How to Build a Plant Container


Plant containers are lovely additions to a yard or patio. Their impermanent nature ensures that they can be rearranged with the time of day or season to benefit the plants they hold. Plant containers do not necessarily have to be purchased, but can be easily made from common household objects.

Step 1

Select a plastic container that will be used for the inside of the planter. Containers such as milk gallons, soda bottles, old buckets or even old disposable planter containers are excellent. Clean the container with antibacterial soap and water to remove any access dirt and bacteria from the container. If using a container with a closed top, carefully cut away the top to allow an opening large enough for planting.

Step 2

Drill five 1/4-inch holes in the bottom of the container, one on each edge and one in the middle. This will allow for proper drainage of extra water and prevent root rot.

Step 3

Glue the wood shims to the outside of the container, making sure they align evenly with the ground and cover slightly past the opening of the container. Place the planter in a warm, dry place and allow the glue to dry for at least 24 hours.

Step 4

Paint the wood shims with wood preservative to extend their life. Allow the wood preservative to dry completely before filling the planter.

Step 5

Fill the planter by first placing a 1-inch layer of gravel at the bottom. This will further assist with proper drainage, ensuring that the holes do not become clogged with soil. Fill the plastic portion of the container with potting soil and plant the desired plants or seeds.

Things You'll Need

  • Plastic container of any desired shape
  • Drill with 1/4-inch bit
  • Medium-sized gravel rocks
  • Potting soil
  • Wood shims, any color
  • Wood glue
  • Wood preservative
  • Paintbrush


  • Self-Watering Planter
  • Wood Planter
Keywords: planter, plant container, household container

About this Author

Ann White is a freelance journalist with prior experience as a Corporate and Business Attorney and Family Law Mediator. She has written for multiple university newspapers and has published over 300 articles for publishers such as EHow and Garden Guides. White earned her Juris Doctor from Thomas Jefferson School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts in English literature.