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How To Make A Decorated Flower Pot From A Cat Litter Bucket; Instructions and Photos


I Garden In Containers

If you have read any of my previous articles, you will know that I garden mostly in containers. The soil where I live is not very fertile. The lot where I decided to move and restore my old house was covered at one time with pine trees. I enjoy growing plants in pots because I can move the plants around in my yard to create different scenes. I like to use plants on stairs and I hang containers from trees that are filled with red Impatiens.

Hanging Baskets From The Tree

Drainage Holes Are Drilled Into The Bottom Of The Tidy Cat™ Bucket

Problems With Container Gardening

There are a couple of problems with container gardening: one is the plant will soon outgrow the pot and will have to be moved to a larger pot. So now you need another pot to hold the larger plant, and that also means buying more potting soil, and that gets pretty expensive after a while. I have probably spent a small fortune on potting soil. My Mother who taught me all I know about gardening would “turn over in her grave” if she knew I actually bought soil! Well, she lived in parts of the United States where the soil was rich. All you had to do was go out into the woods and fill your bucket with nice, rich fertile soil. That is not the case here in South Florida.

Container gardening is a little more challenging than just growing plants directly into the yard. The container will dry out quickly if there has been no rain. Be prepared to water your plants often. Your plants will need to be fertilized more often, too. Also, be sure and drill drainage holes in the bottom of the container is you are using a bucket like the kitty litter comes in. This is easily done using a drill (either cordless or electric), and a large drill bit. Make several holes in the bottom.

My Dracaena Marginata To Be Repotted

Choose The Proper Potting Soil

Choose a potting soil that is not heavy. If you have heavy soil, use some perlite or vermiculite to make the soil lighter. Packing peanuts work really well, too. Moving the plants around will be difficult if you use heavy soil. Some people use wooden platforms on wheels to move their plants around. I manage without those, although I can see where they would come in handy. I have grown tomato plants in containers, and all kinds of herbs. Lettuce, eggplant, carrots and cabbage do very well in containers.

I had a cutting of Dracaena Marginata that a friend gave me. I like this plant very much and had hoped it would root and “take off” like most of my plants perform. The cutting did take root, and I was thrilled about that, but then it reached a point where it just stopped! It didn’t die, but it didn’t grow either. It finally dawned on me that it was root bound. I was sure it needed a larger pot so that its roots could stretch out and grow.

The Tidy Cat™ Bucket Ready To Be Transformed Into A Flower Pot

I Will Transform A Tidy Cat™ Bucket Into A Flower Pot

I looked all around for a large pot so I could transplant this Dracaena. I didn’t have one, and I didn’t want to make a trip to the store. A friend of mine who has cats gave me three of her empty Tidy Cat™ litter buckets that she didn’t want. I always need buckets to use around the house so I took them off her hands, and they have just been stacked up waiting for me to use. These buckets have a tight fitting lid so they come in handy to hold bird seed, dog food, and lot of other uses. The make nice mop buckets, too. The handle is very sturdy so you can carry the bucket filled with water and not have to worry about the handle breaking off.

I began to see one of the litter buckets transformed into a container for my Dracaena. I cleaned out the bucket. I attempted to remove the label, but that was impossible. I scraped and scraped, but it wouldn’t come off. So, I decided to paint over the label and hope for the best. The next big job was to cut off the handle. The handle was made NOT to be removed. I cut it as close to the bucket as I possibly could. I used my electric drill to make several holes in the bottom of the bucket for drainage.

The Krylon™ Spray Paint I Used

I Used Krylon™ Paint Made For Plastic

I used a special spray paint made for plastics to paint the bucket. I have used this paint on plastic porch tables before, and the paint holds up very well. It did take two coats of paint to completely cover the label on the bucket. I’m never satisfied with projects until I do a little something extra on them. I wanted to paint a sunflower on the side of the bucket. I did that using acrylic paint. After allowing the paint to dry overnight, I was ready to fill the bucket with potting soil and transplant the Dracaena Marginata. I couldn’t wait to see how this was going to look!

The Painted Tidy Cats™ Bucket

The Acrylic Paints I Will Use To Decorate The Tidy Cat™Litter Bucket

Starting The Sunflower Design On The Kitty Litter Bucket

The Sunflower Design Is Completed

The Finished Flower Pot Made From The Kitty Litter Bucket

The Dracaena Marginata Has Been Transplanted

The Dracaena Marginata Has Been Transplanted

I Will Use Tidy Cats™ Recyled Buckets For Flower Pots

Using empty Tidy Cats™ buckets has opened a whole new world for me. I don’t think I’ll be buying expensive pots from the store anymore. There will be fewer of these empty buckets thrown into landfills, too. I will feel good about that.

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Please Rate My Hub

If you like my idea of making a plant container from a Kitty Litter bucket, please let me know by using the Stars below to rate my Hub.

Thanks so much.

A great hub on how to find free containers by suziehq

  • Where To Find Free Gardening Containers
    Have you ever wondered where you might get free gardening containers outside of the home? Here I show you some great places to try including online websites. Thinking outside the box, I will also provide some interesting and surprising container solu

Great Video On Containers For Gardening


Johnb724 on April 29, 2014:

I have read several good stuff here. Certainly worth bookmarking for revisiting. I surprise how much effort you put to make such a magnificent informative web site. dekbaeeegffc

Mary Hyatt (author) from Florida on August 09, 2013:

Hi, Denise Handlon. I'm happy you like my yellow sunflower! I use that frequently as you can see on the photo showing a hose handler I made. The design of a sunflower is very simple and easy to do.

I like using cat litter buckets around the yard for plants; trying to recycle in any way I can.

Hope you have a wonderful day, Mary

Denise Handlon from North Carolina on August 08, 2013:

What an AWESOME hub, Mary. I loved that bright yellow sunflower you painted against that blue container! The information here was very useful, like the type of paint to use on plastic...I had no idea! Thanks! UP/A and shared.

Mary Hyatt (author) from Florida on May 30, 2013:

Good Morning, tillsontitan. Thanks for coming back to share. I do appreciate that. I'm happy HP put the share button back on!

Mary Craig from New York on May 30, 2013:

Well, it seems the forum discussion has persuaded the powers that be and the share button is back, so, I returned to share!

Mary Hyatt (author) from Florida on May 29, 2013:

Well, thanks tillsontitan! Yes, my plants grow very nice in their kitty litter bucket. Maybe you have friends or neighbors who will save their buckets for you.

Thanks so much for the votes. I know the share button is gone. We have a discussion going on now in the Forums to please bring it back! Mary

Mary Craig from New York on May 29, 2013:

You are absolutely ingenious! Really, what a clever idea and to top it off you provide the best instructions and photos. I bet your container garden is spectacular. Now I want to find someone with a cat and get a litter bucket ;)

Voted up, useful, awesome, interesting, and pinned (there was no share button).

Mary Hyatt (author) from Florida on May 28, 2013:

Hi Sharkye11. I'm so happy you like the idea of turning a cat litter bucket into a plant container. Yes, that Krylon paint is SO good for painting plastic. I like your idea of turning the old high chair into a holder for plants. You should write a Hub about that and shows us how you did it....

Thanks so much for the votes , the share and the Pin, Mary

Jayme Kinsey from Oklahoma on May 28, 2013:

Love this! It makes such a cheerful planter! I am in heaven now that they have the Krylon for plastic. It really opens up new possibilities in home and yard décor. Before then, I used regular paint and had to redo it every year. I used some last year to spray paint a plastic highchair that someone gave me. Now that my daughter doesn't need the chair, it is going to be a plant stand outside. And now that I have read this....I am thinking about all those plastic buckets my husband has collected....hmmm, he won't miss a few. And he won't even recognize them when he sees them again! Great hub, and I will definitely vote, share and pin!

Mary Hyatt (author) from Florida on March 11, 2013:

Hi, Vellur. Thanks for reading for the nice compliment on my cat litter bucket.

Thanks for the vote, too.

Have a wonderful day, Mary

Nithya Venkat from Dubai on March 11, 2013:

Beautiful and creative, great idea. The painted tidy cat bucket idea is awesome and beautifully done. Voted up.

Mary Hyatt (author) from Florida on March 10, 2013:

Hi, midget38. Yes, I do try to recyle any and all things possible. Whenever I find a plastic bucket in someone's recycle bin, I take it home and find a good use for it. These cat litter buckets can be reused for many things

So good to see you today, Mary

Michelle Liew from Singapore on March 10, 2013:

Coming in again to say that the environment is better protected when we reuse things in this way, and it is great for us to look at too. Thanks for sharing!

Mary Hyatt (author) from Florida on February 14, 2013:

Hi Riviera Rose. Thanks for reading and commenting on my flower pot I made from a cat litter bucket. I see these buckets thrown away often and just think it is such a waste when they can be recyled.

The Dracena I planted in this one is growing very well.

Thanks for reading and commenting, Mary

Riviera Rose from South of France on February 14, 2013:

You're a talented and creative lady - I love your new pot! I'm sure your plant will thrive in it, and wish you both well!!!

Mary Hyatt (author) from Florida on November 13, 2012:

Hi, Daisy Mariposa. You just made my day with your nice compliment. I do enjoy painting in different medias. The Sunflower is so simple to paint, I thought a lot of people could try their hand at this.

I am happy you loved my project, Mary

Daisy Mariposa from Orange County (Southern California) on November 12, 2012:


I'm certified to teach art in Kindergarten through the 12th grade.

Your project definitely deserves an A+. It's terrific! I love it!

Mary Hyatt (author) from Florida on October 14, 2012:

Hi, Natashalh. Too bad you don't know someone with a cat that you could get a litter buckets from. Actually, any bucket will do. I've used old paint buckets (the 5 gallon ones) that were being thrown away.

So glad you dropped by to read and comment on my Hub. Mary

Natasha from Hawaii on October 14, 2012:

This is my kind of project! I just don't have cats to save litter buckets from. I'm sure I could find something to apply the idea to, though.

Mary Hyatt (author) from Florida on October 14, 2012:

Hi, HBN, I'm so glad you liked my Hub on making a flower pot from a kitty litter bucket. I thank you for your nice compliment on my work on this Hub.

Like you, I enjoy having plants in containers. I used to buy pots, but I seldom do anymore. I just "dumpster dive". With proper drainage, almost anything can be used to grow plants.

Thanks for the votes, and the share. I appreciate that, Mary

Gail Sobotkin from South Carolina on October 14, 2012:

Wow! The transformation from kitty liter bucket to gardening container was dramatic and the end result was a beautiful work of art!

I love the step by step directions, potting tips and also the professional lay-out of this hub.

I do some container gardening because I like splashes of great color. I place the containers near the front of my house and on my deck, so they're easy to water, but I've never recycled other containers as you've done here. After reading this wonderful hub, and Suziehq's about recycling containers, I'll keep my eyes open for opportunities to give it a try.

Voted up across the board except for funny and shared.

Suzanne Ridgeway from Dublin, Ireland on October 14, 2012:

Hi Mary,

What a fabulous idea of converting a cat litter bucket! I love your sunflower design, you are a really talented lady Mary! Sunflowers are one of my favourite flowers and seeing your bucket reminded me so much of my mum who was an artist and loved painting flowers in particular.

Great info and photos here, will link in with my own hubs on containers!

VU, more and shared, pinned!

Mary Hyatt (author) from Florida on September 21, 2012:

Hi, Peggy W Yes, I really try to recyle as much as possible. I use these kitty litter buckets for lots of jobs around the house and yard, and now I'm glad I use them for flower pots.

Thanks for reading and commenting, Peggy. Mary

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on September 21, 2012:

Hi Mary,

It is always a good thing to reuse and recycle as much as possible and with your artistic talents you are probably inspiring other people to do similar things with their cat litter buckets. Good job!

Mary Hyatt (author) from Florida on June 30, 2012:

Hi there, Sunshine625. I'm so happy you think my idea of turning a cat litter bucket into a flower pot is awesome! Thanks so much for reading and commenting.

Linda Bilyeu from Orlando, FL on June 30, 2012:

What an awesome idea!! Clever indeed!!

Mary Hyatt (author) from Florida on May 31, 2012:

Hi, Mhatter99, thanks for reading and commenting on my Hub. Were you surprised to read the content of the Hub after reading the title? I'm glad you stopped by, and I'm happy to be following you!

Martin Kloess from San Francisco on May 31, 2012:

your title got me, but honestly, i need to thank you

Mary Hyatt (author) from Florida on May 18, 2012:

Good Evening, stars439. Thanks for reading my Hub about making a flower pot from a kitty litter bucket. Yes, you should try growing some vegetables this way. Tomatoes do very well among many other things. Thanks for stopping by, it's always good to see you!

stars439 from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State. on May 18, 2012:

Wonderful ideas. I am tempted to grow some begetables. God Bless You Dear Heart.

Mary Hyatt (author) from Florida on May 18, 2012:

Hi there, trapp. Thanks so much for reading and commenting on my Hub about making a flower pot out of a kitty litter bucket. I'm so glad you thought my idea clever. I do like to recycle things. The sunflower is so easy to paint (on anything). It's one of my favorite flowers because it is bright and sunny! Bye for now....

Kristin Trapp from Illinois on May 18, 2012:

Mary - This is such a clever idea; recycling at its finest. And I love your sunflower art. It is so cheery and colorful.

Mary Hyatt (author) from Florida on May 18, 2012:

Hi dawnrichard. Nice to see you here today! I'm glad you like the way my plants look hanging from the tree, and thank you for the nice compliment on my garden. I do enjoy the flowers, and I'm glad you enjoyed reading about them.

Dawnrichard on May 18, 2012:

Hello @Mary Hyatt. Your images from hanging baskets from the tree looks nice and i will say you have a beautiful garden too. You have shared such a nice info among us and i enjoyed a lot. Thanks for sharing.


Mary Hyatt (author) from Florida on May 17, 2012:

Hi oceansnsunset. So nice to see you! Thanks for reading my Hub on making a flower pot from a kitty litter bucket. These buckets are so great for all kinds of purposes. I have another one filled with Milkweed that the caterpillars are all over. There are so many things we can make to contain our plants, just takes a little imagination. So glad you liked my Hub!

Paula from The Midwest, USA on May 17, 2012:

Hi Mary, I love your flower pot transformed from a kitty litter bucket, wow! I think its wonderful and loved your photos. I too am a container gardener and love to grow all kinds of things but especially herbs and flowers that butterflies love.

I need to get out in my garden here soon again before the summer gets too hot, as I love my pots. I never thought of this though, and I appreciate your ideas that can be used with other things also I am sure. I don't have a cat, but I can see how great, (and green!) this can be. Love it, Mary.