How to Make a Plant Stand


Recently, I came across this photo of a lovely little Scandinavian-inspired planter. It was perfect to house the various clippings and pieces taken from my larger pothos, which had since outgrown its original pot. While I was tempted to immediately find one for purchase, I also knew I could make it with supplies I had lying around. And while I was at it: why not add legs!

Granted, I do have quite the collection of DIY materials, but the star of this show is actually something quite unexpected. While rummaging through my apartment for something to affix wood dowels to, I stopped in my tracks at the recycling bin—last night’s red sauce remnants would make the perfect little plant holder. The sides of the can are straight (perfect for gluing onto), and the bottom is easily poked to create drainage holes. Winner!

The fun thing about this DIY, too, is that it’s totally customizable to whatever size vessel you have lying around. If you happen to have a big ol’ bird of paradise that needs a home in an industrial bucket, that would work. Or if, like me, you wanted to pot some propagation babies into something more attractive, a discarded 28oz tomato can works like a charm. You can also choose to stain or paint it any color after assembling—I liked the look of natural wood.

So, before you take the recycling out this week, read on for the best way to upcycle your leftover cans into professional-looking plant stands.

What You’ll Need:

Cutting wood pieces to size with a hand saw, it’s super easy, I swear!

Photo by Caroline Mullen

Poking some drainage holes in the bottom of the can.

Photo by Caroline Mullen

What You’ll Do:

  1. First things first: prepare your chosen can or vessel. I did this project with both a leftover tomato can and a quart paint can, both to the same effect. Remove paper, soak paint off (leave it overnight in hot soapy water), and scrub off any food residue to get your can ready for decoration.
  2. Next, drill or poke a few holes with a hammer and nail into the bottom of the can for drainage. I added some rocks to the bottom before potting soil as well, just to ensure my plant’s roots remained happy and well-drained.
  3. Cut three wooden blocks to act as the legs of the stand depending on the size of your base vessel. I used these pieces of craft wood because I had them in my stash, but a trip to your local hardware or craft store would present you with plenty of options.
  4. Hot-glue the legs to the bottom of your vessel, spacing them evenly apart. I recommend getting to eye level with the bottoms of the legs to ensure they’re nice and straight. Then run a bead of glue around the edges of the legs where they meet the can, just for added security.
  5. This next part takes a little patience: Cut enough wood dowels to cover the whole can, slightly bigger than the height of the it (to hide the bottom and rim of the can from view) with a hand saw, or a miter saw if you’ve got it!
  6. Hot glue all the wood dowels vertically around the outside of the vessel, being sure to keep them lined up evenly.
  7. Plop your plant in her new stand and give her a good watering. She’s going to be so happy here!
Hot gluing the legs onto the bottom of the can.

Photo by Caroline Mullen

Adding the final touches—wooden dowels around the whole can.

Photo by Caroline Mullen

Any other ideas for how to upcycle used cans? Tell us below!

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