Take Away the Winter Blues with These Café Planters

This wonderful winter craft is brought to us by Sobia Hussain of The Olive Tree Soap Company. Remember this amazing giveaway she offered recently? Well, we are so fortunate to be on the receiving end of her crafty ideas, which she’s agreed to contribute every month. Read on below to learn the first of many ways to help make the winter blues a little ‘greener’.

Winter is a beautiful season when everything gets covered with a fresh layer of glistening snow.  It seems as though the earth goes into a long quiet slumber where all becomes peacefully still.  I love the hues of blue found on the horizons, welcoming us at dawn and dusk.  During this period, however, the days can also get rather short and much colder.  We tend to find ourselves indoors considerably more than we would in warmer temperatures…which could sometimes make us feel “cooped up” inside.

So, what better way to bring some life into your home than with these lovely cafe-style planters?  And guess what?  These make great housewarming gifts, too!

Housewarming Gift

This project is so easy to make.  Anyone can do it!  And, it only requires a few materials.  


Here is what you need:


  • ceramic cappuccino mug
  • oil-based Sharpie Marker (any color)
  • small potted plant
  • potting soil (optional)

You can find inexpensive ceramic cappuccino mugs at the dollar store.  The oil-based Sharpie Markers can be found at your local arts and craft store.  You can choose any color marker you like but black seems to stand out the best with a stunning display.  The plants can be purchased from your local home and garden store.  If your cappuccino mug is fairly large, you may need extra potting soil as a filler.  


Before beginning, wash your cappuccino mug with soap and warm water.  Let it dry thoroughly.  While waiting, take this time to plan out your design.  If you wish, you can draw it on a piece of paper first.  The design can be as simple or intricate as you like.  In this tutorial, I decided to create freehand henna designs to add an ethnic flare!


Carefully draw your designs onto the surface of the mug.  Be sure not to smudge it with your fingers or hands.  Once complete, let dry for about 1 hour.  

underside view mug

You can also flip the mug over and draw a design on the bottom or even write a little message if you are giving this as a gift.

Keep in mind, this method of painting is suitable for decorative purposes.  If you wish to use your mug without the plant (for your next cup of coffee for example), use a ceramic or glass paint intended for dishwashing to ensure durability from repeated use and washes.   

 Complete View Left

Complete View Right


Complete Underside View

Now that your mug is completely dry, it is ready for the plant.  If your potted plant is small enough, you can simply place the pot right into the mug.  However, if you prefer you can also gently remove the original plastic pot, add some fresh potting soil to your mug and place the plant into your painted cappuccino mug.

Cafe Planter Display

 And, that’s it!  Your beautifully hand-painted cafe planter is ready to bring some colour and warmth to your home or the home of the lucky recipient of this lovely housewarming gift.  Doesn’t it look lovely?

PS.  Remember to water your plant regularly.  Enjoy!


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    1. UmmAyana, for this particular planter I didn’t because I slipped the original pot right inside the mug and there was some space for drainage. However, if you were to place the plant directly into the mug, then a small layer of rocks/pebbles would help maintain the moisture of the soil.

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