Transform unwanted shoes into beautiful planters.

How to Make Flower Planters or Pots From Old Shoes

by Jaimie Zinski

In the world of container gardening, as long as the object is able to hold the soil and support the plant; almost anything can be transformed into an aesthetically pleasant addition to your garden, even old shoes. Almost every family has pairs of old shoes lying around that either don't fit, feature holes or aren't in style. Choose plants that are native and thrive in your area and a potting soil recommended for that variety before turning an old boots, shoe or even pair of outdated heels into a planter.

Clean the inside and outside of the shoes with a damp rag. If the shoes are soiled, create a mixture of 1 teaspoon liquid dish soap and 3 cups warm water. Dampen the corner of a rag and wipe away any stains, dirt or debris. Dampen a separate rag and wipe down the shoe to rinse off the soapy water. Allow the shoes to dry completely.

Drill three to four drainage holes spaced 1 to 2-inches apart in the shoe's bottom with a drill, depending on the shoe's size. A larger shoe might require more holes to allow for proper drainage.

Stuff the shoe's toes with balled pieces of paper towel or newspaper. This helps cut down on the amount of soil required to fill the shoes.

Fill remainder of the shoes with a a high-quality potting soil. Press down gently on the soil with a trowel to ensure the shoes is entirely full before adding more soil. Leave a 1/2-inch gap between the soil and the shoe's top to allow space for the plant.

Dig a hole in the soil that allows the plant or seedling to sit at the same level as the original container. Lower the seedling or plant into the hole and backfill with the original soil. Gently tamp the soil with your fingers. Dampen, don't soak, the soil with water.

Items you will need

  • Unwanted shoes
  • Rags
  • 1 teaspoon dish soap
  • Drill
  • Paper towel
  • Newspaper
  • Potting soil
  • Trowel
  • Plant


  • Decorate the shoes with fabric markers, paint or other embellishments prior to planting the seedling.

About the Author

Residing in Chippewa Falls, Wis., Jaimie Zinski has been writing since 2009. Specializing in pop culture, film and television, her work appears on Star Reviews and various other websites. Zinski is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in history at the University of Wisconsin.

Photo Credits

  • Digital Vision/Digital Vision/Getty Images