DIY Creative Planters on a Budget – Part 1

terrarium succulants


Adding plants to everyday spaces can improve mood, creativity, and productivity – seriously guys, this is science! So now that I’ve convinced you to add a little green to your life, you’re thinking, but I don’t want some basic terracotta or black plastic pot on my dining room table (or desk or greeting my guests on my front porch). And I don’t want to shell out a bundle on trendy pots and planters. Don’t worry, there’s a simple solution. 

If you want to go green – go green! You can easily transform everyday  items into stylish planters to fit your taste, space, and budget at Goodwill! You’ll find unique treasures at low prices, while repurposing items, keeping them out of landfills, keeping our whole community beautiful.

Budget-Friendly, Newbie-Friendly DIY Planters

Succulent Center Pieces for your home, patio, or office

Whether you’re trying to bring some flavor to your dining room table or some pizazz to your patio, you can’t go wrong with succulents. They’re low maintenance, drought tolerant, generally pet friendly, and they thrive inside or outside, making them perfect for home, yard, or office decor. Plus, they look great in just about any container -  glass, terracotta, or dinosaurs. Dinosaurs? Yes, dinosaurs. Succulents look great in anything.


Terrariums are all the rage right now, and it’s easy to see why. They’re stylish, go with any décor, and can be personalized to your tastes. They’re also really easy to make. Goodwill always has amazing glass pieces at low prices, so finding the perfect piece for your terrarium will be a breeze.

Making your terrarium:

  1. Head to your nearest Goodwill and find a glass bowl. The bowl should be wide and shallow. You can go clear or you can use tinted glass for an extra pop.
  2. Grab some succlents from your local garden store.
  3. Fill the bottom quarter of the bowl with pebbles for drainage - available at your local home and garden store or you can find pebbles just about anywhere.
  4. Optional pro-tip – add a thin layer of activated charcoal (also avaible at your local home and garden store). Terrariums typically have no drainage; activiated charcol neutralizes odor which can prevent odor build-up.
  5. Place the succulents where you want them in the bowl. Succulents are hardy, but be gentle with their roots.
  6. Add succulent soil, filling in around the succulents. Fill the bowl about halfway with soil, leaving 25%-50% of the bowl empty.
  7. Place stones or other items around the succulents, being careful not to overcrowd the plants. I tend to go with natural stone I’ve found outside on  hikes, but you can also purchase stones at a garden or hobby store. (Try spray painting the stones to add some extra pop. May I recommend gold? It’s dazzling!)
  8. Add whatever else you think will make your terrarium the best terrarium. I went with a bright orange lizard for one of mine.

Add some flavor to your dinning room table with succulent centerpeices!

Terrariums may be about bringing the outdoors in, but they totally work for your outdoor haven too! I went simple and organic with my dinning room table center-piece to balance out my bold Mexican-style table cloth, but outdoors is a place to have fun.

 This terrarium now lives on my outdoor table. A quick paint job with orange spary paint turned this toy lizard I found at Goodwill into the perfect bit of pop for my deck terrarium. It’s a fun conversation piece that all ages will enjoy!

Is your space in need of a Jurassic change? Try a succulent in a dinosaur!

These succulent holders are far from prehistoric. In fact, one quick search on Pinterest and you’ll see dinosaurs top the list of trendy succulent planters. Spice them up with some high gloss or metallic paint for your living room, keep them in their original multi colored state for your front porch, or add some fun to a kid’s room with some primary color carnivores. Dinosaur succulent holders let you add a little fun to any room while bringing the outside in.

How to prevent your dinosaur from going extinct:

  1. Head to your local Goodwill – you can find a multitude of appropriate plastic toys - don’t neglect less extinct members of the animal kingdom, lions, tigers, and bears (oh my!) also make great planters.
  2. Pick up small succulents from your local garden store.
  3. Drill three to four holes around the perimeter of where you’ll place the succulent (aka the figure’s back).
  4. Use an xacto knife (or box cutter) to cut along the perimeter, making a hole large enough for the succulent to fit. Typically, you want to go as large as possible with the opening while not cutting away the sides of the figure.
  5. Optional: paint your dinosaur!  Some folks dig the “natural” colors of the figures while others prefer to personalize their dinosaur with paint. Spray paint works great, but some people prefer the hands on approach with acrylic. Just keep in mind that you’ll need a primer coat if you go this route.
  6. Let the paint dry – don’t poison your succulent!
  7. Add your succulent and fill the space around it with succulent soil. Now your dinosaur is ready to roam!




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