Upcycling a Straw Tote as a Halloween Planter

Upcycling a Straw Tote as a Halloween Planter

Sometimes I go to the thrift store and come away empty-handed, bummed out, and treasure-less. But then there are those magical times when I walk in and immediately have a “near-craft experience”. And by that, I mean I spot a thrifty treasure and know what I plan to do with it…immediately! That’s what happened when I spotted this straw tote and knew it was destined to become a Halloween planter.

Straw tote at a Goodwill thrift store

If it hadn’t been October, I probably would have walked on by. I mean, an orange tote bag isn’t really my thing!

But when the air is crisp and I’m feeling all Halloween-y inside, then an orange and black straw tote is going in the cart.

Why? Because the more I stared at it, with its curved handle and round buckles, the more I saw a jack-o-lantern face. And that’s when I decided to upcycle it into a Halloween planter for my front porch.

Upcycling a straw tote as a Halloween planter for porch decorations

And even though I’ve made something similar on a smaller scale, I couldn’t help but kinda-sorta do it again!

Terracotta jack o lantern for boho Halloween

This post contains affiliate links for your crafting convenience. As an Amazon Affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases. All blue, bold, and underlined text is a clickable link, either to a product or to a related post.

Halloween Planter for Front Porch Decorations

Before I could repurpose it into a jack-o-lantern for my front porch, though, it needed an actual jack-o-lantern face.

First, I grabbed our utility knife and carefully sliced off the threads that held the handles and hardware on the straw tote.

Removing the hardware from a straw tote

Next, I created a template of a jack-o-lantern face using wide painter’s tape.

This allowed me to arrange and re-arrange it on the straw tote until I was satisfied.

Making a jack o lantern face on a straw tote

Once I was happy with the face on my Halloween planter, I removed one piece at a time.

Then, I stuck each piece on black felt and used the tape as a pattern to cut them out. I used craft glue on the felt to stick them back on the straw tote.

Jack o lantern planter for Halloween porch decorations

I could have used adhesive or peel-and-stick felt, too. But I didn’t have any on hand at the time!

And that was it! The straw tote was now a Halloween planter and ready to hold some fall flowers on the front porch.

Straw tote as a jack o lantern planter

Upcycling a Straw Tote as a Halloween Planter

Finally, I went to a nearby garden store and picked up the prettiest mums I could find! I chose Pele mums for their orange and yellow hues, like the colors of a lit-up jack-o-lantern.

After adding a few small river rocks to the bottom of the straw tote, I simply tucked the existing pots inside my Halloween planter. 

Jack o lantern planter for a Halloween porch

Doesn’t get any easier than that!

I don’t usually do much when it comes to Halloween porch decorations, but I made an exception for my Halloween planter.

In fact…I think he’s more of a…


Halloween porch decorations from a straw tote as a jack o lantern

Now I think I’ll go get a few pumpkins to round out our Halloween porch decorations! I’m thinking I’ll get some of those unusual green and white pumpkins that are oddly shaped- like something out of Alice in Wonderland.

I really do love the look of plants combined with jack-o-lantern decor. Clearly, because I can’t stop coming up with projects that combine the two

Modern Halloween decor from a pumpkin candy bucket

And for extra fun on Halloween night, this candy bowl holder doubles as ghost decor!

Halloween trick or treat ideas with a candy bowl holder

Craft on!


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Straw tote from Goodwill as Halloween porch decorations

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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. Brilliant! Love it!

  2. Oh, my goodness! What a creative and adorable planter. I am so charmed by it! I don’t usually have those immediate crafting inspirations. Most often I have to percolate about repurposing an item before I have that light bulb moment.

  3. This is so cute!

  4. LOVE this too pieces!
    Thanks for sharing your talent and creativty with us today at TOHOT!

  5. Your ingenuity constantly amazes me! Sharing this one. Visiting from Vintage Charm.

  6. Oh my goodness, this is so clever, when it popped in my inbox I had to come and Pin!!!
    Have a great day!

  7. Well, if that doesn’t get you into the Halloween mood, I don’t know what will. It’s great!

  8. This is so cute and I love that it can be used again next year.


  10. Kimberley A Mason says

    I absolutely adore this! Very crafty love it. thanks for sharing, you inspire me.

  11. I love the way your mind thinks! Your projects are always so darn cute and amazing!

  12. That is so cool!

  13. chris aka monkey says

    sarah your mind is like a steel trap f ideas, this is awesome xx

  14. So cute! Love that I am seeing some orange……Lisa@ Sweet Tea N’ Salty Air

  15. Lucky find! I thought it looked like Halloween too, but you made it so cute with the face!

  16. “Near craft experience” so funny. Nothing funny about the end result though, very classy.

  17. …just adorable…and all it needs… couple of the beautiful Cinderella pumpkins sitting beside it…love this and I am looking for an orange tote now. 🙂 Here from Poofing….

  18. Absolutely brilliant! I love this! Very nice.

  19. Darling! Great idea!

  20. This is so clever…and looks wonderful!

  21. First time visitor. I love it. I would never if thought of using a tote for a planter. Now I fine myself hoping to run into a seasonal tote in the future. Thanks for sharing.

  22. What a cute idea! It really makes your porch.

  23. This is so cute and I never would have thought to repurpose a straw bag in this way!

  24. This just makes me smile: ““near-craft experience”.

  25. This is so cute! I would have totally just walked by that bag. I love this transformation. Thanks for sharing on the Family Joy Blog Link Party! 🙂

    >> Christene
    Keys to Inspiration

  26. Sarah – You amaze me! You walk into the Goodwill and see something unique in an item the rest of us see and go – oh my! You truly have a creative mind! I love this pumpkin and all the other ideas you share! Thanks for sharing on the Pleasures of the NW’s DIY party!

  27. I am completely amazed that this was once a purse! Great job!
    Thanks for sharing with us this week at the Merry Monday link party!
    We hope to see you again next week!
    Kate | TheOrganizedDream.com

  28. Clever! now I’ll have to be on the look out for purses like this, I can spray paint them different colors for the seasons. Thanks for sharing!

  29. Super cute!

  30. “Near-Craft Experiences”, what a perfect description! This was certainly a trash to treasure project and you always give me new ideas for thrifting. Thanks so much for sharing with us this week at Celebrate Your Story.

  31. So adorable and clever! Thanks for linking up to the Creative Exchange this week! Holly

  32. I love everything about this project! So clever! Pinned and sharing. Thank you for linking up to Family Joy Blog Link-Up Party this week!

  33. Sarah, your jack o planter is too cute!! You’re so very creative!

  34. Adorable. I love how you think! Thank you for sharing at Snickerdoodle Create~Bake~Make link party!

  35. Sarah, Congratulations, you are going to be a Featured Contributor on Your Inspired Design LInk Party #57, October 13. We love that you join us and contribute.

  36. You are a master at up cycles!! Love this 😉 Thanks for sharing at the #InspirationSpotlight Party Pinned & shared.

  37. What a brilliant idea! Love it!

  38. You are so cleaver girl. I love this idea and you scored in this deal. I love it and so happy you shared at Dishing it and Digging it link party. Hope you stop by this coming Sunday.

  39. Oh my gosh…this is so cute! 🙂

    I would love for you to share this with my Facebook Group for recipes, crafts, tips, and tricks: https://www.facebook.com/groups/pluckyrecipescraftstips/

    Thanks for joining Cooking and Crafting with J & J!

  40. I love this, Sarah! I think Google is going to see an uptick in “orange straw tote” searches! Just letting you know I’ll be featuring your tote tonight on Best of the Weekend!

  41. Wow, this is awesome..now I’m on the lookout for a big ugly tote bag at the thrift store!

  42. What a clever DIY. So crafty! It’s a feature this week at Welcome Home Wednesdays! Congrats! See you tomorrow.

  43. Leslie Grother says

    I cherish people like you so talented. You make my black and white world so colorful..

  44. That is so cute!! I love how creative it is!

  45. This is brilliant! When you posted the purse on social media I figured it was going to be part of a Halloween costume. Oh I so love this idea better.

  46. This tote was waiting on you to bring it home!

  47. So fun & clever! Thanks for sharing @ Vintage Charm!

  48. This is adorable!!!!

  49. How cute! I will have to share. Hugs, Linda on Poinsettia Drive poinsettiadr.com

  50. This is such a fun way to upcycle that old tote. It certainly isn’t a color you can go with all year long, but for Autumn it is perfect.

  51. As always just a beautiful project!!!!!!!!!

  52. Sandi Allen says

    So cute! Love it!


  1. […] Halloween Porch Decorations with a Straw Tote by Sadie’s Seasongoods […]

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