Make Over My Deck: Upcycling an Aquarium Tank Stand into a Planter

When you first start teaching, oftentimes retiring teachers will start giving their classroom items to you.  I don't remember who gave me this stand or if they thought I'd want a classroom pet of fish, but at any rate, I've had this aquarium stand for about 15 years.  And trust me, in all that time, it has never actually held any fish.

While purging some items not too long ago, I pulled this stand out because I was sick of it not having a purpose.  I was going to let it go to someone else's home and let it find its new purpose there.  Somewhere between that thought, and being slothful, I realized that I could use this piece again in a new a planter on my deck!

  • aquarium stand (free)
  • coconut liners (from a discount store)
  • over-the-rail planter holder (had it so long that I don't remember where I got it)
  • tile (on clearance at Lowe's)
  • potting soil (leftover from a school project)
  • flowers (Walmart)


 Start with an aquarium stand
 and an over-the-rail planter holder (that's probably not the official name, but that's how you use it)
 Secure the planter holder inside the aquarium tank opening.
Because the sides were a little short, I tied them down with twine.  When I find my zip ties, I'll secure them with those (yep, got some cleaning up to do.  lol)
Cut two 24" coconut liners and sit them inside of each other to make them the length of the planter holder.
 Then fill with potting soil
 and plant flowers in them.  I chose marigolds because they are a natural bug repellant.
 Place tiles at the bottom of the stand.  Then the bottom can be used to hold gardening tools.

That is all.

Stay tuned to see how all these newly remade pieces have accentuated my deck makeover project.


  1. That's super cute. That base would make a great industrial table too! I'll have to keep my eye open for people getting rid of aquariums now...
    Have a great day!

  2. So creative! I love the look of the planter. The bonus is a functional shelf underneath.

  3. Very clever, Libby! You even have a spot for your tools.

  4. Would you believe I have one of these in my yard with plans to repurpose it into a two tiered table. But I just love your planter. Hmmmmmm, decisions, decisions:)

  5. You clever thing! It looks really nice. Good job!

  6. You are so smart! And it makes your deck look so great with the flowers. :)

  7. I cant wait to see how they grow up :)you are good to create things Libby.
    I saw the previous idea about aquarium - I also watched your video about theaching knitting. I was wondering what software you use to edit your video ? :)

    Thanks for sharing Libby! I hope you're doin well.

  8. That is so creative! I love to repurpose things so this is right up my alley! Looks great.

  9. you have been busy! what a great idea! I wish I was a natural green-thumb...I don't even know where to start. It all looks fantastic!

  10. Thanks for posting this info. I just want to let you know that I just check out your site and I find it very interesting and informative. I can't wait to read lots of your posts.


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