DIY Project: Re-purposed Rain boots

So, as promised, here's the DIY project I was touting. I made these back in June and they've been blooming nicely on our little back porch.

photo by me!

One of the reasons I waited so long to post is because I wanted our "lawn" to grow in nicely before taking the final pictures. Plus...it's taken me forever to upload my pictures to my computer. Anyway, the story with this DIY project is that I had these lovely, candy-colored, striped rain boots that I love, love, loved. They were colorful and the perfect antidote to a rainy day. Alas, a few months into having them a hole appeared by the toe (a pattern that seems to come with all the wellies I buy since it happened to another pair this past winter). Anyway, I couldn't bear to throw these cuties out, so I came up with a new idea! I turned them into potters for some pretty perennials! The directions are below if you are so inclined to turn your old pair of pretty wellies into potters. I think this would be soooo cute in an outdoor wedding! You could even replicate the "lawn idea" and post a welcome sign in it! The possibilities are endless. Enjoy!

Re-purposed Rain boots

Rain boots
Potting Soil
Plants - I used perennials so I won't have to repeat this nonsense twice.
Rocks, Pebbles or Clay Pot Chips (see note below)


1. Get a pair of kickass rain boots. Remove any insoles or inserts.

2. Get your drill. Feel badass because you own a drill (and it's not your boyfriend's!).

3 & 4. You will need to drill drainage holes. How many you drill will depend on the size of your feet. Also, my boots had these nice X's on the bottom so I didn't have to mark where I was going to drill drainage holes. If your boots don't have X's, you might want to mark some spots before you drill so you know how to space your drainage holes. I put 8 total, but I have big feet (size 10 ladies), so if you have smaller feet, you might only want to drill about 5-6.

5 & 6. Line the inside bottom of your boots with the rocks or pebbles. Last summer I had a few of my plants blow off my porch and break, so I had all these broken clay pots. Using a hammer, I broke up the broken pot pieces into small chips that I used to line the bottom to further help with drainage. Clay chips are nice because they're also absorbent and help to keep the soil at the bottom from drying out. I've used them a lot in my plants this summer. However, because they are so absorbent, you don't want to use as many as you would if you used rocks or pebbles. You'll see in the picture they are sparsely lined at the bottom of each boot.

7. Buy some pretty plants. As I mentioned above, perennials are nice because you won't have to repeat this process again next summer. You can just prune them, maintain them and let them do their thing. This is my first year with a lot of perennials. It will be interesting to see how they do next year.

8. Fill the boots about 3/4 of the way with soil. Make sure you shake or push a lot towards the toe part, too. Then you'll need to loosen a lot of the soil from the plant. Be careful when doing this part! You don't want to break or damage the roots. You might have to gently shake the soil for a while. The purpose of shaking off much of the bottom soil is so that you can kind of squash the roots to fit the plant into the boot. If you buy smaller plants and expect them to bloom in the boots, you obviously don't need to do this. You'll also need to kind of push the plant down a little bit or massage it into place. You should be able to feel if there's a gap between the transplanted plant and the soil you filled in the boot.

9. Ta-da! Re-purposed rain boots! They cheer up your garden! They can cheer up your outdoor wedding! They're also a great project for kids (minus the drilling part, that is).

10. Finally, this year I combined my compost from last year with my regular potting soil in this large tub. I had the rain boots resting on top for a long time so that when I watered the plants, I didn't leak it onto my crazy foreign neighbors' porch (this is to avoid long sermons in Polish, which I neither speak nor understand, but which always sound like they're shushing me). I got the idea to leave the boots in the tub and plant some grass around them. So now, we have a little "lawn." If only we could train the doggie to use it! That would be awesome. We could totally get out of morning walks! Haha!

I hope you enjoyed yet another one of my DIY projects. If you do your own take on this project, please don't hesitate to share pictures! I would love to see how other people's boots turn out!


  1. Hah! My fiance doesn't even own a drill. Lovely project. Kudos to you. I am not only not diy friendly, I also have a brown thumb. I kill plants and small creatures.

  2. These are so cute! What a perfect idea. Thanks for the diy instructions. I may have to try this out next spring. :)

  3. These are adorable. I have all kinds of rain boots from when I lived in stormy Connecticut, but they're just sitting in a closet since the California forecast is "sunny" for what seems like 95% of the year. I do tend to have a brown thumb, but I'll give it a try and see what happens.

  4. marty j. you're such a creative force. I love the way you can turn ordinary things into decorations and change the function of common items. i think that's a real gift.

  5. @Brideonashoestring: That made me laugh out loud...what kinds of small creatures?? : O )

    @Liz: I can only imagine what magic you would do with this project. You should find a yellow pair or something that matches your cute yellow table and chairs!

    @Tina: I can't say I have a brown thumb, but I do have to say the perennials sort of take care of themselves. The only thing I've done is water them and occasionally I pull off the dead blooms. Soooo easy!

    @mr. nichols: Thanks! You're so kind. I think the same thing about you with your work. If only I put that much effort into my own writing!

  6. I just found some large size rain boots but there is no way I would drill holes in them as it has taken me 10 years to find them in size 13! Check these out http://www.shoesofyourdreams.com/DB-PJ-FL.php


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