Making Your Own Plant Pots

Look around your home for everyday materials that could be used as decorative pot covers. Here are some ideas to set you thinking. Displaying plants in attractive containers doesn’t have to be expensive. Leftover fabric, paint, even plastic bags can be used to quickly transform an uninteresting pot.

Simple co-ordination

A quick and cheap way of matching plant pots to the room’s decorations is to use leftovers from decorating to hide ordinary plastic pots.

A square of curtain fabric can be used to make a smart cover. Place the pot and its saucer in the centre of the fabric, then gather up the fabric around them with your hands to form a Dorothy bag shape.

To finish off, tie ribbon or braid loosely in a bow around the bag top and plant stem, and allow the fabric corners to drape attractively. Leave space at the neck of the bag so that the plant can be watered.

Short-term pot covers can be used to decorate pots for a special occasion. A temporary cover-up could be made in the same way from an oddment of wallpaper.

making your own plant pots

A paint finish

A minimum of paint is needed to co-ordinate pots with the colour scheme. You can use emulsion (in which case cover with a couple of coats of clear varnish), or gloss paint. If you want a popular broken-colour finish add a second colour over the first using a sponge or rag to make a decorative pattern on the plain colour underneath. Another decorative option is to stencil on a floral motif.

White to show off plants

White is always an effective background for green plants, and a very effective white container cover can be created with a plain white plastic bag or thick bin liner!

making your own pots

For this, choose a large, empty pot. Put the pot in the bag, pull up tightly and fix the bag onto the inside of the pot, well below the rim, using staples, tape or glue.

Neaten off by trimming away any surplus plastic. The result is an instant white container that looks surprisingly like an expensive, ceramic one. Use this in the same way you would a ceramic container, to hold a potted plant, but stand the plant on a dish or saucer.

A rustic look

Sacks, hessian and other rough-textured materials can be used to give an informal country look. Make a miniature sack to cover your container by sewing up the sides of a rectangle of the material and forming a gusset for string or rope around the top. Pop plant and pot inside and pull up drawstring, tying to allow space for watering.

Colourful paper bags Strong, brightly coloured paper carrier bags, the sort you buy to use as gift wrapping, can also form decorative pot cover-ups. Line the inside with plastic and match the bag colour to plant’s flowers.

Alternative Cover-ups

Here are some other materials and items you could use:

Kitchen foil and cling film

Wrapped loosely round a pot, these give a gleaming finish. Shiny kitchen foil and cling film give pots a lovely reflective finish which is perfect for a short-term display.

Leftover mirror or ceramic tiles

Glue the tiles to a cardboard box and line the box with polythene.

Shopping bag or basket

A shopping bag can lend a touch of humour, and a basket can be sprayed with paint to match the colour scheme of the room. Stand the pots on saucers.

Waste paper basket

Use plain, or paint-sprayed.

Containers from collections

If you spend spare moments foraging around junk shops and market stalls look out for decorative old containers that could be successfully used as unusual plant pots, then collect a series that can be used together for a plant group. Consider old biscuit tins, stoneware kitchen containers, coloured glass, jugs, teapots, cups, home-brewing jars and bins.

Almost anything can be used to hold plants, and it doesn’t need to be waterproof. Line containers with several polythene bags, or stand the pots in dishes or on saucers to prevent their leaking.

White stoneware jars make wonderful containers for palms of all sizes.

Good display ideas

Plants and containers that form a special collection need to he well displayed. Here are some suggested positions:

  • Kitchen dresser
  • Glass shelves across a window Mantelpiece
  • Windowsill
  • Shelving unit
  • A junk-shop fireplace makes a stunning display case for plants outdoors.

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