Upcycled Planter

I never started this blog with the intention of doing so many upcycled projects and home decor from recycled materials. Truthfully I started it because I wanted to document our home renovation. The upcycling thing started almost by accident.

The first reason was that my older daughter loves to do crafts and craft supplies can be ridiculously expensive. So I started trying to find way to use items that we would normally put in the recycling bin to re-use for craft time just as a way to save money. Think jars, juice can lids, toilet paper rolls and so on. The second reason is I visit a lot of thrift stores and would always come across things that I thought “If it just had this, it wouldn’t be here.” or “How nice would that look cleaned up.” Over time it morphed into a creative passion of “What can I turn this into?”

Though if you’re new here, I don’t do a lot of furniture Before and After’s. My husband and I have done exactly two – this office desk and the kids room desk – since this site started, mainly because we have a small home and I have no place to put any of it. I’ve already taken over the garage and our car hates me for that as is. It’s more creative projects and smaller home decor. Like things out of embroidery hoops.

I have so embroidery hoops. So many.

Let me make this clear, I do not know how to embroider anything. But there was a point where every time I went to a thrift store, I would find a batch. They make excellent wreath forms and craft project supplies, so I always wind up buying them.

Last year I made a planter out of one. In which case I thought it was high time to try a new take on it and after I came across these decorative round mirrors at the thrift store, I instantly knew what I wanted to do.

Round Plastic thrift store mirror

I took out the mirror part and then spray painted the round mirror forms with Rustoleum 2X Ultra Cover paint in white.

I have no idea where these mirrors are from but if you search for “Decorative Wall Circles” you will find tons of these forms online.

Round mirror frame with mirror removed

Then I went to my supply of embroidery hoops and used ONLY the inside hoop of the embroidery hoops (the one without the attachment on the exterior of it).

We used sawed down pieces of a paint stir stick to glue all 4 hoops together. We first tried gluing it with wood glue and carpenters glue but it was just not drying fast enough.

In which case I went to old faithful and that’s my favourite E6000 glue. Then it was like a work of art with the clamps to ensure they all dried in place.

Gluing together embroidery hoops using clamps - northstory.ca

Embroidery hoops being glued together - northstory.ca

Afterwards I glued the now glued 4 embroidery hoops to the painted mirror frames. Also with  E6000 glue. I stuck a book on it all to weigh it down and left it overnight to dry.

Then there was the issue of the plants. I did not want to plant the plants directly onto the wood hoops, because if I had to water them the wood would surely rot. I wanted to be able to remove the plants from the planter and water them separately.

Enter yogurt containers.

Yogurt containers turned makeshift plant pots for planter - northstory.ca

If there is one thing I am sure of is that the plants will outgrow those containers and/or I will surely forget to water them and they will die. I foresee fake plants in this planter in my future.

But for the time being it looks good.

DIY Upcycled Planter - northstory.ca

Front view of upcycled hoop planter - northstory.ca

Side view of upcycled planter - northstory.ca

Side view of white and wood upcycled planter - northstory.ca

Yogurt containers inside planter - northstory.ca

Use a piece of wood to hold the embroidery hoops together - northstory.ca

White and wood planter - northstory.ca

Here’s the funny thing.

While I used fishing wire to show this planter hanging as I had originally intended for it to be a hanging planter and was supposed to screw in an eye screw at the top of the hoops as a hanging bit, but at some point I changed my mind. Mainly because I couldn’t find my stud finder and put a hook into the ceiling properly.

So for the time being it’s made a new home on my bookshelf in our home office.

Upcycled round planter - northstory.ca

That bunny next to it…that bunny is a long story. I think bunnies and rabbits are scary little things. Yet there’s a reason I keep it on the shelf. I’ll get into that in a future post.

For anyone that’s curious both the embroidery hoops and frames are 12″ in diameter.

And this project (because I already owned the glue and left over paint sticks) cost me around $5. $10 if add the plants.

So next time you come across some old embroidery hoops for .25 cents at a garage sale or a thrift store, just buy them. Because you never know what you can turn them into it.

Upcycled Planter by northstory.ca

Upcycled Planter - northstory


  • Reply
    September 8, 2014 at 12:54 am

    That looks fantastic.

    • Reply
      September 8, 2014 at 4:37 pm

      Thanks so much Susan!

  • Reply
    September 8, 2014 at 3:09 am

    That is so adorable! Who knew you could make planters from embroidery hoops. Love your blog

    • Reply
      September 8, 2014 at 4:38 pm

      I joke that I am going to find as many craft uses for these things as possible to avoid learning how to embroider. Thanks for the compliment Dawn!

  • Reply
    September 8, 2014 at 8:44 am

    So gorgeous. Can you just make me some? I’m all DIYed out right now…

    Seriously, it looks like something from Crate and Barrel that we would pay a lot of money for.

    • Reply
      September 8, 2014 at 4:40 pm

      That was me in August Christina. Our computer died, the weather was a nightmare and the last thing I wanted to do was make anything. Fall seems to bring out a lot more in my imagination. January however…

      Thanks so much!

  • Reply
    Michelle @ Eamonn & Jack
    September 8, 2014 at 12:32 pm

    Wow! I love these. I truly love how your brain works – never in a million years would I ever have thought of doing this.
    If the cute little plants don’t last you could always use airplants or maybe cacti?

    • Reply
      September 8, 2014 at 4:42 pm

      I can honestly say it wasn’t until I started blogging, that I really started pushing my creative limits. Don’t get me wrong, I buy stuff ALL the time for our home. But sometimes you can’t find that unique piece or you can’t afford what you can find so you look for an alternate.
      Def going for air plants or fake plants next!

  • Reply
    September 8, 2014 at 1:05 pm

    in LOVE with this!

    • Reply
      September 8, 2014 at 4:47 pm

      Thanks Vanessa!

  • Reply
    Jennifer @ Brave New Home
    September 8, 2014 at 1:29 pm

    Wow, this is amazing! I had to immediately read the whole post cause I thought there was no way this was a DIY. Great idea, Alex!

    • Reply
      September 8, 2014 at 4:48 pm

      And inexpensive too! I think I should have an embroidery hoop week wreath challenge no?

  • Reply
    Midsommarflicka aka. Elena
    September 8, 2014 at 2:09 pm

    This looks so cool! I love the look on the sides, the hoops next to each other.
    And I defnitely have to go to your thrift stores and buy embroidery hoops. Here are never any! And they are so ridiculous expensive new!

    • Reply
      September 8, 2014 at 4:50 pm

      They are crazy expensive brand new. Sometimes you can find them for less online than in stores so try that avenue.

  • Reply
    Rachel | The Crafted Life
    September 8, 2014 at 9:24 pm

    Brilliant Alex! I love it!

  • Reply
    September 9, 2014 at 4:32 am

    This is one of the most stylish planters I have ever seen. I will definitely be making one of these. I might use my broken old bamboo steamer instead of the hoops. Thanks for the great idea. Megan. Upstyler.net

  • Reply
    {aka} | design
    September 9, 2014 at 7:08 pm

    That planter looks so cool!!!!

  • Reply
    Virginia Fynes
    September 10, 2014 at 6:43 pm

    This looks super cool Alex! Awesome makeover!!

  • Reply
    September 10, 2014 at 8:06 pm

    I love this, and I have about… 8 embroidery hoops laying around so I should really do something with them! Pretty sure I’m going to skip Pinterest and just do a search on your blog!

    • Reply
      September 10, 2014 at 8:26 pm

      YES! Embroidery hoop owners unite! I think we need to start a blogger craft week challenge where we all make things out of them except for embroidery projects.

  • Reply
    September 11, 2014 at 6:48 pm

    This looks great! Amazing idea.

    • Reply
      September 11, 2014 at 7:49 pm

      Thanks Renee!

  • Reply
    September 13, 2014 at 10:12 pm

    This is so lovely Alex!

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