DIY Projects Lifestyle Thrifting & Vintage

Vintage Ice Buckets Make Great Planters

May 12, 2018

Vintage Ice Buckets Repurposed to a New Life

Have you ever entertained the idea of using your vintage pieces in different ways? In today’s world of small space living, the concept that less is more and making the most of what you’ve got has opened up the floodgates to repurposing and DIY in a big way. Well, it’s in this vein that I saw potential in a simple duo of unsuspecting Mid-Century ice buckets.

I’m not gonna lie. These teak veneer twins were listed in my Etsy boutique along with their sassy big sister who had handles made of rings. The ring handled ice bucket sibling was sold and relocated to a loving home quite some time ago, but the twins were left waiting for love.

Vintage Teak Veneer Ice Buckets

I think these matching ice buckets are pretty sweet, but it seemed a shame to keep them listed hoping for someone to come along and buy them up. I knew they could be so much more than just ‘For Sale’ in my shop, and that’s when I decided to make herb pots out of them instead!

Planting Basil in Bar Buckets

Teak Veneer Ice Buckets

These ice buckets are great because the inside is lined with galvanized aluminum shaped and molded in one piece, perfect protection for the teak wood. If you wanted to drill holes in the bottom for drainage, you definitely could, but I decided to line the bottom with crushed gravel instead. I filled each ice bucket about 1/4-1/3 with the crushed gravel.

Galvanized Aluminum Lined Ice Buckets

Basil needs well-drained soil and at least six to eight hours of bright sunlight per day, but it should not be in direct sunlight. Ideally, 10 to 12 hours of light per day promotes the best growth, but if potted up in planters you need to watch for drying out. Knowing this, I chose a potting soil that drains well, and filled each ice bucket up. When I set the basil in place I tried to leave room at the top for watering.

Ice Bucket Basil Planters

I will have to be careful not to overwater, because basil tends to rot off at the stems. It’s hard to see in the photo, but I did try to create a bit of a well in the soil around the outside edge. I’m hoping this helps keep the water from pooling around the basil stems.

Test Soil Moisture Before Watering

One tip I read suggests watering once a week, but to poke your finger in the soil first. This allows you to tell how moist or dry the soil really is.

Watering Basil by Finger Testing Soil

Lifestyle with a Vintage Twist

When it comes to lifestyle with a vintage twist, it sometimes means thinking outside of the box. In this case these Mid-Century teak ice buckets were collecting dust on the shelf. That just feels wrong to me. Now they are planted up with one of our favourite herbs, and ready to bask in the warmth of our coming summer months!

Teak Ice Bucket Basil Planters

If all goes well, these ice buckets turned herb pots should fill right out and flourish through the summer!

Tell me what you think. Would you have held out for a potential buyer to fall in love, or would you do what I did and give these twin bar buckets a purpose by repurposing them for a new use?

Thanks for stopping by!

Audrey Would Vintage Home blog



Photographs © Audrey Would! Vintage Home

You Might Also Like


  • Reply littlevintagecottage May 19, 2019 at 6:26 am

    I love them, surprised they didn’t sell though! I love planting in repurposed containers!

    • Reply Sheila Zeller May 22, 2019 at 9:35 am

      I was surprised they didn’t sell too! Oh well. It’s fun to enjoy them myself, and agreed! I love planting in repurposed containers. There’s always a story to tell 🙂

    Leave a Reply

    %d bloggers like this: