DIY | Boot Planter

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These boots were made for walking and they did a lot of it over the years. When their walking days came to an end, I couldn’t part with them–they had been loyal companions for probably 20 years. They also couldn’t lay around on the closet floor for another 20 years–so I made them into planters.

A project like this is a great way to introduce kids to up-cycling, gardening, tool use, and all kinds of related STEM learning.


You’ll need:

  • An old pair of boots
  • A drill with a 1/2 inch bit
  • Potting soil
  • Plants or seeds


There’s really not a lot of doing in this do it yourself project.

Drill Drainage

Unless holes have been worn into the bottoms of your boots you’ll need to add a couple of holes for drainage. I add two holes to each boot with a 1/2 inch bit. Much bigger holes tend to leak soil and much smaller holes tend to clog and provide poor drainage.

Stuff Soil

The next step is to stuff the boot with soil. Make sure you get it way down into the toe. The type of soil you use will depend on what you’re planting. I used a combination of bagged potting soil and compost my chickens helped make.

Plop Plants

Once you’re boots are full of soil you can add your seeds or plants. I chose basil for my boots–mostly because I like the alliteration. Boot Basil.

Location, Location, Location

Pick a home for your planters that’ll provide the right amount of light, keep them watered, and your boot-based plants should thrive. Mine are going to live on the deck right out the kitchen door so all that yummy boot basil will be readily accessible.


Another reason I like this project is that it also embraces my love for loose parts. If you give this project a try–or have made planters out of interesting objects–I’d love to see pictures and hear about it in the comments.

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Jeff is an early learning speaker, toymaker, podcaster, content creator, author, and founder of Playvolution HQ who is really bad at getting his picture taken.