DIY: Upcycling Jars Into Planters

Last year over 15,000 tonnes of glass bottles and jars were thrown away in household bins in Leeds – that’s the weight of 108 blue whales! Dealing with all this glass cost over £1.5 million in disposal costs – money that would have been better spent on other local services.

Ever wondered what you could do with those glass jars you empty out each week, without simply throwing them away? There are plenty of ideas from storing your leftovers to your bathroom supplies. Today, I’m going to show you how to turn them into these adorable little planters. Perfect for spring!


  • Jar(s)
  • Washing-up Liquid
  • Rocks
  • Soil/Compost
  • Seeds (or starter plant!)
  • Decorations


  1. First you’ll need to clean out the jar. The best way to do this would be to pop it into a bowl of warm water with a little bit of washing-up liquid. Leave it to soak for around 15 minutes before peeling off the label and wiping away all of the sticky residue.
  2. After your container is clean and dried, you’ll start by popping some rocks in the bottom. You can use rocks, pebbles, marbles or any other sort of decorative stone! This is due to their being no way of natural drainage in these small jars – so the layers of rocks will help with that.
    *2.5. An optional step here would be to add a small layer of charcoal on top of the rocks, if you have any. This helps to avoid any mould growing in our little jar-gardens!
  3. Next you’ll want to start adding the soil and compost, filling it about 3/4 of the way up so that you still have room in the jar to pop your plant (or seeds) on top.
  4. Add your plant!
    If you’ve bought a young plant to use, you’ll want to rid it of all of the excess soil and just leave the roots and plant. That way you can nuzzle it neatly into the jar. If it’s seeds then just sprinkle them lightly over the top of the dirt.
  5. Add a final layer of soil – either enough to cover the seeds or to pack in the plants roots and secure it into place.
  6. Lastly – get creative. You can add any decorations you’d like to make it your own – this could include a label, some string/ribbon or any other bits you’d like to add.
  7. Spritz it with water and watch it grow!

Of course, this can be done with almost anything from herb seeds to other plants and flowers. You can create a full windowsill/kitchen garden and up-cycle while you’re getting crafty to make them exactly to your personal style. It can be done with other containers, too. From tin cans to plastic bottles, old cups and more.

To see more ideas and grab yourself some inspiration for spring-time planters, check out our Pinterest board!



If you use this DIY or any others to up-cycle your glass jars, let us know! Follow us across social media at @theecohive or join the hive with the tag #TheEcoHive!

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