Looking for something different in a garden planter? Check out our unique and adorable little donkey plastic bottle garden planter. You never would have imagined what a few old empty bottles and paint could make! This is made from recycled plastic bottles and is the ideal way to add some fun personality to your garden. Fill it with your favorite flowers or plants and enjoy watching them grow. This planter is the perfect way to add a unique touch to your outdoor space.
Donkey Garden Planter
When it comes to something recycled, homemade, and adorable, you have to look at this easy donkey garden planter. It is made with recycled plastic bottles. It’s sturdy, weatherproof, and easy to make. Plus, you can make it in a variety of colors to match your style or to give to someone as a gift. Such a fun statement piece for your garden or yard!
If you like the unique “character” of this, but don’t need another planter, then check out this upcycled tin can pig garden decor. It’s another great conversation starter to add to your front porch or garden area.
What Should I Paint the Bottles With?
I like to use silver for the donkey but you can with something traditional like brown, gray, or even black. You can even wrap him in duct tape to make it even more sturdy. I like to use spray paint on these types of projects because it is fast and easy and spray paint is inexpensive.
If you want to be able to make smaller details, you want to use acrylic paint. That lets you paint with a paintbrush and get the smaller decorations on there. Of course, it takes a lot more paint and time, so may not be as practical for this project.
TIP: If you find that the paint has trouble sticking to the plastic bottles, you can rough it up with sandpaper to create texture for the paint to stick to.
Can I Make This A Horse Instead?
You can turn this donkey garden planter into a horse instead. The biggest difference is the ears. You would also want to make smaller ears since donkeys are known to have longer ears.
Painting the planter brown, black, gray, or white would make more sense for a horse, but you can paint it any color you want. To distinguish it, you might also want to add something for the mane on the back of the head and a braided longer tail on the end. Rope or twine is excellent for this.
Can This Hold Real Plants?
Since this is made from plastic bottles, you can definitely use it with real plants. To make it more efficient for real plants, before you add soil and flowers, use a drill or soldering iron to add a few holes on the underside of the donkey body for proper drainage.
Then, you just add in the soil and plants you want to grow. Of course, you can add smaller pots inside this instead of planting directly into it, or even just add a few fake flowers in foam so it looks real but doesn’t have the upkeep of a real plant.
What Ways Can I Make My Donkey Planter Unique?
There are many ways to make your donkey planter unique. You can add a scarf around the neck for some extra color or you can add a bowtie. If you want to get really creative, you can even add glasses.
Other ideas include giving them earrings on the ears, a mane, a bigger tail, or adding paint to the feet to look like it has painted toenails. This is a great way to show off your personality and make your garden planter unique.
- 1 empty gallon-sized water bottle
- 3 (20oz) empty water bottles
- 4 (16oz) empty water bottles
- Silver spray paint
- White craft paint
- Black craft paint
- Googly eyes
- Duct tape
- Craft knife
- Hot glue gun
- Hot glue sticks
How to Make a Donkey Flower Planter
Start by cleaning and removing labels from all of the bottles you will be using. I find it best to let them dry completely before working with them, but it isn’t 100% necessary. Then, you will cut the lid end off of the 4 smaller bottles, leaving 3/4 of the bottle and discarding the lid and neck. These will be the feet of your donkey.
Next, lay the larger gallon bottle on its side, trace then cut out a rectangle or square from the top/side. This creates the hole for you to add flowers into it as a planter.
Now, turn the bottle over so the open side is on the bottom, and then glue the four smaller bottles, cut side to the big bottle, to create the donkey feet.
Sit this upright and then set it aside. Now, you will begin working on the donkey head. Cut the lid end and around 1/4 of the top of a 20-ounce bottle off.
Now, on either side of the bottle, cut a 2″ by 3″ piece out.
Then, place this cut side over the lid end of the donkey bottle and glue it into place as the neck of the donkey.
Cut the last two 20-ounce bottles in half and discard the lid/neck ends.
Then, push these together so they are overlapping each other to form one bottle with ends on both sides.
Tape it around the middle to secure it together.
Now, use some of the scrap plastic from the bottle leftovers to cut out and make tall ear shapes then set them aside.
On one end of the bottle, you just made with two ends, cut a 3″ slit right on the edge of the bottoms.
Next, push the two earpieces into this slit and glue or tape them in place to secure them.
Next, glue this, with the ears on the front, onto the neck of the body.
Now, create a tail and glue or tape to the end of the donkey body, opposite the head. To do this, cut one 1/2″x6″ strip of plastic. Then, cut ten smaller 1/4″x2″ strips of plastic.
Tape these together to create a tail and curl the ends of the plastic to make it more realistic.
Tape this onto the back of the donkey.
Spray paint the entire thing silver then set it aside to dry.
Once it is dried, you can use white craft paint to add accents to the head, nose, chest, and feet of the donkey then set this aside to dry.
Add black dots of paint on the head to create the donkey nostrils.
Then, add googly eyes at the top of the head, just below the ears, and to the sides.
Add in your soil and flowers, or just a potted plant and display.
More Easy Planter Tutorials
I love adding plants throughout my lawn and garden in unique planters. They are so much easier to maintain than garden beds for me. So, below are a few more fun ideas that can be used inside or outside to plant or showcase flowers that you love! Make sure that you bookmark these ideas, print out the tutorials, or pin them to Pinterest to make soon.
- 17 Gorgeously Rustic Log Planters
- DIY Fun Concrete Hand Planters
- How to Make a Lettuce Globe Planter
- 15 DIY Self-Watering Planters For Container Gardening
- Cut the lid end off of the 4 smaller bottles, leaving 3/4 of the bottle and discarding the lid and neck.
- Then, lay the gallon-sized bottle on its side, and cut a rectangle out from the side. This will be the planter.
- Flip the gallon bottle over so the opening is facing downwards.
- Then, glue the four smaller bottles, cut end against the bottom of the bottle, to the base of this to create feet for the donkey.
- Now, cut the lid end and 1/4 of the top of the 20-ounce bottle off.
- Cut a 2" by 3" piece out of one side of the cut end of this bottle.
- Now, glue this bottle against the neck end of the gallon bottle, covering the lid.
- Cut the remaining two 20-ounce bottles in half. Discard the lid ends.
- Then, push the two bases together so they create one bottle with ends on both sides. Tape this in the middle to secure.
- Use scrap plastic from the bottles not being used to cut out two ear shapes and set them aside.
- On the bottle with two ends, cut a 3" slit along one of the bottoms.
- Push the two ears through this slit and add glue or tape to secure them if needed.
- Glue the head onto the top of the piece that is covering the lid on the gallon bottle.
- Now, cut a single 1/2" by 6" long strip of plastic. Then, 10 small 1/4" strips of plastic around 2" long.
- Cut a piece of tape, and lay the long strip on one edge of the tape.
- Then place the smaller pieces on the other side of that tape to create "hair" on a tail.
- Wrap the tape over this to secure, then tape it to the back of the donkey bottle with the "hair" hanging down.
- Now, spray the entire donkey silver and set it aside to dry.
- Once it has dried, paint the end of the head/nose, chest, and the bottom of the feet with white craft paint. Set this aside to dry.
- You can also paint the tail white and part of the ears white as an accent.
- Once this paint has dried, add two dots of black paint on the end of the head to create nostrils.
- Then glue on the googly eyes at the top of the head on the sides just below the ears.
Use any sized bottles to make your planter to hold as many or as few flowers as you want.
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Finished Project Gallery
Cut the ears shorter and turn this into a horse instead!