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How to Show Off Your Garden Flowers Using Vintage Thrift Store Finds

Are you looking for fun yard art and creative outdoor container ideas for your beautiful blooms? I’ll share how to show off your flowers by using vintage thrift store finds as containers and fun props in the garden.

My very favorite vintage items to look for on any thrifting adventure are those that show off my flowers in the garden.

You’ll see how I use these vintage finds not only as creative container ideas for flowers but also as fun yard art and props throughout the garden.

vintage bike with bike basket full of flowers - vintage thrift store finds for garden flowers

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vintage metal chair and whiskey barrel full of flowers

Beat-up whiskey and wine barrels add a whole lot of character to your outdoor spaces.

To prevent the wood of the barrel from rotting, we built a stand inside with a round top, leaving about 12″ for dirt. Holes were drilled at the bottom of the barrel and the stand for drainage. An oil-based Varathane sealant was applied to the inside before adding dirt to protect the wood from rotting.

vintage whiskey barrel with garden flowers -vintage thrift store finds for garden flowers


greenhouse porch with thrift store garden containers.

Old, rusty galvanized buckets, pails, and tubs make the best flower containers for the garden.

See how a Simple Vintage Galvanized Bucket can make the perfect flower container both indoors and out.

The biggest question I get when I show my galvanized containers off? "How does the water drain?" We do drill holes in the bottom of each piece.


It’s so easy to drill drainage holes into any galvanized piece. Be sure to drill from the outside in, to prevent jagged metal on the exterior of the container.

greenhouse with vintage galvanized  flower containers

I love mixing thrift store vintage galvanized buckets and tubs with newer ceramic planters when it comes to container gardening.

herb garden with vintage flower containers - vintage thrift store finds for garden flowers
I love mixing thrift store vintage pieces like the galvanized buckets and tubs in with newer ceramic planters when it comes to container gardening.


This garden thrift store find I found a couple of years ago. It's a box that was used to store milk at the doorstep to keep it cold after being delivered.

The old planter box to the right was used to store milk at the doorstep to keep it cold after being delivered.

vintage galvanized flower container tub

There she is! My favorite vintage tub in the garden. The size is perfect for an herb garden.

There’s a technique I use to fill deep containers with limited soil in a large container in my flower container planting tips.

vintage enamel hand wash set with stand - vintage thrift store finds for garden flowers

This is such a great piece. After doing some research, I know I got a great deal on this vintage enamel hand wash set.

I can’t remember how much I paid for it, but I know I didn’t pay any more than $50. Etsy has just a couple listed for well over $100.


This vintage toolbox and iron holder that I found at a thrift store is one of my favorite pieces in the garden

Here’s a vintage wooden tool carrier with handles and an iron holder that I found at a thrift store many years ago. I love the stand that holds the toolbox.

Unfortunately, the box is in bad shape and will most likely need to be rebuilt next year.

You can also use any vintage metal toolbox for flowers as well. Most of mine are indoors with faux flowers in them.


wrought iron window box flower container

Whether it’s a window box container holder, wall planter, or flower stand, vintage wrought iron pieces look amazing in any garden.


vintage wheelbarrow thrift store find for garden container - vintage thrift store finds for garden flowers

When I was a senior care placement advisor years ago, one of my clients gave me this vintage wheelbarrow as a gift.

She moved into an assisted living community and told me she wanted her vintage wheelbarrow to live in a garden where it would be enjoyed.

We drilled drainage holes in the bottom of the wheelbarrow.

Depending on the size of a wheelbarrow, they can be shallow. Be mindful of what flowers you plant inside them. Speaking of shallow, wagons are great for displaying flowers in the garden too.

vintage bird bath

Bird baths are not only gorgeous in a garden but can make the perfect flower container.

I haven’t turned this one into a container but it still looks beautiful among the cottage garden flowers and herbs.

A vintage garden fountain is an excellent place to grow your flowers

Vintage Fountains

A vintage cast iron garden fountain is an excellent place to grow your flowers.


cast iron wall mounted fountain
Country Home Magazine – photo by Jay Wilde

Here’s my repurposed iron garden fountain featured in Country Home Magazine.

Read more about my Better Homes and Gardens Cottage Style and Country Home Magazine features.

greenhouse pathway with vintage bike and flower baskets

Vintage bikes with flower baskets add so much character to a garden. You can even use a tricycle if you have limited outdoor space.

vintage bike basket in garden with flowers - vintage thrift store finds for garden flowers

I use coconut liners for my bike baskets to hold the dirt.

garden flowers in a bike basket

It’s hard to see in the picture above but I used moss to hold the dirt in this basket.


wicker flower basket on vintage bike basket

I loved this vintage wicker basket but it wasn’t a practical option for water drainage and the amazing amount of rain we get. It fell apart within a year.

If you want to use a wicker basket, plant the flowers in another pot and take it out before watering. Only keep the basket out during the dry season.


vintage chicken feeder with plants - vintage thrift store finds for garden flowers

Chicken feeders make the cutest flower or herb container for your garden.


bird house and vintage chair

To get some added height in the garden, use a vintage chair to sit a potted plant or seasonal pumpkins on.

green metal vintage chair with flower container and pumpkins

I have always had great luck with finding great deals on vintage thrift store chairs for my flower garden.

Online shopping will most likely be expensive but I have options to shop for so you can see the prices anyway.


greenhouse and gladiolas tied to vintage headboard

Vintage iron bed frames and gates are such a great feature for the garden.


pink gladiolas tied to vintage iron bed frame

They can be used as a border, to support flowers, or to just look pretty among the beautiful blooms.

greenhouse and raised bed white iron bed frame

Bed frames also work great in raised beds.

pink gladiolas and vintage garden wrought iron border panels

Both vintage and vintage-inspired wrought iron border panels add so much whimsical interest to a cottage garden.


evening greenhouse view

I hope you’ve taken away an idea or two when it comes to using your vintage thrift store finds for flower containers and yard art throughout the garden.

If you have any questions or additional suggestions, feel free to share them in the comments below. And be sure to share this blog post link with anyone who may enjoy this post.

Until next time,

Happy Vintage Thrifting for Your Garden!

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show off your flowers graphic

More Vintage Inspiration and Thrifting Fun

My blogging buddies are so good at thrifting and are sharing more inspiration. Be sure to visit their blogs. Links are available below each photo.

summer flowers in milk glass vase

Stacy | Bricks ‘n Blooms

Stacy does such a great job thrifting for her garden. Check out how she thrifts like a boss for the garden.

flea market

Jennifer | Cottage on Bunker Hill

Jennifer is sharing her fabulous trip to Todd Farm Flea Market. You’re not going to believe all the incredible thrifting opportunities at this vintage venue.

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  1. Kim, well I showing my age but letting you know I remember those milk boxes~as a child we had one by our back door and how fun to get fresh milk and cream delivered that way. Sort of like an early version of Amazon! This post has inspired me to start using some of the vintage items I have laying around without purpose. I have those exact same metal chairs somewhere around here….You have the best ideas and thanks for sharing. Time to clean out the barn and see what I’ve got!

    1. Mary! I can’t wait to see what you bring out and use around the garden. Make sure you share with us. I can’t imagine what is in your barn, but I bet there are some amazing things in there.

  2. Your garden is so lovely! I adore vintage pieces in my landscaping and am on the lookout for them when I am out junking. Fortunately, I was blessed to grow up on a farm that we still own and have found many treasures there, such as cream cans, galvanized tubs, wagon wheels, a garden plow, huge cast iron kettle, and two wheelbarrows. I also have a very similar iron bed from a garage sale that is currently leaning against the brown brick on our house, so it doesn’t stand out much. I need to find a better way to show it off! These pieces add so much character! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Oh, Vicki! I can’t imagine how many vintage pieces you have. I would be in a vintage wonderland on the farm property. I’ve always wanted a wagon wheel and I bet the garden plow is the coolest. Thank you so much for your comment.

  3. I am obsessed wirh your wrought iron planters and all of your fountains!

    I actually found a beautiful vintage bed frame this past weekend as soon as we got home from the beach and had hoped to share it with this group this week, but it was rainy and I didn’t get any pics. I have debated whether to use it as a daybed inside or one of soon to be raised beds around the new shed or even garden gates. Your post has me leaning toward using it somehow in the garden.

    Great inspo!

    1. I wish you had had the time to share the vintage bed frame Amber but I know we will eventually see where you end up putting it. I am focusing more on the garden these days when it comes to my vintage finds because I basically have no more room in my 1600-square-foot house and I am NOT ready to stop shopping.

  4. You have some amazing vintage pieces in your garden. With or without them you have the most beautiful gardens!! That old bike has my heart!

  5. I think that you legit have the best collection of vintage pieces for the garden! I just saw that BHG Cottage Style mag was republished and in the rack at Walmart last week. It was such a beautiful feature!!

    1. Thank you for the kind compliment, Jennifer. I can’t find that reissue anywhere. I have now heard from 3 people that it exists but had no idea they were going to do that. Pretty fun though.

  6. Kim I love all of the cool vintage items you have the garden. I just picked up a chicken feeder two weeks ago and I’m trying to find the right spot for it. Love the vintage tub too with the herbs!

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