Changing the appearance of your planter boxes can take many forms. You could add a piece of trim along the upper edge, or change the paint style and colors. A ribbon wrapped around the rim of a round planter adds instant personality, and could be accentuated with stickers, decals or hobby paints.
The amount of skill and tools required depends entirely on how you plan to change the appearance of the planter box, ranging from no skill or special materials, to moderate woodworking experience. Any type of crafting experience will be beneficial, but not required.
Ribbons and Foils
One of the simplest ways to change the appearance of a planter is to use decorative ribbons or colored foils. Measure out a piece of the desired material to wrap around the planter, and tape, glue or sew it into place. For a more feminine touch, use lace ribbons and tie them with bows. Decorative foil is available in many brilliant colors and can either wrap the entire planter, or be used as a border.
Decorative wood and plastic borders are available at hardware stores and craft shops. These pieces of trim can be cut to size when purchased and attached using wood glue or epoxy. Adding a simple piece of border trim completely changes the visual impact of planter boxes and only takes minutes to install. To prevent getting the glue on yourself, wear latex gloves when applying it.
Lights and Lighting
Decorate planter boxes for important evenings by wrapping the planter with rope lights. If there isn't a source of household electricity available, there is a wide selection of solar powered lighting available, in many colors. There are slide-on clips designed for hanging rope lights, that require no tools or experience to install.
Spruce up a gardening planter with weather resistant knick-knacks that reflect the mood or theme you want to convey. Ceramic animals are one possible choice, but only one of many. A wind vane or pinwheel is another way to add some visual flavor. Be careful to use decorative items as an accent, and don't let them steal the show from the plants themselves. One or two objects is usually a nice touch, but too many will quickly make the display seem cluttered.
Mix and Match Materials
If you have a large flower planter, consider mixing the style up a little. Bury a plain clay or terracotta flower pot in the center, or several small ones spaced throughout, so that only the upper inch or two are visible. The effect is to add focus to the plants in those, almost like having a spotlight shone on them. A wooden planter box could do well with some river stones to give it some personality, and a plastic or ceramic planter has a bit more life when it contains a bit of driftwood to counterpoint the plants.