How to create a plant stand from an empty paint can

How to create a plant stand from an empty paint can

By Sam of Dove Cottage Blog 

plant stand

Looking to re-use some of your empty paint cans rather than chuck them out? Here’s a really simple DIY to transform the leftover items into budget-friendly decor for your home. Using just an old paint can, some chalk paint, wooden dowels and wood stain you can create your own plant stand – perfect for any space such as a bathroom or kitchen! 

This is a really easy DIY, perfect for beginners, and a great way to use up leftover materials too.  

You will need: 

Empty paint can 

Wooden dowels 

Wood stain – I’ve used Cuprinol Garden Furniture Stain in ‘Oak’ 

Rust-Oleum Chalk Effect Furniture Paint in a colour of your choice. I’ve gone with ‘Homespun’ 

Strong glue 

Spirit level 

Small paintbrush 


Tape measure

plant stand 2

Step 1 

Start by washing out an old paint can so it’s completely clean – I’ve used a can of Dulux Tile Paint which is the perfect size, measuring 10cm high. Once dry, apply two coats of Rust-Oleum Chalk Effect Furniture Paint to the outside of the can. I’ve gone with this beautiful pale pink shade called ‘Homespun’, which I had leftover from another project.

empty paint can rustoleum

The chalk paint will form a base for the sticks to attach to, and make sure the can is not visible underneath the dowels, however you can skip this step if you want to. This is the perfect paint to use for this, as it sticks to any surface without the need for sanding or priming.

paint empty can

Step 2 

While you’re waiting for the chalk paint to dry, you can start staining the wooden dowels using the wood stain. I’ve chosen square-shaped dowels measuring 15cm long, which makes the perfect fit for this can. Again, you might need two coats of stain to get the colour you’re looking for.

cuprinol diy
cuprinol diy 2

Step 3 

Once both the paint can and the dowels are dry, you can start to stick them together. In order to make sure they’re stuck onto the can completely straight I found it helpful to mark where they were going to go first. I used a tape measure to measure around the can, and worked out where each dowel would sit, marking this onto the can in pencil. I’ve gone with four ‘legs’ positioned at regular 8cm intervals around the can, however you could use as many dowels as you like. Each ‘leg’ consists of three dowels to ensure it’s as strong as it could be.

empty can
empty can 2

Step 4

Now to stick the dowels to the paint can. Apply a strong glue along the line you drew in pencil, and stick your first dowel directly onto the can, making sure it sits directly over the line. You might like to use a spirit level to double check each one is stuck on completely straight. I then added a dowel either side of the first to make sure each ‘leg’ was completely even. You’ll need to hold the dowel on for a few seconds to make sure it’s stuck fast. Work around the can, sticking down your dowels.

diy empty can
diy empty can 2

Step 5

Once you’ve stuck all your dowels onto the can, leave to dry and you’re all done! A really simple way of making use of your rubbish, and creating a fun piece of decor on a tight budget! I’ve used mine to hold a faux plant, however you could use real plants too. Just make sure to either keep your plant in its original pot so you can remove it to water, or make a drainage hole or two in the base of your paint can using a drill.