By now we’ve all heard and read about how toxic our indoor air is and the countless benefits of specific indoor plants.  Like me, you’ve probably seen, compared, and cross checked the many lists available at nurseries and on the web trying to find the few that you might be able to keep alive.  Again, like me, when you finally make a choice or 2, you realize that:

1.  Plants are NOT cheap (so choose wisely and you damn well better make it live and thrive).
2.  The plant needs a home other than the 1 it came it – that 1 was a temporary rental.
3.  Plant homes and condos (i.e. planters) are hella expensive!  At least all the nice ones are!

What’s a totally unique, eco-friendly, home loving, frugalista/frugalisto to do?!

First, choose wisely; I personally have knocked off half the plants “experts” say are indestructible – only 2 have made the cut.

Second, shop, shop, shop looking for the best deal on really nice planters at a price you don’t mind paying.  Then when you find that the (thrifty) pickins are slim, decide to do it yourself!  That’s right, do what I do and make your own custom planter.  You determine the look and the cost!  Who doesn’t love that kind of control?!


0.71 gal. Plastic Nursery Container$0.98
Rust-Oleum Universal All Surface Metallic Pearl Mist Spray Paint and Primer in 1$6.76
Quick Color Gloss White General Purpose Aerosol Paint$0.97

Total Cost




Standard nursery container
  1. Spray paint the entire pot with the pearl mist – I used 2 coats allowing to dry between coats.
  2. Once it’s completely dry (you can’t be in a hurry for this), measuring up from the bottom of the pot, tape paper to the pot so that the paper covers the entire top portion of the pot (the portion that you want to remain the original color you sprayed the entire pot in step 1).
  3. Now spray paint the bottom portion of the pot that’s not taped off in white.  While you’re at it, go ahead and spray the saucer, since it will be the same color.  Again, I used 2 coats allowing to dry in between coats.
  4. After it’s all completely dry, remove the tape and the paper and voila!  Your “custom” planter… on the cheap!
Bamboo Palm in "custom planter"
Bamboo Palm in “custom planter”

You are practically guaranteed no one else will have the exact same one- no comparing where you got it and for how much on this custom planter!

So this is how I kept mine – it looks similar to it’s former self, and I like the sleek simple look of it’s “upgrade”.


But here’s where it gets interesting…  You could do a pattern or multiple bands, any combination of colors, use decorative duct tape – anything you like really.  And since the pot is plastic, it’s impervious so your handiwork cannot be destroyed.  Unless of course you change your mind and want to do something different with it in a month or 12!  😉

painted custom planter
Bushel basket “custom planter”




This could be a great kid’s/family project (Xtraordinary tip: start a container garden together), can be done with pots in any number of sizes and finishes (like this bushel basket pot), and can be used for things other than plants (like organization – YAY!).  You could even make a plant condo – but that’s another post for another day!



Think outside the pot – the possibilities are only limited to your imagination!  What will you do with yours?

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