Repurposed Beauty: Upcycling Everyday Items into Unique Bonsai Planters
Displaying cultivated bonsai specimens in special pots is an integral part of the artform. Rather than purchasing expensive, mass-produced containers, many bonsai enthusiasts enjoy the creativity of repurposing found items to become one-of-a-kind planters. With some vision and DIY spirit, everyday objects can be upcycled into containers that complement specific bonsai wonderfully. Vintage kitchenware, worn wood, salvaged industrial items, and discarded tins offer unlimited potential for custom bonsai pots. Follow these tips for sourcing overlooked materials and transforming them into functional planters through drilling, cleaning, sealing and other techniques. Showcase your miniature trees within artful upcycled vessels.
Advantages of Upcycled Bonsai Planters
Thoughtfully repurposing containers offers certain rewards.
- Creativity and uniqueness
- Relatively low cost
- Crafting satisfaction
- Perfectly fitted to tree
- Conversation starters
Part of the pleasure stems from giving discarded goods renewed purpose.
Selecting Items for Repurposed Planters
Keep an eye open for candidates hiding in plain sight.
Ceramics and Glassware
Mugs, bowls, vases, and platter pieces make charming converted pots.
Old crates, fruit baskets, hollow forms, and cut-offs offer natural material.
Tins and Cans
Wash salvaged clean tins thoroughly before converting food or paint cans.
Buckets, pans, and industrial containers provide durable options.
Sturdy wicker, wire, and woven baskets become excellent airy pots.
Consider spouts, finials, knobs, and other rugged artifacts.
Evaluating Condition and Structure
Assess prospective repurposing items for sound construction.
- Sturdy, intact, and undamaged
- Proper size and depth
- Clean lines and contours
- Thick and durable walls
- Stable, flat base
Avoid cracks, excessive rust, and structural issues.
Visualizing Design Potential
Envision how the item could be adapted into an ideal home for a particular bonsai.
- Complementing tree size, shape, and style
- Flattering colors and textures
- Suitable new opening and rim
- Retaining and showcasing original charm
- Practical display proportions
- Distinctivefocal point potential
Crafting the Container
Adapt found items into planters using these techniques.
Drilling Drainage Holes
Core multiple holes using diamond drill bits and water lubrication.
Cutting and Smoothing Rims
Saw off undesirable upper portions and sand rough edges smooth.
Removing Unsightly Areas
Grind down unappealing emblems, text, or imagery.
Sealing Porous Materials
Waterproof porous containers with non-toxic sealants.
Metal Cleaning and Rust Removal
Use naval jelly or abrasives on salvaged metals before priming.
Install mesh screens or plastic nursery pot liners if needed for very porous materials.
Extra touches personalize upcycled planters.
Preserve or attach whimsical handles.
Patinas and Finishes
Add interest with paints, stains, ammonia fuming, or other surface treatments.
Incorporate mosaic tiles, medallions, or miniatures.
Affix figures, tiny tools, or architectural details.
Frame the tree visually using cutouts or windows in the repurposed container sides.
Consider carving, stamping, or stenciling designs.
Displaying Styled Bonsai in Upcycled Pots
The pairing and presentation of tree and planter creates a cohesive look.
Choose a repurposed vessel that complements the bonsai’s own aged, weathered, or refined qualities.
Select planters in hues that flatter the foliage, flowers, and trunk.
Ensure the converted planter looks suitably proportional next to the trimmed and miniatured tree.
Mindful Angles and Layout
Stage the bonsai purposefully within the planter at pleasing vantage points.
Accenting With Stones or Sculptures
Surround the planter with moss, rocks, or accent pieces that complete the tableau.
Consider neutral or thematically appropriate backdrops that make the display pop.
Inspiring Upcycled Bonsai Pot Possibilities
Let these creative concepts kindle your own upcycling visions:
- Vintage silver creamer vessel
- Hollowed log segment with lichens
- Retro TV dinner tray
- Rustic tiny colander
- Classic milk bottle crate
- Weathered leather boot
- Charming cracked teacup
- Salvaged paint can folk art pot
- Upended Turkish copper kettle
- Mini galvanized pail