How to recycle a broken bucket into a planter

A few months ago my ash bucket was smashed and I had the idea to turn it into a planter! I try to reuse things that still have some life in them and I can always find a place for another flower planter! I just had to get a few things together and also, find the culprit that smashed my bucket!

Like how does that even happen?

Don't you just hate when somebody breaks something, but doesn't tell you? Inevitably when I find out I end up blaming the most likely suspect....but I'm sometimes wrong. That is exactly what happened to my ash bucket!

Flower planter made from old bucket

The chilly weather snuck in out of nowhere and I decided I should light a fire in the bedroom fireplace to chase the chill away. The fireplace had some dust from being closed up all summer so I needed the ash bucket to clean the fireplace out. 

I called youngest son and ask him to bring me said bucket from the shed. He does, so I clean the fireplace out and light a fire. The room warms up and everything goes back to normal. This should be the end of the story, right? 

Except a few days later when I pick up the bucket to empty it, I notice bits of dust flaking out of the bucket. Upon further inspection I find something out pretty quickly. The ash bucket is broken. I'm talking caved in on one side crushed!

I'm talking crushed so hard that it had separated from the base in one spot! 
I carefully carry it outside, being careful not to spill the ashes and set it down to worry about later. I'm pretty sure it was my son who broke the bucket at this point! He probably yanked it out of wherever it ended up during the summer and broke it.....but didn't tell me. *sigh* Kids!

I fume for a bit, but it wasn't till I was talking to hubby about fixing the bucket into a cute rustic planter the next day that I got some insight into the problem. I tell him that I'm going up to the store to buy a new one because it's broke and he tells me that HE ran into it with the quad. Really??? 

I was so close to punishing the youngest...and even if he had denied it, I wouldn't have believed him! *sigh* At least that explains how it got damaged because it 's a pretty sturdy bucket!

busted ash bucket

Anyway, I had already decided on how to reuse this ash bucket and I came up with this quick way to make it so much cuter, and spruce up the porch with some pretty flowers!

Making a flower planter out of a broken bucket

I started out by making sure the ash bucket wasn't going to fall apart once it had plants in it. Basically, pull a little and if it falls apart, it is not in good enough shape to use! If it holds but there is a lot of space where the bucket has started coming away from the base, you can add some tape inside to hold it together.

I find the Flex tape type works best. If you have to put it on the outside of the bucket, don't worry you can cover it with ribbon later! It also comes in black, white and clear so you should be able to find a color that works pretty well. Don't seal it totally as some drainage is good!

To keep the bucket from getting too heavy use the trick I use when making fairy gardens and put a few sheets of bubble wrap inside the bucket first. It weighs practically nothing so it keeps the bucket from getting too heavy. You also won't need as much soil. 

Make sure there's a few holes in it though so the water can flow through. You'll still need good drainage.

recycled bucket, flowers

After that I simply filled it with fresh compost and dirt, then added some volunteer flower plants that had popped up in the gardens. I also put some flamingo feather plants (which never grow very big for me!) and an extra marigold that wasn't very big yet. 

I wrapped some Dollar Tree ribbon around the base and taped it down. I then cut it off the spool and made the rest into a ribbon for the handle.

It was super easy and I used all extra plants that had been in random places throughout the farm. It looks super cute and matches the farmhouse decor here perfectly! 

I love coming up with new uses for old or broken stuff. It keeps me from feeling guilty about throwing something out, plus I think it looks super-cute!


Want gardening and healthy living information sent right to your email weekly? Click right here to join my newsletter list and get new posts sent directly to you the day they're published!


  1. What a perfect planter. And since it's crushed on one side, you could even hang it on a door or fence!

    1. Oh, what a great idea! I might try that. Thanks!


  2. Very cute! I have one tipped over in the garden and I plant flowers so they look as though they are spilling out of it. It's so easy to assume that the kids do it. I'm glad you found out how it happened. Thanks for sharing with SYC.

    1. Sounds cute! I may have to try that next year!


  3. I love repurposing! Great Idea!
    Thanks for sharing your post at the HomeAcre Hop!

  4. This is beautiful! Thank you for sharing this with us at the HomeAcre Hop. We'd love to have you back again tomorrow!

  5. That is beautiful...but I am glad my ash bucket is not broken :)

    1. I'm just glad I didn't too many get ashes everywhere! lol


  6. Cool transformation. I used to have one. Wish I still did. I linked with Farm Girl too! Mines a little different though! Come visit me.