Cardboard Box Upcycle into a Planter Box

cardboard box recycle into a planter box

Are you tired yet, because I sure am. We have been awash in cardboard upcycling for Earth Day!


I actually have loved doing this "series" and feel like it could go on forever. The possibilities of what to do with a cardboard box are truly endless. I made a memo board, a burlap rolling crate, wall typography, and a closet storage bin.

Now, my job here is to excite you about this great project and I REALLY love how it turned took darn near forever, seriously like 3hours...straight. I aint lying. This would be a great project to do if you are going to be watching a Beverly Hills 90210 or Brady Bunch marathon (my 2 favorites).  Just find something to do while you endlessly glue small twigs to a box.

cardboard box recycle into a planter 9 copy

I cut this box in half and then spray painted it black. I was pretty sure at the start that my stick gluing would have imperfections where the box would show through and I didn't want to see any of that writing or colors.

cardboard box recycle into a planter 8 copy

I tried hot gluing a few sticks at a time. Then I would fill in empty spots as I went. I had to trim the sticks so the top was fairly even...not perfect by any means. I went round and round and burned and cursed. But I did it and I really do think it is super cute!

cardboard box recycle into a planter 4 copy

Oh that's right, you still see some hot glue strands because I just couldn't work on this thing for one more minute. One day when I am watching my kids play checkers I will pick the rest of the hot glue bits off, but for now it's fine.

cardboard box recycle into a planter square copy

Even my daughter, who usually isn't impressed with my projects unless they are pink or sparkle walked in and ran right over to this shouting, "I LOVE IT!"  I guess those burns were worth it.

cardboard box recycle into a planter 7 copy

I can usually take constructive criticism, but please, if you hate this...just don't even say anything. It might kill me after the blood, sweat, splinters, and burns I put into this.

signature wire copy

I would love for you to follow along! Subscribe via bloglovin, e-mail or rss feed in a reader. I also post on Twitter and Facebook almost every day. And did I mention my Pinterest addiction....

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  1. I really like this project. I’ll have to give it a try.

  2. Judith Bush Polcari says:

    Hello Kim,
    This is a great idea, if you wanted to, could they be painted different colors? Another question. Does the bottom get soggy and fall apart?

    Waiting for an answer, I would love to try this……

    • You could paint it any color, or Mod Podge fabric on the outside, or glue feathers on the outside….the possibilities are ENDLESS! I used a terra cotta pot with the terra cotta drain tray underneath it. It would fall apart quickly if it got wet. Thanks for asking:)

  3. Great idea! I think I’ll use a bamboo placemat so it doesn’t get added to my mountain of unfinished projects.

    • Oh Randa, that is a BRILLIANT idea! Those darn sticks took forever to glue on

    • Judith Bush Polcari says:

      Bamboo place mat is a great idea. I have a piece of bamboo that came unglued from a box, now I can put it to better use. Thank You for sharing…

  4. So cute.
    I have some old match-stick blinds I’m replacing with canvas roll up shades– I’ve been trying to figure out a use for the match sticks blinds now…the parts that are still good.
    They would work really well for this project. Cute idea.
    Thanks for sharing.
    Patricia , visiting from MRL (CaCC)

  5. That’s ADORABLE! definitely doing this with my kids (or maybe just for me!) Thanks for the great idea. By the way, are those regular sticks from outside or did you buy them somewhere?

    • I did buy this huge bunch at Hobby Lobby. But I would way rather make it with sticks from outside. I just didn’t have a chance to get the kids and go huint down enough for this project:)

  6. This is a great idea. I always buy placemats that are bamboo or anything that looks like it. In our bathroom, I have a bamboo runner sitting on the window sill in my bathroom instead of a small curtain and this planter would look great sitting on the top of my toilet tank!!! Thanks for sharing.

  7. Hi Kim, this is really cute. Don’t let anybody tell you those burns weren’t worth it 😀 I decorated 2 birdhouses for 2 of my grandkids and then 2 more for my 2 great grandkids. They were all different and one was done with twigs glued all the way around the outside walls with small polished stones glued on the roof, very rustic. I went through the same painful process as you, gluing and gluing until I couldn’t glue anymore 😀 but knowing how much my grandkids and great grandkids treasure their “special “birdhouse was enough for me to know the pain was worth it. 😀 Thanks for sharing, have a great day. Sincerely, Diena

    • Thanks for the sweet comment Diena! It sounds like your kids and grandkids are very lucky to have such a loving woman in their lives! You’ve given me an idea for birdhouses with my kids this spring-I think my hands have recovered and are ready for it:)

  8. Just a tip for the hot glue strings, just use your hair dryer. The strings disappear. I am currently experimenting with square tissue boxes, which are a great size for storage and your planter box gave another idea for covering them. Thank you! God Bless, Alice

  9. What a pretty way to recycle, I love it!!

  10. Nice. Goof nob. I wonder if you take a hair dryer or heat gun held away from it if the glue strings would disappear. It would be worth a try before doing it by hand.

  11. JaneEllen says:

    Yeah, OUCH! think anybody that has used glue gun has burns to show for it. Can get small glue gun/ low heat glue sticks at Michaels that aren’t too bad.
    I tried to wear gardening gloves but can’t feel anything and made worse mess,oh me,lol.
    How long did it take you to get all those sticks all around that box? Did you ever feel like pitching it out door? lol Looks pretty darned cute to me, great job.
    Happy weekend

  12. Audrey Wrobel says:

    Modpodge matte seems like it might work better than hot glue. The twine would hold it in place to set, too. You could seal it with some the modpodge and then clear enamel spray paint then. Anyway, this is super cute!


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