How to Use Thrift Store Finds to Show Off Your Plants

How to Use Thrift Store Finds to Show Off Your Plants

We’ll always have a special place in our hearts for thrift stores. These magical places are like a treasure hunt every time you visit, and they let us create something beautiful out of an item that might otherwise have been sent to a landfill. For us plant lovers, this is great news, as it makes creating unique plant displays so much more accessible at any budget. 

Here are some ideas to borrow the next time you’re thrifting for home decor. If the thrift stores in your area are currently closed, be sure to check out some great online second-hand shops like Goodwill or support a small vintage seller on Etsy!


thrifted basket

Beeline for the Baskets!

Baskets are key to so many affordable and chic plant display ideas. While thrifting, scan the aisles for any sign of a good basket—thrifted ones are sure to be full of character and much cheaper than the high-end box stores. Tall baskets make great pot covers for larger plants, while bowl-shaped baskets make really cute DIY hanging baskets. All you need are some long pieces of jute rope or twine to suspend your basket from a curtain rod or ceiling hook!


wooden crates

Displays on Every Level

Achieving that ‘jungalow’ effect is all about layering your houseplants so it seems like there’s a flash of green foliage everywhere you look. These thrift store mainstays are perfect for getting those gorgeous layers on the cheap!

Wooden Step Ladders can be a bit trickier to find, so grab one if you see it! These ladders are full of charm, and they make incredible plant stands—especially for trailing plants like pothos and philodendrons that can be trained to climb the rungs!

Vintage Trays make it so easy to pull a mismatched collection of small plants into one cohesive display. Look for classy pieces in gold, copper, or bronze materials that reflect a little light. The extra light will suit your plants, and the extra attention they draw will suit your interior decor!

Old Crates are often used at thrift stores as containers to hold things like vinyl records and other small goods. Keep an eye out for wooden ones in good shape! They have a cool, industrial vibe when used as plant stands or pot covers, and if you can find a few in different sizes, you can create a really cool layered arrangement for a sunny corner in your home.


recycled old tin cans

A New Life for Old Packaging

Have you ever come across some old packaging at a thrift or antique store that just captures your imagination? Old cookie tins, cigar boxes, and wine barrels have a way of making us nostalgic for a time we never knew. Not to mention the charm of a vintage logo! You can give these awesome relics a second wind by turning them into planters, provided you account for the watering needs of the plant. For example, a cool-looking tin might make a better pot cover than a planter, especially when lined with a plastic saucer to protect the tin from drained water. To preserve the unique character of old packaging as long as possible, you may need to get a little crafty with waterproofing solutions and find a plastic liner that fits your vessel of choice.


shelving units

Look Out for Small Shelving Units

Wicker and rattan shelving units are surprisingly easy to come across at most thrift stores, and they’re a great plant display idea for larger collections! They’re lightweight, easy to move around the room, and the woven construction lets your plants enjoy lots of light and airflow. Intermingle some other fun decor accents throughout the shelves to give the display even more personality, like ceramic cat figurines or small decorative boxes.


teacup planter

Serve Some Looks!

It’s always a shame when you find some truly adorable second-hand serveware, but it’s either impractical for your lifestyle or no longer in the best shape to use. Fortunately, you can still enjoy these pieces by repurposing them as planters! Charmingly beat-up crockery can make a super-cute plant pot for mounding houseplants, like ferns, especially when displayed in the kitchen. (Maybe the only thing cuter than a pie on the windowsill!) Meanwhile, a vintage sugar bowl or teacup is the perfect mini-container for your 2” succulents

Make sure to use an appropriate drill bit to create drainage holes in these pieces—fragile bowls and cups call for a diamond drill bit and a steady hand. If the material is very fragile, taping both sides of the surface with duct tape can help prevent cracking. 


succulent in vintage radio

Ambitious Planter Projects

If you’re an experienced, diehard DIYer, and you’re not afraid of a challenge, just about anything can be transformed into a planter. We only recommend taking on these projects if you’re confident in your ability to safely handle power tools and own protective gloves and eyewear. Here are a few challenging upcycled planter projects to take on if you’re prepared to put in the work—the finished result is bound to be a true statement piece!

  • Old Radio
  • Vintage TV
  • Typewriter
  • Rotary Telephone
  • Telephone Box
  • Antique Toolbox


Inspired by these thrift store plant display ideas? Once your new-to-you goodies are home from the shop, you’ll need some plants to fill them! Browse through our catalog today to find the perfect plant match for your coolest finds.


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