I must have been feeling ambitious last December because I made a fairly long list of resolutions for the new year.  So far, keeping up with them hasn’t been too difficult. In fact it’s been pretty enjoyable (with the exception of running. I’ll never be a runner.) But, the most enjoyable has been finding ways to create less waste. We started a compost pile, we make an effort to purchase items with little or no packaging and we do lots and lots of crafts with recyclables. My daughter is a big fan of toilet paper roll binoculars, but my favorite recyclable craft is transforming trash into pretty plant containers. There’s something really beautiful and ironic about a plant growing out of what would have been just another piece of junk in a landfill. I like to think of it as my tiny contribution towards helping nature reclaim the planet.

Select some cans from the recycle bin. You can remove the labels if you’re going for a simpler look. Personally, I prefer to leave them on. I’m a sucker for good packaging design. Give them a quick rinse.

Flip the cans over. Use a mini drill bit to carefully drill three or four evenly spaced holes in the bottom of the can. This will ensure that the container has adequate drainage to prevent overwatering and rust.

Now, just fill the can with some well-draining potting soil and insert your plant of choice. Golden Pothos do really well in these containers because they don’t require a ton of water. (The plant shown below is a baby lettuce plant that I started from an old head from the grocery store. You can learn how to do that here. ) A recycled plant in a recycled container!
And that’s it. More plants, less waste! Happy recycling, friends.

Post author: Emily De Nicolais exclusively for ohdeardrea. To see more of Emily’s work, click HERE


  1. I did something like this with your succulent propagations tips and killed them all! It poured rain one day I accidentally left them out… Will have to try again! Love these posts!!

  2. Any issues with leaching from the metal tins, especially for edible plants?

  3. i love to collect old tins at antique shops – i love their labels! i will have to keep in mind i can have a purpose for them next time i want to purchase one!

  4. If you use them indoors, what would you suggest to stop the water from draining all over the floor?