Give your front porch a touch of vintage charm with this easy thrift flip idea! Learn how to repurpose a vintage baby carriage into a beautiful and functional planter. This blog post also includes tips for finding the perfect thrift store carriage and planting instructions to keep your flowers thriving.

Does your front porch lack personality? I used to feel the same way, until a lucky thrifting adventure brought home a rusty, vintage baby carriage. It was far from pretty, but with a little creativity, it became the star of my porch!

Now, it spills over with colorful flowers. Discover how to give your porch a unique vintage vibe with this simple thrift flip project.

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1850 farmhouse with front porch and spring flowers including ajuga, ranunculas, with hostas and buckeye tree.
The Prettiest Thrift Flip Idea for the Front Porch

Finding the Perfect Thrift Store Carriage

A few months ago, Chris and I were thrifting in Vermont and found THE CUTEST vintage wicker baby carriage.

I didn’t buy it because it was pretty big and we didn’t have the right spot for it in our home. And when I mentioned to Chris what I wanted to do with it and where I wanted to put it, for the price?

He was not a fan.

And you know what? It was a little pricey. So I agreed and we left without purchasing that vintage baby stroller. And it’s haunted me ever since.

Vintage baby carriage at the antique store after we were thrifting at the vintage market -thrifting at the vintage market

Fast forward a few months. I found another vintage stroller at a local thrift store near me? It’s not a full-size stroller like the one in Vermont, so I think this one was for little baby dolls.

But it’s vintage, it’s cool, and it will look amazing as a planter for my front porch!

So this is the one that we found locally at the thrift store. It’s not nearly the same size, but it was $30 so Chris was OK with me turning this one into a planter. LOL!

thrift store vintage carriage found at habitat for humanity restore

Thrifting Tips for Finding the Perfect Vintage Baby Carriage

Do you want to flip a vintage baby carriage into a planter too? Here are some tips to helping you find the best one for your flowers and plants.


  • Sturdy Frame: Look for a carriage with a solid metal or wood frame that feels stable and secure. Avoid carriages with significant rust or warping.
  • Functionality: Make sure the wheels (if present) move smoothly and the brakes, if any, still function.
  • Removable Bedding: Ideally, the carriage should have a removable liner or bedding that you can easily take out for cleaning and planting.

Size and Style

  • Porch Space: Consider the size of your front porch and choose a carriage that will fit comfortably without overwhelming the space.
  • Planting Needs: Think about the type of plants you want to grow and choose a carriage with enough space to accommodate them.
  • Style Preference: Vintage baby carriages come in a variety of styles, from wicker and lace to classic metal. Choose a style that complements your overall porch aesthetic.

Additional Considerations

  • Price: Thrift stores can vary greatly in pricing. Set a budget beforehand and be prepared to negotiate if necessary.
  • Disassembly: If the carriage has a complex folding mechanism or canopy, consider if you’ll need to disassemble it for transport and planting.
  • Cleaning: Be prepared for some cleaning! Most thrifted carriages will require a good scrub-down before becoming a planter.

Here are some bonus thrifting tips:

  • Ask Questions: Don’t hesitate to ask the thrift store staff about the history of the carriage, if available.
  • Think Outside the Box: Consider using a doll stroller or a small wagon as an alternative to a baby carriage.
  • Look Beyond Perfection: A few minor imperfections can add to the vintage charm of your finished product.

By keeping these tips in mind, you’ll be well on your way to finding the perfect vintage baby carriage to transform into a stunning front porch planter!

Close up of thrift store vintage baby carriage in front of cottage garden flowers by stone wall
close up of price tag of thrift store vintage baby carriage

Transforming Your Carriage into a Planter

Now that we’ve found the perfect vintage baby carriage, let’s thrift flip this into a planter!

Supplies Needed

Not much is needed to thrift flip this thrift store vintage baby carriage, but we do need some items to turn it into a planter. If you can’t find something unique like a vintage baby stroller, there are lots of items that can be found at the thrift store that can be repurposed as a planter.

So if you don’t have something similar look for items like soup tureens, vintage crocks, copper boiler pots, hat boxes, teapots, etc. Anything that looks like it can hold plants will work!

Here’s what you need!

  • Vintage Baby Carriage
  • Plants or Flowers of Your Choice
  • Pot Saucers (to hold water) or plastic lining
Inside of vintage baby carriage close up

Thrift Flip Baby Carriage Planter: Shopping for Flowers

To give you an idea of what I look for when shopping for plants and flowers, think about the size and scale of your find so you purchase the right amount of plants that will enhance your thrift flip planter.

While I was at the nursery, I found this gorgeous scaevola (fan flower). The fullness of the plant and hue of the blooms just spoke to me. And it was the PERFECT size for my thrift shop find.

The scaevola are in decent nursery pots too, so I won’t need to repot them. Therefore, this quick makeover could not be any simpler.

adding a plastic plant saucer to the bottom of a vintage baby carriage to pot up a plant for the front porch

Transforming a Vintage Baby Stroller to a Planter Directions

Depending on the design and condition of the baby carriage (or whatever you find), it may need some stability. The one I bought, has a wood board as the base. So my vintage baby carriage is ready to pot up as it is.

If yours isn’t, consider adding a piece of wood or something to keep the plants stable.

And if you care about the inside, you may want to add some sort of plastic for protection like a plant saucer. They are really inexpensive and easy to find.

First, I needed to determine how many plants or pots are needed, the approximate size, and then I went shopping for plants, containers, and saucers. How you pot them up depends on what you find at the nursery.

Like I mentioned earlier, I found these beautiful hanging baskets of scaevola that would fit really well in my find, so that’s all I needed to do here.

But if you find plants that are much smaller, buy the amount you think you’ll need to stuff your thrift store find. And when I say stuff it, think about how much you’ll need so you don’t see any gaps.

If separate pots are purchased for repotting, make sure there are drainage holes at the bottom. If drainage holes are needed, drill a few so water can drain out. You can either use individual plant saucers for each, or line the inside of the carriage with a plastic liner.

Since I don’t need to repot mine, I simply dropped a plastic plant saucer in the carriage. Then added the fan flower.

Next, I cut off the plant hangers, because we don’t need those sticking out of the baby carriage.

And that’s it!

Adding scaevola to this vintage baby stroller - thrift flip idea for the front porch

Planting and Care Instructions for Your Thrift Flip Planter

Now that your charming carriage planter is prepped, it’s time to bring it to life with beautiful blooms! We’ve covered an easy way to drop your plants in, but what if you want to repot some flowers? This section will guide you through repotting and provide essential care tips to keep your new porch centerpiece thriving throughout the season.

How to Repot Your Plant

  • Fill pots about halfway with potting soil.
  • Remove plants from the nursery pot and fan out the roots to encourage them to grow outward into the potting mix.
  • Plant in containers that are slightly larger than the nursery pot, then backfill with potting soil until it is even with the soil surface of the plants.
  • Place container in saucers inside the baby carriage.

Caring For Your Thrift Flip Baby Carriage Planter

After potting up your vintage baby carriage, water your flowers and plants well. To make things easier for you during the growing season, I recommend adding drip irrigation so you can set a watering schedule on a timer, set-and-forget.

Always water the base of plants in the earlier part of the day. And water deeply to encourage a strong healthy root system.

I added some slow release fertilizer so they are well fed through the season and gave them a good watering.

cutting off plant hangers on scaevola in vintage baby stroller so I can use this thrift flip on the front porch

After the Transformation (Easiest Thrift Flip Ever!)

Didn’t it turn out so pretty?

I love that color purple with the vintage wicker of the baby carriage. It adds a lot of texture, dimension and character to the planting.

When fall arrives, I’ll swap out the scaevola for mums, asters, or something more autumnal. But I don’t know, if this scaevola still looks good, I may keep it and add some pumpkins or something around the baby carriage.

And for winter, wouldn’t it look so cute all filled up with fresh cut winter greens from the garden? I can’t wait.

Thanks for joining me today in the garden! Happy Planting!

close up of vintage baby carriage thrift flip on front porch with scaevola and coleus in terra cotta pot on area rug on front porch

Final Thoughts About Easy Thrift Flip Ideas for Your Garden

Didn’t my baby carriage planter turn out so good? I love how it looks on the front porch. It adds the right amount of vintage charm. And I love that purple fan flower with the texture of the stroller too.

Have you ever potted up a baby stroller before? Do you have any thrift flip ideas for the garden you’d like to share? What items do you look for when thrifting that look incredible in your gardens? I would love to know more in the comments below.

To drill down on more beginner gardening techniques and tips, please read these posts:

Happy Gardening!

Stacy Ling
Close up of thrift flip idea planted with scaevola on front porch with different varietes of coleus in terra cotta pots, a white porch swing and outdoor area rug

Thrifting With My Besties

My good friend Jennifer from Cottage on Bunker Hill shared her ideas for how to add cottage style to a garden using thrift store finds.

Wait until you see how pretty they look in her gardens!

Jennifer also makes the most amazing DIYs. I love her latest creation using oven cleaner to strip furniture.

The piece looks incredible!!!

close up of potted plants and flowers to add cottage style to container garden

Want to Thrift More With Me for the Garden?

Come bargain shopping with me as we thrift at some vintage markets, antique stores and thrift shops in both New Jersey and Vermont (my favorite!)

Wait until you see some of these finds!

Close up of front porch on an 1850 farmhouse with porch rockers, white walkway, and gardens with purple flowers and container gardens and hostas
Close up of 1850 farmhouse with front porch and front porch rocking chairs with beautiful walkway and gardens with purple flowers
close up of 1850 farmhouse with front porch and beautiful gardens

Whenever I’m out thrifting, I look for things to use in my gardens and there are a whole list of items you shouldn’t leave a thrift shop without.

But I digress.

To give you an idea of what I found in Vermont, here is the vintage baby carriage that we did not buy.

When I saw this in the antique store, I immediately said to Chris, this would make a great planter for the garden. We have three girls, it reminded me a little of them, and I thought it would be adorable nestled in with my cottage garden flowers.

He was aghast that I would even suggest turning this fine and expensive antique into a planter.

A planter that would be outside all season long with the New Jersey weather elements. For the price, not buying it made sense.

But seriously, wouldn’t it look cool all potted up in the right spot?

Anyway, It was super expensive so we didn’t get it, but I love the idea of finding one at a better price to make a planter out of it.

And to be honest, it’s grown on me there.

The color of the wicker coordinates well with the exterior of our home. And it adds some interest and character to the front porch.

So that’s where it’s staying.

And now that it’s spring? We need to pot it up with some flowers.

Oftentimes I enjoy making elaborate planters using the thriller, filler, and spiller method of container garden design, but for this project? I’m sticking with one type of plant.

And here’s how I did it.

Wait until you see how pretty it looks all planted up!

The bricks \'n Blooms guide to a beautiful and easy-care flower garden book by stacy ling
The Bricks ‘n Blooms Guide to a Beautiful and Easy Care Flower Garden
  • Have you never met a plant you couldn’t kill?
  • Have you dug around in the dirt with nothing to show for it except a sunburn and a sore back?
  • Do you currently enjoy growing flowers, but are looking for more tips and ideas to level up your gardening game?

Then the Bricks ‘n Blooms Guide is for YOU

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  1. Now that’s a good use of 30 bucks!! It really looks so pretty and fits with the entire aesthetic of your front porch! Now, don’t tell Chris he was right about the expensive one…

    1. It was a good call not to buy the first one – it was really big – this one is the perfect size for a front porch planter!

  2. I love your baby carriage on the porch with flowers…what a deal for $30! I love using vintage items in the yard, garden and porch. I come from a farm family and have found old farm/garden implements, wagon wheels, cream cans, and galvanized wash tubs that I want to incorporate. Also have my grandma’s huge black cast iron kettle! Here in Oklahoma we get lots of wind, so the heavier the better. You’ve inspired me, thanks for sharing!

    1. Oh those are great ideas! I love repurposing stuff for the garden. I would love to find a galvanized wash tub for here – maybe when I’m up in VT this summer.

  3. I saw these cutest one of these and was tempted to purchase. Yours looks so charming on your porch.

    1. It’s SO cute! I just saw one of those rocking bassinets the other day and almost bought it! xo

  4. Stacy,

    What a fun idea! I’ve never seen a carriage used as a planter before! Brilliant!

    Happy day!

  5. How absolutely adorable! I think I like the one you found even better than the one that “rolled” away! Love the bird pillow and your other potted plants too. Of course the entire porch and landscape is breathtaking!

    So fun hopping with you on the porch round-up this week!

    1. Thanks Amber! I think so too – it’s more manageable than the larger one so it’s more versatile! I think the larger one would have gone outside in the garden. But for the price, my husband was like NOOOOOOO. LOL