Make your own plant pot


Plant pots and containers can be expensive and are often made from plastic. Make your own from things you have at home to reduce waste and save money. Get creative and add a personal touch to brighten up your home or create a thoughtful gift for someone special.  

You can use pretty much any container, box, tin or pot to grow in – below are four easy ways to turn things you have at home into a home for your plant.

Top tip: make sure your pot has proper drainage and that it’s the right size for your plant. Read your plant label or seed pack for handy information.


Make a plant pot from empty steel and tin cans

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  1. Wash and drain the can well.

  2. Remove the labels of the cans using hot water and dish soap.

  3. Use a hammer and nail to add drainage holes in the bottom. You can also use a drill with large drill bit if you prefer a large hole for drainage.

  4. If painting the can, do this now. Unleash your creativity to create a truly unique plant pot.

  5. Once the can is dry, add a layer of small stones/gravel at the bottom for drainage.

  6. Top with soil and plant your seeds or plant.

  7. Place on top of a plate or saucer in a suitable location.

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Make a plant pot from a colander or cutlery holder

  1. Colanders, cutlery holders or similar are perfect for holding plants as they have ready-made holes.

  2. Place on top of a saucer or plate if using inside, or line with a plastic bag that you’ve pierced drainage holes through.

  3. You can easily convert to a hanging basket with a little chain or rope.

Make a plant pot from a cardboard box

  1. Choose a sturdy, corrugated cardboard box rather than thin cardboard like a cereal box.

  2. Reinforce the bottom and any weak corners on the sides and top of the box with one or two strips of duct tape (or similar). Fold or tape the top box flaps down so they're pushed tight against the inside of the box.

  3. Decorate your box with colourful paper, paints, twigs or buttons – let the kids unleash their creativity.

  4. Poke several holes spaced about 4 inches apart in the bottom of the box for drainage, using a punch tool or screwdriver.

  5. Line the box with a plastic bag to keep it dry and extend its life (remember to also poke drainage holes through the bag and out the bottom of the box).

  6. If your box breaks down, slip it inside a new, slightly larger box. Remember to poke new drainage holes in the bottom of the new box.

  7. Tip: If moving the plant to a permanent spot in the ground, you can plant the cardboard too as it will biodegrade.


Make a plant pot from a milk or juice carton

  1. Empty and wash the carton with soap and water. Dry completely.

  2. Decide how deep you want the container to be, and draw a line around the carton where you want to cut. Use a sharp scissor or serrated knife to cut. Use a screwdriver, knife or scissors to poke a couple of holes in the bottom of the carton. This will allow any excess water to drain out of your planter.

  3. Decorate your carton with colourful paper or paint.

  4. Add soil, your seeds or plants, and place on a sunny windowsill on top of a plate of saucer.

    Tip: you can use the same technique for yoghurt pots, strawberry punnets, mushroom trays or similar.

Share how you #GiveItAGrow

Growing wildflowers in worn-out wellies? Sown lettuce seeds in an old biscuit tin? We’d love to see how you #GiveItAGrow.

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