DIY Mid-Century Planter

Hey, friends! Today we’re partnering with Osmocote Plant Food to bring you a highly requested DIY – a mid-century inspired planter.

You guys are always asking me where you can get cute, retro-inspired planters for a reasonable price. And, if I’m being honest, they’re typically pretty pricey! But I love the look of wood legs and unique designs, so I set out to create a budget-friendly version for you guys! The wood legs on my planter are mid-century inspired and the clay balls are inspired by this incredible vase by Kelly Wearstler.

And, you guys, not only is this project affordable and unique, but it’s super simple to make at home! OK, let’s get started!

Supplies neededFor full instructions, see our video below! I used Osmocote Plant Food to complete this project. One application contains 11 essential nutrients and feeds up to 6 months. Works with virtually all plant varieties and growing conditions. Each granule is coated with a unique resin that controls nutritional release.

Supply Links:
wood beads
air dry clay
Osmocote Outdoor & Indoor Plant Food
-for the flowers I used Zinnias

DIY Mid-Century Planter DIY Mid-Century Planter DIY Mid-Century Planter DIY Mid-Century Planter I’m so happy with how this little guy turned out! Not only was it easy, but I’ve never seen another one exactly like it. What do you guys think, will you try this DIY? Gift idea maybe? xx- Elsie

Credits//Author and Photography: Elsie Larson. Video and Music: Jeremy Larson. 

  • I think this is lovely! There are so many ways to use clay to recreate things and make them unique. Plus, there’s just something special about having something that no one else has…and being able to remember the process of hand-making it.

    Keep it up, ladies! You are inspiring!

  • Love the idea! It’s the little cute things in life… thanks for sharing it! 🙂

  • I’m in trouble and meant to have organised an event which was never going to work anyway…. so I needed some rescue…. I love the look of your blog, and projects and think I’ve got exactly what I need…. Keep up the good work.

  • Gotcha!
    So are you saying your least favorite type of post are Sister Style posts or small/quick DIY crafts like this one? And just our of curiosity, what are some of your favorites?

    Thanks xx! Elsie

  • I agree that someone saying, “I wish the blog was how it used to be” is vague and discouraging (especially because blogs, like people, should be allowed to change). But what if someone likes everything BUT one type of post? Then that isn’t vague – that’s actually pretty specific. For example, I have a lot of interests and value them all highly (I call myself a hobby collector), so it’s hard for me to narrow down to my FAVORITE things (because I value many things equally), but it’s really easy for me to narrow down to my LEAST favorite. If that makes sense. Anyway. Hope I didn’t come off hostile. I like your blog, it just didn’t make sense to me that someone having an opinion on what they don’t like isn’t helpful (especially in the way that Emma above put it, which very specific).

  • Hi Bay!
    Here’s why- each time we do a survey or ask for suggestions someone will say, “I don’t like sister styles” or “I don’t like food posts” etc… but there are A LOT of people who do like those posts. So we’ve come to realize that no matter what content lineup we do, it’s not going to be 100% for everyone and we’re ok with that.

    That said, we want to keep our pulse on what our readers are MOST interested in. So it’s always helpful to hear what people’s favorite posts are. Actually, doing a few more Sister Style posts per month is a result of so many readers saying they were their favorite posts.

    So, yes. It’s much more helpful to hear what your favorite posts are. We’re still listening when people tell us what they don’t like, but what we tend to get the most of is vague negative feedback that doesn’t help. For example, we’ve been doing this for almost 10 years and for almost ALL of those 10 years we’ve been occasionally hearing people say, “I wish the blog was how it used to be” (kind of discouraging!) But it’s impossible for us to understand what that feedback means and translate it into a positive change for everyone unless it’s more specific.

    Thanks so much for reading and taking the time to comment! xx- Elsie

  • Letting you know what type of posts we DO like is helpful, but letting you know what we DON’T isn’t? That doesn’t make sense. I don’t have any problem with sponsored content, but I agree with Emma above.

  • I definitely agree with this. It’d look like a cohesive piece and not matte finished balls on a glossy finished pot. Or even spray paint like those really great Jonathan Adler-ish vases from a few years back.

  • Hi Emma,
    Thank you for clarifying and for your honest feedback! It is always good for me to hear how our content is being perceived.
    As far as larger projects go, I just posted this one on Monday and last week Laura did this amazing project as I’m scrolling through our home decor archive for the summer I do see how there could be more advanced posts. We have a whole lot in the works here at my house! :))

    Bottom line, I just want you to know how much we care and how much we love what we do! We’re always striving to have variety, but also consistency and it’s not always perfect. But, I want to reassure you- we are definitely not moving away from advanced DIY projects in general.

    xx- Elsie

  • Thank you for your feedback :D. You should totally try to wood beads on small pots. It really adds a lot to the pot, I think!

    Oh! And this post and the lucite stand went up on two different days, but maybe I still scheduled them too close together. xx- Elsie

  • Hi Sarah,
    Sponsored posts are one of our staple incomes are we do a lot of them (especially during the holidays). We try to work with sponsors who we can integrate into a useful post or a fun read, rather than just slapping a sponsorship blurb on to the end of a post. So including the sponsors IN our posts is very much intentional, and I want that to come off as genuine instead of false. If you have seen sponsored posts that you really loved, we’d love to hear more about that so we can learn from them.

    And like I said to Emma above, if you want to send helpful feedback let us know what types of posts you DO like. That helps!!


  • I think there are some solid ideas here. The addition of the wood beads is a great solution to change up a few boring pots I have. Where this fell flat for me was the clay balls. Placement of the balls needs to be more random or more in-line for me personally. I’m probably just anal, but as they are placed now they seem off. Maybe they slide as the glue set. Still a solid idea and it got me thinking. The comment above about spray painting this pot is a great idea. And this post did what it should do, introduce an idea that we can all make our own. I get the criticism because of timing of the lucite plant stand being posted the same day, but they are completely different post. Not every post is a homerun for every person, but hopefully we can all keep learning. We are all human. Don’t get discouraged.

    The inclusion of the sponsored product didn’t bother me at all. I think it was placed well.

  • Yes I was thinking this too! If I were going to do this particular project, I’d spray paint it white or gold to make it look more uniform.

  • Hi Elsie,

    I’m afraid I have to agree with Emma. I am a regular reader and usually LOVE your posts, but lately I have been less interested in your content. I realise the blog has grown a lot over the years, but it feels much less personal than it used to. A lot of your DIYs use sponsored products so it can feel a little false and like you’ve had to come up with something in order to use that product, rather than it just being a really good idea or something that you’ve done out of the joy of being creative. (Although, I know that when you’re busy and under pressure then being creative isn’t quite so easy…!)

    I really love your home decor and DIY posts – you have amazing style and it’s inspiring to see how you can transform a space. I’m not so keen on the Sister Style posts or the beauty posts. I think it’s because it all feels a bit like you’re trying to sell things to us (and I understand that it’s a business and you need to make money!), but just like how we all skip through the commercials when we’re watching tv if we can, we don’t want to feel like you trying sell us things all the time.

    I hope you don’t feel my feedback is unhelpful or discouraging. I’m taking the time to give you what I hope is some constructive feedback in the that hope that I can continue to read and enjoy your posts like I have for years instead of not visiting as much, and perhaps it might just be how other readers feel too.

    Sarah x

  • Hi Elsie,

    thank you for your reply! Haphazard was not particularly precise, I agree, and I apologize for that adjective. What I meant was that the DYIs have moved more toward rather quick projects, like the two plant-related posts today, than involved projects that take actual planning. Of course quick does not immediately mean bad – that is not what I insinuate. But if one scrolls back six months or a year, the DIYs generally had more steps, were more involved, and took time to complete. They were magical because they were challenging – and challenging is good! Challenges create objects that are not quick make-and-throw-away; they create things we can keep and cherish for a long time. It’s the whole point of upcycling: take something so-so and make it fabulous.

    I understand that you are going for a mixed array of content, within and between categories. After all, not all DIY can be involved and cutting edge. But DIYs like Laura’s cat house, for example, stand in extreme contrast to speedy glue-based plant stand DYIs. The involved, magical DIY is what has for me become synonymous with ABM over the years; the more complicated, detailed, creative DIY is what has set you apart from quick-fix crafting blogs and made yours a million dollar business. Thus as a long-term reader and ABM fan, what is perceived as a move toward quicker, “do-it-consume-it-throw-it-away-make-something-new” projects (as labeled on another DIY blog) is worrisome, because to me it signals a) a shift in content b) the potential loss of a favorite DIY blog and c) a move into a more consumption-based ethos that in my view clashes with what I personally value in DIY.

    I hope that clarifies what I and my fellow ABM-reading colleagues were talking about during our coffee break today (yes, ABM DIYs sometimes happen in our office!).

    Thank you for one of my favorite corners of the internet!

  • Hi Emma,
    Thank you for your feedback. As always, honest feedback is welcome and appreciated.

    Regarding sister style posts, yes-we decided to do 1-2 per week (which is more than we had been doing very recently). That said, A Beautiful Mess is primarily a food and home decor blog and if you count up our 10-12 posts per week it will reflect that with lifestyle/fashion/beauty posts sprinkled throughout. 🙂

    To be honest, this comment is discouraging for me and not super helpful. I don’t know what you are seeing that you think is haphazard, but I am doing my best to create fun and useful posts and I know our team is as well.

    There’s nothing wrong with having favorite and least favorite posts, we all do! But I don’t think that generalizing our content is ever helpful feedback. If you want to help, please let me know which posts are your favorites that you’d like to see more of!


  • Adding a coat of gloss white paint to the clay balls would be a nice touch to make the balls look like they were originally part of the glazed container.
    If you are adding a coat of paint anyway, this opens up your planter options as well (although an un-glazed pot may be preferred so the paint would adhere well)

  • I am confused by this. Emma and Elsie, are you super busy with the cookbook right now? I just cannot comprehend why ABM which usually produces incredible DIY with occasional style posts would greenlight the haphazard content we have seen recently. I love you guys and do not mean to complain but the sudden change is visible, even numerically: many Sister Style posts in the past two weeks, for example, many more than we would normally see in a half-month period. Is this a conscious decision or are you guys simply trying to post as regularly as before while being very busy with projects we do not see?

  • I love it! Now this is my type of DIY. I don’t have saws and drills, nor am I a talented woodworker. This is adorable and super simple…AKA, something that I can actually do!

  • This is so cute, I love how you decorated the planter with wood beads!

  • Cute. We made these with our preschool Sunday school kids. We just used pompoms instead but they look the same.

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