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How to Make a Plant Pot From a Milk Carton

By Mandi Rogier ; Updated September 21, 2017

Empty milk cartons are almost sure to be among the many discarded items filling your trash can. These containers are large and unwieldy, and adding such a frequently used item to the trash often seems like a waste. Come spring time, those discarded cartons can serve a new purpose as creative plant pots. Use milk carton planters to get seeds started or as containers for flowers and plants year round.

Empty and rinse the milk cartons as best as possible to eliminate any lingering milk.

Draw a line in permanent marker around the milk carton, designating the depth of your desired container. Avoid using washable markers, as they will bleed and smear on the carton’s slick surface.

Poke a hole about half way up the carton using scissors and begin cutting around the carton from this point until the top half has been removed.

Wash the inside of the milk carton again, with water and mild soap; rinse thoroughly.

Poke holes in the bottom of the milk jug with scissors or a hammer and nail. These holes will allow the soil to drain properly. Keep the milk carton on a ceramic plate or dish to catch excess water if it will be used indoors.

Decorate the outside of the milk carton planter with paint, stickers or foam cut outs.

Fill the milk carton plant pot with soil and plant your flowers or seeds as usual.


Things You Will Need

  • Milk carton
  • Permanent marker
  • Scissors
  • Mild soap
  • Paint, stickers or foam shapes


  • Have children paint their name on the planters to designate their own special garden spaces, or cover the containers in neutral shades of paint for planters that will blend in with the rest of the garden space.

About the Author


Mandi Rogier is a freelance writer who enjoys writing about a wide range of topics. As a previous employee of Walt Disney World, she enjoys writing travel articles that make use of her extensive knowledge of Orlando theme parks.