PVC Pipe Photo Planters

12 Materials
2 Hours

My Great niece planted these succulents one day when she came for a visit, and every time she visits she says she has to water her plants. So I decided to make her some planters all of her own to look after.
Cut the PVC Pipe
These pipes were left overs from a building site, all they needed was a clean.  I measured out the size that I wanted my planters to be, mine were 15cm and 10cm. I cut them with a handsaw and sanded all the rough edges off to tidy them up.
I used some nail polish remover to remove all the black bar codes and numbers that were on the pipes.  And used superglue to glue the caps on to the pipes.
I ordered some temporary tattoo paper of the Wish site, I paid $15.00 for 10 sheets A4.  I selected the photos that I wanted to use. I used a program called Lunapic, which you can use for free online to mirror your images and make them black and white.
Add Clear Film
The paper was loaded into my inkjet printer and I selected to print 4 pictures per page so I did not waste the paper.  Once it was printed the tattoo paper comes with a self adhesive clear page that is then put over the image and smoothed down.  Start at the top and smooth out with a credit card to remove any bubbles.
I cut my photos out as close to the border of the pictures as I could, and planned where I was going to place my pictures.   Applying the image was the best and easiest image transfer method I had used. No mess and not fuss, perfect image every time.  First you remover the clear film from the front of the image and place the image where you want it on the PVC pipe.
With the image face down on the PVC Pipe, smooth down with your fingers to remove any bubbles in the image.  Wet a small cloth and lay it over the image, you do not need to soak the image.
Photo Image Transfer
And within seconds the the paper can be peeled off, just peel off slowly.  The  very gently you can smooth out the image if it has creases like this one did.  You can seal it with a coat of Mod Podge for extra protection. After making more of these I would recommend sealing the graphic with acrylic spray which you can get from your local hardware store. I really wish I had know about this technique before I spent weeks, doing my last image Transfer project. Which I must say was not even close to the quality and ease of this technique. http://uniquecreationsbyanita.com/ned-kelly-outdoor-cooler/
Photo Image Transfer to PVC Pipe
To see more photos of the finished project visit http://uniquecreationsbyanita.com/
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Unique Creations By Anita

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

3 of 10 questions
  • Suzanne Brodie
    Suzanne Brodie
    on Nov 4, 2017

    Just beautiful but could you be more specific re where you got the transfer paper from, please. Would love to try this but, like you, up to date transferring has been a pain. Many thanks.
    • Unique Creations By Anita
      Unique Creations By Anita
      on Nov 14, 2017

      I agree with you Brenda, always read the discription properly because there photos can be very deceiving. I only buy basic items off them and always have them delivered in about 3 weeks which is not that bad. In Australia we dont have the luxury of amazon untill next year. And never buy clothing items. But good advise thanks
  • 27524803
    on Nov 4, 2017

    Superglue is not water proof... how do you keep them from leaking when you water them?
    • John E. Osman III
      John E. Osman III
      on Nov 20, 2017

      Marty, ... PVC glue is clear, it is the primer for softening the PVC surface which can be of varying colors, ... purple, blue, orange, ... and the reason it is colored, is to let the person prepping the pieces for gluing know whether or not they have been primered or not, ... the glue, then interacts with the softened PVC to create a watertight bond, ...

      Note; that the glue can be used without the primer, but the presoftened PVC will create a better adhesion of the 2 adjoining sections of PVC, thus making a stronger bond, as the primer breaks down the rigid finish of the PVC and if left in an open container, it would continue to break it down until it would dissolve into the primer liquid, ...
  • Jackie Sylvia
    Jackie Sylvia
    on Mar 18, 2019

    I love this, but I was looking up the tattoo paper and it says you need a thermal printer, to transfer your pic to the paper is that what your printer is?

    • Unique Creations By Anita
      Unique Creations By Anita
      on Mar 18, 2019

      Think you might be looking at the wrong paper. You need temporary tattoo paper, not the tattoo transfer paper. There is a link to the paper on my website. You can use a normal printer. Hope this helps, if not let me know.

Join the conversation

4 of 60 comments
  • Fredda
    on Nov 19, 2017

    Beautiful idea! Id like to make a couple of photo ones like yours For holiday gifts. I'm also thinking of using a favorite graphic or quote on the pvc, using your transfer technique. Thanks and Happy Holidays!
    • Unique Creations By Anita
      Unique Creations By Anita
      on Nov 19, 2017

      Thank you and I think they would make a great gift. Would love to see the end result. Easy, cheap and unique what more could you want.

  • Tammie
    on Mar 5, 2019

    Love it 😘

    Defently gonna try this!

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