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How to Turn Cat Litter Buckets into BEAUTIFUL Planters!

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Upcycled Buckets into Planters!

Take old kitty litter buckets and turn them into something useful: planters for your garden! It’s a simple project and it will save you a TON of money on planters.

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Someone was giving away a bunch of kitty litter buckets on Freecycle so I was able to get 5 for raised planters. I’m using them for tomatoes, and a couple of herbs. I want a MILLION more. Seriously. I love how they came out.

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Clean your buckets carefully, inside and out. Remove any stickers.
Before: Cat Litter Buckets

Use your screwdriver to make holes for drainage in the bottom of the buckets.
Using your spray paint, cover the exterior of  the buckets. I also got the top part of the interior. I didn’t waste paint on the areas that would be full of soil. You may need a couple of layers of paint, depending on what time of paint you use. Full disclosure: I used a different brand of spray paint which was a mistake, as usual. I added a link to GOOD plastic spray paint in the supplies. Use the Rustoleum 2x. I have had less issues with it than the other kinds I’ve tried. I just saw this stuff on sale and made the mistake of picking it up (sigh).
Upcycled Kitty Litter Buckets being Spray Painted.

Let dry.

Add your Silhouette designs using 651 or permanent vinyl. This vinyl should stay on in the weather. Possibly better than the paint I used. I used transfer paper to transfer the designs onto my buckets.

I used some UV spray over this to protect it, but I don’t think that would be necessary if you used good spray paint to begin with.

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Upcycled Kitty Litter Buckets into GORGEOUS Planters!

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Thanks for Reading! -DIYDanielle
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Carol Garrison

Thursday 28th of March 2019

Thanks for your input……I appreciate all opinions to help me make my choices. I am going to try the contact paper outside and see if it does work over the summer. I’ll post my results.


Sunday 12th of March 2023

@Carol Garrison, how did the contact paper make out?


Tuesday 26th of March 2019

Love the idea but I’m concerned that the toxins in the paint would leach into the plastic. It would be ok for floral planters, but I wouldn’t want to grow veggies in that. Would contact paper be a better choice? I wonder if it would keep sticking after being exposed to the elements. Anyone have any thoughts?


Thursday 28th of March 2019

I didn't paint the inside of the bucket to avoid this issue. That said, I'm not saying plastic is the right choice either if you want to avoid toxins. It depends on how careful you want to be.

You could try contact paper too! I'm not sure it would stay on well if the planter is kept outside and DEFINITELY wouldn't stay on if placed inside the container.


Wednesday 13th of March 2019

How much paint did it take to properly cover each bucket?


Thursday 14th of March 2019

I am not sure as it's been a while, but I'm fairly certain I did more than one bucket with a can of paint.

Lori -thestonybrookhouse

Wednesday 15th of June 2016

That's pretty creative and it's reusing! Thanks for sharing at Dishing It & Digging It!