PVC Pipe Upcycle Tutorial

By: Anita Holland from
PVC Pipe Upcycle Tutorial
PVC Pipe Upcycle Tutorial
This image courtesy of

Turn recyclables into personalized planters for your home with this PVC Pipe Upcycle Tutorial. This project is super cute and makes wonderful gifts!

From the blogger: "This project was also inspired in part by my Great Niece who visits me on a regular basis.  On one of her visits, we planted some plants. And on every visit, she would want to water them.  She was a bit rough with some of my plants so I made these planters that were hers alone to look after.  So she was able to tell which were her plants I added her photo which turned out super cute."

Time to CompleteWeekend project

Main MaterialRecycled Materials

Primary TechniqueHome Decor


Project TypeMake a Project

Materials List

  • PVC Pipe
  • Temporary Tattoo paper
  • Printer
  • Soil
  • Plants
  • Glue
  • Stones


  1. Use handsaw and cut the pipe to the size you want and sand the edges smooth.

  2. Glue end cap on one end.

  3. I found the pictures that I wanted to use and used a free online programme called Lunapic to edit them. I mirrored my images and turned them black and white. I used temporary tattoo paper to transfer the images over to the PVC pipes.

  4. 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.

  5. 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 no 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.

  6. 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.

  7. And within seconds the paper can be peeled off, just peel off slowly. The very gently you can smooth out the image if it has creases as 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 an acrylic spray which you can get from your local hardware store.

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