Upcycle old pots to make your own herb garden

Create a cute herb garden using basic terracotta plant pots and an an old pallet

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According to outdoor disinfectant manufacturer Jeyes Fluid, 40% of Brits are looking to transform their garden areas in 2021 – no surprise, given how many of us came to treasure our outside space during lockdown.

Growing your own herbs is a simple way to brighten up your garden, and liven up your plate, too! With a few old plant pots and a handful of craft supplies, this easy weekend DIY project will help you create a cute display of painted herb pots. We’ve even included instructions for creating a vertical planter from an old pallet, if you want to go the extra mile.

This project is part of Jeyes Fluid’s Creative Spaces initiative, which has partnered up with award-winning interior stylist Melanie Lissack to show how easy it can be to repurpose tired furniture and materials to transform homes and gardens.

How to make your own herb pots and planter

You will need:

For prepping:

  • Bucket
  • Jeyes Fluid
  • Sponge, cloth or stiff brush
  • Small terracotta plant pots
  • Small terracotta plant saucers (optional)

For painting and potting

  • Small paintbrush
  • Artist’s paintbrush
  • Paint kettle
  • White matte All Surface Paint for exterior use
  • Small pot of black all surface paint for exterior use
  • Stamping kit (black)
  • Saucer or disposable tray
  • Sanding block
  • Herbs and soil

For the planter

  • Pallet – size of your choice
  • Small wood screws
  • Screwdriver
  • Hose clamps

Step 1

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Use a measuring jug, pour 5000ml of water and 250ml of Jeyes Fluid into a bucket.

Wearing rubber gloves for protection, dip a cloth, sponge or stiff brush inside the solution and scrub the outside of the empty plant pots and saucers. Then rinse the items in clean water using a hose or damp cloth and wait until completely dry.

Step 2

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Create diluted paint by pouring a little white paint into the paint kettle, adding one part water to roughly two parts the white paint to make the formula more translucent. Apply this mixture to your pot using a paintbrush in soft motions, moving left to right. Leave the pot to completely dry.

To create a distressed look, in a separate paint pot add a drop of black paint to your white-wash paint to create a light grey. With the artist’s paintbrush, add small dabs of grey around the pot, contouring to taste. Leave to dry.

To finish, apply some pure white paint inconsistently on the pots to continue the rustic theme. Leave to dry.

Step 3

Take your sanding block and rough the edges of the pot for an authentic vintage look.

Step 4

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Use your stamp kit to label your pots – first, pour some black paint into a saucer or disposable tray and use it stamp the names of your herbs onto your individual pots. You can stamp them at the bottom of the pot or in the middle like Melanie has.

Tip: Be mindful that the letters can easily smudge as you are stamping along, so be sure to give the ink some time to dry before going on to the next line or word.


Step 5

Pot your herbs! There are many kinds to choose from – rosemary, mint, parsley, basil, coriander, thyme, sage and chives are especially useful great for cooking as well as adding some greenery to your space.

Step 6

If you have a small outdoor space, consider creating a vertical planter using an old pallet. The size you’ll need will depend on the number and size of your pots, so choose a pallet that can hold them comfortably.

Step 7

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First, loop the hose clamps around your pots. Then lay your palette flat on the ground to plan out where the pots will sit, before screwing the clamps to your palette using wood screws.

Tip: For safety, in case of windy days we would recommend screwing the pallet into the wall if possible.