Decorating Ideas

How To Turn Any Single-Use Plastic Container Into a Beautiful Eco-Friendly Planter

Tehrene Firman

Photo: Getty Images

Anyone whose home is filled with plants knows buying a pot for every single one of those green beauties can get really expensive. But Megan McSherry, the creator of the sustainable living blog Acteevism, came up with a simple way to give your plant babies a pretty new home and help save the planet in the process.

Single-use plastic is of the world’s biggest polluters. It’s not often recycled, and whatever makes it to landfills will be sitting there for years, as it’s un-biodegradable. In 2018 alone, landfills received 27 million tons. And by 2050, it’s estimated that there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish. McSherry wants to help solve that problem with a simple solution. In a video on TikTok that’s garnered more than 500,000 views, she shared her idea to turn single-use plastic containers into planters.

“Just because it’s single-use plastic doesn’t mean it can only be used once. My favorite thing to do with old plastic containers is turn them into pots for my plants,” she said. “I have acquired quite a few new plants since moving into my new apartment, and many of them needed to be replanted. I got crafty and upcycled this butter container. A quick coat of paint and some drainage holes in the bottom, and I had a brand new planter just like that.”

McSherry has also made planters out of a sorbet tub, popcorn container, and more. You can use her method for whichever type of container you have at home. And, fun fact: By adding a little baking soda to your paint, you can give the planter a clay-like look and texture that rivals any ceramic pots you’ll find at the store. She’s also wrapped the container with macrame string, which gives it an instant boho vibe. Here’s exactly how to make your very own upcycled planter.

@acteevismit’s only single-use plastic if you use it once!!!!!! #learnontiktok #tiktokpartner #diyplanter #upcycling #planttok♬ She Walks On By – BLVKSHP

How to make an upcycled planter with a plastic container

  1. Flip your single-use plastic container upside down.
  2. Use a hammer and nail to carefully make a drainage hole in the middle of the bottom of your container.
  3. Stir a little baking powder into your acrylic paint until it’s smooth. This will give the paint a ceramic look once it dries.
  4. Use a brush to coat the entire outside of your container. Don’t coat the inside.
  5. If your container comes with a lid, paint that as well to use as a saucer. This will keep water from making a mess when you water your plants.
  6. Allow your new upcycled planter to completely dry, then pot your plant.

The best plants to put in every room of your home:


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