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DIY Outdoor Wicker Basket Planters

Over the years, in my efforts to make my gardens more charming, I’ve added wicker baskets into the mix of my outdoor planters. It’s really easy to turn any wicker or woven basket into an outdoor flower planter or herb planter and it’s a great way to add some character to your outdoor spaces. This is a simple and quick project, and you really don’t even need a green thumb to put together a really cute wicker basket planter that you can be proud of.

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Large Wicker Basket Flower Planter

How to Select A Basket for Your Planter

When selecting a basket for your planter, size matters. Although small baskets make really cute planters, bigger usually means less maintenance because they don’t dry out as quickly. Either way, select a basket that has a bit of depth to it. Also, choose a firm basket so it is strong enough to hold soil, water and plants.

Look around your house and see what you have that you don’t use anymore. Like a wicker laundry basket, an old fruit basket or really any old baskets you have lying around. Bushel baskets work really well too. Seagrass baskets are also great to use as planters. Check out my herb planter in an old picnic basket further down in the post.

Baskets in a Thrift Store

Your local thrift store is a great place to find old wicker baskets. Also, flea markets, estate sales and yard sales are good places to find cheap baskets.

How to Turn a Wicker Basket Into a Planter

Although wicker baskets won’t last as long as ceramic, plastic or galvanized planters, there are some measures you can take to get many years of use out of them.

Steps for making a wicker basket last longer outdoors:

  • Clean your basket, either give it a good spray with the hose, or dust it off with a brush. It’s important to let the basket dry if it’s wet.
  • If it’s in rough shape, or if you simply want to change the color of your basket, a coat or two of outdoor spray paint will work wonders.
  • Although not necessary when using the paint linked above, I always try to use this Krylon UV Resistant Spray as a protective sealant on any decor items that go outdoors. It helps to keep your garden decor from fading and adds a protective layer from the elements.
  • You can also just give your wicker basket a quick coat or two of shellac intended for outdoor use. Use whichever method you prefer, just be sure to allow enough drying time for your basket.

Next, the basket needs to be prepared for planting. Line the inside of the basket with a plastic bag (like a garbage bag, shopping bag, storage bag, or whatever you have available). Landscape fabric works well as a basket liner too. Sometimes, I even use an empty mulch or potting mix bag (yah for recycling). Cut the plastic to fit your basket. You may need to double up the plastic to cover the inside of the basket. This doesn’t have to look pretty, because it’s not going to show. I like to leave a couple of inches of liner above the basket and then trim it off when I’ve finished planting the basket. Creating a liner of sorts for your basket will keep the soil from washing through the openings and will help to maintain moisture.

Black plastic lining a wicker basket to be used as a flower planter.

Be sure to make a few drainage holes or slits in the liner. Don’t skip this step, because you don’t want to create a soggy planter where the roots of your plants rot.

Another good option for a liner for your planter is to use an old plastic pot and just sit it in the basket. I sometimes reuse the one gallon or larger plastic pots that perennials come in. A plastic container can easily be cut down to the correct height. That’s what I used for the bushel basket planter below.

Bushel Basket Flower Planter

The Planting Process 

And now the fun part, planting flowers, or herbs, or a combination. Just make it your own and be creative! An important tip to keep in mind is not to overfill your planter. The starter plants need room to grow. If the planter gets too full of roots during the summer, it will dry out really fast. So, the smaller the basket, the fewer plants.

Below is a really good example of overstuffing a wicker basket planter. Although this basket is adorable now, I seriously don’t think it will last the entire summer. Simply because the plants have no room to grow. For $44.99, I passed on this one.

Wicker Basket Flower Planter in a Garden Center

Fill the bottom of the planter about half way (depending on the depth) with a good potting mix. If you are using a large basket, it’s okay to add natural material like wood mulch or shredded leaves to the bottom of the basket before you add the soil. I don’t recommend using products like styrofoam peanuts, because your plant roots will be much happier growing in organic material. Its also important to note here, don’t use ground soil. It just doesn’t work for potted flowers.

If you aren’t sure how you want your plants positioned, simply place them in the container and play around a little bit until you have the look you want.

Next, position your plants and fill in around them with potting mix up to about an inch from the top edge of the basket. Gently tamp the soil down in and around the plants. Slowly water your planter, so you don’t wash all the soil over the top. This is also a good time to check the drainage of your planter.

To finish off your planter basket, go ahead and add some little whimsical touches like plant pokes or little signs. If I’m giving the planter as a gift or selling it, I add mulch or sphagnum moss around the plants. The plants will fill in within a few weeks and the soil won’t even show. This shop on Etsy has the cutest little stakes for planters and other garden signs too. Its where I purchased the “flowers” sign in the basket at the top of the page.

How to Keep Your Wicker Basket Planters Looking Good

Check your planter every day to make sure the soil is moist, but not soaking wet. I just stick my finger down about an inch into the soil, or you can use a moisture meter.

Fertilize your planter about every 2 weeks, even if you use a potting mix with fertilizer. When planters are watered frequently, the nutrients and the fertilizer are washed out of the soil. I like Miracle Gro Bloom Booster fertilizer for my flowers in planters.

Deadhead (pinch off spent blooms) and if plants get spindly, simply give them a little trimming, or what I like to call a haircut.

Basket Planter Ideas

I believe this display of wicker basket flower planters is what initially got me thinking about doing this myself.

Wicker Basket Flower Planter in a greenhouse

I saw this purse planter at a garden center a few years ago and just had to have it. It makes an adorable addition to my garden displays. This year its sitting on my front porch.

Purse wicker basket flower planter

The little flat backed basket was perfect for adding flowers and hanging on our fence. It’s small so I will have to make sure it gets watered every day.

Wicker Basket Planter Hanging on Fence

I received the basket below as a gift with a flower arrangement in it. After the flowers died, I knew exactly what I was going to use the basket for. It holds snapdragons, petunias and ageratum.

Cute White Wicker Basket Planter

Yes, the basket planter below could have used a paint job, but I love the chippy look and it just adds to the charm of the overall look of this sweet grouping. The basket holds impatiens, caladium and ivy.

Woven Wicker Basket with Flowers

Below is a cute and simple project idea. I used an old picnic basket that I picked up at a flea market. The herb plants I used, include a few varieties of basil, oregano, rosemary and dwarf parsley. I added in a little marigold for some color. I’m working on a different herb garden sign for the planter, so I just used the chalkboard sign for now.

Herb Garden planted in a picnic basket

And one more idea – plant zinnias in a woven basket. Its adorable!

White Wicker Basket Planter with Zinnias

Gardening can be hard work, but its nice to take a break and do a fun project like this one. A DIY basket planter is an easy project and one you can do in less than a few hours. Add your wicker basket planter to any place in your gardens, front porch or outdoor area to add a bit of personality and creativity.

Be sure to save some of your favorite ideas to Pinterest by pinning any of the pictures or the pins at the bottom of the post.

Here are some other posts you will enjoy:

Creative Flower Container Gardening
DIY Vintage Water Pump Fountain and Planter
Easy DIY Garden Decor Using Tree Branches

Happy gardening,
Joanna

p.s. Feel free to save the pins below to your favorite gardening board on Pinterest. If you hover in the upper left-hand corner of the picture, you’ll see the little Pinterest icon. Just click it and pin away. There are more pins to share below.

p.p.s I’d love to have you follow Gingham Gardens on Pinterest. Lots of great gardening ideas and tons of eye candy for gardeners. Gingham Gardens is also on Facebook.

Save a pin to your favorite gardening or DIY board:

Flowers planted in a wicker basket with text overlay - DIY Outdoor Wicker Basket Planters

Flowers planted in a wicker basket with text overlay DIY Outdoor Wicker Basket Planter.

4 Comments

  1. Thank you Joanna! Found a free basket that I didn’t know what I was going to do with but it’s in great shape. You gave me a great idea to put it in a little bird bath full of flowers. Maybe I’ll send a picture when it’s finished. Thank you again.

  2. Thanks so much for this great
    Tip. I just love this idea as I’m
    Constantly going to garage
    Sales and estate sales.

    Karen Zorn
    Houston

    1. Hi Karen – I’m so glad you enjoyed DIY Outdoor Wicker Basket Planters. I’d like to see what you come up with. Please send pictures. Happy gardening and thrifting, Joanna

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