Old School Lantern Planters & Making A Faux Antique Pulley
A while back we were given a whole box full of old rusty lanterns by a friend of ours. Love it when that happens 🙂 We managed to repurposed bits and pieces and made some enamel cup lanterns for our holiday home. We even turned two of them into charming lantern planters and filled them with succulents. Here’s the thing though. I really, really wanted to hang them from an antique pulley.
But those things are as scarce as hen’s teeth here and if you do find them, they’re way over our budget. No ways am I spending so much money on something that’s going to be used as décor in the garden. Nope not going to happen. So I had to figure out a way to make my own. And I love how it turned out.
The antique pulley looks like it’s been doing some heavy lifting for a few years. And it’s such a simple concept too. All you need is a grooved wheel or sheave and some kind of casing.
Okay, before we get to how we made that pulley and turned lanterns into planters, be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram. And don’t forget to subscribe so you’ll never miss a post!
Making a Faux Antique Pulley
I must admit I had to dig around quite a bit to find something that would act as a grooved wheel. We don’t have a lathe so making one from scratch wasn’t really an option. What I did find though was this little wheel thingy here.
That’s the wheel that normally sits under an electric gate, something that’s quite common here in South Africa. In the larger cities we all live behind 6 foot walls and have a remote controlled electric gate. It’s much safer than the ones you have to open by hand. Nobody wants to leave their car running while they try and open a gate, that’s like putting up a neon sign and saying “Come hijack me”. Sad I know, but that’s what it is.
Okay lets get back to that faux antique pulley. Since I had a grooved wheel all I needed to do was make a casing or frame to house the wheel. Pretty easy, just cut two sides and a top bit. The top gets screwed onto the the top of the electric gate motor wheel and then the sides are glued and screwed on.
After staining the wood casing and adding old railway bolts on either side we had our very own, faux antique pulley.
So perfect for hanging those lantern planters.
Old lanterns can be repurposed in so many different ways. They make beautiful pixie dens and they are pretty easy to convert into planters too. You just have to make sure to remove any oily residue first. You don’t want that stuff seeping into the soil and harming your plants.
How to Turn Lanterns into Planters
First off remove the chimney, wick, and cap on the oil reservoir. Save those bits to make these beautiful electrified enamel cup lanterns. If there’s still oil inside the reservoir dispose of it safely. Never pour old oil down the drain or toilet.
Mix a tablespoon of dishwashing liquid with really hot water. Add the mixture to the reservoir and use a bottle brush to scrub the inside of the reservoir and get rid of any tough deposits. Pour the water out and fill the reservoir up again. Let the soapy mixture sit in the reservoir overnight and rinse with hot water the next day. Once the reservoir is nice and clean, your lanterns should be safe for planting.
Our lanterns were a bit rusty and I was worried that the little stones needed for drainage would fall through the holes so I added some shade cloth on the inside first.
Before planting the succulents we sprayed the outside of the lanterns a lovely bronze color that contains a rust inhibitor.
I normally don’t mind a little bit of rust, but I want these lantern planters to last a few seasons before they disintegrate completely 😉
I’d love to know what you think. Do you love old pulleys too?
And if you like the idea of hanging lantern planters from a repurposed pulley, please don’t forget to share.
Oh and just in case you want to make your own antique pulley I’ve added a few affiliate links below. That way you won’t have to try to find the materials we used. Disclosure: If you click on the links, we may receive a commission from Amazon. But don’t worry, it won’t come out of your pocket, and it helps us come up with more unique DIY and craft tutorials for you 😉
And if you would rather buy than DIY maybe one of these beautiful pulleys are more your style.
And as always, wishing you a beautiful week filled with lots of love.
50 thoughts on “Old School Lantern Planters & Making A Faux Antique Pulley”
GREAT IDEA ??♥️❗️Thank You FOR SHARING ??❗️I HAVE a Bathroom Without A Window AND I bought The Faux Succulents AND Yuccas To Plant in some Clear Marbles ????I DO HAVE A WHEEL , I Will HAVE to Look FOR A LAMP NOW ❗️Thanks??G-d♥️ Bless?
You’re most welcome Cheri. I hope you find some lanterns for your bathroom ❤
Michelle this came out great! I love that you made your own pulley!
Thanks so much Susan. Pulleys are so difficult to find here in South Africa and when you do find them they’re terribly expensive.
I love this idea of yours! How unique! Pulley is a great detail, indeed. And thank you so much on these Amazon liks!
It’s a huge pleasure Ana and I’m glad you found the links useful too ? I would love to be able to afford one of those pulleys from Amazon but the shipping alone to South Africa is soooo expensive
Oh I Love this Michelle! I have been wanting an antique pulley as well but won’t pay the outrageous price. Never thought of making my own. I love the idea of the lanterns with succulents hanging. I just may have to make one for my porch. Now just got to find the items needed and time. ?
I’m pretty naive when it comes to other countries. I thought that it was bad here, but not able to get out of your car to unlock your gates. Wow. You should move to Texas, we could have so much fun, and you can just strap on your gun and shoot the car jacker ?
? Some people do manage to shoot at the hijackers here, but most of the times the hijacks end up stealing the guns too. They’re very well trained. It is really sad, the crime in some areas is pretty rough but we all manage and have lots of neighborhood watch groups to help. But one day hopefully, I’ll come visit you in Texas, I bet we will have soooo much fun
Ops she did it again! I mean what have you done here???? Every DIY from you is a whole new world for us! Thank you so much my talented friend for sharing 🙂
Thanks so much Christina, so happy you like it
Michelle this is such an awesome idea! PINNED!!!! Luv to Africa!
Thanks so much Christine and sending loads of love back your way too
This is just the coolest idea for an outdoor planter! It has so much rustic charm and what a conversation piece too 🙂
Thank you Marie, I’m glad you like it
Michelle, the planter/lanterns are lovely!! You were indeed fortunate to be handed such a nice gift, and the idea for making the pulley is so clever. It definitely looks old and weathered.
Happy you like it Florence and we still have a few of those lantern bits that we can play around with too. A box of old rusty things is always a welcome gift here ?
Love the lanterns and pulley…great idea! I have both and was wondering what I could do with them. Now I know. Thank you for sharing.
It’s a pleasure Nancy, so glad you like them
Great idea! So smart, I just love it. Inside or outside this would look fantastic.
Thanks so much Lorin ?
This is so inventive and beautiful. You always come up with wonderful ideas.
Thanks so much Debra ?
Wow, I love it! The lanterns itself are already pretty, plus you used it as planters for succulents! It’s beautifully done.
? Thanks so much Mel
wow Michelle! this project is beautiful! You’re so creative, you made your own antique pulley! I first saw the pics and totally bought the thing was the actual thing! Then reading I realized that you made it yourself, amazing!
? Thank you Nati, I’m really glad it worked out. I’ve been wanting one of those pulleys for such a long time
This is such an awesome idea! I love the way it turned out. I would’ve never thought to put the planters on a pulley. Such a clever idea, Michelle!
Thanks so much Sam, I’m real glad you like them
The lantern planters are so very pretty and the pulley turned out great, Michelle! I always love your creative ideas. This is such a beautiful decoration for your porch.
Thanks so much Julia, I’m so glad I managed to convert that gate wheel into a pulley.
I really love this idea for a planter, so unique and creative! It would look just lovely hanging in a lovey garden too.
Thanks so much E ?
Amazing! You are so talented, I don’t know how you come up with these ideas but I love this one!
Thanks so much Claire
Oh, My!!!! MIND BLOWN. You creativity knows no bounds and that is amazing. I LOVE this idea. It looks sooo whimsical and I want it.
? Thank you Tanvii
Your crafts never fails to amaze me as they are always so well thought and well decorated. I just loved these lantern planters it has an aristocratic look and it is so useful to add some extra beauty to any house.
Thank you so much Jagriti ?
These turned out amazing! I love the new color of them!
Thanks so much Amanda ?
Oh, my Michelle!!! You just are the queen of awesome ideas! I just love the pully idea to bits and that you have repurposed those cool old lamps.
Thank you Sam ?
This is gorgeous, I can imagine it in your gorgeous yard surrounded by all sorts of green vines and plants. It’s beautiful.
It was sad to hear about the gates being necessary, but its a sign of the times.
I suppose it is Leanna, but I wish we could go back to the old days where crime wasn’t so rife. Thanks so much for the lovely comment too my friend
Lovely! You know I saw one of these lanterns at the flea market the other day and kept on walking! How could I not think of putting succulents in it, it even had a broken glass! Love the pulley idea so much, very clever how you came up with making your own. So creative as always!
? Awwww Katrin, thanks so much. Hopefully you’ll find some more broken lanterns soon
This is such a lovely idea for displaying lantern planters. The pulley is something I’ve never seen before used this way. Kudos for coming up with this. And I love, love that pretty color you used for the lanterns it hints at rust while at the same time preserving the lanterns. And of course, it looks great next to the greens.
Thanks so much my friend. I’ve had “find a pulley” on my to do list for such a long time, I just had to try make another plan and now that I know how, I suspect I’m going to be making a few more things that involve pulleys ?
Oh my gosh, Michelle. This is brilliant! I just love this pulley planter. It’s so quaint and beautiful. That pulley system you made is genius!
Thanks so much Carolann ? I’m really glad we had one of those gate wheels lying around.