Vintage Condiment Caddy as Mini Succulent Pots

Vintage Condiment Caddy as Mini Succulent Pots

I recently went on a thrifting adventure in Spartanburg, SC- a town not too far from where I live (and where I was recently interviewed for their local paper!). And let me tell you, the thrifting angels were singing from above. I found future project after future project, driving home with a car load of fun finds. And one of those finds was a vintage condiment caddy.

Vintage condiment caddy

The small stainless steel bowls seemed like they would be perfect as mini succulent pots.

Condiment caddy from the thrift store

Or, at least, that’s what I told myself. I have yet to succeed at keeping any real succulents alive. I *usually* stick to faux plants, like these felt succulents!

Felt succulents

But anyway, my plan was to transform the vintage condiment caddy into small indoor plant pots with a simply makeover. Then, it would be ready for small succulents to be planted inside!

Upcycling idea for vintage condiment caddy

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Upcycling a Vintage Condiment Caddy

First, I started with the small stainless steel bowls that would ultimately be used as the mini succulent pots.

For their makeover, I decided to give them a hammered look with some spray paint.

Spray painting the metal cups in a vintage condiment caddy

Painting the stainless steel bowls resulted in a muted, textured silver that was much more pleasing to the eye. And it simply made them look like something other than stainless steel bowls!

Hammered silver spray paint on stainless steel

Next, I turned my attention to the wooden portion of the vintage condiment caddy. I used spray chalk paint in white to freshen and brighten it up.

Chalked spray paint in linen white

After the paint dried on the wooden carrier, I distressed the edges with some flexible sand paper.

Distressing the spray chalk paint with 220 grit sandpaper

I LOVE this sandpaper when I’m distressing anything round, like the handle on this vintage condiment caddy.

Next, I turned my attention back to the stainless steel bowls. It was time to transform them into mini succulent pots!

Stainless Steel Bowls as Mini Succulent Pots

In order to (hopefully) improve my brown thumb, I punched small holes in each stainless steel bowl as drainage for the mini succulents.

Punching holes in metal with an awl

Now to add the right layers to my mini succulent pots. Keeping succulents alive has been a struggle for me in the past, so I really wanted to do this right!

First, I started out with with small circles of screen mesh. I cut them out using my heavy duty shears and placed one circle in the bottom of each bowl. 

Layer of screen mesh at bottom of succulent planter

The screen mesh would help keep soil from seeping through the drainage holes.

Next, I added a layer of gravel over the circles of screen mesh.

Gravel in succulent pot for drainage

And bonus! I used the screen mesh that was left over from my doily display project and gravel left over from my Ireland Jar! I love using up craft supplies in multiple projects!

NOW I could transplant the mini succulents into the vintage condiment caddy!

After hearing that Vermiculite was great for succulents, I used it as potting soil in my mini succulent pots.

Succulents in vermiculite in a vintage condiment caddy

The only downside to Vermiculite is that it is EXTREMELY lightweight, almost like ash. And it will blow away if you even breathe too closely.

Since regular gravel would be too large for my dainty succulents, I used aquarium gravel or aquarium pebbles to cover the tops of the mini succulent pots.

Aquarium gravel for mini succulent pots

And it worked like a charm!

I sprinkled the aquarium gravel over the Vermiculite and used some jewelry pliers to perfect the placement of individual pieces.

Vintage Condiment Caddy as Mini Succulent Pots

With that, the transformation was complete. My vintage condiment caddy was now a small indoor planter for some mini succulents!

Mini succulents in a vintage condiment caddy

And if you’re “over” the succulent trend, any type of small indoor plant would likely work!

The vintage condiment caddy worked perfectly as succulent pots. Plus, it’s easy to move around from room to room, sun and shade.

Vintage condiment caddy as mini succulent pots

**Update**: I have kept one of the mini succulents alive for a couple of years now! She grew big enough to require a larger pot, so I transplanted her into a vintage McCoy planter.

Succulent in a vintage McCoy planter

If you enjoyed this upcycling idea for an indoor planter, you will love this project for cactus decor or faux cactus. You will not BELIEVE what I upcycled to make them!

Wooden cactus decor from post caps

Craft on!


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Mini succulent pots from a vintage condiment caddy

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Sarah Ramberg is the owner of Sadie Seasongoods, a website that celebrates all things secondhand. From upcycling ideas and thrifted decor to vintage-centric travel itineraries, Sadie Seasongoods is a one-stop shop for anyone who loves thrifting and approachable repurposing ideas. Sarah is also the author of “Crafting with Flannel” and has been featured in numerous media outlets and magazines.


  1. I don’t live too far from you and love thrifting. I keep reading that you went to this place and that and I start drooling. What is it about thrifting that gets the juices going I wonder? I would really love to bring home some of those awesome linens or vintage sheets for some kind of re-purpose, even that sweet knockoff bracelet you made from a vintage handkerchief was something I would do.

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      Thanks, Rose!!! I don’t know what it is about thrifting either- maybe because it’s a treasure hunt that ends differently each and every time!

  2. Lois Stimax says

    I just get fake succulents at the Dollar Tree and then they always look good! Love this upcycle!!

  3. Once again, you take something mundane and transform it into something so fun and cute.

  4. What a fun re-purpose idea! Thank you for the idea…glad I saw it from the vintage charm party:)

  5. A very creative upcycle! I love how this turned out. I’ve never even tried succulents, so good luck! They do look cute in their bowls, and with all the efforts you’ve made, keep fingers crossed this time. Pinned.

  6. LOVE this … and wish I lived closer to Asheville …

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      Thanks, Kim! These Vintage Market Days are popping up ALL over the place…so there may be one coming to you soon!

  7. Once again, your keen eye for repurposing has worked like magic on this condiment-thing! The end result is so cute!

  8. l Heading to my favorite thrift store. Thank you for the creative project.

  9. Well, how cute is this?! Love it! Thanks for sharing @Vintage Charm–pinned!

  10. Another great project; seeing as how I have black thumbs, I would just go for the fake succulents and glue the gravel to some styrofoam! If you ever need small gravel, head to the pet store and get some parakeet gravel. I always have good luck at Dollar Tree and sometimes clearance @ Michael’s and AC Moore–or at least a coupon!

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      I seriously thought about going the fake succulent route, LOL! If these guys don’t make, I’ll totally use some faux ones!

  11. This is hilarious because you beat me to it! Seriously, I have one very similar waiting on the queue with the intention of turning it into a planter except I was going in the direction of herbs. Yours looks fabulous, Sarah and I love the way you staged the photo! Pinned and sharing. P.S. Onto Plan B 😉

  12. fresh original idea! I’m impressed!

  13. Lisa Philbeck says

    Hey neighbor! I live only about 45 min from Spartanburg, but I’m in NC. I love thrifting and don’t get enough time to do it. Your projects are always so cute!

  14. Tara Harless says

    I love how you see things you find at thrift stores in a new way!

  15. Brilliant AND adorable! Let us know how well the plants survive. Pinned it!

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      Thanks, Angie!!! yes, here’s hoping- so far, so good. Like any good blogger, I just needed them to stay alive for the fancy photos, LOL! But I’m hardly watering them (which was my downfall last time)…so time will tell…

  16. Janet Brennan says

    I like old dishes and pottery

  17. Janet Brennan says

    I love your posts on thrifting in different cities – I love traveling upstate SC and the mtns of NC so I need to check out some of your recommendations.

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      Thanks, Janet! I’ve traveled to towns and cities in SC, NC, GA, FL, TN, KY, and VA so far. I just adore exploring each one…and hopefully find treasures along the way!

  18. Gaahhh, so cute! My succulents have all croaked 😉 Thanks for sharing it over at Funtastic Friday, Sarah!

  19. I’m just getting into thrifting as I’m building a new home and want the farmhouse feel. I’m in upstate SC and need to know all the good shops to check out!

  20. Jessica Bentley says

    I hope to visit your booth at VMD!

  21. Tasha Dickerson says

    I hope to find anything! There will be to much to see!

  22. I would have never thought of a planter, but I love how it turned out and would LOVE to have it in my office! Thanks for the idea (I’ll be on the lookout for something to transform)!!

  23. Tammy Vaughn says

    You are so smart! Love the repurpose idea! ?

  24. Fonda Rush says

    I have no expectations if I were to go to this show. I would love to find anything that would add to what I already have. Goodness knows I don’t need to start anything new! This would be a great birthday surprise. My birthday is 8/19. I hope that the weather is good for everyone.

    • Fonda Rush says

      I got a little carried away, and I wanted to tell you how wonderful your make-over is. If you puncture the bottom, the water may seep out and ruin what is underneath. Wouldn’t this be a wonderful opportunity to set the planter on an oval platter or serving tray. You could put additional doo-dads on the platter or tray that continues the delightfulness of the planter. Have fun! I’m going to keep my eyes peeled for something like this. I love the idea.

      • Sadie Seasongoods says

        I don’t worry about the water with succulents- you don’t add much to begin with! 🙂

        • Fonda Rush says

          I’m new to succulents, too. I have a Jade tree now, a couple of hens and chicks and a couple of aloes. I’m winging it. Keeping my fingers crossed!

  25. Tammy Vaughn says

    Love your ideas!

  26. acraftymix says

    I have a sneaky suspicion that all the previous succulents you’ve tried growing were just not capable of surviving in a space that’s filled with so much positive creativity and energy. They’re sensitive in that way 😉 These guys look like they’re a bit more hardy and you’ve given them the perfect space to thrive. I think they’ll do go and give you lots of little babies too

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      Hahaha, I love you for saying that! I’m already worried that I’ve overwatered these guys, so I think I need to set them out on the porch, away from my constant sight. 🙂

  27. This is such a great idea! I love your creativity!

  28. This is such a great re-use! Thanks for linking up with Merry Monday this week!

  29. Mary-The Boondocks Blog says

    Sarah I have had really bad luck with all plants even succulents but I try to not give up. Your repurpose is very pretty and as long as the plants don’t die on you, you should be fine.

  30. Cute idea.

  31. The fairy godmother of thrifting was looking out for you! This looks much better with succulents than with condiments and I love the way you styled the vignette. Thank you for sharing with us at Celebrate Your Story, and have a great weekend.

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      Yes, she sure was!!! I owe her big time…I was in a real slump before that thrifting trip, so to find so many treasures (including that caddy) was the shot in the arm that I needed. Thank you so much, Sandra!

  32. I love this upcycle, it looks so high end! I would love to have this in my house. #MM

  33. Adorable! Thank you for sharing at Snickerdoodle. I am featuring your Succulent Planter today at the party.

  34. This collection turned out GREAT – love the planter. Hope to see you at this week’s party & am thrilled you joined us at last week’s party. xo

  35. As always, you rock!!! Good job upcycle sister!

    Thanks for linking to Waste Not Wednesday.

  36. Another amazing and creative project. Thanks for sharing with us at the Waste Not Wednesday link party. Keep coming back and inspiring us.

  37. So you’re not afraid of draining on top of the books or? Nancy

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      Not really- They’ll mostly live on a window sill to be in the sun, and not always on the books. And I’ll water then infrequently, which will help prevent over-watering.

  38. Very nice. I too go to thrift stores. And find neat thing. Also rummage sales. You can find some really odd stuff

  39. Absolutely gorgeous. I love what you did here. However, I just can’t keep these little cuties from dying. I am doing something wrong. 🤔

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