DIYdiy projects

diy project: vintage food mill planter

by AshleyAnn

When April showers come to an end and May flowers start blooming, I know estate & garage sale season will be in full force soon. The combination of beautiful weather and lots of people wanting to get rid of their “junk” just makes me giddy. After scouring numerous estate sales and flea markets, I consistently come across aluminum food mills from the forties and fifties. Their affordable price and basic design have always captured my eye, so this spring, I decided to put one on more prominent display by using it as an outdoor planter. The holes provide excellent drainage, and the wide base keeps it stable in the wind. — Ashley


  • 40s/50s-era aluminum food mill
  • Spanish moss
  • peat moss, potting soil, compost
  • a wide-spreading plant


1. Line the food mill with Spanish moss. This will confine the soil to the inside of the mill and keep it from seeping out of the holes as easily.

2. Fill the bottom of the mill with peat moss, potting soil and/or compost. Place your plant on top.

3. Fill the reminder of the mill with more potting soil.

4. Water. Keep in mind that there are holes all over the food mill, including at the bottom. If watering inside or in a place you do not want dripping, place a small bowl under the mill to catch any excess water. You can remove the bowl when the water stops dripping.

5. You’re done!

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