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I am so happy with these upcycled styrofoam cooler planter boxes! About a week ago, I shared that I get these styrofoam coolers every month with my medication and I didn’t know how to use them.  I wrote in this post about how I wanted to make my dad proud by making something creative and useful out of my coolers.

Styrofoam Cooler Planter Boxes

If you have these styrofoam coolers left over from medication shipments, don’t throw them away! Upcycle them into these DIY Styrofoam Cooler Planter Boxes.

I got a lot of great suggestions on ways to upcycle my coolers. Thank you all for your ideas! I get these every month so I will be trying some of the other ideas later this year. My brother is in landscaping and he suggested using the coolers as planter boxes in the garden.  One of my favorite childhood memories was of picking berries in our garden, so I love the idea of upcycling my coolers to make styrofoam cooler planter boxes for strawberries and blueberries. It feels like the perfect project that my dad would have loved.

Making these styrofoam cooler planter boxes is simple and they look great! The coolers take paint very well.  The plastic that covers the coolers gives them a really nice texture when they are painted making them look like stone.  The final product looks like a planter box that you could buy at a garden store.

DIY Styrofoam Cooler Planter Boxes

DIY Styrofoam Cooler Planter Boxes:

You will need

  • One styrofoam medication cooler (These coolers are used to transport medication that needs to remain cold.)
  • Scissors
  • Quality epoxy paint (Epoxy paint will not leach into the plant and it makes the cooler water-proof.)
  • Paint brush
  • Paint roller (small)
  • Paint pan
  • Small rocks
  • Potting soil
  • Plants

How to make Styrofoam Cooler Planter Boxes

  1. Ensure that your styrofoam medication cooler is clean.
  2. Trim the loose plastic on the cooler.
  3. Save the cooler lid for another project.
  4.  Paint the inside and outside of the box.
  5. Add rocks to the bottom box to help with water flow.
  6. Add potting soil
  7. Plant plant
  8. Give your plant some water.

These styrofoam cooler planter boxes look great and they are the perfect size for strawberries, blueberries, lettuce, herbs, tomatoes, and more.  They work well on a deck or patio or in the garden. These look heavy but they are light and easy to bring inside when it starts to get cold so you can enjoy your favorite produce all year long.

These make great Mother’s Day gifts for your mom. Just fill them with her favorite plant or flowers for a personalized gift that she can enjoy all year.


Styrofoam cooler planter boxes, step stones and more

There are many other ways to use the styrofoam coolers in your yard besides making the styrofoam cooler planter boxes:

  • Paint the lids and use them for step stones in the garden. They are sturdy and look like stone so they work well for garden paths.
  • Stack the painted boxes without lids for decorative accents
  • Stack the painted boxes without lids next to each other to make a lightweight sturdy garden wall.

I am thrilled with my styrofoam cooler planter boxes and I have plans to make many more to fill my garden!  I  love that I was able to make something useful and pretty out of something that I would have just thrown away! Now, instead of throwing these away, I am going to ask my friends and family to give me their coolers so that I can use them all over my garden! I think my dad would be proud and I love the thought of my kids picking berries in my garden like I did as a child!


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Posted by Frugal Mommy

Hi I’m Heather, a busy, happy and very frugal mom of 8 amazing kids! My journey to become a mom of 8 has been a bumpy one that has included infertility, being a foster parent, adoption, and special needs parenting. I share the things I've learned raising my big unique family.


  1. I love the ideal of doing berries as thats such a special memory for you. The boxes turned out GREAT!


    1. Thank you!


  2. What a cute little project!! Very creative!!


    1. Thanks!


  3. What an awesome idea! My dad receives several of these every month and this would be a great way to use a couple 🙂 Thanks for sharing!
    Ashley recently posted…Tips for Teaching Young Kids to Save MoneyMy Profile


    1. I will be trying some other projects throughout the year so I’ll keep yo posted on other ideas. I get a lot of them too.


  4. These are so cute and creative! I love that they can also be super portable for apartment living!

    Just pinned this to my “DIY Home Decor” pinterest board


    1. Thank you Chelsea! Yes these are great for apartments!


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