DIY Upcycle, In The Garden

From old ladder to rustic garden plant stand | DIY Upcycle

“Everything that slows us down and forces patience, everything that sets us back into the slow circles of nature, is a help. Gardening is an instrument of grace.” ~May Sarton

You have an old ladder.  It isn’t stable any more, it’s rickity and would most likely leave you flat on your face-ladder on top of you, if you dare take one step on it for any project.  You don’t want to get rid of the ladder, and know you need to do something with it, but don’t know WHAT TO DO!

Today with just a few simple steps, a bit of paint and some fresh flowers I will show you just one of many ways to upcycle & give new life to that old ladder that has been laying around for years!

PROJECT:  How to turn a rickity old ladder into a beautiful plant stand.


PROJECT COST: Under $40.00

PROJECT TIME: 3 hours (this includes dry time between coats of paint)

PROJECT SUPPLIES: Ladder (don’t have one? Check local thrift & antique stores & flea markets, they are usually no more than $10) , paint, paint-brush, flowers & flower pots, whatever else your heart desires.  [I saved myself money by using leftover paint I had laying around from my dining room & bedroom]

Step 1: Place your ladder on a paint cloth, inside or out.  I prefer being in the outdoors as much as possible!

Step 2: Gather your supplies.  I LOVE Tomboy Tools Inc. pink paintbrush. (Details on how to purchase yours is at the bottom of this blog post) Whenever I paint, I also always keep a wet rag near by , there is no such thing as a perfect painter who doesn’t drip paint or splatter it across their face or dip their hair in the paint can once in a while, at least that’s what I tell myself.  😉

Step 3: Wipe down your ladder with a went rag to rid it from any dust, dirt or debris that may have built up on it over time.

Step 4: Paint the first coat of paint on the entire ladder.  Top, bottom & sides.  During painting projects like this, when there are so many little places to paint , I set mini-goals for myself.  I started with the tops of all the steps, then did the legs, then did the back paint can shelf, then moved on to all of the inner parts.  If you don’t set little goals and have some sort of plan of attack and just paint all over the place, you will get overwhelmed quickly.

Wait for the first coat of paint to dry COMPLETELY before applying the second coat.  (this is a hard step for many people, I know,..but during ‘dry’ time, I usually take a little break and grab some lunch and kick up my feet… today I actually ate, then laid down in the grass and looked up at the sky, watching some storm clouds roll by)

Depending on the look you are going for, you may only want one coat, or you may want to do the second coat with light brush strokes, in another color to age your ladder more, do what you like and what works best for you!

Step 5: Place your flowers into the pots you have chosen to use along with some nice gardening soil…

….. add some cute decor ..and your new plant stand is ready to go!

Now  you can sit back, relax and enjoy your awesome new plant stand.  Imagine how beautiful this would look mid Summer with morning glories growing up the legs!

There you have it, a fun & easy way to re-use something instead of tossing it in the trash.  Not only is this new ladder plant stand beautiful but it adds character and vertical height to your garden!    This is different, and I’ve learned in my 28 years of life, that different is good.  Don’t follow the crowd, do the gardening and projects YOU desire to do, be different-be you.

View another way I upcycled an old ladder inside of my home here.

Thanks for reading,


To purchase your own Tomboy Tools paintbrush or see other great painting products they offer, visit their website here   & make sure when you are ready to purchase that you EMAIL Tracey first at and let her know what you would like to order , this will allow for the best shipping rate for you.  Please make sure to mention Kelly from The Pink Hammer blog sent you!


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