How to Repurpose Broken Mugs Into Planters

4 Materials
30 Minutes

Wondering what to do with the old coffee cups stuck in the back of your cupboard? Here's an easy craft idea to repurpose broken mugs into cute planters.

We are working hard to declutter the cupboards in our house. We have so many things stuffed in them that we never use. This collection of branded mugs are a prime example. They are entirely usable, but the kids are way past their hello kitty stage, so I decided to repurpose these old mugs into something I'd use.

This DIY is a great way to reuse a chipped mug or a cup that's lost its handle. These particular mugs were actually in pretty good condition, but I soon sorted that out with a hammer and chisel!

I wanted planters with straight sides, so I started by removing the handles from the mugs.

How to remove a handle from an old coffee mug.

To remove the handle from a ceramic mug, you need a hammer and a chisel. The chisel blade should be wider than the handle you are removing.

Protect your work surface with newspaper or similar to catch any pieces of ceramic. It is also worth wearing eye protection for this stage.

Place the chisel blade at ninety degrees above where the handle meets the mug. (As shown in the photo above). Strike the chisel end with a hammer and with the right amount of force the handle will pop off.

I found each of my handles came off on the third strike, whether this was because I use a bit more force each time or whether the joint weakened I'm not sure.

If the handle doesn't break up cleanly use the chisel to tidy it up.

Out of 5 mugs, I managed to remove four handles, breaking one mug completely. One handle came off leaving a hole in the body of the cup, which isn't a problem for a planter.

How to repurpose broken mugs into planters

I love rustic planters covered in natural materials like our birch bark covered flowerpot and our moss-covered pots — this time, I used willow and cinnamon sticks.

I stuck the sticks to the old mugs using a glue gun, but any strong all purpose adhesive would work. Using a sharpie to mark a couple of vertical lines on the mug before you start will act as a guide and help keep the sticks straight.

And here are my rustic planters made from broken mugs. I think they look really cute.

They'd also make great storage for pens or utensils.

Finally, I filled with compost and planted with pretty houseplants.

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Frequently asked questions
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3 of 8 questions
  • Debby Debby on Aug 29, 2022

    Do you file, smooth out, the two areas where the handles were attached?

  • Hb-526434 Hb-526434 on Oct 08, 2022

    How do u drain the plant if u don’t make a hole?

  • Janice Janice on Jul 01, 2023

    What a wonderful idea! Do the cinnamon sticks give off a scent?

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