Creative Planter IdeasEasy Elderly Activities

Thinking up creative planter ideas is a really easy and fun activity for all ages and ability levels. Either indoors or out, doing planters is an excellent addition to your senior activities – and also can be done as a group project.

They make wonderful gifts and give-aways too, ways to show off heirlooms and vintage items, or can be used in easy craft ideas including for party decoration and centerpieces.

There are easy enough options that are also suitable for elderly activities in which some may need more help.

Easy Planter Ideas

Painting a barrel with designs in acrylics (and then a few coats of outdoor grade sealant), makes an excellent project for the garden area. The empty barrel was first put on top of the project table and then painted. This is a perfect activity for using stencils of patterns too, unless you or your group are good at making your designs free-hand.

If you need some design ideas, see our free template patterns for flowers, leaves, animals, etc. Start out at the flower templates page.

Fun planters are an excellent way to recycle things you may already have around, or things you find at a thrift shop. Perhaps you have a great old hat, a fancy handbag, an antique vase, jar or pot. Even an old boot, shoe or colorful rain boot.

The leather of the boot we show has a pattern stenciled in acrylic paint of ivy and stars.

Using old-fashioned high-button shoes or fancy evening shoes is fabulous too. On this page we show some examples of unique planter ideas. Then see what you can come up with yourself.


Anything involving working with plants make very popular elderly activities. You can plant the seeds from scratch and watch them grow, putting them into their fancy planter when ready. Or go down to the local nursery and pick something up that already well on its way. Perhaps try something flowering, or even edible that can be used later in cooking and salads.

Another option is putting plant cuttings into a jar of water, which goes into your decorative planter item while they’re rooting. (And after they’ve been planted in soil later). I happen to love to root plant cuttings in jars of water.

In fact, I had some philodendron cuttings in the same jars of water for over four years! They just never died. They actually did far better in their water jars than when planted. Philodendrons are perfect for people who have no green thumb. They’re practically impossible to kill.

And if you really have no green thumb, these planter ideas also work well with artificial plants (and of course they’re much easier to take care of).

Preparing The Planter

We always first line a nice item with a plastic bag to protect it. Then inside of that we put a plastic container or pot with its plant. It’s best to have a pot with a hole, and with a drainage tray underneath it on the bottom, if possible. And depending on your container too.

Otherwise, line your container with a layer of gravel or pebbles first, to help drain excess water.

When you water the plants in fancy containers, just put in a little water at a time, let it absorb, then add a little more. This will help alleviate over-watering and possible spillage.

If you have a very tall “planter” and your pot with plant seems too short to work, you can first insert an upside down plastic container to use as a stand to elevate it. And at the top you can always add a little moss for a more finished look.

So if you or your loved one has a charming hat, shoe or vintage item or two that are just sitting around collecting dust, consider turning them into creative planter ideas.

They make wonderful keepsakes and gifts. I happen to think all kinds of hats (new or old) make fantastic planters. Just turn them upside down and put in your plant. Got an old top hat, military hat or an old costume? Some will make great party centerpieces.

Other very easy planter ideas involve using decorative tin cans, especially the vintage sort. You can often find them at garage sales and thrift stores. Or those in your group may already have something to use. These are very suitable for either indoors or out.

To enhance an outdoor area with something unique, just take a look around you and see what types of old items may be sitting around ready to be re-purposed…

Like an old bathtub (see below) or bicycle. The more character, the better. You can also paint the outside of an old tub with paints from the craft store suitable for porcelain, then a few coats of waterproof sealant to protect your designs.

If you like the traditional clay pot look, and are like to paint, see our page on painting clay pots – we do include some very easy examples.

Pumpkins and gourds are also very fun when in season (especially late summer of fall). Just hollow them out an insert a container with a plant, real flowers, artificial flowers, or holiday decor. They  make excellent centerpieces!

Also see:

Fancy Purse Planter — See one of our reader’s idea on how to turn a fancy old purse into a fabulous planter.
Outdoor Elderly Activities — Some of the outdoor activities can be done throughout the year. And also be moved indoors for more options. (Likewise, many of our indoor activities can be moved outside!)
Easy Make A Gift Basket Ideas — It’s easy to make a gift basket, and a very satisfying project. See many possibilities, whether making money or helping others.

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