Enamel Colander as a Hanging Porch Planter

Enamel Colander as a Hanging Porch Planter

I don’t know about y’all, but I am a sucker for vintage kitchen goodies- utensils, hand towels, salt-and-pepper shakers, you name it! And when we bought our house last summer, the front porch had a hook in the ceiling, just begging for a hanging porch planter. It was the perfect place for me to try my hand at upcycling an enamel colander into a planter and front porch decor.

Enamel cookware and metal colander to become an outdoor hanging basket

Enamel colanders are ideal for this upcycling idea. They’re heavy enough to not swing around in the wind, and being a food strainer and all, they have built-in drainage holes!

After finding one at an antiques shop, I was ready to give this project a go!

Enamel colander to be upcycled into a hanging basket and planter

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Creating a Hanging Basket from an Enamel Colander

First, I needed to devise an easy way to connect chain to the handles on the enamel colander.

So, I nabbed a couple of carabiners from the hardware store and connected one to each handle. Quick links would also work just fine, too.

Carabiner on the handle of an enamel colander to attach the chain

But, the carabiner hung on the handle and could easily slip around. I didn’t want my hanging planter to slip around and become crooked.

In other words, I needed to fix each one in place on their respective handles. 

Since I’m not exactly the kind of DIYer who can solder metal, I went with a much easier fix: wire! I simply twisted some heavy gauge jewelry wire around the carabiner and handle until it was firmly fixed in place.

Fixing the carabiner to the enamel colander with jewelry wire

Next, I wanted to add a hanging basket liner that didn’t take up too much room in the enamel colander. A couple of pieces of cheesecloth did the trick!

Cheese cloth as a hanging basket liner in a food strainer

Then, I added some chain. With my wire cutters, I clipped a length of chain with an uneven number of links. This way, I could isolate the very center link to hang from the hook in my porch ceiling. 

And the spring-loaded nature of carabiners made it super easy to slip chain onto each one.

Checking the chain length on an outdoor hanging basket

Now the enamel colander was ready to be planted!

Enamel Colander as a Hanging Porch Planter

Once the enamel colander had been outfitted to hang as a hanging basket, I filled it with potting soil.

Hanging basket ideas with an enamel colander

My annuals took to it like fish to water! My enamel colander was the PERFECT outdoor hanging basket.

DIY outdoor hanging planter

Between the built-in drainage holes and the handles from which to hang chain, you have to wonder. Were colanders ALWAYS meant to ultimately become hanging planters?

And if you enjoyed this easy upcycling idea for a hanging porch planter, then you may also be interested in this galvanized bucket planter, as well!

Galvanized bucket planter with a decorative hose bibb

For more upcycling ideas for unique planters like this, please check out this collection of garden pots and planters for loads of inspiration!

upcycled planters

Craft on!


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Colander planter

Vintage colander as a DIY outdoor hanging planter

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Sarah Ramberg is the owner of Sadie Seasongoods, a website that celebrates all things secondhand. From upcycling ideas and thrifted decor to vintage-centric travel itineraries, Sadie Seasongoods is a one-stop shop for anyone who loves thrifting and approachable repurposing ideas. Sarah is also the author of “Crafting with Flannel” and has been featured in numerous media outlets and magazines.


  1. valj2750 says

    I so enjoy your creativity, Sadie.

  2. Clever idea!

  3. I love all things vintage and this looks beautiful! Visiting from Five Heart Home – thanks for sharing and pinning! Hope you have a happy week!

  4. This is such a cute planter! I love the minty color too. Great idea putting the cheesecloth in the bottom too. I’d love for you to link this up to my Creative Ways Link Party when you get a chance!

  5. Thank you for sharing on #TheWeekendSocial ! Loved your blog post! have a great night!

  6. What a cute idea! I see these all the time at Goodwill but don’t want to buy b/c of the rust…now I’ll rethink it! I just did something similar with thrifted glassware for a bird feeder 🙂 Love recycling!

  7. juliaklimek says

    That’s adorable! I would LOVE to do this! Now I’m keeping my eyes open for some colander. I think the hooks/wire should hold up to the water / elements…. Seriously sooo cute! Will you please come link up at merry monda linky (6pm Sunday PST) ~ I’d love to have you! Julia

  8. I love this idea! Need to find me a vintage colander fast!

  9. This is such a cute idea for re-purposing items. I found your blog via Think Pink Sunday and I really like your ideas. Enjoy your creative day! ~ Vickie

    • Thanks, Vickie! I hope you enjoy some of my past posts and perhaps some future ones, too! I’m really active on facebook (www.facebook.com/sadieseasongoods) in case you are, too. 🙂

  10. How cute! I also am a sucker for vintage kitchen gadgets and utensils. Will have to keep this one in mind the next time I go antiquing! Definitely pinning for future reference.

  11. balmtomysoul says

    What a darling and unique idea!! It just looks adorable on your porch. Thanks for sharing. What a creative planter!!

  12. Crystelle Boutique says

    Oh my! And to think I got rid of one of my colorful strainers… This is so perfect!!! Love the green color too!! 🙂
    XoXoX Crystelle
    Crystelle Boutique

  13. Snicker snicker on the title- loved it! That’s very cute idea- that’s a cool colander you found!

  14. This is just adorable – love it !!! Think of all the colors you can get these in !
    Hopping over from Gingersnap Craft

  15. Very cute idea using the colander as a hanging planter. Thanks for sharing it on Merry Monday Linky Party.

  16. What a smart idea!! It turned out great. I’d love it if you’d linkup to The DIY’ers! http://homecomingmn.blogspot.com/2014/06/diyers-5.html

  17. That is a great idea! I need to head to Goodwill this week anyways; I will keep my eyes open to make one of these.

  18. This is such a gorgeous planter! What a great use of something old and unloved. You did a great job! We would love it if you linked up with our party this week!

  19. This is super cute! Love this idea! visiting you from inspiration monday link party 🙂

  20. Awesome project! Love it! Thanks for sharing!
    Hope you have a wonderful day!
    Hugs from Portugal,
    Ana Love Craft

  21. Love this project and the cheesecloth tip is awesome! Thank you for linking up at The Handmade Hangout! Sharing tomorrow at Redouxinteriors 🙂

  22. So creative! I would love it if you joined and contribute your awesome posts at my link party at City of Creative Dreams, starts on Fridays 😀 Hope to see you there at City of Creative Dreams Link Party.

  23. Thank you for sharing this post at City of Creative Dream’s City of Links last Friday! I appreciate you taking the time to party with me. Hope to see you again this week 🙂

  24. Barbara Conley says

    A diaper works really well in the bottom of the pot. Keeps the dirt moist a lot longer. For flatter pots, use puppy pads. Works like a charm!

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      Interesting options! No diapers or puppy pads in our house, but I’ll definitely keep those in mind- thank you!

  25. Am wondering if you still use your vintage strainer planter and how the jewelry wire worked long term. Do you have a current photo?

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      Hi, Diane! It’s held up just fine- the purple alyssum photos are from 2014 but the red petunias were just planted last weekend! I do store it in our shed during the cold months, so it doesn’t stay outdoors year-round and it hangs on an open, but covered porch during the Spring/Summer.

  26. Jennifer Van-Alphen says

    What if the handles have come off?

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      They’re bolted on (you can see the bolts in the photo with the cheesecloth) and I’ve used this for years and years, so I’m not worried about it!

  27. Love this idea. How perfect – you don’t have to worry about it ever being too wet. Thanks for sharing on Do It Yourself Link up.

  28. Now this was using your creative brain!! Pinned! thanks for sharing on the Pleasures of the NW’s DIY Party!

  29. This is so cute. You are so creative.

  30. Very cute!

  31. Great planter idea Sadie! Thanks for joining the Dishing It & Digging It Link Party.

  32. Oh boy, I tried one of these last year and I just couldn’t make it work. I used the same clips you did but it kept tipping. Now I know what I did wrong! I did not secure the clips to the handles. Thanks for this post. I may go back to the drawing board!

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      It’s definitely an important step!! 🙂 And maybe there’s a prettier way to do it??

  33. JaneEllen Jones says

    This seems to be my day to lose comments, very annoying. Love this planter idea, will be looking at colanders we have to see what will work til can get to thrift store. No money til next Wed.. our payday. Been having several 5 week months so after too many getting harder to make money last. Expensive to live here, they act like every thing has oil going thru it (Grand Junction, CO, we live few miles west). Not a good place for people living on just their SS. Is place of many wealthy people and we aren’t any of them.
    Always totally enjoy and am inspired by your posts Sarah. Am waiting to get money so I can dye some doilies for that great frame/screened project. Could I use food coloring? Just a thought.
    Have wonderful weekend

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      That’s a good question about food coloring- I’m not sure! Another cheap option might be kool-aid, as crazy as that sounds. I’ve seen a new trend of dyeing yarn with kool-aid, so I don’t see why it wouldn’t work on doilies (assuming the doilies are 100% cotton…if they’ve got poly in them, though, the dye might not take).

  34. I LOVE this! Your enamel colander looks really pretty with those overspilling flowers, and it’s a great way to recycle/upcycle a colander!


  35. This is such a cute idea and I may have to buy a colander and use it as a planter. Love this!

  36. So cleaver and way cute! Thanks for sharing on Funtastic Friday!

  37. I am definitely trying out your idea for using a colander as a planter. Thank you for sharing.

  38. Oh my goodness! I love the spillers too! We used two of these to grow a variety of lettuce and they looked fab to x

  39. Sarah what a cute video! Love the project. Now if only you can lend me your green thumb!

  40. This is such a cute idea! I’ll be featuring your colander planter at Best of the Weekend tomorrow night!

  41. Rhonda Gales says

    Your colander planters are so cute. I have several laying around, I’m going to convert them. Thanks for the inspiration, and please join my Sunday’s Best Linky party and share your post. Starts every Saturday at 8:00 pm EST.

  42. Does the cheesecloth absorb the water to prevent a wet floor?

  43. Hi you have just gave me idea . I am going to plant succulents in my colander I was not sure at first


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