this one is probably my favourite to date.
This is adorale. Wouldn’t a heavy plant make it fall over. (especially with little shoes
Thanks Diane! The cement/concrete helps but you also have the gauge the size of the plant you’re using for the smaller ones 🙂
Oh how fun! These are adorable, and would be cute on my porch. Pinning!
Thanks Linda! This would look awesome outside! I’ve never done one for exterior decor; you’d have to figure out a way to weather-protect it if the porch is exposed.
I love this idea. I am currently gearing up for the Craft Fair season and would love to make a few for my booth to sell, but as this is your idea, I want to make sure it was okay to make them and sell them.
Hi Kathryn – thanks for checking! Where will you be selling them?
Yes, you can sell them, but I’d love it if you could give credit to Birdz of a Feather on the tags. And if they do sell, please consider making a donation to our Crochet for a Cure Fundraiser for Alzheimer’s through our Go Fund Me page here: https://www.gofundme.com/f/kayla-project or by purchasing a crochet e-pattern here: https://ribblr.com/shop/birdz-of-a-feather. 100% of all proceeds from our pattern sales are being donated to find a cure for Alzheimers :).
Hope you have a great craft fair season,
Hi…I wanted to share the one we made with you but I couldn’t figure out how. My son (age 35) says it serves as a warning to the OVER 15 children that invade our culdesac every day after 3pm “don’t mess with the mean red headed ladies yard and styff” ..lol. He NOT WRONG! Idol have 3 grandkids and most of these kids are not residents but also grandkids of neighbors but there’s just so MANY and they SCREAM CONSTANTLY. That’s now why I made one tho really. He’s adorable and we attached to carpeted board.
I would love to see it! Do you have an Instagram or pinterest board I could see it on?