Fabric Pot Covers

The best place to start for these covers is to find the plant pots or jars you want to cover and, if pots, something to stop the water seeping through.  Here I have a 13cm pot with Hyacinth bulbs sitting in a tray from the recycling. There is a jam jar for flowers and some plastic bottle bottoms again from recycling, one with an 8.5cm pot with Aloe plant.

As a stiffener I have cut out a base and collar just slightly larger than the waterproof pot.  This acts to even out any grooves like in the bottle bottom or jar top and actually bring up the sides of the shallower container to the height of the plant pot.  This means you won’t have to find an exact fit for the waterproof part.  I have used Vilene S80 but any stiff interfacing or card would do.

As a base fabric to cover the stiffener I have cut or torn pieces from an old sheet which is 5 cm taller and 2 cm extra at the bottom than the stiffener and the width is the same plus about 2cm. I have also gathered my top fabrics. Here I am using pieces I have rust, ice, earth and eco dyed and printed but you can use any fabrics you like.

Putting the stiffener to one side lay and pin pieces of your chosen top fabrics on the base layer. Try and keep the bulk of the fabrics, and later the stitching, between the blue dotted lines.  Beyond these are the areas which will be folded over the top of your vessel or rolled along the bottom so you don’t want extra thickness, or your best stitching, there. You can always add more special pieces on later.

Stitch around the pieces. You can do this discreetly or as part of the overall pattern. Using different threads can also add to the finished look.  Baste around the outer edge as well as it’s nicer not having stray bits of fabric being folded over and sewn where you don’t want them to be. I think the more layers of stitching over each other and different varieties all adds to the richness of the piece.

Now add all your top stitching on the newly made piece of fabric.  You can use a subtle palette, go to town, big stitches or small ones, all the same types of stitch or every kind you can think of.  This is your piece and will sit in your home so just enjoy the process. I mainly use straight stitch, Stem and Split stitch, cross and herringbone and some French Knots.

When you have finished your stitching glue the stiffener lightly onto the back of the fabric with a fabric or tacky glue. Place it with the 2cm gap at the bottom.

Form the backed fabric into a cylinder with a neat overlap of the fabric. Pin and check the waterproof pot fits inside easily.  Remove the waterproof pot and glue or stitch, or both, the side seam.

Base type 1

Glue the base circle of stiffener onto a spare piece of covering fabric, this does not need to have been stitched on. Trim 1.5 to 2cm beyond the base.

Place this to the bottom of the pot cover with both excess fabrics together on the outside. Pin and stay stitch around the seam where the stiffeners meet.  This doesn’t have to be perfect so don’t worry if there’s a little gap or two.

Along the bottom roll the two fabrics together to the outside to make a pasty crust seam.  Use a strong thread, I’m using some crochet cotton I had used in the stitching. This can feel a little reluctant in places but keep encouraging it.  The first round I space the stitches quite a way apart to just hold the roll in place.  I then go around a few more times using other threads I have used in the stitching. 

Base type 2

If you prefer a neater base for your pot type then you can always fold in both the bottom and the extra fabric around the base and ladder stitch in place instead.

Fold your top edge to the inside and check the height against your waterproof pot. Here you can either glue this down or stitch.  My pins mark the top of the stiffener on the inside so I can stitch around without battling the extra thickness.

To finish just insert your waterproof pot or dish and then your plant.

There’s no limit on size, you just have to find the right size of container to act as a waterproof liner for your plant first.  Even an old, cleaned out paint tin could be covered.