DIY Topsy Turvy

DIY Topsy Turvy Tomato Planter!

Hi all! Quick little post today to share with you how my hubby & I made our own “Topsy Turvy” tomato planter.
I really wanted a tomato plant & liked the idea of the topsy turvy but totally did not like the look of the plastic-y bag (plus I’ve heard it’s hard to re-use it every year- it rips/breaks easily?).
So frugal little me did a little searching online and found this neat little tutorial (which is actually about a self-watering system-a little too high tech for me) and decided to steal the container idea.
I went to Wal-mart (where I really thought I had seen the trash can I was looking for awhile ago) but they didn’t have what I was looking for. So I ended up at Bed, Bath & Beyond. Found the trash can & it was $6, marched right past the MOUNTAIN of Topsy Turvy’s (for $15 thankyouverymuch) on my way out.

Alright so now you have one of these (in whatever color you like):

Image credit:

All you really need to do is drill a hole big enough for your tomato plant to slide down through (about 2″-3″ in diameter if you buy a baby tomato plant) in the center of the bottom of the trash can (if you put some tape over where your spade bit will start the circle it’ll help keep the bit from ‘skipping’ across the surface).
Then buy some chain (we got ours at Wal-mart one night because Lowe’s was closed already- boo!) and S hooks and string it up! You could also just tie some string around the handles on the trash can and hang it that way too! I don’t remember how much the chain & S hooks were (really cheap though!) and the wall mounted hook I have it hanging from I bought 2 years ago for $3.

Here’s ours: 

The best part? It’s sturdy (’cause it’s plastic ha ha) & we can re-use it year to year! Plus it looks so cute!
I’m hoping to make some yummy homemade salsa later this summer! Anyone have any good salsa recipes that are mild to medium heat? (I am not a lover of super spicy)

P.S. Anyone care to make one out of the pink trashcan & send me pictures?? :)

Linking To:
The Shabby Nest: Frugal Friday
The Inspired Room


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  1. Birdie @ Chirp in the Forest says:

    What a great idea! I saw topsy turvies all over the place last summer and the plants in them all looked really sad. I really want to hear how yours does and if it likes it in there. I love the concept, I'm just too chicken to try it myself.

  2. The Starr Family says:

    I am dying… I have begged for a Topsy Turvy and my amazing hubby thinks they look commercial & ridiculous! Yours is too cute…

    As far as salsas go… this one is medium heat (but minus your tomatoes!)

    Also, nothing tastes better than diced tomatoes/green peppers/red peppers/orange peppers/mangoes/lime juice/cilantro! Fresh & easy!

  3. Looks really cute! Can't wait to hear how yours does. I might try tomatoes on the bottom and a cute edible flower like Nasturtiums or pansies on the top.

    My favorite "salsa" is just tomatoes, green or red onions, fresh cilantro, lime juice and a touch of salt and pepper. Yummy with chips, on eggs or topping a taco.

  4. I almost got a topsy turvy, but the check out line was too long. Glad I did not, 'cause now I know how to make one. Thank you

  5. the thrifty ba says:

    i got a toppsie turvie for $1 at the thrift store-never opened! but only 1. and i like to can tomatoes…please update us!

  6. Ann @ makethebestofthings says:

    What a quick and elegant solution! The topsy turvy planters I've seen look clunky and ugly, this looks kinda stylish. We've tried the upside down tomato thing before and it was fun!

  7. This is such a cool idea, way to make it your own. I may just have to try it out! Thanks for the encouragement

  8. That is SUCH a good idea! You could use plastic paint and paint it any color, too!

  9. miss corner cape says:

    i have a topsy turvy and i think it looks like a green plastic bag from a grocery store flapping in the wind. i like this idea, and the look of it, sooo much better! great job. stopping by from remodelaholic.

  10. Fresh salsa is best, but seriously, if you want the best canned salsa recipe ever, visit Judy at:

    I call it the Front Porch Salsa and my whole neighborhood now cans this recipe. We all use different amounts of the jalapeno and red pepper flakes, but the flavor irregardless is the best! Winter is manageable with a bunch of this salsa to bring back summer memories!

  11. simplysandi says:

    Awesome idea! I see Topsy Turvy everywhere I go. I like this way a lot better.
    (Stopping by from SITS)

  12. Rebecca@This Present Life says:

    That's great! I was actually just thinking about trying to figure out how to make my own Topsy Turvy! You've done all the work for me :) Saw you at Making the World Cuter.

  13. elizabeth says:

    We had a Topsy Turvy last year and it worked very well. However, no way could it be reused and like you said, yucko green color. I am so going to try this instead!

  14. This is awesome! Stopping by from SITS-glad I did!!

  15. I'm a full-time mummy says:

    Hi Kristi!

    Greetings from Malaysia again! Just want to say thank you for dropping by my blog on my SITS day. You can read the aftermath of my whole day SITting episode at this link:

    Thank you again and hope to see you back here sometime! 😀

    Warmest Regards,
    Jenny aka I'm a full-time mummy

    Btw, that was one cute Topsy Turvy! Love it!

  16. As an Arizona transplant – I've had to learn to endure the 'spicy'. I still resist if I get the option. Here is the most amazing salsa recipe that I received from a friend. It's fresh and yummy – and only hot if you want it to be.

    IF USING FRESH TOMATOES: Instead of 5 cans stewed, use about 6 cups of chopped tomatoes and 2 cans of stewed.

    Really delish if you have fresh cilantro, onions and cucumbers from the garden! Next year we're going to have to plant green peppers so that I have everything I need in the yard.

    I am emailing this great tomato container idea to my mom! Thanks for sharing~


    5 cans of stewed tomatoes
    4 stalks of celery
    1 bunch of cilantro
    1 cucumber
    1 green pepper
    1 bunch of green onions
    1 cup of Pace Picante – Medium (or whatever you prefer – i go with mild!)
    ½ cup of Ketchup

    Chop it all up and combine!!

  17. Ashley @ Bride on a Budget says:

    Great idea!

  18. That is such a nice thought.We had a Topsy Turfy last year and it worked very well. However, no way could it be reused and like you said, yucca green color.

  19. This is a great idea and I am definetely going to try it this year. However, I am going to put a food grade liner in it so the chemicals in the recycled trash can don’t leak into mt tomatoes. Thanks for all the great ideas. You are a great inspiration to us all.


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