One Stop Garden Shop

The best gardening blog

Ideas for Planter Drip Trays


If you ever bought new planters or came across a few unused planters in a garage or shed, you probably had to deal with missing or non-existent drip trays. Although inexpensive plastic drip trays are available from many stores that sell planters and plant pots, they’re all fairly basic, offered in standard sizes and colors that may not match your planters. Rather than relegating trayless planters to storage, whip up your own trays by re-purposing other household objects, embellishing them with paints or leaving them as-is for a more makeshift appearance.

A drip tray protects surfaces from water leaking through a plant pot.

Pie Tins and Pans

Pie tins, whether the disposable, flexible, aluminum type or a more sturdy, steel design, serve as makeshift drip trays for planters with round bottoms. Paint the outside of each pie tin with a white or pastel-colored paint, and then sand off some of the paint for a shabby-chic or cottage-style vibe. A clear- or colored-glass vintage pie pan can be used for a more airy look, especially for a plant that sits near a window or in an area that receives a lot of light. A tinted pan such as cobalt blue glass will seem to illuminate when light shines through it. Add a few glass gems, colored marbles or polished river pebbles to the bottom of a clear pan for added visual interest.

Baking Sheets and Lunch Trays

Old baking sheets with raised edges and those plastic lunch trays straight out of a cafeteria serve as viable planter drip trays, able to handle a number of small planters at once. Spray-paint each baking sheet or lunch tray your favorite color after cleaning it up thoroughly and spraying it with primer. Sanding the item first helps the paint and primer stick. Plastic primer helps paint stick better to plastic; otherwise, it may peel. After painting, stamp designs such as flowers or the names of some of your favorite plants on each drip tray by using acrylic craft paint. The baking sheets and lunch trays also can be used to cover an entire small tabletop for a plant grouping. Paint the planter pots in assorted colors for a more festive look.

Vintage Beverage Crates

Wooden, metal or plastic, vintage, beverage crates serve as stylized planter drip trays for even large planters. Lining the inside of the crates with plastic serves as a means to catch drips. The plastic also protects crates made of wood or metal.

Saucers and Plates

Mismatched saucers and plates serve as visually interesting drip trays for assorted planters and plant pots. Stick with themes, such as floral saucers and plates, or some floral and some colored china plates. Vintage melamine in assorted colors creates a retro vibe, especially if melamine teacups or teapots are used as planters.