We’ve updated our porch decor for the fall season, and I wanted something lovely and unique. I found these beautiful dark wood planters at Lowe’s and wanted to dress them up a little. Add in some gorgeous tiles from the tile section of the store and viola! Instant premium containers at bargain prices. I love when I pull off an idea in my head and it turns out the way I imagined. You will need:
- A garden planter or container – Flat surfaces will work best for tiling. Our cost $12
- Tiles – we purchased two sheets of small brown designed tiles, or you could use homemade mosaic squares. Our cost $10.98 xs 2
- Adhesive – to stick the tiles to the container. Already had.
- Grout – to fill in the gaps between the tiles. Our cost $26.95.
- Putty Knife – Also known as a “scraper thing.” 🙂 Our cost $2 (Pick up the small one since you’re working with a small space.)
- Sponges and towels – we used old diaper cloths and a car wash sponge. Already had.
Total cost – 2 days (I needed a day to let the grout dry) and $62. A word about the supplies – we used liquid nail adhesive so I could just use the caulk gun and do it myself. I also chose a grout compound that did not need to be mixed and was not bright white! I went with a sand colored grout that would better match my tiles and the dark wood container, and the effect was perfect.
How to Make a Tiled Garden Container
1. Measure the tiles on the section you plan to cover. Cut through the mesh that holds them together so they are ready to go when you have the glue on the container. Note that on the last side of the container I needed to use three strips from the leftovers after my first sides. Two sheets gave me enough tiles to cover all four sides!
2. Wipe the surface of the container clean so there’s no dust or debris on it. Cover one side lightly with adhesive.
3. My tiles overlapped the container by about 1/2 inch, so each tile needed to be pressed down to adhere nicely. By fitting the edges of the tile into the space, the extra 1/2 inch was easily found by pressing the tiles closer together. You DO have a lot of wiggle room when laying down these tiles…something I didn’t realize since this was my first attempt at tiling anything!
4. Press all the tiles down firmly so they are well adhered to the wooden container.
5. Let the liquid nail adhesive dry before apply grout. I let it dry overnight.
Adding Grout to the Upscale Tiled Planter
Once the tiles were dried, we moved on to the grouting portion. I really had no clue what I was doing, but the directions on the back of the grout I bought at Lowe’s were clear. We’d also chatted with a guy there who had recommended the pre-mixed grout.
1. Open the can of grout and scrape out a big glob with your putty knife. Smear it into the gaps between the tiles until it’s totally smooshed into every crevice. Then use a slightly damp sponge to remove the extra grout.
2. We did the clean up in two phases – removed the bulk of the grout as soon as it had been applied using a sponge with a bit more stiffness. Once the grout had begun to dry I used a cloth diaper to remove the last vestiges of film from the surface of the tiles. We let the container dry overnight before I added plants.
I chose a Japanese Barberry with upright growth habit and stunning red foliage in the fall months, as well as beautiful orange violas that would add a touch of fall fire to the container. We used three violas and one barberry. The container will need full sun once the fall season is over as barberry does take full sun.
If you leave this perennial as a container planter it will eventually need a larger container. I plan to replant the barberry as part of a hedge I want to build near our front fence line so that will probably happen once the Christmas containers come out.
This tiled planter has the look of a $200 premium, upscale piece. It’s an incredible accent piece with eye-catching, heavy durability. And it cost me less than $70! I love it!
This project was brought to you as part of the Lowe’s Creative Inspiration blogger team. I am compensated with gift cards to Lowe’s, but all ideas, execution, and photographs are original works for helping home owners have fun projects for simple home improvement. Download the Creative Inspirations Magazine from iTunes, check out the latest home improvement ideas from all the Creative Inspirations Bloggers, or follow Lowe’s on Facebook and Pinterest.
What are you doing to your front porch for the holidays?
Annemarie (Real Food Real Deals) says
This is so pretty, Angela! And I love seeing how much money you saved by making it yourself. I bet it looks fabulous on your porch.
Robyn Wright says
What a great project! I think I am going to try this too. I pinned it also 🙂
OK, this is totally gorgeous!! I now have plans for the piles of tiles the previous owner of this house left behind… 🙂 🙂
Yes! It’s even more frugal if you already have tiles! Lol!
I think one of these would make a great gift! *hint*
This looks gorgeous, Angela! We’re working with tile for the first time this week so I’ll let you know how it goes! Thanks for the great tips!
Pre-mixed grout…the best stuff EVER.
Jessica @FoundtheMarbles says
That looks fabulous.
I wondered when you said cut through the netting holding the tiles, did you cut it all and lay each tile on the adhesive individually?
The sheet of tiles was bigger than the space so I cut off the excess. Two sides had only one piece of tiles to glue down, two sides used the leftover strip from the side and the bottom stacked together to fill the whole space.
In the second collage, top left corner, you can see the netting sticking out from where I cut between two rows of tiles to fit the tiles into the space. I did NOT cut between the OTHER tiles as I wanted to leave them easy to manuever. When you see the sheets in the store you’ll see what I’m talking about – super easy to handle the tiles that way with them glued into rows already spaced nicely on that netting stuff in the back. Genius and simple.