May 7th, 2014

New Use for Old Shoes: How to Make a Shoe Planter

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Groovy Green Livin Shoes

Shoes are made for more than just walking.

This photo was taken on our way to a Red Sox game in Boston. I’m always amazed to see what people can do with their small patch of green space in the city. Some of the gardens are breathtaking. I once spotted a bed frame converted into a flower bed. Not my taste, but very clever!

Shoe containers embrace the true meaning of reusing.

The saying goes: “One person’s trash may be another person’s treasure.”  We live in a use-and-toss society where most of the time we don’t give a second thought to using an item once and then tossing it. If we stopped before tossing we might realize that some of those items that seem ripe for the trash  can be repurposed into something completely different for our own use.

That trash could become our own treasure.

Reusing something is different than recycling. Recycling is the process  by which old goods are re-manufactured, allowing them to be turned into new products. Reusing or repurposing is taking a product that’s already in existence and lengthening its life by using it for something new.

The flower containers we spotted are a perfect example of creative reusing. I love how the shoes filled with flowers add a pop of color to otherwise drab steps.

We certainly have plenty of old shoes.

Groovy Green Livin Shoes

If you’re interested in using your old shoes to brighten up a walkway or stairs, here are instructions for making your own unique shoe containers.

  • Get your kids involved!
  • Take a look at the space where the shoes will be placed to determine the amount of sunlight. Base your plant selection on this.
  • Find small plants that don’t need a deep space to root.
  • Pick colorful plants that complement each other. You might want to mix up the plant colors, plant height and the shoe colors to make the design more whimsical.
  • Make several holes in the soles of the shoe so the water can drain.
  • Fill your shoes with potting mix and plant.
  • Decorate the exterior of the shoe if you’re feeling artsy. Use a mixture of glue and paint and add in a few sparkles. My only concern is the decorations could wash off when it rains. 
  • Arrange the shoes!

 While I love the concept of shoe containers, I’m not so sure I would put them on my front steps. Would you?

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14 Responses to “New Use for Old Shoes: How to Make a Shoe Planter”

  1. Now that is a fun idea!! I love the idea of reusing, of course, but my big message now is to plant for pollinators wherever you can. Apparently, one of those places is in your old shoes!
    Green Bean recently posted..Eight Almost Free and Utterly Thoughtful Gifts from the GardenMy Profile

  2. I had a neighbor where I used to live do this.. they hung them from Shepard’s hook and the trees.

  3. Would be a fun thing to put on your front steps if you were part of the route for a walk/run event.
    Betsy (Eco-novice) recently posted..Ten Tips for a Terrific StaycationMy Profile

  4. Sounds like a fun activity. I have a friend who has a shoe planter on their TV and always thought it was super cute!
    Lindsay recently posted..How to avoid harmful food additivesMy Profile

  5. […] recently came upon this awesome article about reusing shoes as planters, pretty much the best idea since literal flower beds. As someone […]

  6. How cute!!

  7. They really were Karen. Arranged in such an adorable way.

  8. I had never really seen a shoe planter before Lindsay. Guess it also depends how cute the shoe is!

  9. That’s a great idea Betsy. This street was on a run path-I’m wondering if that’s why they did it?

  10. Interesting Leigh….shoes with plants hanging from trees! You should have taken a photo of that :)

  11. You would love my lawn right now Green Bean. Covered with dandelions. The bees are in heaven!

  12. It’s such a fun ideas and all of us always have old shoes so it’s not difficult to try this out….But yes, the shoes need to be cute..xoxoxo…:D

    http://www.modelonamission.com/blog
    Nora Gouma recently posted..An exclusive interview with YaY Wallet, the ultra slim wallet that represents your personal styleMy Profile

  13. Yes Nora, cute shoes are a must! :)

  14. love this!!

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About Lori

I’m Lori Popkewitz Alper, a recovering attorney, mom of three and the Founder of Groovy Green Livin. I hope you'll join me as I embark on a journey to live a healthy life. Along the way I might make a few pit stops to fight for issues that affect the health and safety of our families. Come along with me as I work hard to make the world a little safer for each of us. Together we'll discover that simple, small changes can lead to a healthier lifestyle and a greener planet.

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