Vintage Metal Lunchbox Planter

April 10, 2024

Vintage Metal Lunchbox Planter


Photo of a rusty vintage metal lunch pail.
About 10 years ago, I found this old black metal lunchbox at a garage sale. My grandpa carried one of these to his job at the paper mill.  My dad worked there also but his lunchbox was hard plastic.

I found this old lunchbox in my shed the other day and got an idea for a makeover. 

Scroll on down to see it's new upcycle along with my Thrift Store Decor Team's April projects too!


(When you click on the bold Amazon, Old Sign Stencils or Dixie Belle Paint Company affiliate links you will be taken to the products I use for this project. If you order it does not change the price or service at all. As an Amazon Affiliate, Old Sign Stencils Affiliate or Dixie Belle Paint Affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases.)

Photo of a vintage lunch pail repurposed as a planter.
 The old lunchbox was displayed on my stepladder shelf in an open position and planted with Gold Dust MecardoniaThis is a blog photo from 2012.

Photo of a vintage lunch pail repurposed as a planter.
It appeared one more time on my blog in the same year after the plants had filled out.  Holes were drilled in the bottom of the lunchbox for drainage. 

After this season, I think the lunchbox was put away in the shed and not used in the garden again.


Photo of an old vintage metal lunch pail with three drilled holes.
My new planter idea for the lunchbox started out with three drilled holes in the front domed top.

Photo of a funnel used to trace a circle on a lunchbox.
I don't have any large spade bits so I traced the round bottom of this enamelware funnel onto the lunchbox with a pencil.  The funnel hole measured two inches across.  (A one and an 1/8th" spade bit would have made this easier even though a tin snips would still be needed to make the holes a full two inches across.)

Photo of a vintage metal lunchbox with three round holes.
Here is the lunchbox after the two inch holes were cut with a tin snips. A flat file removed a few of the really sharp edges.  I used a black Sharpie to touch up the silver edge a bit.


Photo of an herb stencil from Decoart.

I decided to add a Decorart adhesive stencil to the lunchbox planter using antique ivory acrylic craft paint. I have had this stencil for several years.

Photo of a vintage lunch box with three holes and herb garden stenciled on it.
Here is my lunchbox with the stencil.

Photo of vintage metal lunchbox repurposed as an herb planter.
I then sprayed the lunchbox with two coats of  Painters Touch Clear Matte Spray.

It really darkened the black paint and gave the piece much better patina.

Photo of vintage metal lunchbox repurposed as an herb planter.
Since I live in Minnesota, I couldn't plant real herbs in the planter yet, so I staged it with faux plants (from Dollar General).

Photo of vintage metal lunchbox repurposed as an herb planter.
When I do plant the lunchbox, I will add potting soil to the bottom of the lunchbox, close and latch the lunchbox, and add more soil through the holes to fill up the dome.

Photo of vintage metal lunchbox repurposed as an herb planter.
Then the plants will be placed in the three holes.  I will lay the planter on it's side to water the holes.

Photo of vintage metal lunchbox repurposed as an herb planter.
I hope to find dwarf or miniature herb plants, and I will likely keep them trimmed and tidy, so the cute lunchbox planter is visible.

Photo of vintage metal lunchbox repurposed as an herb planter.
That's one of the reasons I disliked the open lunchbox planter with the Gold Dust Mercardonia from 2012, they covered the lunchbox!

Photo of vintage metal lunchbox repurposed as an herb planter.


Now it's time for the Thrift Store Decor Team's April Party!  Click on the links below to see these dated finds receive a makeover:
Photo collage of thrifted finds before makeovers.

Our Southern Home - Restoring an Outdoor Lantern
My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia - Succulent Letter Planter Arrangement
Domestically Speaking - Candle for Mothers Day
Petticoat Junktion - Spray Paint Faux Succulents

I hope you checked out all the projects! Thanks for visiting!
Thanks for reading my blog, Carlene

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Comments

  1. This turned out so cute, great reuse of the lunch box!

    ReplyDelete
  2. This is such a fun idea for our summer porch. I love that you can use either real or faux. Smart to do the holes in the top to sill maintain the look of a lunch box. Got to love Dollar General. I have one less than 8 minutes form us.

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