See How I upcycled This Filing Cabinet!

Just like a magpie drawn to shiny objects, my eye is drawn to junk that I can upcycle and turn into treasure. In this post, I will share how I turned an old filing cabinet drawer into a planter. 

I found this filing cabinet drawer in my mams garden. Overall, it was in good condition with hardly any rust or wear. Which was surprising as it was sitting out in the rain, and I didn’t know how long it was there. 

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Filing cabinet upcycle

How to upcycle a filing cabinet drawer: VIDEO

Here is a short reel from my Instagram sharing how I upcycled the filing cabinet drawer into a planter. I will also share some tips below on how to repurpose old objects into planters in your garden. 

When choosing containers to upcycle in your garden, picks ones in good condition, check for rust, rot and wear. Whatever you choose to upcycle, make sure it can take the weight of soil, especially the pressure of wet compost. 

Painting your upcycled filing cabinet

Before upcycling, deep clean your container to remove grime and kill bacteria. I use warm soapy water and rinse the suds away with boiling water to kill the germs.

Only paint the outside of the container and lightly sand before painting. 

I used Rust-oleum terracotta spray paint on my filing cabinet. Before painting, I used this primer, as it will help the paint last longer. 

Whatever paint you use, follow the instructions on the back of your can for the best paint job, and choose the right paint for the surface. 

upcycled garden planter

How to turn your filing cabinet into a planter

With any planter, it is important to add drainage holes. Good drainage will stop the roots of your plant from rotting and prevent mould. Use a drill to add drainage holes to the underneath of your upcycled planter. 

Line the container with recycled plastic. Add holes to the plastic when the drainage holes are, and I like to pull my plastic through the drainage hole. 

Lining the planter will give extra protection to the metal frame and prevent it from rusting, or if you upcycled a wooden box, it would help stop the wood from rotting. 

Lettuce in garden
upcycled filing cabinet in garden

For my upcycled filing cabinet, I planted some lettuce. I picked up some lettuce plugs from my local garden centre. If you are short on space or too impatient to grow from seed, why not try growing from plugs. 

If you love flowers, then try planting some Cosmos in your planter, as these make stunning cut flowers, and the bees adore them too. You can grow Cosmos from seed or pick them up in the garden centre. 

When watering your upcycled planter, keep the soil moist but not soggy. During Summer, make sure it doesn’t dry out and feed the soil weekly. 

Rustoleum terracotta spray paint

I would love to see your upcycled garden planters, and you can comment below with a link or tag me on Instagram in your pictures. 

If you would like more garden inspiration, then check out these posts here. 

Thanks for reading, Catherine. 

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