Thrift Store Treasure: DIY Fabric Flowerpots

Love it or not, the holiday season is descending upon us. For many of us, this is a time when we’ll start migrating indoors as the weather chills. Soon, the airwaves will be filled with overzealous holiday commercials, the initial plans for this year’s holiday parties will start to come together and we will start making out our gift lists and checking them twice.

So with that in mind, may I present this week’s DIY project: fabric flowerpots!  Fun, cheap, easy to make and they fulfill nearly every wicket on my seasonal hit list.

Whaaaat? ‘How is that,’ you ask?

As the season of open windows and pleasantly cool breezes, well, breezes past, we are progressively forced to spend more time indoors. This, unfortunately, can lead to cabin fever and sickness. Even more depressing is that seemingly innocuous household objects-carpets, cleaning products, appliances and even–gah!–nail polish, can emit harmful VOCs (volatile organic compounds). As a result, we can wind up hanging out in less than desirable air quality, potentially 3 to up to 10 times worse than the air quality outdoors in a major city. To contradict this, scientists and horticulturalists recommend adding a few houseplants. Though many houseplants appear no more spectacular than your average outdoor foliage, many are secretly superheroes in disguise. In fact, common houseplants, like the Bamboo Palm, English Ivy and Spider plant, have actually been proven to remove harmful pollutants and create fresher, healthier air!

Most houseplants, however, are sold in plastic containers that are designed with a practical and not aesthetic purpose. Decorative flowerpots can be extremely pricy and bulky. That’s why I love adding a personal fabric touch to the pot; not only can you turn a standard flowerpot into a conversation piece, but it makes an excellent gift, as well: beautiful and thoughtful. Cheap and chic!

But that’s not all! These fabric colored flowerpots are extremely versatile and don’t have to house only plants!  I love dressing up a pots to create a totally unique party snack spread. Smaller pots with a plastic insert work great for olives and dips, where larger pots can hold pretzels, carrots and snack mixes. Or, spruce up your desk with a custom designed pen or pencil holder. The possibilities are limited only by your imagination.

What You Need:

  • Flower Pots (Terracotta, Plastic, Clay…)
  • Fabric (I look for remnants or quarters)
  • Scissors
  • Mod Podge® Matte
  • Brush

The Hunt: Late fall is the best time to find flowerpots at a thrift store–or even your local hardware store–because they’re cheap, cheap, cheap. In fact, you can likely purchase a number of pots for under $1.00.  For this project, a variety of mediums will work: plastic, ceramic and even terracotta. Since most of the flowerpots I am working with are fairly small, I purchased a variety of fabric quarters for $1.99 each.  Also, check out the remnants section, (fabric left over).  Usually you can find cheap, pre-cut fabric already priced and bundled.

Clean: Rinse the pots of any debris, especially if you plan on using these for snack displays.

Cut: Wrap the fabric around your pot to measure, leaving roughly 1½ inches above the top and the bottom. Go ahead and cut that to fit.

Glue: Apply a liberal layer of Mod Podge® to the surface of your pot. Don’t forget to a apply adhesive to the bottom and the 1½ inch edge inside. You can also use fabric adhesive, which typically comes in a spray form. I prefer Mod Podge® as it’s easy to apply, serves a double purpose as an adhesive and varnish and doesn’t give off a strong scent.  Pay close attention to the seams.

Wrap: Tightly wrap the fabric around the pot and fold the edges together to create a nice seam. Press firmly to smooth out any air pockets. Then, fold the fabric over the top and run your finger along the edge to ensure it is securely glued. Repeat the same steps on the bottom of the flowerpot. If you are using this as a plant holder, make sure not to cover up the water hole on the bottom of the pot.

Varnish: Apply a layer of Mod Podge® over the entire pot to seal.

Grand Reveal: Uses for these pots are nearly limitless! And it’s likely that you’ll spend half (a quarter?) the amount on these custom designed (by you!) bowls and flowerpots. In total, each bowl cost me about $2.00 to make. What other creative uses for these pretty pots can you imagine?