DIY Repurpose Vintage Dishes into Planters

I have a real love for functional decor, buying things to repurpose, AND plants. If you love all of those things, too, then keep reading. Because today I’m going to show you how I repurpose Vintage dishes into planters.

Repurposed vintage dishes and other unique items like an avon rabbit turned into planters. Dishes and decor styled on wooden shelves in my dining room.

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I would say that I am an avid thrifter. In fact, I find great things regularly in my local thrift shop just down the road.

Increasingly I am finding items with missing pieces. For example, these two beautiful soup tureens were missing their lids and spoons. Also, I think I paid $3 for one and $7 for the other. Therefore I simply couldn’t leave them there, hopeless, alone, and scared for their futures.

The hope is always to find a repurpose for them and to give them a new life. But also, an easy project that would be quick!

Two vintage soup tureens that I repurposed into planters sitting on a vintage dresser. A dozen brass candlesticks sitting on the top. A vintage painting on the wall.

Vintage Dish Quest: Tips for Finding the Perfect Pieces for Your Planters

Beauty is lovely to admire, but I prefer to keep things that have more than just the appeal of looks. Therefore, they need to be functional to take up space in my home.

Enter a great idea, more like an epiphany, to use them as planters! What could be a better idea than to find a unique way to repurpose vintage dishes into planters? Not only is it budget-friendly, but it is a way to give them a new use.

My favorite place to score these gems is typically in a thrift store, but there are quite a few other places you should be looking at as well!

Vintage magnifying glass icon with a green background.

Where to Shop for Old Dishes for Your Garden

I hope to inspire you to try repurposing some vintage dishes into planters in a few creative ways. But first, let’s find you a few. So, here are my favorite places to look:

  • Social Media Communities. Like Facebook Marketplace, Groups, or Small Instagram Shops
  • Garage Sales or Yard Sale. Nothing says inexpensive and vintage quite like someone else trying to unload their junk, I mean priceless possessions!
  • Charity Shops or Thrift Stores. Literally, the best place to find unusual dishes to become your new plant pots. Also, the best part is they’re usually being sold for pennies.
  • Antique Store or Flea Market. If you don’t mind paying a bit more, this can be a gold mine. Because it’s literally aisles and aisles of repurposed planter ideas. You’re sure to find your ideal container.

From Thrift Store to Garden: How to Choose the Perfect Dish for Your Plants

Antique & vintage dishes can make for unique and charming planters that can add a touch of personality to any space. Whether you’re an avid gardener or just looking for a creative DIY project, repurposing vintage dishes into planters is a great way to breathe new life into old pieces.

However, it’s important to know how to choose the right dishes to ensure the best results. Here’s a guide on how to pick the best vintage dishes to repurpose into planters.

Vintage skeleton key icon on a circle of grey.

5 Great Tips to Pick the Right Vintage Dish

  1. Size & Shape. When selecting vintage dishes for planters, consider the dish’s depth and shape. Use shallow dishes for small herbs and succulents and deeper dishes for larger plants. Opt for wide-mouthed dishes to ensure proper drainage and room for plant growth.
  2. Sturdy Materials. For durable planters, choose vintage dishes made of ceramic or porcelain, which can withstand wear and tear. Fragile materials like glass or thin plastic can break under the weight of the soil and plant, so avoid those.
  3. Drainage Holes. Ensure healthy plants by picking dishes with drainage holes. If none exist, use a drill or ceramic bit to create them. Work cautiously and wear protective eyewear to avoid damaging the dish.
  4. The Dish Design. Pick vintage dishes that complement the plant and aesthetic of the space. With various colors and designs, a white dish offers a great backdrop for a colorful plant, while a bold pattern adds playfulness to a muted plant.
  5. Look for or Create Sets. For a cohesive display, look for sets of vintage dishes when repurposing multiple planters. They can create a mini herb garden or a collection of plants with similar colors or shapes.

This is easily one of the easiest projects you’ll ever do. It took me probably all of an hour once I had a few things figured out.

Here Are A Few Creative Ideas for Vintage Items to Use to Make Your Own Planter

I think I could probably come up with about a million ideas on ways to repurpose vintage dishes into planters, but I’ll restrain myself.

However, when thinking about creating a small container garden, fairy garden, succulent planter, or flower pot pretty much any container without a lid will work with a few small adjustments!

Vintage dishes on wooden shelves. A cream colored pitcher thrited for $3 repurposed as a planter with lemon oregano inside.

Unique Garden Planters

You may surprise yourself with the creative ways you can come up with to add plants to repurposed containers. Though I set out to repurpose vintage dishes into planters, there are a lot of other fun objects to try!

Vintage typewriter icon in a grey circle.

Small Planter Ideas

  • Large Wooden Spoon
  • Vintage Teacup Planter
  • Old Light Fixture
  • Vintage Sugar Bowls
  • Old Books
  • Stainless Steel Bowls
  • Vintage Mason Jars

Large Planter Ideas

Repurposing items into large planters can be a fun and creative way to give new life to old items. Here are some ideas for repurposed items that can make great large planters:

  1. Old wheelbarrows make great rustic planters for larger plants as well as small trees.
  2. Wooden crates can be lined with plastic and filled with soil to create a vintage-style planter box.
  3. Metal buckets with a little paint or left as-is offer a rustic look and also can work well as planters for larger plants or small trees.
  4. Old Tires can be stacked and filled with soil to create a large planter for flowers, vegetables, as well as herbs.
  5. Bathtub Planter or Vintage Sinks create a unique and eye-catching planter for larger plants as well as small trees.
  6. Wooden barrels can be cut in half and filled with soil to create two large planters giving a great rustic look.
  7. Old furniture like old dressers, as well as cabinets, can be repurposed into large planters by removing the drawers or doors and filling the spaces with soil.
  8. Rain gutters can be attached to a wall or fence to create a vertical garden for herbs, flowers, and also other small plants!

Watch this on Youtube:

Best Plants to Use in Small Container Gardens

Obviously, if you are picking small planters as your options, then your choices are small plants. But honestly, you don’t even need to use real plants if you don’t want to. Therefore, go faux if that suits you!

Vintage bunny rabbit made by avon repurposed into a planter with flowers sitting on wooden shelves and a lazy susan.

Here are some great plant options to use in a small container garden:

  • Succulent Plants. These low-maintenance plants come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Also, they can thrive in small containers with little water.
  • Herbs. Herbs like basil, mint, and parsley are easy to grow in small containers. As well as be used to add fresh flavors to your cooking.
  • English Ivy. A popular plant for hanging baskets, English ivy can help purify the air. Also, they can add a touch of greenery to your space.
  • Small Flowering Annuals. Flowers like Snapdragons, Zinnias, Cone Flowers, or even Daisies are easy to care for as well as happy additions to spring and summer home decor!

Let’s Get Crafty: Turning Vintage Dishes into Gorgeous Planters

01 Soup Tureens

Vintage soup tureens can make excellent planters, by adding a touch of whimsy and vintage charm to your home decor. Also, vintage tureens come in a variety of shapes and sizes, allowing for creative and unique planting options.

Vintage soup tureens repurposed into planters sitting on brass trays on a vintage dresser.

You can fill them with soil and add your favorite plants, such as succulents, herbs, or small flowers, for a lovely display. The lid of the tureen can also be used as a decorative element, either left open to showcase the plants or removed entirely to allow the plants to spill over the edges.

Vintage soup tureens are perfect for a shabby-chic or farmhouse-style home as well as making great conversation starters. By repurposing these classic pieces into planters you can breathe new life into them as well as create a beautiful and functional addition to your home decor.

They’re beautiful, delicate, feminine, and lovely to look at, however, I wanted more functional decor vs pretty to look at and gather dust decor.

Underneath them are a few thrifted brass trays to catch any water that drains. Though I haven’t drilled any drainage holes yet, I put them there to remind me.

02 Copper Pots

Copper is one of my absolute favorite things to collect. I have a pretty sizable collection at this point so I’ve had to slow my eagerness to grab every piece I see in a thrift store. Also, if we’re going to talk about how to repurpose vintage dishes into planters, we definitely cannot leave out copper.

The simple truth is that copper pots make for a stunning and unique planter option, which also adds warmth and shine to any space. They also boast benefits like durability, weather-resistant, and can add a touch of elegance to your indoor or outdoor decor.

You can use them to grow a variety of plants, like herbs, small flowers, or even succulents. Also, the warm metallic tone of the copper pairs beautifully with the lush greenery.

Let’s not forget that copper pots come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Therefore they are versatile for planting arrangements.

They also develop a beautiful patina over time, adding character and depth to your planter. When you want to repurpose vintage dishes into planters consider copper. It is an excellent way to add a touch of sophistication to your home decor while creating a striking display of nature’s beauty.

03 Pitchers of Varying Sizes

Vintage pitchers can be repurposed into charming planters that add a great rustic look to your home decor. These pitchers come in various styles, shapes, and sizes, allowing for creative and unique planting options.

You can fill them with soil and add your favorite plants, such as herbs, flowers, or small succulents, for a lovely display. The spout of the pitcher can also be used as a decorative element, allowing the plants to spill over the edge for a whimsical effect.

Vintage pitchers are perfect for a country-style or shabby-chic home and also double as a great conversation starter.

Repurposing these classic pieces into planters is an excellent way to give them new life as well as create a functional and unique addition to your home decor.

04 Antique & Vintage Crocks

Antique and vintage crocks can make great planters with their rustic charm and also durability. Therefore, you can repurpose these timeless pieces by filling them with soil and adding your favorite plants.

I know large crocks are a common way to repurpose vintage dishes into planters, but the charm is undeniable for the small ones too!

They come in a variety of sizes and styles, so you can create a unique display that adds character to your home or garden. Consider using crocks as planters for herbs, flowers, or even small trees. With a little creativity, you can transform your vintage crocks into beautiful and functional planters that will stand the test of time.

05 Milk Glass Mixing Bowls

Vintage milk glass mixing bowls are a perfect example of how to repurpose vintage dishes into planters. Their charm will add a unique touch to your home decor. Because these bowls have a classic, elegant look that makes them stand out as planters.

You can fill them with soil and add succulents, herbs, or small flowers for a pop of greenery. The mixing bowl’s size allows for multiple plants or one larger plant to be displayed, creating a stunning focal point.

These repurposed planters are perfect for a vintage or shabby-chic style home. With their beauty and versatility, vintage milk glass mixing bowls can add character to any room in your home.

Because none of this is permanent. Therefore, they can be a planter for this season and you can use them as something else next season.

06 Unique Vintage Containers

Repurposing unique containers into planters can give your home decor a creative and eclectic touch. Also, have I mentioned that anything can be transformed into a planter? Everything from vintage teapots and tin cans to old boots and bicycles.

This adorable little bunny is an old Avon ceramic. But I’m not actually entirely sure what it used to be. Although may have had a lid originally. Also, perhaps a candy dish?

These containers can add personality to your home, and using them as planters is an excellent way to give them new life. You can use a variety of plants in these containers, such as succulents, herbs, and flowers, to create a one-of-a-kind display.

Experimenting with different containers can also be a fun DIY project that allows you to showcase your creativity. Therefore with a little imagination, you can turn almost anything into a beautiful planter for your home or garden.

Vintage lock icon on mustard color.

You May Ask What About Drainage Holes?

You may be wondering about drainage holes in these planters so your roots don’t rot. Well, I’ve got you covered. Here are three options to account for drainage and keep your plant’s roots happy.

  1. Drill drainage holes. The easiest way to ensure proper drainage is to drill drainage holes in the bottom of the container. Use a drill with a bit that’s appropriate for the material of the container, and space the holes evenly across the bottom.
  2. Add drainage material. If even a small hole or two is not an option, you can add a layer of drainage material at the bottom of the container. This could be anything from rocks to gravel to broken pieces of pottery. This will allow excess water to drain away from the roots of the plant.
  3. Use a potting mix that drains well. Choose a potting mix that is designed to drain well. Look for mixes that contain perlite, vermiculite, or sand, which will help water flow through the soil and prevent waterlogged roots.
  4. Water carefully. When watering your plants, make sure to do it slowly and evenly, allowing the water to soak in before adding more. Be sure to empty any excess water that collects in the saucer or tray underneath the pot.

By implementing these solutions, you can help ensure that your repurposed containers provide the proper drainage for your plants to thrive.


To ensure the bowl you use has good drainage you can drill a hole or series of holes in the bottom. For ceramic, plastic, or wood you can use an ordinary drill bit. For a glass bowl, you will need a diamond drill bit.

Here are a few ideas to make an upcycled planter:

Old dishes, old pan, clay pot, tin cans, old jars, old wine bottles, old wheelbarrow, old tires, old teacups. Basically all sorts of household items can be used to make a brand new planter for you!

With a little imagination vintage bowls can be repurposed for so many great purposes. Here are a few ideas for you:

Seed starters, Vintage Planter full of your favorite flowers, Bird Feeder or Bird Bath, or a Garden Fountain or Water feature amongst your flower beds.

Whether you have a green thumb, or not, I hope I have given you some inspiration to repurpose vintage dishes into planters! And also add some charm and whimsy to your home decor with this easy DIY project! Thank you so much for stopping by!


Meet the Author

Hi, I’m Julie! Mother to five beautiful kids, Homeschool Educator, Writer, Handicraft & DIY Enthusiast, Photographer, Thrifter, and Furniture Restorer. Follow along for fun DIY projects creating a handmade home on a budget! Read more about me here→


  1. I’ve never had much of a vision for this, but I FINALLY bought my first dish to use as a planter here recently!

    This past weekend the hubby and I were debating on throwing our old wheelbarrow away (one of the handles broke off), but I had the idea of using it as a planter for flowers in the garden.

    Thanks for more inspiration for ways to get plants into the house!

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