How-To: Re-Purposed Plant Pots

Being a thrifty lass, I’ve never been inclined to spend large sums of money on vessels to hold my ever-expanding plant collection. Sure, there’s been extravagances, but mostly I’ve scavenged, re-purposed and made my own pots during the last decade of cultivating rental gardens.

It’s simple – all you have to do is make sure you’re fulfilling your plant’s needs. Ensuring there’s drainage and that the vessel can hold soil and moisture is about as complicated as it gets. Once you’ve ticked those boxes the sky’s the limit. Get creative!

Here are some ideas to help you create your own re-purposed pot garden.


I’ve made a number of planters out of teapots with broken spouts. Just drill a hole in the base and you’re done.


I once found a roll of solid plastic cord at Reverse Garbage (my spiritual home). Having no serious purpose for it, I squirrelled it home, pondering what I could do with such a great find. Soon enough there was a photoshoot about to happen in my backyard and I needed something nice to hang my plants in.

I remembered the cord, found some wire, and wove hanging pots out of the cord. I got quite fast at it and soon enough my tree was hanging with plants in wild new houses. They’re still there and I love them.


I went through a phase a few years back involving buying cups and saucers from op-shops drilling a hole in the bottom of the cup and planting them out. The saucer then catches the water, like a pot saucer. Brilliant ‘eh?


I’ve found lots of beautiful ceramics that may not be usable in the house due to being cracked. They’re sent to the op shop and then I find them, drill a hole in the bottom and put a plant in. I love being able to give an old vessel new life.


Old saucepans make great pots, particularly for plants that don’t mind it hot – think cactus and succulents. All you have to do is make sure you nail a few holes in the bottom of the pan (make sure it’s definitely something you’re never going to use again) for drainage, plant your plant, and Bob’s your uncle.


DRILL BITS: If you’re keen on drilling holes into ceramics you’ll need either a diamond or a masonry drill bit – diamond is for porcelain, and masonry is for clay. You can probably just use a diamond for everything though (they are a girl’s best friend, after all). I have both and use interchangeably.

CREATIVITY: Don’t limit yourself creatively! All you have to do is keep in mind the functional requirements of a pot – the rest is a free for all. Get curious, get experimental, have FUN!

SENSITIVE RE-USE: The problem with making holes in the bottom of kitchenware and crockery is that it makes the object redundant in it’s previous role (usually holding water/liquid). I guess I’d suggest a bit of sensitivity here – make sure the thing you’re about to transform is past its use-by date – It may be rusted, or cracked or broken in some way which means it’s un-usable in the kitchen but perfect for a plant pot.

Play. Create. Grow. GO!