How to Make a DIY Succulent Planter Out of a Vintage Radio or Typewriter

Small succulents are a perfect fit for these custom, upcycled holders.

One of our favorite ways to give vintage objects a second life is to turn them into succulent planters. You'd be surprised by your options: Anything from an old radio and a defunct typewriter to a small antique box can be transformed into striking custom planters for your favorite easy-to-grow varieties.

Here, we walk you through the steps of turning one of these old-world items into a stylish DIY succulent planter, perfect for housing tiny greens—but you can employ the same technique across multiple items, whether you're working with a thrifted cookie tin, delicate teacup, or old bottle.

By removing the interior components of your object, you make room for rocks, dirt, and the plants' root system. Line the item with a waterproof box or mat, then arrange your live plants (or dried ferns and flowers if you don't have a green thumb) inside it. Repeat the process with other items to create a one-of-a-kind container garden for your sunniest indoor spot.

diy succulent planters made from vintage radio and typewriter

What You'll Need


  • Vintage container of your choice
  • Scissors or X-acto knife
  • Waterproof liner (like plastic box or bag)
  • Rocks
  • Soil
  • Small succulents or dried plants


  1. Make space in your planter:

    To create room for the plants, remove as many of the interior parts from your object as possible using scissors or an X-acto knife. The type of object you chose will determine how much space you can make for your plants: A vintage radio can have most of its electrical components removed to provide room for plants with deeper roots; a typewriter or small box will work better for miniature plants with more contained root systems.

  2. Line the inside with waterproof material:

    After you remove all of the interior components from your vintage object, use a cut-to-size plastic container—like a box, milk carton, or juice container—to line the inside. If you don't have a clearly defined shape to work with, use foil, a plastic bag, or a waterproof liner (laid over the inside of your object) to prevent the water, dirt, and roots from traveling throughout the inside of the container.

  3. Add your plants:

    Fill the container with a layer of rocks to encourage drainage, and then add dirt. Transplant small succulents and other miniature houseplants into the container and water them. Alternatively, fill the container with dried ferns, grasses, and flowers for a low-maintenance arrangement that accents the classic shape and style of your vintage object.

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