How To Make An Oil Can Planter

How To Make An Oil Can Planter

Sarah Starkey
Apr 9, 2012

I have dreamed of having an oil can planter since I first saw a pair of olive trees growing out the front of a local deli inside two old olive oil tins. So when I spotted a similar can in the kitchen of my local pizzeria I had to ask the owner who very generously gave it to me. We've featured this style of planter before, but this is how I made mine easily in 15 minutes.

What You Need

An empty oil can
A plant.
Soil/potting mix

A can opener to take the top off
A hammer to flatten the edges
A large nail to add drainage
Tin snips, to cut and fold the edges.


1. Use your can opener to take the top off the tin as you would any other. I won't lie— this was the hardest part. But with a little determination, some brute strength and two quick breaks I got there.

2. Depending on the type of can opener you use there may be sharp edges. I used the tin snips to cut the corners so I could fold the sharp edges over.

3. As you fold the edges over use your hammer push the edges firmly against the side.

4. Upend the can and puncture the base for drainage. I used a hammer and nail but you can use a drill if you prefer. The tin is soft so this step was quite easy.

5. Add the base soil to the height that you want to add your plant.

6. Add the plant and pack the soil tightly around the base.

7. I added little terracotta feet to keep the planter off the ground and aid drainage.

8. Water the plant as usual and enjoy the colour your new planter brings to the yard!

(Images: Sarah Starkey)

(Re-edited from a post originally published on 5.17.2011 - CM)

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