Rainbow painted plastic nursery pots

Upcycled Plastic Nursery Pots

These fun upcycled plastic nursery pots are the newest addition to the many flower displays in my backyard! 

purple flowers in upcycled nursery pots fence art

I’ve been stuck at home for several days now with a potty training toddler and then a terrible stomach bug that has been making it’s way through our house. All of this time at home is making me a bit stir crazy and I was itching for a project to squeeze in during nap time. 

Since I couldn’t leave the house for supplies, I dug through the garage and was able to put this little rainbow flower display together with what I had on hand.

U-shaped plastic nursery pots and paint

I have SO MANY plastic nursery pots stashed away in my garage. (You know I can’t resist a plant sale.) They come in handy for a variety of things, but these U-shaped ones didn’t seem very useful. I was ready to recycle them when.. ding ding ding light bulb! 

This shape looks pretty similar to those silver flower sconces that people mount on their walls. Maybe I could do something with that? But brighter, and outside.

mounting upcycled plastic nursery pots to fence with a toddler

These upcycled plastic nursery pots turned out so much better than I expected! The look great with all of the other projects I’ve been doing for the backyard like my Honeycomb Garden Trellis and Toddler Rainbow Garden.

Honestly, I didn’t have high hopes for painted plastic and I’m totally surprised that they look so good! I’m interested to see how they hold up through summer heat and rain, but for now I’m loving the colorful flower display!

rainbow painted plastic nursery pots mounted on fence with colorful flowers, unique garden art

This garden craft is quick, easy and cheap! Check out how I did it below.

Pinterest image of painted plastic nursery pots, quick and easy garden craft

1. Clean Plastic Nursery Pots

Before painting the plastic nursery pots, I gave them a quick clean to remove any dirt from the outside. I wiped down the outside of the plastic pots with a wet rag and then with a dry one to knock off all of the dirt. Cleaning them helps the paint to stick to the pots and gives you a nice, smooth finish.

2. Spray with Primer

I tested a few ways to paint my plastic nursery pots and found that the paint adhered best when I first sprayed them with a primer. When I tried painting without the primer the paint did not stick to the plastic well and I had a hard time getting good coverage. The primer made a big difference.

I used a spray paint primer so it was quick and simple.

Painting plastic nursery pot purple after spraying with primer

3. Paint

Once the primer had dried I painted the pots with 1-2 coats of regular paint. I used leftover paint from my Toddler Rainbow Garden to make the pots bright and cheery. I have a serious affinity for rainbows.

I used regular paint and a brush for these, but spray paint would probably have been even easier and given a smoother finish.

Upcycled plastic nursery pots mounted to fence with flower planted, rainbow colors

4. Use Scrap Wood to Mount

After the paint had dried, I dug through my scrap wood pile to find pieces that would fit inside the flower pots. I used the scrap wood to mount the flower pots to one of the horizontal supports on my fence.  The scrap wood provides extra support for the plastic pots. Without it, the plastic pots would rip when being drilled in the fence.

I pre-drilled my holes and used 1 1/2″ screws for mounting. Pre-drilling the holes prevents the boards from splitting when the screws are drilled in.


5. Plant

Once the upcycled plastic nursery pots are mounted, they’re ready for planting! I was a bit worried about the pots ripping from the weight of the dirt and flowers, but so far they are holding up great! 

I still need a few plants to finish filling them up, but I’m loving the rainbow of flowers so far. Once I  can FINALLY leave my house I plan to scour the clearance rack for my last few plants.

flowers planted in upcycled plastic nursery pots mounted on fence

Let me know what you think!

Leave a comment below or share a picture of your own project by tagging @MamaNeedsaProject on Instagram or sharing a picture to the Mama Needs a Project Facebook Page.


The flowers are all planted and they’re doing great! Plus, I did a makeover to my potting bench and I love how it looks under this rainbow of plants.

2x4 pink potting bench with flowers and gardening supplies
Simple 2x4 Potting Bench Makeover-17
upcycled plastic flower pots painted like a rainbow and mounted to a fence with flowers blooming