Cheap Modern Planters: A Simple DIY

We wanted to add some plants to our mid-century ranch so I went on a hunt for some cheap modern planters. That's when I found out that cheap modern planters don't really exist. There are modern planters and there are cheap planters, but there aren't many good-looking, inexpensive planters. Sure, Target has the Room Essential planters, but we wanted something that wasn't plastic. 

That's when we decided to get crafty. First, we found some terracotta pots that had a shape we liked. We went with these simple circle pots from West Elm.

We didn't like the marbleized look, so we grabbed a can of white spray paint.

And we ended up with something that looks a lot like a case study ceramic cylinder planter (without the wood stand).

It's high class at a low cost (less than $20 per planter). Here's what our collection of inexpensive modern planters looks like.

And you could do make the same modern-looking planters with any terracotta pot. Just pick one with a simple, modern shape like a square

Or this wavy look

Or a straight long tom planter

And grab a can of white spray paint. The end result is a cheap modern planter that looks like you paid a pretty penny for it.


  1. I don't think this works on unglazed terracotta. As it is porous, the moisture goes through the pot and makes the paint bubble and peel.

    1. I think it depends on the type of paint you use. Spray paint, especially paint and primer in one, works well for me. And from what I can find online, generally works on unglazed items.

  2. I think live plants add so much to a home. Yours look great in those pots. Let us know how the horsetail did inside. I normally have a green thumb, but I totally killed horsetail outside last summer, so I might try it indoors if you have good luck.

    1. They do add a lot, especially if the plants have an interesting look, which is what I look for in plants.

      The horsetail plant is actually going to live outside - or at least that's the plan. This photo was taken on one of the colder days in Austin so we brought it in to keep it warm for the night. It's actually looking a little rough already.

      FYI: IKEA has a pretty decent fake horsetail (that's what you see in all the photos of our front door). I'm not a huge fan of fake plants, but it does stay green / "alive."