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How to Create a Lovely, Rustic Chair Planter

A chair planter sitting in a corner garden next to a rusted wheelbarrow and wagon wheel.
Emilee Unterkoefler / LifeSavvy

Looking to add a little rustic charm to your garden or patio? Here’s how to turn an old chair into a decorative planter you can fill with your favorite flowers.

If you’re feeling crafty, or just looking for a way to add some charm to the exterior of your home, a decorative planter or two will certainly do the trick. A timeworn wooden chair combined with colorful, bright flowers is a lovely touch. We’ll show you how to create one.

Find the Right Chair

An old chair with a webbed center, next to a planter full flowers.
Emilee Unterkoefler / LifeSavvy

Before gathering any supplies, you’ll want to make sure you have the right type of chair for the project. Any old one with a woven seat or cane webbing will do the trick because you can easily cut off the webbing or twine to start your project. You can also cut a hole in a solid wooden chair to nest your planter in, but be prepared to bust out the drill and jigsaw for that.

We opted for an old caned-seat chair because it’s so simple to work with and doesn’t require power tools.

You can typically find these types of chairs at yard sales, or even for free on the side of the road, which is how we found ours, so keep an eye out! One person’s trash is another’s treasure.

Removing the Seat

Someone using a utility knife to cut out the center of a chair.
Emilee Unterkoefler / LifeSavvy

First, you have to get rid of the seat in your chair. Using a pair of scissors or a utility knife, remove it carefully. Remove any small pieces of the seating material that might linger after your initial cut, as well.

Next, be sure to measure the area, so you can find a pot that fits nicely in the center.

Someone measuring the center of a chair with the seat cut out with a tape measure.
Emilee Unterkoefler / LifeSavvy

Gather Your Supplies

A can of spray paint, a can of sealant, rubber gloves, wire and wire cutters, and a sanding block sitting on a chair.
Emilee Unterkoefler / LifeSavvy

Once you’ve found the right chair, you’ll want to gather all your supplies. Here’s a list of what you’ll need:

  • Sandpaper or a sanding block: To sand your chair to a smooth surface.
  • Damp towel or rag: To remove any sanding dust from your chair.
  • Hanging flower pot: Any lightweight plastic pot will work, but the hanging kind already have the necessary holes to secure the planter to the chair. If you use a non-hanging pot, be sure to drill holes near the top. (We used a hanging planter that already had flowers planted in it).
  • Spray paint: A chair made of natural wood has a beauty all its own, but painting it will really make the whole planter pop. We used white spray paint to make the vibrant flowers really pop.
  • Rust-Oleum Ultra Cover: To ensure your paint job will last, either in- or outdoors. We always get matte for a more natural appearance.
  • Gloves: To protect your hands from the paint and sealer.
  • Craft wire and wire cutters: To secure your pot to the chair.
  • Soil and flowers: You can plant your own flower arrangement or purchase a pot with the flowers already planted in it, like we did.

Sanding and Painting Your Chair

Someone sanding a chair with a sanding block.
Emilee Unterkoefler / LifeSavvy

You’ll want to sand down the chair to remove any chipped paint. Then, use a damp rag or cloth to wipe away all the dust and ensure the paint adheres well.

When your chair is dry, it’s time to paint! Again, we chose white so our flowers would really pop, but, of course, you can choose any color you want. Bright blues and yellows look especially beautiful, too.

Someone spray painting a chair with white spray paint.
Emilee Unterkoefler / LifeSavvy

When you spray paint your chair, be sure to use a light touch to prevent the paint from running or dripping. Using a side-to-side motion will give you more even coverage.

Once the paint is dry, spray the entire chair with the Rust-Oleum Ultra Clear Coat to ensure it will last for many seasons.

Securing the Planter

Someone securing a pot to a chair with wire.
Emilee Unterkoefler / LifeSavvy

Once your chair is completely dry, you can add your pot. If you’re using a hanging pot that’s already filled with soil and flowers, be sure to remove the hanging wires.

If you’re working alone, place an empty planter or bucket upside down in the center of the chair, so you can place your planter directly on top while you secure it to the chair with wire. If you have a buddy who can help, have them hold the pot while you secure it with the wire.

Thread the craft wire through the holes on the hanging pot, and then wrap it around the chair to ensure it securely stays in place. Be careful not to break any of those delicate little flowers!

If you attached an empty pot, add your potting soil, and then plant and arrange your flowers any way you like.

Now, place that lovely chair planter on your patio or front porch. If you had fun creating it, make another one to gift a friend, your mother, or anyone else you know would love it.

Emilee Unterkoefler Emilee Unterkoefler
Emilee Unterkoefler is a freelance food writer, hiking enthusiast, and mama with over ten years of experience working in the food industry. Read Full Bio »
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