At the beginning of last year, my New Year’s resolution was to acquire more plants and keep them alive. I was pretty successful, and have acquired MANY plants in the last 12 months. Nick would second that… it’s become a bit of an obsession. I love learning about different plants, how to care for them, and how to propagate them, etc! (Psst! I wrote an entire post as a Beginner’s Guide to Keeping Houseplants Alive!
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And if there’s one thing I’ve learned about plants… it’s that they need ‘drainage holes’ in their container.
OR THEY WILL DIE.
You see, the soil may feel dry on top… so you go to water your thirsty little plant, right?! But the soil at the bottom of the pot (where you can’t see or feel), your plant’s roots are just sitting stagnant in old icky water that you didn’t even know about! The roots eventually rot, the plant dies, and you shed tears of shame and tragic loss of innocent plant life, and declare yourself to have a permanent black thumb.
But! I’m hear to show you how you can make just about any ‘vessel’ a planter!
I found these cute ceramic mugs at Target (here, here, and here) and loved the colors and textures. Nick and I had decided to give each of our Grandmothers a cute plant for Christmas. So I set out to make a mug into a planter!
After buying these, I was itching to get some plants potted! I headed out to the garage with my diamond drill bit
The beauty of this method is that you can drill drainage holes in so many different types of pots, including glass, ceramic, concrete, granite, travertine, marble, etc!
Pop that Diamond Bit into your drill press or hand drill, and line everything up just so. Except let’s be honest, the dirt you put in your mug is NOT going to care if your hole is centered, soooo…
Here’s the thing that makes this much different than drilling into wood…YOU HAVE TO ADD WATER. It’s weird. But stay with me.
With only slight pressure, start drilling. Continue to apply slight pressure. For these mugs, it took us about 1 minute to drill through. We made a video to show the process… It’s literally 1 minute long. Don’t be intimidated by our intense filmography skills.
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BOOM! We turned this mug into a planter!
I like to put a coffee filter down into the bottom of my planters to prevent the fresh/loose soil from trickling out.
Then add in a bit of soil and your plant, give it a good drink of water, and then pat yourself on the back!
Fun and easy, right?! And isn’t that plant on the right WEIRD?! It’s called a ‘Pregnant Onion’, which basically looks like a regular onion, only it grows on the top of the soil, and sprouts little babies out the base. SO CUTE. I love weird plants!
Let me know if you give it a try drilling drainage holes for yourself! You can make ANY MUG into a planter! #mindblown …And be sure to check out our other ‘Planter Tutorials’ from our archives! These two are my absolute FAVE! (click the pic below to be taken to that post!)
Thanks for pinning!
Rowland Wells says
The coffee filter is a great idea, you might want to consider re-using used filters. A quick rinse to get some of the oils out would probably make the filter fine for re-use under soil.
CYNTHIA J KENDAL says
I used to use several coffee filters folded up for the base only of indoor and outdoor pots. Now I use cut up rags instead. They all will rot over time, but paper rots faster than folded up fabric like towels.
Ok.. hopefully this isn’t a ‘stupid question”. I want to be able to make mug /cup planters , but don’t want to have ugly catch trays for the water that eventually will come out the drain holes. I just feel like it takes away from the look/style , when you have some mismatch tray or even a clear plastic tray that will become brittle or cloudy. Any tips or suggestion for an appealing alternative to keep from ruining the surface that I place my little planters?
Bethany Sy says
They make clear plastic catch trays that I use. They aren’t as obvious.
Glen Hofmann says
You could use cup and saucer sets where the saucer serves as the drip tray.
CYNTHIA J KENDALl says
Look for an extensive selection of all sized glazed (Important) saucers and trays. Lovely patterns and colors and shapes. That’s what I use for my many small decorative planters.
CYNTHIA J KENDALL says
I found all of mine on Etsy
small plate from dollar tree in coordinating color to match the mug.
laura cline says
What size diamond drill bit did you use to make the holes in mugs?
Bethany Sy says
I believe it was 3/8″
We have, indeed, been turning various ceramic cache pots into planters by drilling holes in the bottom. One tip we have followed is to start the diamond drill bit at an angle to wear away the shiny finish at one point before putting it on the strict vertical. This prevents the bit from skating around on that shiny finish before it takes hold.