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MAKE: Plastic Herb Planters

MAKE magazine brings the do-it-yourself mindset to all the exciting projects in your life and helps you make the most of technology at home and away from home. Projects in the magazine range from old-school balsa wood and tissue-paper airplanes to what to do to keep aging high-tech gadgets alive to building autonomous robots from junk.

In this post, MAKE contributor Tiffany Threadgould shares how to make planters from plastic containers.

MAKE planters

Do you have a pile of plastic containers you never use? Put them to work by creating a plastic herb garden paradise. It’s a great way to recycle your plastic, plus it puts fresh herbs at your fingertips.

Stuff You'll Need:

  • Plastic containers
  • Plastic Lids
  • Scrap wood
  • Rocks
  • Potting soil
  • Seeds
  • Drill
  • Drill bits

MAKE planters

Step 1: Select Containers

Containers that work best are ones that are solid in color. Clear and translucent containers can grow mold inside, so it’s best to stay away from those. Choose a lid for each container that fits comfortably under the base. This will collect water overflow.

We used all the scrap plastic we could get our hands on for this project: food storage containers, a Frisbee, a small bucket, even a plastic piggy bank. You’ll be surprised at the plastic scrap you can dig up once you start looking.

MAKE planters

Step 2: Drill a Water Drainage Hole

Place the scrap wood on a flat surface and center the bottom of your container on the wood. Drill a hole in the bottom center of the container. Make sure that the plastic is flush against the wood, otherwise the plastic can bend and crack.

MAKE planters

Step 3: Plant Your Seeds

Place several medium-sized rocks in the bottom of the container. This will help the water drain through the pot. Fill the rest of the container with potting soil until it reaches about 1⁄2" from the top. Place the container atop the lid.

Put your seeds or plants into the soil, and then sit back and watch them grow.

Have you made planters from everyday objects? Share in the comments!

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Mary Barnes says …

This is a great idea and I will try it! Also in addition to herbs, green onions and lettuce can be grown similarily. Instead of throwing the green onion bulbs away, put the bulb into a container of water on a window sill and they will grow like crazy. I just snip the ends whe I want to cook with them. I understand that lettuce can be grown exactly the same, that is my next project!!!

Janine Rose says …

I love this!! I could go to the thrift shop and do all my planter shopping. Thanks.