How to Repurpose a Trash Can Into a Planter

Last year the idea came to me to repurpose plastic containers from the Dollar Store into planters. As I was recently shopping for planters, this idea came back to me as I was hesitant to spend money on even the cheapest large pots. (Sometimes I’m a tightwad.)

DIY repurposed trash can planter plastic container garden permanent marker abstract pattern tutorial

Continue reading to find out how to make this cheap but stylish planter for a handful of dollars.

I headed to the aisle with small trash cans and bins & found a basic white one for $4, score! The can is nothing special, although it is larger than most office trash cans you see in stores:

DIY repurposed trash can planter plastic container garden permanent marker abstract pattern tutorial

Wondering if the plastic used in trash cans was a different variety than the plastic used in actual planters, I did some research. Someone suggested that as long as the plastic is the food grade (#2 or #5), it should be okay. So, make sure you check out the bottom of the container for the number inside the recycle triangle first if you’re using your trash can planter for an edible plant.

I did the same thing as last year, drilling drainage holes into the bottom of the trash can. I’ve had luck with standard drill bits, probably since the plastic is somewhat thin. Be careful not to use too much force that you crack the plastic.

To personalize my planter, I wanted to add a design. I love how typography, letters and cursive writing can be used as art, so I took inspiration from this and drew on scribbly lines with a permanent marker. They remind me of graffiti, sloppy cursive and what you see on an EKG monitor. This process was very easy since it was entirely freehand and in the moment. (I love art where you can make mistakes and it adds to the finished product.)

DIY repurposed trash can planter plastic container garden permanent marker abstract pattern tutorial

I added soil and my plant and admired its unique beauty. The oblong shape of the trash can complements the form of the fern and its leaves. This is my first ostrich fern and I hear they like to grow large, so hopefully I won’t have to transplant it later into a larger container.

DIY repurposed trash can planter plastic container garden permanent marker abstract pattern tutorial

Now, what else can I scribble on and call decor…

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4 thoughts on “How to Repurpose a Trash Can Into a Planter

  1. Pingback: How to Repurpose a Trash Can Into a Planter | Potted Plant Society

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