DIY Modern Minimalist White Planters for a Windowsill Herb Garden

DIY Modern Minimalist White PlantersWho else is in love with the white ceramic trend? I’ve seen everything from animal busts to ice buckets in white ceramic in the past year, and I love each piece. The look is clean and simple, modern and minimalist. Right up my ally. When I started thinking about planting a windowsill container herb garden, I started trying to find white ceramic planters for my project. Guess what? They are PRICEY. Like, out of my budget pricey. (If your budget is bigger than mine, but still modest, check these planters. The white? I die. If I lived in an imaginary world with buckets of money, I’d cover an entire wall with these.)

I regrouped and decided I’d use large mason jars for my windowsill garden, and to get the look, I’d paint them white. Decision made and plan in hand, I made my way to my local greenhouse to pick out my herb plants. It’s a good thing I happened to stop to chat with one of the gardeners — the minute I explained my plan, she started shaking her head. Sadly, the mason jars wouldn’t offer the plants the required drainage AND they would be far too small. Plans dashed. (But I’m glad I checked. I would have been super bummed to have a windowsill of dead plants. Can you tell I do NOT have a green thumb?)

I started looking at the planters the greenhouse carried and quickly found some that I L-O-V-E-D. But at $14.99 each, the price point was headed in the wrong direction. Once again, my taste had outsized my budget. This happens a lot. I am incredibly reliable if you need someone to find the most expensive item in a room. Luckily, I’m DIY handy and can replicate most of the things I love but can’t afford.

DIY Modern Minimalist White PlantersWhat to do? Find the most cost-effective planter sold at my greenhouse and spend a little quality DIY time to make it look like what I wanted with a little leftover paint. I refuse to be thwarted by my budget.


Step 1

 Open GalleryDIY Modern Minimalist White PlantersHere are my plain-Jane terra cotta planters. At $1.09 each, they were definitely the right price point.

Step 2

 Open GalleryDIY Modern Minimalist White PlantersI laid out some cardboard and wiped each pot and tray clean. There was a lot of terra cotta dust that would have prevented good paint adhesion, so I needed to make sure I got down to a clean surface before painting.

Step 3

 Open GalleryDIY Modern Minimalist White PlantersI was thinking about spray painting the pots, but decided I wanted a little peek of the original terra cotta color to peek out at the rim of each planter. So I grabbed two sample cans of white paint (that’s Gallery White by Behr in a flat finish, in case you were wondering…) I had on hand and a small brush.

Step 4

 Open GalleryDIY Modern Minimalist White PlantersThe paint went on quickly and I didn’t need a second coat. I didn’t really want the finished product to be too perfect, so I wasn’t worried about totally even coverage, but the single coat gave me just that.

Step 5

 Open GalleryDIY Modern Minimalist White PlantersPots painted and dry, it was time to get planting.

Step 6

 Open GalleryDIY Modern Minimalist White PlantersI filled each pot a third of the way up with some organic potting soil (made in Maine, woot!) and made a little well at the bottom for each plant.

Step 7

 Open GalleryDIY Modern Minimalist White PlantersThe plants went in and I stepped back to see how the project was coming along. Almost perfect. But I needed to label each pot. Because I am just that gardening challenged, I don’t know what’s what.

Step 8

 Open GalleryDIY Modern Minimalist White PlantersA few snips gave me small name tags of black card stock, while a white gel pen and some black and white polka dotted washi tape would create the perfect simple labels.

Step 9

 Open GalleryDIY Modern Minimalist White PlantersHere’s the first batch of planters all labeled …

Step 10

 Open GalleryDIY Modern Minimalist White PlantersAnd here they are, happily situated on my windowsill. These guys will get plenty of sunshine and, if I try really hard, the appropriate amount of water. I’m very serious about not killing these beauties by drowning or drought. This time it WILL be different, I swear …


  • Terra cotta pots and dishes, size of your choice
  • White paint in a flat finish
  • Potting soil
  • Herb plants



  • Paintbrush
About Ellen Foord 


A tight budget has never stopped Ellen Foord from creating a beautiful, modern, creative home and treating every day as one of life's smaller celebrations. A freelance writer and ...

More About Ellen Foord

One Response

  1. Grandma Bunny says:

    every 3 days or so pick up and heft each pot. if they are light for their size the pot is dry, and needs water. most herbs like well drained soil so water thoroughly so the water runs out into the saucer~ and dump out the saucer after an hour. make sure the herbs get at least 4 hours of sun per day. a good water soluble plant food added to the water by the dropper is Schultz Instant or you can dilute Miracle Gro plant food. if you feed when you water the plants will be more consistently healthy. if they get too big trim them back and freeze the cuttings in Ziploc baggies, I like to chop mine very fine first. have fun. xoxo Grandma Bunny

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