How to Make Planters Out of Plastic Bottles

Woman holding strings of plastic bottle planter

The Spruce / Candace Madonna

The art of upcycling takes common household objects and gives them new life: wooden pallets become vertical planter boxes, mason jars turn into vases, and fussy old dressers transform into chic home bars.

Despite our best efforts to green our homes, single use plastic bottles are hard to avoid, especially when it comes to our bath products. While we're avid recyclers, nothing beats the satisfaction of turning household waste into something useful. For this project, we decided to make something for our fellow plant parents out there and turned a plastic soap bottle into a chic planter.


How to Make a Plastic Bottle Planter

The shape and size of the bottle you choose for this project doesn't matter too much. Whether it's an empty lotion, body wash or soda bottle, it can be transformed into a home for your plants.

  1. Gather Your Materials and Set Up Your Workspace

    Lay out newspaper or kraft paper to protect your workspace from any paint spills. You'll need the following to complete your bottle planter:

    Supplies needed for plastic bottle planter
    The Spruce / Candace Madonna


    • Used plastic bottle, washed out and dried
    • Newspaper or kraft paper
    • Acrylic paint
    • Masking tape
    • Potting soil
    • Plant
    • Twine
    • Pebbles (Optional)


    • Scissors
    • Paintbrushes
    • Hole punch
    • Spoon or shovel for potting soil
    • Sandpaper (Optional)
  2. Cut Your Bottle in Half

    Use your scissors your bottle in half, and recycle the top portion. If the edges are rough or uneven, you can use sandpaper to file it down.

    Cutting plastic bottle in half
    The Spruce / Candace Madonna
  3. Paint and Let Dry

    Take a paintbrush and color of your choice and decorate your bottle in any way you like. We prefer clean, minimal designs, but the final look is up to you! For our planters, we used masking tape to create a crisp half-painted look. No matter your design, let your planter dry for at least two hours.

    Painting the plastic bottle planter
    The Spruce / Candace Madonna
  4. Punch Holes and Add String

    Use the hole punch to add holes on each side of the planter. Then take your twine and measure out enough slack to make a hanging planter. Double (or triple) knot the ends.

    Hole punching bottle planter
    The Spruce / Candace Madonna
  5. Repot Your Plant

    Add holes to the bottom of the planter with your scissors for drainage or add pebbles if you prefer. Add a bit of potting soil and repot your plant.

    Planting plant in plastic bottle container
    The Spruce / Candace Madonna 
  6. Hang and Enjoy

    Find a spot for your planter, hang, and enjoy. You've got a chic new accent piece!

    Woman holding up plastic bottle planter
    The Spruce / Candace Madonna