sugar skull planter box

Recycled Planter Boxes

While in Mexico last year I made a few painted recycled planter boxes. I used the large black plastic planter boxes from the nursery that some of our other plants came in. For others, I used recycled washing machine drums.

Below I will show you some of each.

To make the painted recycled planter boxes, I first washed them really good and got the dirt off. Then I covered the used plastic planters with a couple coats of gesso. I like Liquitex professional white gesso which I buy in the one gallon size. Or the gesso I get from Utrecht. They both also have smaller sizes and a basic version which is less expensive.

The gesso helps the acrylic paint stick to the surface and not peel off when the planter boxes get hot in the sun.

I made a sketch of what I wanted on the planters. Then I painted that on the sides. After putting on a couple coats of acrylic paint, I covered it with a clear shiny acrylic varnish.

I think these recycled planter boxes held up pretty well seeing as it has been a whole year in the sun. The shiny finish on them has dulled a bit but the color is still vibrant.

That goes to show how well the Utrecht acrylic paint holds up. Utrecht is the brand of paint I like because it covers really well. The density is great and I love the vivid colors. Check the recycled planter boxes out below.

painted flower planter box

The one below is a recycled planter box using hibiscus flowers as my inspiration. We have a bunch of hibiscus in the yard and I love that flower. I also made a colorful hibiscus painted mural a couple years ago.

hibiscus flower planter box
cactus planter box

I used a different technique on the recycled sugar skull flower planter boxes below. I used a recycled washing machine drum. I coated it first with gesso like the others. Then I painted it using white paint for all the line work.

After it dried, I went over it with a transparent wash, adding more color. Then I finished it with a coat of acrylic clear varnish.

recycled sugar skull planter box

You can see some of my other sugar skull designs on tshirts at this link>

recycled sugar skull planter box
recycled sugar skull planter box

I am pretty happy with the way they look with the more mature plants in them now. I think they add a lot to our garden space. Hope you enjoyed looking at them.

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sugar skull pink on yellow background

Day of the Dead Sugar Skull Tshirt

I love working in Photoshop or Illustrator to create designs to put on tshirts and home decor. Recently I created a Day of the Dead Sugar Skull tshirt design.

Since I am in Mexico, I think it is no surprise that I would be influenced by this Dia de los Muertos Mexican heritage festivity. I have made some other Day of the Dead designs and one of them I put on a recycled flower planter box made from a washing machine drum.

And one with the pink sugar skull.

Tshirt comes in 6 different colors with a hot pink sugar skull.

Or get a tank top with a sugar skull at:

Day of the Dead white sugar skull design on a blue pillow.

Find it on Amazon at

Day of the Dead Sugar Skull Pillow

If you would like to see more of my work on fun products, check out the bottom of this page.

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