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Awesome Upcycled Planter Ideas - Totally Green Crafts

Awesome Upcycled Planter Ideas

If you’re as caught up in the plant trend of 2020 as we are, you’re sure to need design ideas.

Here are some great ways to upcycle things around your home that would otherwise be garbage. They are all super cute and will make a great addition to your home. 

You also get to save some trash polluting the environment while making your home look stylish.

Succulents are often the best plants for upcycled planters, as they are very hardy and low-maintenance.



If you have an old chair with a worn out seat, this is the perfect way to save it from the garbage pile.

You can add a platform to rest a plant pot on if you wish to keep it indoors. If it is to go in the garden, simply place it in the flowerbed if the seat is low.

Alternatively create a base from durable fabric to pop some soil on top of.

Dutch Oven

While these have no drainage, they do make for incredibly cute planters, especially if they are a pastel color.

You can drill some holes into the base of an old Dutch oven to add some drainage.

Alternatively you can put a couple of layers of large stones at the base to provide some element of drainage. 

Garbage Can

This is a simple upcycling job.

You can paint an old garbage can or create a woven or fabric cover from scrap materials.

Both will be incredibly cheap, but make your home’s accessories look expensive.


A true classic upcycled planter is an old shoe. This works for hiking boots, wellie boots, or really any shoe you have to hand! The only limitation to upcycling is your imagination.

You will need to drill drainage holes into the sole of any shoes you wish to use for this purpose. Place in a layer of rocks to prevent the holes being clogged, then top with soil and your plants.

Toy Cars

If your kids have grown up and you’re left wondering what to do with their old toys, here’s a handy idea.

Toys with a truck are the perfect planter, as these have a large flat base for the plants to grow in.

Larger toys work better as there’s more space, but this is a great way to avoid throwing out any more plastic.

Old Crockery

Carefully drill a hole into the base of any old crockery you want to upcycle into a planter.

Teapots, teacups, and small bowls work excellently for this purpose. Add soil and plant to your heart’s content.

Plastic Bottles

Everyone has plastic bottles lying about their home, and this is the perfect way to repurpose them. Simply cut the ridged base off of the bottle and bore holes into the base for drainage. 

If you like, you can paint and decorate the plastic bottles to fit your home’s aesthetic. Cover the base with a layer or two of stones and fill with soil and plants. 

Drinking Straws

This hack works perfectly for those pesky plastic straws that you never want to bin. You will also need some florists wire, scissors, wire cutters, and spray paint. With just these materials, you can create a stunning interior hanging plant holder.

You will need 5 full length straws and 5 of each length straws: 10cm, 8cm, and 5cm.

Thread the wire through the straw to make your design. Spray paint, fill, and hang.


Paint and food cans work well for this, and the ridged sides give a rustic feel to the pot.

You can leave them as exposed metal or paint them with a durable outdoor paint. You could even varnish the tins or make a cover from fabric scraps.

Tins are a remarkably easy thing to upcycle, taking very little effort to create a beautiful, refined result. 

Ensure you bore holes in the base for drainage before adding soil and plants.

Egg Carton

Egg cartons make the perfect environment for propagating small cuttings of plants. If you wish to decorate, add some paint in a bright color. 

Add a small amount of soil and your cutting. Place on a windowsill for a cute and plastic-free propagation tray.


One of our favorite ideas on this list is the upcycled wheelbarrow planter. Unless you have a large house, this is better suited to an outside environment. 

If there are not already holes in the base, we advise drilling some in to allow rainwater to drain through. If there are large holes, reinforce them with a layer of mesh so soil does not fall through.

Clean it up and repaint if you want, or leave for a rustic, natural look. Put the wheelbarrow where you want it to stay, because once you add soil it will be very heavy.

Add soil and plants to the wheelbarrow. If you want, add some bricks or large rocks to keep the wheelbarrow immobile. You can also add many individual plant pots to make maintenance easier. 

Tea Tins

Loose leaf tea often comes in beautiful, antique style tin jars. It can be hard to think of a use for them when they’re empty. This is a good way to make your home look effortlessly elegant. 

They are the perfect size for indoor herbs growing on your windowsill. Simply bore a drainage hole in the base, add some soil and transfer your herbs over. We suggest labelling each tin so you don’t get the herbs confused. 


Broken drawers can be a pain to dispose of, and when you can, they often end up in landfill anyway.

Place them outside and drill a couple holes in each drawer if they are not broken. We recommend pulling all of the drawers out to different extensions. Pull the bottom drawer out the furthest, and the top drawers the least. 

It is important to place some large rocks in the bottom drawer to weigh it down and ensure the drawers don’t overbalance. Fill with soil and plants.

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