Tuesday, October 8, 2013

How To Decorate Potted Plants With Burlap

 Yesterday was a perfectly gorgeous fall day and we spent most of it working outside.  I worked on Halloween decorations and Dan painted our new chairs.  (I am so excited about them, can't wait to show you.)  These are the days that inspire me and my creativity soars.

I had purchased some fall mums to replace some of my waning summer plants.  You know how potted plants look when you buy them - plain.  Just plain.  We have no in ground planting space on our patio, so everything is planted in pots.  I like for things to look as much like a garden as possible.  This is how the patio looked in summer.
Many of the plants are fading and it was time to go with fall plants.  Mums are great flowering fall plants and they are readily available this time of year.  There are also plenty of pumpkins available which will last until Christmas if they are not carved.
Plants come in utilitarian pots and I have been known to use them that way, but not on our patio.  Big planters and baskets are expensive.  I am a "make do" kind of girl.  So, I had an inspiration to cover the pots with burlap which is inexpensive, comes in colors, and will withstand lots of water if it rains.  It also has a very fall look to it.

I spent many years working as a floral designer and have covered literally thousands of potted plants with pot foil.  You know that stuff florists use when you receive a potted plant?  It is shiny, comes in different colors,  and usually has a bit of a brocade look to it.  It is sealed on the inside to be waterproof.  I'm here to tell you I can cover potted plants in my sleep.  Then, they are usually decorated with a big bow.  I can make those in my sleep too.  Mercy me the hours I have spent covering pots and making bows.  Whew.

I wanted to jazz up the patio for fall/Halloween and didn't really want plain black pots.  Burlap was the answer and I happened to have a couple of yards on hand.  Pot sizes are measured in inches.  The pot in the picture above is a 10 inch pot, I had two  8" pots of mums and two 6" pots of mums.   Here is how to cover a potted plant.

You will need burlap and some wooden skewers to use with the burlap.  Remember, this is for outside use.  The burlap is not waterproof like pot foil and will leak if you water an indoor plant.  You will need a plastic saucer under the plant if you do this for indoor use.

 I also used jute twine in place of ribbon.  I just really like it because it is rustic looking.  Feel free to use ribbon if you prefer.  I also had some fall berries that I got at the Dollar Tree and added those as a little something extra.  Here is what you do.

Set your pot on the burlap and pull up the burlap on each side until you know the pot will be covered.  I couldn't do that and take a picture at the same time.  Hope you understand what I mean.  You should have a large square when finished.  Then, pull a thread horizontally and vertically so you can cut the burlap straight.  Just grab a thread on the side of the burlap where you need to cut and pull it all the way across.  You will have an opening between the threads that allows you to cut the fabric straight.
Now, set the pot in the middle of the burlap square.  Pull the front side up to the edge of the pot with just a little overhang, and put one of the wooden skewers through the burlap to hold it in place.
Do the same on the back side of the pot half way around.  Now, do the left and right quarter sides.  You will have 4 skewers in the pot.

Next, cut a long piece of jute twine, more than enough to go around the pot and tie in a bow.  Pull the extra burlap up close to the pot and wrap the twine tightly around the pot and tie it behind the front skewer pulling the twine as tight as you can get it to hold the burlap up on the pot.
Tie the twine in a knot around the skewer.

Next, I cut some stems of the berries and tied them with the twine, then made a shoestring bow.  The finished pot looks like this.
You wil have 4 corners that hang down like in the picture.  Doesn't that look better than a plain black pot?  A yard of burlap is $2.97 at Wal Mart and one yard will cover a 10 " pot with left over fabric and a yard will cover two 8 " pots with a little left over.  I used the extra white to cover my small 6" mums.  They are purple and I can't wait for them to pop!
I used natural burlap to cover the two 8" mums.
I placed some pumpkins around the patio and carport, hung my Halloween wreath and added the ghost and skeleton reflectors I got at Michael's for a whopping 50 cents each.  They look so cute in the pots!

Here is a picture of the little corner garden on the patio.  Everything is in pots, so it is easily changed with the season.  Can't wait for Christmas!
The white globes in the middle have white Christmas lights in them.  They are so pretty at night.
You can add extras to the pots like the Happy Halloween sign, the reflectors, cat tails, wheat - just use your imagination.  They add another level of interest to the potted flower.

Tomorrow, I think I may go get some pansies to replace the begonias around the patio because they won't last through the winter.  Pansies will bloom here most of the winter.  They like cool weather.

Have you decorated for fall or Halloween?  If you haven't started yet, give this inexpensive way to cover your pots a try.  It really is easy and makes them look so much better!  Have fun!!

Everyday Donna

Things to Remember:

A garden is a delight to the eye and a solace for the soul.  -- Sadi

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