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
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- 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″). Also, take into account the height of the container that will hold the plants. Cut two 2×3’s to the length you calculate.
Cut the legs a bit longer and test the fit with the planter once the platform is built if you are unsure. After all, you can always cut the wood shorter, but you can’t add!
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.
Now’s a good time to test the length of the legs with the planter and jeans. The planter should be hidden below the waistband when it’s all assembled. Do this any time before you permanently cement the legs into the shoes a few steps ahead.
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 🙂
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