We use advertising and affiliate links from Amazon and other retailers as a means of generating revenue on this website. We do not recommend services or products we do not personally resonate with.
Friday, June 7, 2024

Make Plastic Pots Look Expensive

From Boxwood Blues to Blooming Beauties: A Gardening Tale with a Thrifty Twist

From boxwood blight to blooming beauty! This post chronicles a gardening adventure and the joy of hydrangeas. But wait, there's more! Learn how to turn those leftover plastic planters into stunning DIY masterpieces with a thrifty twist.

DIY Planter

Gardening Problems 

We recently pulled our boxwoods from our front exterior landscaping due to boxwood blight. 

Initially, I thought the boxwoods were being affected by winter burn, but in the end found they had boxwood blight disease. 

I tried my darndest to keep them alive, but as it turns out, the boxwoods just need to be removed once they have been infected. 

We had five boxwoods in our flower bed landscaping, and pulled them out to replace them with my favorite, hydrangeas.  

What a chore it was. The boxwoods were not difficult to pull, but Boxwood Psyllid (little green bugs), they are pests. 

I will just say, I have learned to wear pants while gardening instead of shorts. Those little green bugs were all over me and I was itching everywhere from their little bites.   

Needless to day, boxwoods will no longer be a part of our exterior landscaping plans.

Blooming Beauties: Hello Hydrangeas!

When I went to a local greenhouse, my mom went along since she is the one with a green thumb.   

My mom has two limelight hydrangeas that are quite beautiful, but the size would swallow the front of our home since hers grow above the roofline. While I love that look, I didn't want one side of our home completely hidden.

I settled on Proven Winners Cityline Paris (pink) and Let's Dance Blue Jangles (blue) hydrangeas, purchasing three pink, and two blue one gallon planter pots. 

Now, if you have been here since our beginning, then you know black thumb gardening is about the only gardening happening around here.  

Not to mention, Ohio gardening can be a bit finicky when it comes to planting. Typically you wait until after Mother's Day to do any planting, but I took a chance and planted them two weeks early. 

I'm such a rebel, huh?

A Month Later...Success!

A whole month later, and I still have hydrangeas! Aren't you excited? I smile every time I look at them. 

Luckily for me, we were blessed with a week's worth of rain, and so that eliminated my need to water them since this is where things usually go sideways with mysekf and plants.   

The pink hydrangeas are blooming, but I cannot figure out why the blue bloom hydrangeas are not. 

If you have suggestions, I am all ears. 

Thrifty Chic: Upcycled Planter Pot!

When we were finished removing the boxwoods, and planting hydrangeas, I had five plastic planter pots left over. 

Hmmm... what to do?

I actually did not have a plan for those plastic planter pots at the time, but then just the other day an idea hit me. I stumbled upon a mold I had been searching for, and decided to make a few runs of decorative trim with my foam air dry clay.

The following day, I raised our garage door and the planters were staring me in the face.

I decided then and there, I would be working on a DIY DIY planter makeover, giving those free plain plastic planters a new look they would never forget. 

Transforming those boring plastic planters turned out to be a fun and surprisingly easy project. Here's what you'll need:

Upcycled Planter Pots 


  1. Plastic planter left over from nursery flower purchase
  2. Decorative Trim Mold
  3. Foam Air Dry ClayFoam Air Dry Clay
  4. DryDex Spackling Paste
  5. Latex Gloves
  6. Paint of your choice 
  7. Sponge Brush
  8. Corn Starch
  9. Elmer's School Glue
  10. Rubber Band 


  • Brush molds with corn starch (helps in easy release of clay)
  • Press foam air dry clay into mold
  • Remove clay, and lay flat to dry
  • Glue molds to planter, I used Elmer's School Gluenull, place a rubber band around the planter on top of the molds to hold them in place while they dry
  • Apply DryDex to the area of the planter below the trim with your hands (I wore latex gloves to lessen my mess), I even added some spackling paste to the trim work to fill in spaces where the trim did not meet up perfectly
  • Allow to dry
  • Paint Plastic planter color of your choice, or leave DryDex color
  • I chose to go with the spackle color, and dry brushed black, rust, and white paint around the planter for added depth
  • Allow to dry, and spray with sealer
  • Style as desired

Tips and Suggestions:

  • If I were to make over the rest of these pots, I would use grout to cover the exterior of the pot instead of DryDex DryDex 
  • Faux flowers will be used since DryDex should not be exposed to the elements
  • I did not have enough molds made up initially so I made more as I worked on this project, let the molds fully dry before you adhere them to the pot
  • I applied my second batch wet, and while I did not need glue to adhere the molds, some of my molds were not perfect since my hands damaged the decorative trim in the process of applying the trim pieces
  • Have you looked at the price of one gallon plastic pots? The ones at an affordable price are all plain, my question is why buy when you can DIY?

Air Dry Clay using molds

Decorative trim around planter

Upcycled Pot with decorative trim

Plaster applied to pot

Paint Planter
Keep adding paint until you get a look you like

Will you be throwing away those nursery plastic planter pots in the future? I hope not, my goal is to provide budget friendly ideas so you can create a home you love while keeping costs in check. 

upcycled planter with trim and paint

I get a kick out of DIYing our home decorDIYing our home decor, and seeing all of the ideas I can come up with. I chuckle to myself when we have visitors who ask where did you get that, and my reply is: I made it! 

Be sure to follow us for more upcycling ideasupcycling ideas using everyday throw away items. 

Don't Forget to Pin for Later!

DIY Planter with greenery inside



Would you like to comment?

  1. Cara! I can't get over how much we are alike! I just planted two hydrangeas this year as well! I am trying really hard, but they may be getting too much sun, I don't have a shadier area for them. Keep your fingers crossed!! Your planters turned out fabulous! Molds are so fun to work with and elevate the look of items so much!! Another wonderful trash to treasure transformation!

    1. We are so much alike Donna, I agree! We always seem to be on the same wavelength with each other, even when it comes to decorating our homes, and crafting. The 3 pink ones are blooming, but the blue ones are just green leaves, I cannot figure it out. I will send your blooms wonderful thoughts to keep trying to make it. I wish I could have a property full of plants, but I always seem to kill them all. It is frustrating to me since I come from a long line of green thumbs, but I seem to be all black thumbs here.

  2. You'd never know that started out as a nursery plastic pot. Such a beautiful transformation!

    1. Thank you Ann! I was so happy with the results, the pot has found a new home, I can't keep everything, but I think it's new owner loved it.