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Planter/Flowerpot DIY

Hello! Here are some dos and don’ts for creating flowerpots or planters at home along with some ideas for making your own planters.


  • Chose a container that is deep enough for the roots of your plant
  • Use materials that will not rust or rot
  • Make sure to add drainage holes. I find that making two small cuts in the shape of a letter V to make a small triangle hole perfect for drainage. See the details on my milk jug planter for a visual!


  • Use old tin cans that will rust quickly
  • Use untreated wood that will rot
  • Try to paint plastic – it will chip off instantly. If you are going to decorate your planter, use a primer or coat it in tape first.

Some ideas for planters

Milk jug hanging planter: To make a hanging planter for my porch, I up-cycled an old milk jug. First I cut off the top portion while leaving the handle intact. Then I made holes in the bottom of the planter. To decorate it I painted strips of masking tape and wrapped them around the planter. If you want to hang the planter, you can make two holes in the front and run string or twin through them. Then loop the string around the handle of the jug, and you have a hanging planter! Look through the images below for visuals.

Benefits to this container: If your plant needs diffuse light (not direct light) this is great to hang in a window with the handle facing the light. The clear plastic will diffuse the light for your plant

Other plastic containers: On the right of this picture is a old cheese container, and on the left is a vitamin bottle with the top cut off. Both had drainage holes cut into the bottom.

Yogurt containers for seedlings

Yogurt container are great for vegetable seedlings: If you are starting your seedlings inside, old yogurt containers make a great pot for your plants. Here I started a series of tomato plants that will eventually go to either my personal garden or the CCO Earth garden!

Gallon buckets as planters

Gallon buckets for outdoor plants: If you want to plant something slightly bigger, then a gallon bucket can work perfectly. You can put pepper plants in them and stick a small wire trellis in the bucket too. For putting holes in your bucket, you will need a drill or something similar. An exacto-knife will not cut through the bucket, and if you try to force it you risk cracking the bottom of the bucket.

As always, email earth@ku.edu if you have questions or want to share pictures of your plants or planting set up!

Yours in conservation,

Laura & Sydney/CCO Earth <3