You Can Turn an Old File Cabinet Into a Flower Planter—Here’s How

Updated: Mar. 22, 2024

Learn how to make a DIY flower planter with an old filing cabinet to take your patio to the next level this spring.

Now that it’s nearly spring, it’s time to start thinking about how to take your flower planters to the next level. Here’s the great news: This viral hack is here to help you transform a simple cabinet into a gorgeous planter for your flowers. Want to hear the best part? It’s not too complicated, expensive or time-consuming.

Let’s walk through the steps you will follow to level up your flower planters this spring. From your must-have equipment to instructions on putting it all together, we’ve got you covered.

How Do You Turn a Filing Cabinet Into a Planter?

To make a flower planter from an old filing cabinet, we’ll follow a viral TikTok tutorial by Check it out yourself here: Bought the cabinet for $10 but honestly you could probably find one for free! #diytutorial #furnitureflip #patiomakeover #patiofurniture #planter #planterdiy ♬ Love You So – The King Khan & BBQ Show

Once you’re ready to attempt making your DIY filing cabinet flower planter, it’s time to round up your must-have equipment. For starters, you’ll need a filing cabinet. If you don’t already have an old one you can use at home, they’re easy to find at thrift stores or flea markets.

What You’ll Need


First, remove the drawers of the filing cabinet using a hammer. Be careful, as this portion of the process requires some serious precision!

Once the drawers are out of the filing cabinet, prime and paint it. For the best results, we suggest you use spray paint. If your filing cabinet has no bottom, take the wood and adhere it there using heavy-duty glue.

After you’ve successfully adhered the bottom and the entire cabinet is painted, grab your rust-preventative enamel and spray everything. We suggest a matte clear coat. This will protect your cabinet from rusting induced by the elements.

If your filing cabinet planter will be on a patio, you’ll also have to add a drainage hole with a drill. Then, take your spray foam flex spray to fill in any other holes or cracks. This ensures you don’t make a planter faux pas and accidentally flood your patio.

Last but certainly not least, lay it down, so the open portion faces upwards. Then, you can add plants. Yes, it is that simple! And if you need some suggestions for the best plants for container gardening, you can check out our comprehensive list, too.

If this DIY inspired you to create more planter boxes, here are 12 you can easily make in a day. Or, you can take your garden to the next level with a DIY trellis.