DIY Planters Made From Your Own Junk: 19 Plans

diy planter made from old chest of drawers

A few years ago, guest contributor Tom Chu put together a collection of upcycling ideas for indoor planters. That post has done really well over the past few years, and given that Spring’s upon us and I’m thinking about plants, I thought it might be time for more DIY planters made from things you’ll likely throw in the recycling bin or trash.

So, here are some more projects I’ve found with instructions (lots of collections of pictures out there, but those aren’t always so helpful for the “maker impaired” out there… like me). Because there are so many out there, I’ve organized them by material.

One consideration if you’re planning to use your planters for edibles: make sure you’re aware of the potential of materials to leach into soil. For items that have been painted, or plastics or other synthetics, you’ll definitely want to line them with landscape cloth… or maybe consider keeping them decorative.

Materials You’ve Likely Got That You Can Transform Into DIY Planters

Cans: Whether soup or coffee-sized, or made from tin, aluminum, or plastic, cans are among the easiest materials to turn into planters. You can keep it very simple, and just put a few holes in the bottom for drainage, or use paint, paper, or fabric for a decorative touch.

Wine bottles: If you’re willing to try cutting glass, you can make some pretty chic planters from wine bottles. Just make sure to be careful, and sand those edges! If you end up liking the results, you could also try beer bottles.

Plastic bottles: These are easier to work with, but you will want to line them to prevent leaching, and to keep roots in the dark. Lots of possibilities here, though: freestanding, hanging, or even upside-down.

Jars: Whether Mason or just a used food jar, lots of possibilities here. Combine them with waste wood (say, from pallets),or a macrame hanger. Here’s a very basic one:

Books: OK, not as many options here, but this is awfully cool: turning an old hardback book into an indoor planter. (via Inhabitat)

Tires: Lots and lots of options here – stack ’em, paint ’em, cut ’em, or even hang ’em.

Drawers: Got an old chest of drawers sitting in the basement, shed or garage? It’s easy to transform those drawers into planters

No doubt, we’re just scratching the surface here. Got your own DIY planter project from materials that come from the recycling bin, storage shed, or thrift store? Share them with us in the comments.

Photo credit: Orln Zebest at flickr cc

About the Author

Jeff McIntire-Strasburg is the founder and editor of sustainablog. You can keep up with all of his writing at Facebook, and at