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Crafts | Turn Vintage Containers into Planters

Crafts | Turn Vintage Containers into Planters
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I absolutely love these planters– they are windowsill friendly and add instant vintage charm to a room.  They are also a fun and unique gift to make for Mother’s Day, for a hostess gift, or for a friend who loves gardening and collecting vintage items.

You may have small vintage tins or pitchers at your home already.  Spice tins (i.e. ground pepper or mustard powder), baking tins ( i.e. cocoa or baking powder), small cream pitchers, children’s tin drinking cups, small enamelware cups or pitchers, and Buffalo China or other diner ware all make easy planters for this project.  If you do not have any of these lying around your house, then lucky for you, it’s also Flea Market Season in New England and other parts of the country.  Look around and see what containers you can use.

Vintage containers turned into planters
Photo/Art by Bonnie Thomas
Vintage containers turned into planters

Although I had some containers around, they were not quite small enough.  I really wanted small containers so I could fit these planters on my windowsill.  This was the perfect opportunity to go explore the flea market for “new-to-me” vintage containers.  I went to Route 1 in Arundel, Maine where the flea market was still celebrating it’s grand opening weekend.  There are also two spacious antique malls right next to the flea market (on either side), so there were plenty of items to look over.

I found a little man pitcher that I found amusing, as well as a tobacco tin.  They were the right price and size.  I could already picture them on my kitchen windowsill.


Vintage containers turned into planters
Photo/Art by Bonnie Thomas
Vintage containers turned into planters

I came home, washed the containers and planted a few petunia seedlings in them.  Here are the directions for making your own:


  • Small vintage containers (see examples above)
  • Potting soil
  • Seedling (herbs or flowers work best; you can also put small houseplants in them as well)
  • Small pebbles


  • Wash and dry the container.
  • Add a few pebbles to the bottom of the container.  This will allow for some drainage for the plant.
  • Add a little bit of soil to cover the pebbles.
  • Place your seedling into the contianer and then fill the remainder of the container with soil.
  • If you are starting from seed, then simply fill the container with soil and then put the seed into the soil.
  • Water the seedling.
  • Place on a sunny windowsill.
  • Follow directions for watering your plant.  These directions will be on the seed packet or on the seedling pot.  If not, look up watering directions for your plant online.

Enjoy this fun spring craft project!


Bonnie Thomas


Bonnie Thomas


Bonnie Thomas shares her ideas and instructions for simple Yankee crafts. Bonnie Thomas works full time as a child and family therapist in Southern Maine and is also an established artist and author. She has published two books via Jessica Kingsley Publishing, titled Creative Coping Skills for Children: Emotional Support Through Arts and Crafts Activities and Creative Expression Activities for Teens: Exploring Identity Through Art, Craft and Journaling. Don't miss her latest book, How to Get Kids Offline, Outdoors, and Connecting With Nature
Updated Tuesday, May 7th, 2013
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