Upcycled Hanging Planter - DIY

I’ve been using plastic bottles to make wall decor again – guilty.  Instead of a body spray bottle this time though, it’s a lotion bottle.  I’ve been holding onto this empty bottle of baby lotion for a good long while so that I could repurpose it and I just got around to it last week.  If you want me to write a post all about how you can idealize a project and not actually DO IT for months, let me know. 

Can you spot it?

Maybe if we zoom in a bit…

Would you ever know it was once doling out lotion to tiny hands?  Doubtful.

So, the next time you’re about to toss that used up bottle in the recycling bin, think twice and do what I do.  :)

First, cut off the top of the bottle.  I cut mine almost in half.  Then, I drew a curved line along the front and back and cut along it to further disguise it from its bottled past and add some curves.

You could just stick with a straight cut, curved like mine, or even get fancy with some scallops or waves.  It’s your bottle.  After you’re done cutting, peel the label off to give you a clean slate that you can later paint.

Next, grab a piece of sandpaper and sand that cut down to smooth it out a little.

Depending on how well your scissors made the cut, this part is probably optional.

Now, grab some spray paint or even some regular paint (just make sure you prime it first), and give the whole thing a quick coat.  I primed and spray painted mine white.  If you like the color of the bottle as-is, by all means, skip this step.

Next, if you’re going to put a live plant inside, drill a few holes for drainage in the bottom of the bottle.  (Note:  since there’s nothing to catch the water that may run out during a watering, you might want to water your plant while you hold the planter over a sink.)

I forgot to take pictures while I was drilling and at that time, I hadn’t potted the plant yet.  I’d recommend getting all the holes in before you put a plant in or you’ll start a miniature landslide.  (Psst…If you don’t have a drill, you could *carefully* use the end of a knife – twisting until you completely puncture the bottle.)

Don’t put that drill away yet though.  You’ll need to make two more holes – one on each side of the top.

Grab some string/yarn/rope (I used some recycled t-shirt yarn…which is completely fitting) and tie it to the pot by threading it through one of the holes you made at the top and knotting.  Then cut off the extra string on that one side.

Figure out how long you want your planter to hang (I just held mine up to it’s future spot on the wall) and loop the rope around to the other hole on the other side, tie, and knot.  Don’t cut the yarn from the spool though quite yet. 

At this point, your planter will look like this:

I was going to quit here and snip off the last end but before I cut the rope from the spool, I got the idea to loop the string around the bottom just like I had around the top to create a sort of tear-drop shape.  I really liked the way it looked but because my yarn wasn’t very heavy, it didn’t really hang the best.  So, I went digging in my craft box and found a round, wooden disc into which I drilled a hole, threaded onto the bottom loop of string before it was all tied up, and then knotted the very end of the rope to the opposite side of the planter, right where I had started.

Then I snipped the excess rope off and hung the planter in our master bathroom.

Somewhere in between me drilling holes in the planter and stringing the yarn, I planted a watch chain succulent inside and so far, so good.  This wall is right across from a window so I’m hoping this little guy gets the amount of light he needs to keep on keepin’ on.

Over our Christmas break, I painted our bathroom room white and we got some pictures up on the wall.  Between those two pictures we hung and the mirror, there was a random hook in the wall that I could’ve taken down prior to painting but I thought it might be fun to leave and hang something on later.  And here we are.  :)

Keep your eyes peeled for more details on the (dirty) mirror-over-a-mirror situation (which our kids think is so weird) and a roman shade project that’s in the works.

Then there’s the master bedroom to tend to.  It just got painted (catch a peek on Insta) and it’s shaping up to be the master bedroom I’ve been dreaming about since we moved in.

Happy weekend!


  1. That is amazing! I never would have thought that your planter was a lotion bottle, and I never would have looked at an empty lotion bottle and thought, "Hmmm... Future planter!" Would you consider doing a post about your creative process? You seem to see potential in just about everything.

  2. tarynkay, thank you!!! I'm glad I hid it well! ;) I've never thought about my creative process before! I'll have to think about it and if I can get it into words, I'd definitely share my thoughts! Right now all I can speak for is this particular space...the hook was there and my mind went straight to something hanging and I knew it would need to be semi-thin and while my kids were using up the very last of that lotion, my eyes saw the profile and my mind knew it would make a great planter with some paint and a few holes. Haha!