Make an Upcycled Planter for Earth Month

Turn your trash into treasure with this easy craft for kids

Blue upcycled planter with a plant
Completed upcycled planter. All photos by Gloria Kenyon.

As we celebrate Earth Month, many of us are looking to be more environmentally conscious in our choices. Using just a few simple materials you likely have at home, including a milk jug destined for the recycling bin, let’s make a planter! Learn more about reusing household materials to make crafts on our Family Zone and register to join us for our Virtual May Day Family Celebration featuring Bash the Trash, a group that makes instruments from recycled materials! 

A grouping of supplies: milk jug, paint, and scissors
Save plastic destined for the landfill.

Recycled Material Planter  

Materials Needed: 

  • Plastic jug or container (washed) 
  • Sharp scissors 
  • Marker 
  • Ruler 
  • Waterproof paint or markers 
  • Brushes 
Milk jug cut and upside down
Jug is cut and drainage holes are added.


  • With the help of an adult, draw a straight line with the marker and ruler around the bottom of the jug. You want to make a planter about 3.5 to 4 inches tall.  
  • Using the scissors, cut along the line to create the planter. Cut carefully so you don’t have jagged edges.  
  • Using the scissors, poke 2 to 4 holes in the bottom of the planter for drainage  
  • Paint the outside of the planter and let dry  
  • Add a plant 
Blue upcycled planter