How to Upcycle an Old Toilet Into a Quirky Planter
Giving old toilets new life by turning them into planters is a fun DIY project that keeps items out of the landfill. Upcycling an old toilet into a planter allows you to display your creativity while adding a conversation piece to your indoor or outdoor space. With a little effort, you can have a one-of-a-kind planter.
Planning Your Toilet Planter Project
Before starting your toilet planter project, consider the location where you want to display your upcycled toilet planter. This will help determine the size and type of toilet you’ll need, as well as guide other design decisions.
Selecting a Toilet
Pay attention to the size and style of the toilet you select, keeping your display location in mind. A standard, elongated toilet works well for most planters. Smaller toilets, like those designed for compact bathrooms, offer a cute size for smaller plants. For large, dramatic plants, an older, oversized toilet creates an impact.
The toilet’s color also matters. A bright, bold toilet makes a fun, playful statement. Classic white toilets offer flexibility to paint or decorate. Colored toilets are also available if you want an accent hue to coordinate with your space.
Consider the growing needs of your plants when selecting both the toilet and location for your planter. Indoor trees and large foliage plants work nicely in oversized or elongated toilets. Smaller ferns, herbs, and succulents thrive in compact toilets.
Outdoor toilets require plants that can withstand your climate. Hearty herbs, grasses, small shrubs, and some flowers adapt well. Be sure the location offers appropriate sun exposure and drainage.
Planning the Design
Embellishing your toilet planter is the fun, creative part! Keep it simple or go all out – the options are endless.
Painting or staining the toilet to match your decor is an easy start. To make it whimsical, opt for bright, vibrant hues.
Adding artwork, decals, tiles, or mosaic pieces makes a lively, eclectic statement. You can also jazz it up with fun accents like artificial flowers, vines, or gnomes. The toilet seat offers a great spot for decorative elements.
If opting for an embellished toilet, select hardy plants that won’t overwhelm your design. Herbs, succulents, and grasses complement busy accents nicely.
Preparing and Planting Your Toilet
Once you’ve acquired an old toilet for upcycling, you’ll need to tackle a few key steps before it’s ready for planting.
Cleaning and Sanitizing
It’s important to thoroughly clean and disinfect your toilet before starting the project. Give it a good scrub with an abrasive cleaner or baking soda paste, removing any grime, rust, or mineral deposits.
Next, disinfect the toilet using a bleach solution or other sanitizing product to kill any bacteria. Let it soak for 10-20 minutes before a final rinse. Wear protective gloves when cleaning.
One challenge with toilet planters is ensuring proper drainage. Without holes, excess water can pool at the bottom, leading to root rot.
Drilling 8-10 holes in the bottom with a power drill creates sufficient drainage. Place the toilet on bricks or blocks elevated above the saucer after planting to allow drainage. Using pebbles or stones in the bottom further improves it.
Sealing and Priming
Any cracks or gaps should be filled with caulk and allowed to dry fully.
Applying a primer coat helps new paint adhere if you’ll be painting your toilet. Opt for a primer formulated for glossy surfaces.
Painting and Embellishing
Once primed, you can paint or decorate the toilet with your design elements of choice. Use spray paint for an even coat. Let paint dry fully before adding decals, tiles, or other accents.
Preparing for Planting
Add a 3-5 inch layer of drainage material like pebbles, stones, or broken terracotta pots to the bottom of the toilet bowl before planting. Top this with a layer of activated charcoal to help absorb odors from the old toilet.
Finally, fill the remainder with a quality potting mix suited for your plants. Consider mixing in compost or organic fertilizer.
Planting and Caring for Your Toilet Planter
When selecting plants, consider the toilet location and drainage. For outdoor toilets, opt for hardy plants suited for your climate. Indoor toilets work well for many popular houseplants.
Arrange plants attractively in the toilet bowl and seat opening. Place trailing vines or large foliage plants in the tank if using an old two-piece toilet.
Water plants as needed for the species, allowing the soil to dry somewhat between waterings. Add a thin layer of mulch like pebbles or moss over the soil to help retain moisture.
Fertilize occasionally during the growing season, following product guidelines. Remove spent flowers and dead leaves promptly. Prune and trim plants as needed to maintain their shape and health.
Enjoying Your Unique Upcycled Toilet Planter
With a little creativity and elbow grease, it’s simple to turn a retired toilet into a fun new planter. Take pride in keeping a useful item out of a landfill while also displaying your DIY skills.
Your quirky toilet planter is sure to be a unique conversation piece! Have fun pointing out its humble origins when guests compliment your unusual planter.
Upcycling an old toilet into a planter is very fulfilling, whether you keep it simple or create an elaborate design. Enjoy this eco-friendly project that showcases both your style and your green thumb!