Upcycled window herb planter

Share with your friendsShare on FacebookPin on PinterestShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on StumbleUponShare on Reddit

Upcycled window herb planter

Turn a discarded old window into a gorgeous garden feature of an upcycled window herb planter.
When a good friend recently had new windows, she was going to discard the hundred year old sashes she’d replaced. Luckily I managed to stop her! Wendy was a bit skeptical about my plans to turn the old windows into a lovely feature for the garden. However in the end she was delighted with the result, and said that it was one of her favourite upcycles.
Upcycle window herb planter. Turn an old window and some tin cans into a stunning herb planter.  Free template download and instructions.
Not only does the upcycled window herb planter looks fantastic in my little garden but it’s really practical, as I now have my own little herb garden. The herbs are in portable upcycled tin can planters, that can be easily taken into the kitchen when needed. I used tin cans as planters, as I had great success with them with the colourful planter I made last summer.
I can’t resist a pun especially when it comes to song lyrics (see Sit Down cushion), so that’s why I went for one of my favourite 80’s classics Cyndi Laupers “Time after Time” for my window sign.
This is a free tutorial and template. The sign was hand painted without using a stencil, so no specialist stencil printer needed just a normal printer.
Upcycled Window Herb planter - full tutorial and designs Pillarboxblue.com
Upcycled Window herb planter - full tutorial Pillarboxblue.com
Upcycled Window Herb planter - full tutorial Pillarboxblue
This post contains amazon affiliate links for your convenience. Click here to see my disclosure policy.

What you need to make an upcycled window herb planter

  • Old window – Any old wooden window would do. Just keep an eye out in skips or for anyone having new windows put in. Most people will happily give you their old windows for free. It saves them having to make a trip to the dump.
  • Tin cans – I used six standard sized tin cans for my window herb planter.
  • Spray paint for the cans.
  • Cavallini vintage insect wrapping paper for my images. They also produce and butterflies wrapping paper that I think will work just as well.
  • Old piece of pallet wood to make window shelf.
  • Six strong magnets (optional).
  • Scissors, glue, spray varnish, hammer, nails and a drill.
  • Bee and sign template which you can download here: Bee Template & Thyme Sign Template.
  • Paints suitable for painting on glass and brushes. I used just 2 colours black and yellow.

Old sash windows upcycled into herb planter


How to make your upcycled window herb planter

PART ONE: Painting the Window

  • For sash windows that were over a hundred years old Wendy’s windows were in remarkably good nick. As I prefer the more rustic look I scuffed them up a bit with a hot air gun and scraper followed with a coating of dark wax.
  • Print off your templates for painting (see above for pdf downloads). I wanted to paint on the back of the window so I printed off a mirror image of the “Thyme after Thyme” . However as it didn’t matter which way round the Bee was, I just painted it normally.
  • After cleaning your windows tape your template to the front of your windows where you want to paint. As I wanted to paint the back of the window, this took me a while to work out where I was placing my templates (I’m not very good at working back to front). You don’t have to paint on the back, you could just paint the front which would be easier but you won’t get such a smooth finish.

Painted window planter pillarboxblue.com

    • Using my template as a guide I just painted over the words and bee on window using glass paint. You can use acrylic paints but I don’t think they give as nice a finish and will probably need a sealant on top.

    Painted window herb planter tutorial
    Painted window herb planter tutorial - Pillarboxblue.com

    PART TWO: Making the tin can herb planters

  • Spray paint the tin can planters a creamy off white colour. One coat will do.
  • Drill four small holes in the cans to allow for drainage.
  • Carefully cut out six insects from your wrapping paper. You can allow for a small border round the legs as the background of the wrapping paper should just blend in with the tins.
  • Stick one paper insect to the front of each can using PVA or modge podge glue.
  • Seal the outside of the cans by either covering in waterproof modge podge or by spraying with an acrylic varnish.
  • Place some gravel in the bottom of the cans. This is to provide a drainage layer before adding your soil and herbs.

Decoupage Tin Can planters for upcycled window herb planters


PART THREE: Attaching your herb planters to the window.

  • Originally I had the idea that I would just attach the tin can planters to the window using magnets. So I stuck six strong magnets to the bottom of the window frame. These magnets worked brilliantly with empty cans. However when the cans were full of gravel and soil they became too heavy and slipped down the magnets.
    To solve this problem I just got a bit of old pallet wood and screwed it to the underside of the bottom of the window frame to create a little ledge to help support the tins.
    If you use super strong magnets you may not need the ledge. You could of course use the ledge without magnets but I do find the magnets keep the herbs tins in place and stop them from being blown off.
    Upcycled window herb planter

    Upcycled window herb planter - free tutorial and template Pillarboxblue.com
    upcycled window herb planter - tutorial and free template Pillarboxblue.com
    Upcycled window herb planter - pillarboxblue.com
    As this was a originally a sash window, I just replaced the exisiting sash cord with some new sash cord and used this to hang my window to the wall.
    Upcycled Window Herb Planter - Pillarboxblue.com
    *Click here to can see the Marimekko bench upcyclce
    As well as “Thyme after Thyme” I did think of with a few other herb/lyric puns.
    “The Thyme of My Life” for the Dirty Dancing fans.
    “Good Thymes” for the disco and chic fans.
    ” Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme” Simon and Garfunkel

    If you have any good song lyric herb puns I’d love to hear them.

    You could of course plant flowers instead of herbs in your tin cans. I’m sure there are loads of good songs with flowers in the title !


    Share with your friendsShare on FacebookPin on PinterestShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on StumbleUponShare on Reddit

    76 Responses

    1. What a wonderful way to reuse the window. The magnets are brilliant and the whole project turned out so charming! Cheers!

    2. What a super duper upcycle! You put a lot of love into this project and it shows. Ingenious idea to use magnets, as well. xoKathleen Charm Bracelt Diva {At Home}

      • Thank you! Yes the magnets have worked well, I will be using them again.

    3. What an adorable idea…love everything about it!

    4. Wonderful idea! It’s great too that you can take the herbs directly into the kitchen. I haven’t planned herbs yet this year, but I will remember this one. Pinning!

      • Thank you ! I cook a lot with herbs and always need mint for a sneaky mojito.

    5. Those cans are so cute, you kind of forget they are just junky tin cans.

    6. I love me some cyndi L. Great puns, great project!!!

    7. Love this! My potted herbs need a makeover, you have given me great inspiration. Celebrate the bee I say, they are a dying breed 🙁

    8. This is just crazy cool. Love everything about it and your tutorial for each part is great. Old windows and soup cans are two of my faves for upcycling. Pinning!!

      • Thank you ! I love tin cans myself and this is my first window but definately not my last.

    9. This is brilliant. And so very pretty. And a constant supply of fresh herbs. Well done.

    10. Claire, how awesome is this window herb planter!!!!! Love those bees!! This is really too cool!!

      • Thank you very much ! I’ve gat a thing about bees at the moment.

    11. I think your window is great! Just my style! Thank you for sharing it with all of us less creative folk!

    12. I love to reuse old windows and I have a few that I have been wanting to hand paint on the glass. This is a really cute design!

    13. Love it! What a great use of items that would be otherwise thrown away. I remember my dad making a cold frame with old windows when I was a child. My husband can’t walk past a skip without checking out the contents. We once carried a big roll of carpet the length of our village, we now have a carpet in our loft!

      • Thank you ! I’m like that, I’m always having a look in skips as I walk past, it’s amazing what people throw out.

    14. Fantastic tutorial on an AMAZING project. Those vintage insects on the cans are the icing on the cake.

    15. Great repurpose Claire. Your projects are all so full of whimsey and fun! And this one looks like something you would find in a high-end store.

      • Thank you very much! Your words are kind, I do like crafts that make people smile.

    16. Lovely way to reuse an old window. Love the detailed tutorial. sb

    17. Hi Claire, this is so fun and so beautiful! I love the “thyme after thyme” ! I recently did a little herb garden in a crate, but this is an amazing idea! I am on the lookout for old windows! Thank you so much for linking up at Sweet Inspiration #1, I hope you’ll be back next week!!

    18. Love this 🙂 A perfect spring Diy.

    19. This is soooooo cute. Great job, I love it

    20. Really fabulous, and love it with the marimekko bench! thanks for sharing on craft schooling Sunday!

    21. LOVE this herb garden idea! Now to find an old window…. 🙂

    22. This is amazing! And I love the pun, too 🙂

    23. how cute and handy to useful to use the decorated tin cans for your herbs and what a darling saying, Thyme After Thyme for the garden window! I would love to make a herb garden one of these days. We do have thyme and cilantro growing so far. Thanks for joining the fun on Funtastic Friday!

      • Thank you ! Couldn’t think of any cilantro or coriander puns for some reason.

    24. What a fabulous repurpose for an old window! It looks really wonderful. And I love that you used tin cans for the herbs, and the play on words with the song title is such fun. Thanks so much for sharing at Vintage Charm.

    25. This is beautiful! I love how it turned out. Thank you so much for sharing with us at Merry Monday this week. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go find some awesome old windows so I can make one!

    26. This is quite a project and I love it! I have a spot on my deck where something like this would fit perfectly thank you for the inspiration and thanks for sharing at Celebrate Your Story link party. I hope you join us again next week!

    27. I love this! Thanks for sharing your great tutorial with Talk of the Town. Pinning and sharing on my FB page too. So clever!

    28. […] 3.Upcycled Window Herb Planter at Pillar Box Blue […]

    29. […] Upcycled window herb planter by Pillar Box Blue <— click to pin […]

    30. […] Build a Sturdy Tomato Cage by Get Busy Gardening Creative Planter Ideas by Simple Decorating Tips Upcycled Window Herb Planter by Pillar Blue Box DIY Massive Planter Boxes Made From Pallets by Lou Lou Girls Clay Plant Holder […]

    31. […] Build a Sturdy Tomato Cage by Get Busy Gardening Creative Planter Ideas by Simple Decorating Tips Upcycled Window Herb Planter by Pillar Blue Box DIY Massive Planter Boxes Made From Pallets by Lou Lou Girls Clay Plant Holder […]

    32. […] Up-cycled Window Herb Planter by Pillar Box Blue […]

    33. […] Up-cycled Window Herb Planter by Pillar Box Blue […]

    34. […] Build a Sturdy Tomato Cage by Get Busy Gardening Creative Planter Ideas by Simple Decorating Tips Upcycled Window Herb Planter by Pillar Blue Box DIY Massive Planter Boxes Made From Pallets by Lou Lou Girls Clay Plant Holder […]

    35. […] pick : Upcycled Window Herb Planter @ Pillar Box Blue (PIN […]

    36. Claire, I absolutely love what you did with the window and the Thyme after Thyme theme. Thank you so very much for linking this with Thoughts of Home on Thursday. 🙂

      • Thank you for your lovely comment and thanks for the heads up about that other site.

    37. Claire you are SO crafty and creative. What an absolute delight this post is!!! Thank you so very much for joining the gathering at Thoughts of Home on Thursday.

    38. This is so flippin cute! Love the graphic and all the vintage chippiness of it!

    39. How cute and creative! This looks fantastic for spring

    40. […] She has provided free templates and instructions to make your own herb window at her blog – Pillar Box Blue. […]

    41. Love it! This is just adorable!!! I have two old windows in the basement that I can not decide what to do with…I think you gave me the perfect inspiration!!Thank you so much for sharing with us at Friday Favorites! I would love for you to join me at mustlovehome.com for the Wonderful Wednesday Link Party…and enter our $40 PayPal Cash Giveaway for May!! Hugs – Christine at Must Love Home

    42. Amy

      I think I just found my husbands next project! Beautiful!

    43. This is just STUNNING!! Thanks so much for sharing at the Friday Favorites Linky Party, I’ll be featuring your post on my blog http://www.leroylime.com this week! Swing by and grab your featured button. Have a BEE-autiful weekend!

    44. […] always looking for ways to jazz it up a bit with a few upcycled accessories. A few weeks ago I upcycled an old window into a gorgeous herb planter for my garden. I loved it so much that I decided to upcycle the other old window I had. […]

    45. […] Upcycled Window Herb Planter from Pillar Box Blue […]

    46. Another fun project!! thank you for linking up to Waste Not Wednesday this week!

    47. […] Upcycled Window Herb Planter by Pillar Box Blue […]

    48. What a fabulous project, Claire! I LOVE it! So unique and creative, plus that you have used all repurposed goodies! Your wonderful project is being featured this week at Waste Not Wednesday-6! Can’t wait to see what you have been up to this week! 🙂

    49. […] ideas for upcycled cans in the pipeline.   Check out some of my other outdoor tin can ideas. Upcycled window herb planter Happy Hour Upcycled Window Copper and denim caddy   amzn_assoc_placement = "adunit0"; […]

    50. M

      Thyme to go
      Thyme’s on my side
      For the good thymes
      Thyme & thyme again
      Thyme on my hands
      Thyme’s a wastin’
      Thyme for every season under heaven
      It’s about thyme
      Every thyme….

      • Thank you! I think “it’s about time” and. “For the good thymes” are my favourite.

    51. THIS is precious and I am definitely putting my 3frame window to use! Thanks so much!

    52. […] glam, it’s amazing! I love the touch of the chalkboard labels too.       3. Upcycled Window Herb Planter – Pillarboxblue   Now these tin cans have been decoupaged with vintage insect graphics for a lovely retro […]

    53. […] Claire’s upcycled window herb planter is on point with these bee stencils and chippy paint. Hang it outside and you’ve got another vertical garden option. […]

    Leave a comment