Homemade/DIY Houseplant Pots

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I like to use terracotta pots. They’re cheap, look good, and they’re great for wicking water away from roots and adding in a bit of air around the roots.

But OF COURSE there are some plants that are all ‘but I like my soil to be a bit moist all the time’ and ‘my roots are stuck to the clay, haaaalp’.

I mean, why would there not be? Life’s just so much more fun when there’s picky bastards everywhere.

And then there’s the other problem. Have you ever tried to find a nice ceramic pot with a hole in the bottom? They’re rare than hen’s teeth.

SO what are we left with? Yip, fucking PLASTIC. FFS.

Whilst there is more and more effort going into recycling plastic plant pots, we all know that it’s far better to reuse than it is to recycle. Hence this post.

So, if you’re after some cheap and cheerful alternative to plant pots, read on!

Yoghurt pots

I saw someone using yoghurt pots as planters on a subreddit, and they were right: it is genius. The pots are sturdy whilst being flimsy enough to poke drainage holes in the bottom, fine, fine, fine.

The genius part?

They come with a lid that you can repurpose as a saucer.


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Tin cans

Tin cans may not come with their own saucer but they are pretty aesthetically pleasing. And whilst it’s not actually easy to drill holes in the bottom, it’s not impossible. Nothing a few minutes with a corkscrew couldn’t fix.

I plan on using cans next year, because they’re a good size for smallish plants, and they’ll swell on the open shelving in the kitchen. Since I’m a baked bean enthusiast, the cans won’t be hard to come by.

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There’s quite the keeping-plants-in-drawers movement on Pinterest, and I do think it looks pretty cool, especially when they’re all cascading out of there.

Again you can make short work of adding drainage holes if you can get your paws on a drill.

Do people have random drawers hanging around? I suppose if you’re an avid thrift shop/car boot sale goer, there are probs a lot available in the furniture-as-planter niche. Must get better at thrifting.

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Storage containers

Again, Pinterest LOVES a suitcase planter.

And again, I don’t have a spare suitcase. I imagine it’s thrift stores for the win again. I would think you’ll get the best selection around September when everyone’s been on vacation, and can’t be arsed to put the suitcase back in the loft.

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Ok, I love a plant in a teacup as much as the next person, but what about drainage holes? Seriously? The water’s just going to sit there, and your plant will die in the world’s cutest swamp.



You could plausibly drill a hole in the ceramic if you’re careful/know what you’re doing.

Or (and this is what I’m planning on doing) you could use crockery for little propagation vessels. How freaking cute would that be?

You can use crockery as a cachepot – just dump the plant in, nursery pot and all.

I have a lot of reusable coffee cups. Like, a lot. Especially for someone who never buys coffee to take away. I drink coffee at home and work for free and nowhere else (ok, it’s not free at home, but it’s £1 for the ground coffee from the Coop).

However, I am vegan.

‘So?’ I hear you ask. ‘Pray Caroline what does being vegan have to do with keep cups?’

Fellow vegans will already know – people buy me them as gifts. I get at least one per Christmas and birthday, which over the years has…mounted up.

They make the cutest little cachepots, and if I ever take up carrying coffee around, I’ll be more than ready.

Random decor

Candelabra, sinks, chairs, shoes, trumpets, birdcages, clocks, colanders, tote bags…seriously, search ‘repurpose for planters’ on Pinterest. I’m sorry, but someone used a doll’s head as a planter.

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There’s loads of articles on making origami plant pots, which I’m very interested in. I’m not repotting anything until it gets a bit warmer but I’ll link my favourite tutorials when I’ve tried a few.

If the repurposed toilet roll planters work, I’ll save a small fortune in tiny plant pots.

I’m dubious though. Paper and water are notorious enemies, no? And I’m a thorough waterer because I have a tendency towards neglect over killing with kindness. When I do water, I like to make sure the soil is soaked through.

Only one way to find out if they work!

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Candle jars

I don’t like candles, for reasons I will now explain:

  1. I have a fish tank, and you mustn’t burn candles near fish because they poison the water, and if they poison the water, I’m sure they’re not the greatest for our lungs
  2. Scented candles make me want to vomit. It’s rare I find a candle I can tolerate for more than 20 minutes.
  3. I used to run a personal finance blog for people who were trying to save money on minimum wage. The idea of spending money on something that designed to be set on fire but neither warms you nor cooks food just… isn’t something I can recommend.

Ok, that’s waaay off piste. If you like candles, you can wash the jar out afterwards and use it as a planter. Pinterest is, again, bananas about this, so take a peek over there.

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See. DIY. I’m sceptical.

Like…won’t they just go soggy and gross? You’d also run the risk of leaving ink marks on your furniture every time you water. Still, I’ll give it a go in spring!

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Decorating pots

Check out the Jungle Haven on YouTube – she keeps most of her plants in nursery pots and decorates them using macarame string (rope? twine?) and a glue gun, she also attaches lace and stuff.

I’m gonna have ago at crocheting plant pot covers. I had the idea to make amigurumi things for Christmas presents, bought all the stuff, changed my mind (cba) and gifted most of it to my sister-in-law, BUT I have a tonne of yarn left and I like crocheting so why not?! I’ll let you know how it goes – watch this space!

I think we’re onto a winner with both tin cans and yoghurt pots, but I appreciate that there isn’t a yoghurt pot in the world big enough to fit my bipinnatifidum in. I can get industrial-sized tin cans from work though!

If you want big-ass tin cans, ask at an Italian restaurant. I say Italian because they’re the most likely to use especially large tins of tomatoes, but I bet you could get them from Indian restaurants too.

Caroline Cocker

Caroline is the founder and writer (and plant keeper) of Planet Houseplant

9 thoughts on “Homemade/DIY Houseplant Pots”

  1. I think I’d be a bit wary about tin cans because a) sharp edges and B) rust stains, but I can see yoghurt pots working well! Or hummus pots, marg pots, mushroom tubs, (great for water dishes), I use cute cups for water dishes too (I have a lot of water dishes) and saucers also work great for this!

  2. It’s so true about the cans, but I do use them for herbs that only last a couple of months. I’m in the market for a drill bit that won’t smash ceramic so I can make everything a pot (with drainage holes)!

  3. Thanks so much for the suggestion – I’ve been wanting to be brave and start drilling stuff! There’s always so many nice vases in my local thrift shop that would be perfect planters.

  4. Only parafin wax candles. Soy and bees wax based candles are fine to burn around fishtank.

    I agree scented candles often seem made to give headaches than to relieve them

  5. Ohh mi, ohh my!
    Here I sit after dragging myself buggy, trying to figure out how to keep the the funk from growing on the outside of my plant pot that sits in a flatter, plastic water catcher, and inside that water catcher when it dries out.
    So I get online to look for ideas and came across this site.
    Bwaahaaahaaa hehe.
    Coroline, I love your sense of humor.
    What a great read.
    From the get go, about ‘how life is more fun with those picky bastards’, till the end, I got a kick off reading this.
    Just what I needed as I was about to get grumpy.
    Bravo Coroline, great site, good info.
    Was it in the Joe Dirt movie, where he says,
    ” Life’s Like A Garden, Dig It”!!
    Thank you and take care,

  6. Thank so much, I’m glad you liked it. As far as I’m aware, there’s no easy way to stop saucers from getting funky BUT you can hide it by buying self watering pots (the kind with the string to wick up water). You can use the like normal pots, but use the outer pot like a saucer so you can’t see the grimness within!

  7. That is a great idea. I shall give that a try. Oh, and thank you for the speedy response and sharing your knowledge. Take care.

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