Paint Can Planter

With Father’s Day quickly approaching, I thought I would stick to tradition and make my favorite dad a little something to personally thank him for not only for being the most amazing man I know, but also, to start to re-pay him for being the most influential DIY coach/fan/assistant I have in my life.
Any question, hesitation, concern, or disaster I get myself into thanks to my lack of DIY knowledge, you can bet that I have my dad to thank for immediately stepping in to help clean up the pieces and get me back on track… all without a bit of hesitation. For the first time in a long time (probably since last year’s gift to be exact), he is on the receiving end of this DIY and not the working end of it. For that reason alone, I know he will LOVE it!
This easy paint can planter is a perfect father's day gift.
For my favorite DIY coach, I opted to create these paint can planters for him to add to his beloved patio. Not only do these fun lil’ planters capture a mini snapshot of all the DIY aid and assistance my dad tirelessly lends me, but the paint cans also represent him as the hardworking professional he is. Painting Contractor by day; dad, husband, son, brother, coach, therapist, comedian, DIY-er, landscaper, selfless gentleman by night. I hope that when he looks at these sloppy little paint cans, he remembers how thankful all three of his little angels are for everything he does for us- even after a long day of work.
But onto the real question, how can I make one of these myself? Let’s chat about that, first by emphasizing the most important information you will need to know to re-create your own: you do NOT need any artistic talent to successfully re-create these- so get that out of your mind right now. I repeat, you do NOT need any art skills to make one of these adorable paint can planters… You can do this!
Start your paint can planter with blank paint cans.

All you really need is:

  • 2 paint cans (You can find them for around $4 in the paint section of your local hardware store)
  • Pencil (Sketch the outline of your paint drops)
  • 2 mini paint brushes (one for each color)
  • Paint (Update: I used acrylic paint for this project but would NOT recommend it because of the contact it may have with water. I would recommend using REAL paint. To save money- try & score the mini paint samples at your local hardware store instead of an entire quart)
  • Plants (I used 4 different succulents so my dad won’t have to worry about watering them, and  they seemed a little more “manly”)
  • Soil
Add some "dripping" paint for a fun and festive look to your planter.

The paint drip design really is just as random as it looks. I tentatively sketched an outline of the paint drips on the cans, but really had no specific game plan in mind. As I painted, some of the paint dripped outside of the sketched lines, which worked even more perfectly! My advice on the actual sketching/painting… go with the flow. I have almost no artistic ability at all… so if I can make it look like dripping paint so can you. I promise.

Creating a paint drip design is easy and makes this project look really fun.

I did use a thick layer of paint to cover the silver bucket. After painting the yellow can, I would recommend using a darker color if possible. I mean, the yellow was do-able, but the green covered easier and was more forgiving with the brush strokes in the long run. Just my opinion though…

Dark colors work best to create the paint drips on this DIY paint can planter.
Two paint can planters came together super fast.

Personally, I like that the mini can only had two drips, while the larger can had lots of drips. I think the yellow looks more realistic, which is a bonus since that “look” is super easy to sketch. But as always, do whatever fits your style.

Adding drips to your paint can planter will make it seem more realistic.
Add a small hole in the bottom of these planters for easy drainage.

Because these cans were going to double as planters, I added a little drainage hole to the bottom of each using a drill.

A small hole will be perfect for drainage in these easy paint can planters.
Then, I filled these puppies up with some potting soil & topped them off with some succulents. The succulents seem like the perfect mix of manly and low maintenance. I envision my dad adding these to his patio, but hey… maybe he’ll opt to put them inside his office instead?! Whichever he chooses, I hope he loves his new paint cans. Maybe when he retires, we can create a whole garden of paint can planters with his old supplies?! That’ll probably take some convincing…
Fill these paint can planters with easy-to-care-for succulents for a fun low-maintenance Father's Day gift.
Succulents look so cute in these paint can planters.
Succulents like Jade are easy to care for and look cute in these planters.
These little succulents go perfectly in these paint can planters.
DIY paint can planters make a great gift for Dad.
Happy Father’s Day to one heck of a DIY coach! Once you retire, maybe you can join the DIY Playbook full-time? Think about it…


The Year of Casey

Hey there!

I’m Casey Finn, the voice behind The DIY Playbook. I’m married to Finn & mom to Rory and Ellis. Together we’re creating our dream home in Chicago, one DIY project at a time.