For one loathsome year of my life, I worked as a cashier at Kmart.  For a portion of my tenure, I was stationed in the gardening section of the store.  One thing I discovered during this time is that flower pots and other planters are insanely overpriced.  I remember the day that I just about choked when I rang up a chintzy styrofoam urn and a price of $19.99 flashed across my screen.  The idea of spending twenty bucks on a planter that isn’t made to last more than a season or two seems ludicrous to me, especially since I figured out that you can make your own urn from a pair of plastic bowls at a fraction of the cost.

With Halloween sneaking up around the corner, this project makes a great addition to a front yard cemetery when filled with dead foliage.  It also offers an inexpensive way to showcase flowers and plants on a patio, flanking your front door, or even inside your home.  (If you bring this planter indoors, remember to set it on a plate or other drip-catching surface to prevent water damage.)

Project estimate:

  • Two large plastic bowls, $2
  • Glue, on hand
  • Spray paint (optional), $1 and up

Total:  $2 and up

1.  You need two large bowls in different sizes, one with a larger circumference than the other.  I found my bowls at Dollar Tree; one was marked as a large serving bowl, the other as a popcorn bowl.  Experiment with bowls in different shapes and sizes until you find a pairing that you like.

2.  Carefully drill a hole in the bottom of each bowl to provide drainage.  Make sure you drill in the very center of each bowl so that the holes will line up properly.

3.  Apply a layer of glue to the bottom of one of the bowls and stack them with the bottoms together.  Allow the glue to dry completely before you continue.  If you have trouble getting glue to stick to the smooth surfaces of the plastic bowls, use sand paper to rough up the bottom of each bowl before gluing.

4.  If desired, spray paint the urn.

5.  Before you plant your flowers, look at the urn both right-side-up and upside-down, since you can use either side for planting.  This one has a very art deco look when it’s flipped over.  Now all that remains it to add soil and flowers!

Have you made your own flower pots or planters?  What did you use?