46 Insanely Amazing Upcycled Planters You’ll Want to Make

Want to shake up your upcycled planters game in the new year? Look no further for inspiration than these 46 insanely amazing weird and wacky planters!

We’re all about turning trash to treasure here at Birdz of a Feather. Why settle for boring when you can upcycle old junk and give it a beautiful new repurpose as a planter? Even if you don’t copy our upcycled planters ideas ‘to a T’, they are sure to spark your own upcycle ideas! Improvise with whatever you happen to have around the house, or stumble upon at the thrift store.

Watch This Video!

If you’d like to see our amazing upcycled planters, you’re in for a treat! At the end of this video we have bonus footage for our small suburban backyard garden!

What Can I Repurpose as A Planter?

a collage of before pictures of upcycled planters

Upcycled planters – before

Upcycled Planters

Do you ever wonder ‘What can I repurpose as a planter’? Well, there are lots of plants in the world and they all need a good home! So if you can imagine it, you can repurpose anything into a planter! Here’s a list of just few of the things we’ve upcycled into planters to get the wheels turning:

  • Kitchen wares (i.e. vintage toasters, egg beaters)
  • Thrift store finds (i.e. interesting wooden containers – think heart shapes etc)
  • Stuff around the house you no longer use (i.e. card holders)
  • Furniture (i.e. filing cabinet, vintage sewing machine bases)
  • Vintage finds (i.e. old phone enclosures)
  • Antiques (as long a they are not valuable)
  • Glass and metal (i.e. light fixtures)
  • Clothing (i.e. denim)
  • Free wood (i.e. pallets)
  • Crochet (i.e. plant pods)
  • Sports equipment (i.e. basketballs)
  • Musical instruments (i.e. broken guitars)
  • Dollar store finds (i.e. metal pots)
  • Pegboard
  • Plastic (i.e. water bottles, paint can seals)

What Materials Can Be Used to Make Planters?

a collage of materials that can be used for upcycled planters

So what materials can you use? Anything really is up for game. For instance:

  • concrete (use it to embellish your upcycles – like using a dollar store baseball as a mold)
  • ceramic & porcelain
  • fabric
  • plastic (keep it out of landfills and the ocean!)
  • metal (i.e. loose leaf binder rings, old toasters)
  • yarn (i.e. crochet air plant holders)
  • wood (seal it with liquid rubber to water proof it!)

The best materials to upcycle are whatever you have on hand. Look in your garage, your shed or even your kitchen for old appliances that don’t work.

Thrift stores also have a bounty of things you can make into planters. For instance, there’s no shortage of clothing, furniture or glassware that’s just waiting to be repurposed and upcycled.

How Do You Upcycle Everyday Items?

Ideas for Upcycled Planters

Here are just 10 creative and cool ways to turn junk into upcycled planters. Read on for a total of 46 unique trash to treasure ideas:

  1. Turn a toaster that doesn’t work into a ‘Pop-Up’ garden
  2. Repurpose thrift store jeans into a Blue Jean Planter
  3. Transform old sewing tables into a potting bench, drink station or a planter by adding soil into the plastic container
  4. Turn plastic packaging into molds by pouring cement to form lightbulb planters
  5. Use a wine box to take your plants for a Joy Ride
  6. Create a whimsical Japanese glass float planter using a thrifted glass globe from a discarded light fixture
  7. Make a woven plant basket using easy to find items from the dollar store
  8. Use common wire to make air plants holders that you can display anywhere and on anything
  9. Disassemble a pallet and use the wood to make a unique pallet clock planter
  10. Think outside the box and convert a phone enclosure into a plant shelf

Repurposed Fall and Winter Planters

Since it’s currently winter in our neck of the woods, let’s explore the cold seasons and see a few Fall and Winter ideas.

Our milk can decor planter has a great tutorial on how to stencil on a tricky surface like this vintage milk can!

milk cans make great upcycled planters for outdoor spaces when planted with Fall flowers

Milk Can Decor

Another cool indoor planter to brighten the bleak weather is our blue jean planter. Here is how we adapted our upcycle for our very own wedding. They were quite the conversation piece!

Standing planters made to look like a bride and groom

Indoor planters, like this woven plant basket, make great gifts. Although for those without a green thumb, you might want to consider some of the easy maintenance air plant ideas we have below.

Our woven plant basked is so easy to do with a few dollar store supplies and a scrap of wood. You can even use chop sticks instead of dollar store dowels if that’s what you have on hand.

Ceramic planter inside a woven plant holder

Using Air Plants in Upcycled Planters

We love to upcycle pallets in unexpected ways, like this wooden wall art diy. We invented a great way to hang air plants ANYWHERE, on any surface! You’ll find our unique air plant holder tutorial here.

Pallet wood clock made into an upcycled planter with the addition of air plants instead of clock numbers

Wooden Wall Art DIY

Speaking of going anywhere, our hanging air plants are almost as versatile. Click through to see the different ways to display these.

Hanging air plants on the front of a metal shelf

Uncover the secrets to repurposing household items into another charming display for your air plants with this air plant magnet. This one is perfect on the fridge!

Crochet fridge magnet upcycled planters holds an air plant

Cement Planters

On the surface, the next two upcycled planters don’t really look upcycled at all because they are made from cement. However, the molds are from upcycled plastic packaging used in unique and fun ways to create a baseball and lightbulbs.

Are you a sports fan? Learn how to create a baseball plant display with this cement planter diy.

Cement baseball is an upcycled planter made from a mold using a dollar store plastic baseball

Cement Planter DIY

Once you learn how, you just may have a ‘lightbulb moment’ with how to make a cement planter.

Or try these cement planter molds to make a full lightbulb planter.

Cement Planter Molds

Speaking of lighting, use our cement lightbulb in a real light fixture and make a wall planter diy. Our cement planter screws right in – just like a lightbulb.

wall planter diy

Crochet Planters

Green your decor quite literally with these air plant pods.

Our crochet plant hanger idea came about when we couldn’t find a real vintage wood clamp (when we finally did, we made this diy pipe lamp). Tee up this planter idea for any golf lover you know!

Summer Planters Ideas

Indoor or Outdoor Planters

These planters work outdoors in the garden, but you could easily move them indoors too!

Renovating? Don’t throw away your old bathroom light fixtures. Instead, make our bathroom light fixture planter to hang on the fence or inside on a wall.

Bathroom Light Planter

Not to be outdone by baseball, is our basketball planter. Again hang it on the fence or over the door (this hoop is made for indoor use).

For the musician, try this funky guitar planter.

It’s a bird, it’s a plane. No, it’s Superman’s phone booth!

We loved this phone booth planter so much…..,

Phone Booth Planter

… we also made a faux barn board phone booth shelf.

This upcycle also spawned our milk paint diy aka our ‘Partners in Grime’ planter.

Partner in Grime Planter

However, we weren’t done with milk painted planters. This milk painted andirondak chair teaches you how to get milk paint to stick to anything!

Partners in Grime Planter

Fancy some life sized upcyled chairs planters? To make one into a planter, check out this succulent seat cushion hypertufa planter tutorial.

Hypertufa Planter Chair

Our fire pit upcycle uses farm staple – a milker – to hold the plants.

Admittedly, our filing cabinet planter was done on a lark in Hub’s diy man cave. But if you don’t need the paper storage, go for it!

Vintage Finds

One of our favourite pastimes is antiquing and collecting vintage finds. But if you’re not a fan of rust, what can you do when you want to upcycle a vintage find? Check out our post on how to remove rust metal.

Upcycling KitchenWares

Unless something isn’t working, we like to leave valuable vintage items alone and not alter them irreversibly.

Since this toaster wasn’t working (and the wiring not likely safe), it was game on! We threw caution to the wind with how to spray paint chrome. That’s actually the chrome showing through the wording of our fun tongue ‘n cheek ‘Pop-Up Garden’!

Raid your vintage kitchenware for punny ‘Just Beat It’ air plant display.

Air Plant Display: Just Beat It!


Moving on to kitschy goodness, how about this ceramic air plant holder! I wouldn’t have altered this if it wasn’t already broken. But isn’t it wonderful as a repurposed planter?

Thrift Store Decor

This sewing table is another vintage find that we found while thrifting. It’s easy to transform furniture into an upcycled planter by adding the pegboard. Then we can add vertical shelves to hold the planters and air plants!

Hudson’s Bay Point Blanket inspired upcycle Ikea hack.

Hudsons Bay Point Blanket Inspired Upcycle & Ikea Hack

I’ve lost count how many times I’ve dropped planters filled with soil on the floor! So when it comes to air plants, we love that you don’t have to deal with soil.

Again, what do you think this glass was in a previous life? We took a glass shade and turned it into a japanese glass float using authentic japanese knots! We show you step by step how to do it in the tutorial.

A glass globe with japanese float knots used as an upcycled planter

Along those same lines is this DIY Air Plant Holder!

A glass saki bottle used as an upcycled planter

Greening your space can be as simple as finding a trio of planters for this succulent display from thrift store finds.

Upcycling Plastic Into Planters

Because so much of it ends up in the ocean where it kills marine life, we think it’s so important to upcycle plastic – like we discuss in our crochet coral reef post.

We got our inspiration for this crochet wall hanging planter from Windy Chien. Windy’s Diamond Ring is made of macrame and new wood rings. I figured out a way to get the look using a crochet technique I invented to look like macrame (I call it ‘Mock-Rame’)! And of course, we’re using an upcycle component too. These cast off rings are seals from paint cans!

Here it is hanging on our front door.

‘Mock-Rame’ Crochet Wall Hanging

However, you can easily nestle air plants onto the rings to turn it into a one-of-a-kind hanging air plant holder.

How to make Upcycled Planters from Water Bottles

There’s nothing better than free materials and saving plastic from the landfill!

You can easily make this soda bottle vertical garden by saving your own soda bottles or raiding the recycle bin like we do. Head to the post – or watch this short video – to see how this upcycled planter can brighten the drab the weather outside! When you create this look indoors, it really can tide you over until the nicer weather!

A series of 3 water bottles hung vertically in front of a window

Planters from water bottles

Seasonal Planters

Holidays and special occasions, like Valentine’s Day and Christmas, are full of repurposing inspiration. Give these planter ideas a try!

Valentines Day

The air plants in this wooden air planter holder are also perfect for Valentines day because, unlike flower, they last!

upcycled planters for valentines day can include a wooden heart box with air plants

Wooden Air Plant Holder

Canada day

Again, we’re using a vintage sewing table for this striking upcycle featuring a maple leaf on the door. But this does double duty as a drink station and a potting station – or planter for plants. Not Canadian? Use a design that celebrates YOUR country!

Upcycled Planters Ideas for Christmas

This Christmas plant decor is a cheap AND easy DIY. The metal candle holder cost us all of $3.00. Now it’s a unique Christmas tree cradling our low maintenance air plants! Isn’t it fun?upcycled planters for Christmas include this one that looks like a tree

Keeping with the Christmas tree theme, a few years ago I took a course in fused glass. And I also learned how to make the cute little felted elves like you see below! That snowballed into a whole journey of needle felting crafts, with projects including this needle felted VW beetle and this unique needle felted elf on skis sporting a colourful striped Hudson’s Bay Coat!

What do you do when your air plants have pups? You display them on these glass mini blocks! They’re an unconventional Christmas tree for anyone who doesn’t have the space for a real tree – like us!

Poinsettia Planter Ideas

Can you guess what our wooden planter box was in its former life?

It’s an upcycled tea caddy! We drink mostly loose leaf tea these days so it was begging to become a planter for these gorgeous poinsettias! Use it as a centrepiece or on a side table as shown below.

an upcycled tea caddy makes a great upcycled planter

Speaking of gorgeous poinsettias, how about this tiered plant stand? This old sewing machine base was literally about to be tossed in a skip as it was about to rain when Hubs saved it from going to the landfill. Repurposing this sewing base as a plant stand gives it a brand new purpose. But we have many more sewing table ideas beyond upcycled planters.

repuposed sewing base into upcycled planter

And here’s one final poinsettia idea.

Do you save old wine boxes from special occasions – or perhaps last Christmas? This poinsettia Christmas Decor uses a few different upcycled finds. Did you spot the vintage roller skate? We found that at our favourite outdoor market in Aberfoyle, Ontario. I don’t roller skate, but Hubs sure does. So our ‘Joy Ride’ stencil is an appropriate (and amusing) double entendre on the front of the box.

Upcycled wooden box with stencil that says Joy Ride

Poinsettia Christmas Decor

How to Upcycle Your Wood Finds into Planters

  • Clean your items thoroughly. If you’re working with wood, clean it with a mild detergent like Simple Green. Give it a light sand to prepare the surface for a finish, like paint.
  • Fix and repair. For any imperfections that might show in your finished product, use a two part epoxy wood filler for durability. Sand smooth and remove all dust.
  • Use liquid rubber to seal the inside to make it waterproof
  • Prime if you are adding a paint finish
  • Paint and seal

Miscellaneous Upcycled Planters

These planter ideas were not originally made into planters when we upcycled our thrifty finds. But you could easily adapt them!

  • For instance, along those same lines of our woven plant basket above, you could make a basket on a much bigger scale, like this dog gift basket and fill it with plants instead!
  • Or instead of making this thrifted caddy into a remote control holder, add a plant.
  • Embellish a box with embossing on metal. It would make a stunning planter!
  • Our unique tin can crafts project can hold just about anything – even plants!
  • This Satsumas IKEA plant stand has been around for ages and is still being sold. However, that make it a more likely find in the thrift store or on marketplace. If you happen to find on (or even decide to buy one), turn it into an indoor herb garden. Growing your own herbs is a great way to reduce waste!

Pin Upcycled Planters

Pinnable image for 46 amazing upcycled planters

Upcycled Planters FAQs

What can I make a large planter out of?

An old milk can makes an ideal outdoor planter because it’s made to stand up to the outdoors.

What is the best material to line a planter with?

Whereas some like plastic, we actually prefer a product called liquid rubber to line our upcycled planters because you can literally paint it on to conform to the shape of your container. So when readers ask ‘do you need to line the inside of a wooden planter’, we steer them towards liquid rubber. It can seal porous materials, like wood, to be impervious to the water you need for your plants.

Does a large planter need drainage?

Yes, all planters need drainage so plants don’t suffer root rot from water being trapped inside the container. Laura from Garden Answer has some great videos on how to drill a drain hole in various materials.

What is the best thing to put in the bottom of pots for drainage?

It’s a common mistake to put gravel, broken pots, styrofoam (i.e. packing peanuts) or any other filler, into the bottom of a planter for drainage. The best thing for your plants is to use a high quality soil in the entirety of the planter and be sure to drill a drainage hole so water can be released when the soil is fully saturated. Kevin from Epic Gardening explains the principles behind why you should stop putting gravel at the bottom of your pots.

3 thoughts on “46 Insanely Amazing Upcycled Planters You’ll Want to Make

  1. I remember many of these projects when you first posted them. I love, love, love your up-cycles. I don’t remember the toaster (fun and funny) the green crochet (lovely) and a few others. You two know how to have a good time. I hope you’re feeling well, Sara.

    • Thank you so much Alys! I think you were one of our very first subscribers so it’s no wonder you remember so many of these :). I’m feeling much better and hope to make up for some lost time with new projects this year! I’m happy to put last year behind me. I hope we both have a fun and uplifting year ahead in 2024!

      • Three cheers for a new and improved year, Sara. I like knowing that I was an early subscriber. I’m amazed how we find like-minded folks through blogging. It’s been fun.

        I’m glad you are feeling better and ready to take on new projects. That is music to my ears.

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