Painting and Making Whimsical Recycled Garden Art

One way to bring a little color into your home is to make colorful garden planters using paint and recycled washing machine drums.


I painted the one above last year. It’s great for cactus because they don’t need much water.

I made a bright flower motif one this year.


I’ll show you the progression of one I decorated with a cactus design below.

I started with an empty washing machine drum that I cleaned up to look like this.


Next I added a layer of color using oil paint and let it dry.


Then I used black paint and sketched out my design from some drawings I made beforehand.


Then I started filling in with color what I’d sketched.




I’m able to get different shades of color by adding white or other colors together. For instance, the green is made with a yellow and blue mix. One shade has more blue in it and one has more yellow and white in it.


I tried to add a little dimension to it by layering some lighter shades over the darker shades.



Then the fun part comes in when I get to add the details. In this case the needles on the cactus and the border along the top.




I especially liked the little cross needles on the below cactus.


This one was a fun one to paint and I especially like the way it came out.


While I was painting whimsical garden planters, Greg was making this rustic chair. The back is made from palm stems that he recycled when he trimmed the palm trees. He had to cut the barbs off each stem or else one would get their clothes stuck on them.


The stems will eventually turn brown as the wood dries. We like the green color though, so he’s thinking of staining the legs and arms a green tint. We’ll see. Either way, I think it came out really cool and it’s comfy to sit in!

Have you made something lately? Would love to know what you’ve made.

Happy creating!

4 thoughts on “Painting and Making Whimsical Recycled Garden Art

  • June 17, 2010 at 8:41 am

    Clever Greg. Clever Lindy. I wish I could drive down the street and perch on a stool and watch you work. Lindy – don’t you want to do everything? Sing and dance and run and paint and sculpt and write and quilt and stir up the sky? I want to do everything, and all I do is make messes and figure out ways of not cleaning them up. I think I’m even scared of ideas – because – because – I don’t know why. The planters are totally fun. Totally amazing. And totally casita. But I love your smile best. Your happy, alive smile.

  • June 16, 2010 at 9:03 am

    Great ideas and both projects are wonderful. I love recycled crafts. I just made a great planter from an old shed we tore down last year and a cute table for a planter on the deck that we made from the tree branch trimmings on the big fir trees. Fun stuff. 🙂

  • June 15, 2010 at 9:20 pm

    Hi Lindy! What a beautiful planter you’ve created. I love the bright colors and cactus motif you’ve made… the finishing touches just made it pop. I love all the photos of during you’ve posted here.

    what a talented guy you’ve got there! I love his chair.

    I’ve been playing around with some terra cotta pots, painting them with acrylics, but now you’ve got me looking around to see what else I can paint!


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