18 Household Items to Use as a Planter

A pink teacup with succulents planted in it.

Flowers and plants add color and a cozy touch to any indoor or outdoor space—but you don't have to stick with boring, conventional containers to house your blooms or greenery. Get creative and make use of items already in your home (or even in the pile that is headed to the donation center). Below are lots of creative planter ideas that you can use in your garden or around the house.

1. Tea Cups

Create a cute gift or decoration for your desk by using a coffee mug or tea cup as a planter. Small plants such as succulents are a good choice since they typically don't grow fast and will stay suited to the size of the container.

2. Crate With Moss

Metal or wood crates can give an industrial or rustic look to your home decor. To keep the dirt inside the crate, line it with plastic and fill with moss.

3. Tin Cans

Blue flowers in a blue tin can hanging on a fence.

Everyone has a few tin cans around, so this option is an easy one to find. To prepare them, simply remove the labels, wash, and dry. (You may want to sand the top edges down if they're sharp.) Add personal flair with paint or leave them as-is for a metallic look.

4. Glass Jars

Glass jars make beautiful planters, especially when you can see the roots growing up the sides. Use mason jars or any style you can find at a flea market for cheap.

5. Watering Can

Create a whimsical display with the watering can tipped on its side or hanging from a pergola with long flowers or vines hanging down.

6. Baskets

A white basket with white flowers in it.

By lining a basket with plastic before adding dirt, you can retain moisture while using such a readily available container. While you can definitely use baskets indoors, you can make use of them outside under covered patios for colorful annual flowers.

7. Vases

Vases can be used for more than cut flowers. Why not use them to pot a plant? Even the clear glass varieties can offer an artistic glimpse of growing roots.

8. Crock

Smaller kitchen crocks are great for condensed plants like cactus. Or, use the very large pickling crocks for an arrangement of several succulents or cacti.

9. Toilet

A toilet with flowers in it as part of landscaping.

You’ve seen them before and there’s a reason. It’s a great way to add character to your yard! With a little bit of cleaning and/or a fresh coat of paint, that used toilet can get new life, brimming with colorful flowers.

10. Coffee or Tea Cans

Large metal or plastic coffee cans are the perfect planter for adding extra flair to your patio arrangement or house décor. Just be sure to drill a hole in the bottom for drainage.

11. Steins

Vintage steins make a fun planter, especially with plants that grow straight up rather than drooping over the sides and covering the design. Try an aloe vera plant for this!

12. Strainer

A strainer with a cacti in it hanging on a fence.

If you have an extra colander around the house, you have a planter! These are also common at thrift stores and flea markets and make a fun option for your plants inside or outside the house. If using indoors, line with plastic before filling with soil.

13. Shoe Organizer

Hanging shoe organizers have many great uses, but nothing brings them to life like a living herb garden! Simply fill each pouch with dirt and fertilizer and insert your small herb plants. This can hang indoors in direct sunlight or even hook onto the garden gate.

14. Wooden Boxes

Wooden boxes can be acquired at most flea markets or thrift shops. For a few dollars you can create a unique planter. If you want to change the look, simply paint the box or sand it down and stain it a different color.

15. Fishbowl

A glass bowl with a succulent planted in it.

Fishbowls make a great planter because of their large opening for plants. Create interesting layers with gravel and soil that you can see through the glass.

16. Paint Cans

Paint the paint can. Use your imagination to match any theme. Start by painting it a solid color such as black or white. Add a child’s hand print for a teacher’s or Mother’s Day gift. The options are endless!

17. Rain Boots

When their utility as footwear is done, add dirt to create a whimsical front porch display.

18. Burlap Sack

A burlap bag with a plant growing in it.

If you have extra feed bags around, roll down the sides, fill with dirt, and plant away. Burlap offers great drainage while holding everything together. Plus, it adds a rustic touch to any garden area.