“Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.”

– Albert Einstein.

I don’t want to admit it, but there was a little chill in the air this morning and some leaves are starting to change color. It doesn’t take much to get me excited about changing my decor up and as I love gardening so much, fall decorative planters were definitely on my mind.

I saw this chicken feeder at a vintage store and knew immediately that I had to have it. It is really big but I made space in my vehicle and whisked it home. My mind was swirling with ideas. At first I thought of using it as a water feature with a pump that would push the water up and over the top. Unfortunately the bottom is filled with holes.

DIY chicken feeder

I loved the rust on the metal and the way the metal had aged. It reminded me of fall for some reason and that is when I realized it would make the perfect fall decorative planter!

There were so many places I could use it, like:

  • hang it from a tree and let vines cascade from it;
  • sit it on the rusty brown rocks at the edge of my garden where it would look perfectly at home;
  • or place it on some old crates and create a vignette with lots of orange and yellow plants!

So here is what I did…

Materials needed for DIY chicken feeder fall planter

Materials needed:

  • Chicken feeder
  • soil
  • packing material like styrofoam, branches, cardboard, etc
  • filter cloth or a plastic bag
  • plants – some upright plants and some trailing plants

Step 1: Adding soil

Fill the base with soil, water it down, add more if necessary.

soil in DIY chicken feeder fall planter

Step 2: Plant arrangement

Alternate trailing plants with upright plants around the base of the feeder.

plants for DIY chicken feeder fall planter

When you are happy with their spacing, remove plants from their containers, rough up any roots that may have formed and place them in the soil.

plants for DIY chicken feeder fall planter

Step 3: Plant the top portion

In order to not make the feeder too heavy and to save on soil, stuff the top port with pieces of styrofoam, wood or whatever you can find. Leave about 4 inches at the top. Cover the stuffing with filter cloth or a plastic bag to stop the soil from falling into all the cracks.

stuffing top of DIY chicken feeder fall planter

Fill with soil.

soil in top of DIY chicken feeder fall planter

Fill the top with both upright and trailing plants.

Plants in top of DIY chicken feeder fall planter

Step 4: Consider a tune up

While my plants filled in, they didn’t fill in enough for my liking so I added some pretty pansies. Finally it felt complete.

Plants in DIY chicken feeder fall planter

Step 5: Find a home and enjoy

Try it in different places to see where you like it best. I haven’t hung it from a tree yet because the only tree I have that has branches large enough to hold it has a wasp problem. Perhaps I will hang it from the house somewhere.

Fall planter idea with DIY chicken feeder

For now it looks adorable in all these spots. I even got a thumbs up from my daughter’s boyfriend! How sweet is that! This is one of my all time favorite fall decorative planters!

Chicken feeder planter in a wicker chair
Chicken feeder planter on rock stairs

More fall decorative planters? Of course!

While on the topic of using something unique for a planter, let me share these creative women and their ideas with you.

Wendy of WM Design House is so imaginative. Her garden is filled with art pieces and unexpected items. Give her just about anything and she will find a way to plant it! No wonder she has been featured in magazines like In Her Garden. How wonderful is this old chair planter? This piece really speaks to me – like the wood chair is transitioning back to the earth.

Kristin of The Fifth Sparrow No More found a vintage school desk on the side of the road and knew she had to have it. After a few months the perfect project came to her and that was repurposing it into this adorable planter. Is this idea not brilliant? I love how the plant peaks out from below the seat.

Libbie of A Life Unfolding upcycled a vintage crate into a modern planter. It is no surprise this crate is her favorite vintage find. What a great idea to add legs and make it so versatile.

Sara of Birdz of a Feather made this beautiful planter out of a milk can. I have the perfect spot for this planter…my front porch!!! In her post, she also gives great tips for stenciling on an uneven surface.

Want some fall plant ideas? Stacy of Bricks n’ Blooms definitely knows what plants will make beautiful fall planters. I love the way she combines colors and that she doesn’t stick to the typical fall colors.

Ever wonder how to plant a huge planter but make it light enough to be able to move? Liberty of B4 and Afters knows what to do! Her idea is fabulous and one I will be using in the future.

How about a fun fall project?

Last fall, I created the cutest pumpkin topiaries and have they ever been a hit on Hometalk and Pinterest! They were so easy to make and inexpensive because I got almost all of the materials at the dollar store. You could do them in whatever colors you like, but I must say that one of the things people liked the most was that the colors were classic and would go in most homes. Click here for all the details.

I hope you enjoyed the project and inspiration! Wishing you a fall filled with colorful leaves, pumpkins of every size and the scent of fresh picked apples!

What do you think?

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  • Libbie
    August 28, 2022

    Hello Crystal.

    Thank you for featuring my vintage crate today. I love each one of these ideas!!

    • Crystal
      August 28, 2022

      My pleasure! Thanks for joining in!

  • Missy
    August 29, 2022

    Clever girl! This turned out amazing! I think our husbands have just become accepting of our crazy purchases! Great post, Crystal! ~Missy

    • Crystal
      August 29, 2022

      Thanks so much Missy! True – regarding our husbands. Good thing we got patient ones!

  • Wendy McMonigle
    August 29, 2022

    What a fantastic post Crystal, I adore your sweet chicken feeder, and it looks so sweet sitting on the chair. I have a few, I need to plant one up.
    Thank you for sharing my sweet chair. You are so kind. XO

    • Crystal
      August 29, 2022

      Thanks so much Wendy! It sure was an easy project 🙂

  • Cindy
    August 29, 2022

    This feeder you found is amazing The age, rust and patina is perfect.

    I love it so much. We don’t have great places in NJ in the US to find old pieces like this.


    • Crystal
      September 11, 2022

      Thanks so much Cindy! Really? I always see these amazing vintage sales in huge fields that I thought were everywhere across the US. So sad to hear there aren’t any near you.

  • Kristy Mastrandonas
    September 7, 2022

    Love your beautiful Fall planter, Crystal! That’s such a clever idea to use a chicken feeder as a planter! Also love the great Fall planter ideas from the others too!