I am a huge lover of all things plants, but until recently I thought my green thumb was only functional outside. Surely I couldn’t keep houseplants alive, could I? Last fall I couldn’t stand the idea of not having something green around me, so I brought in lots of my potted plants and have gradually added to my collection every time I pass a nursery! I’ve lost a few here and there, but overall I’m pretty happy with how my indoor green thumb has been developing.
I found this beautiful snake plant for a steal, but didn’t have a pot that it would fit in that I liked (or that wasn’t filthy from outdoor use). So I decided to leave it in the pot I bought it in and make it a Bucket Tote to cover it. I bought a cheap plastic tray to fit inside it to (hopefully) keep the fabric clean and dry. This method could work with any sort of pot – big or small!
This is a variation off of the Bucket Tote pattern, which is available for free in our shop. This version skips the interfacing and batting and the handles, which means it goes together really fast! I used a canvas for the outside and a quilting cotton for the inside. For this size pot I think a stabler fabric like the canvas was helpful, but for smaller pots just quilting cotton would be fine! I used 1/2 yard of each fabric to make this tote. How much you need will all depend on how big your pot is. To figure out the size we just need a bit of math. We are basically trying to fit a round pot in a square tote. I’ve got it all worked out for you below though! You’ll just need a few measurements from your pot and you’ll be set. (If you are super curious about how I came up with my numbers, I’ve explained it in detail at the bottom of this post.)
Here’s what you need, jot these numbers down as you go:
Measure around the outside of your pot, preferably the very top edge since most pots tend to have a concave shape. We want to know the widest part. Go ahead and round up to the nearest 1/2 inch. We are going to call this number A.
Next, measure the height of the the pot. Make sure to include whatever tray you plan to put inside. Again, round up to the nearest 1/2″. We will call this number B.
The Bucket Tote instructions walk you through squaring off the bottom of the tote. To do this you need to know the depth you want it to be. The DEPTH will = A/4.
Now we just need to figure out how big to cut your fabric!
To figure out how WIDE to cut your fabric: (A/2) + 1
To figure out how TALL to cut your fabric: B + (.5 x DEPTH) + 4
For example, my pot is 32″ around and 9-1/2″ tall.
Depth: 32″/4=8″, so my tote will be 8″ deep.
Width: 32″/2 + 1=17″, so I will cut my fabric 17″ wide.
Height: 9-1/2 “+ (1/2 of 8) + 4 = 17-1/2″, so I will cut the height of my fabric at 17-1/2” tall.
You’ll cut two outside pieces and two lining pieces, all the same size that you figured out in your math. From here just follow the bucket tote instructions, skipping steps 1-3, to make a square bottom tote! One additional step I would recommend is to double check that the outside and lining both fit snug on your pot before you complete Step 9 of the Bucket Tote pattern (sewing the lining to the outside). It’s much easier to adjust these while they are still two separate pieces. Either take in your side seams or let them out a bit as needed to make your tote fit snug around your pot.
Once you’re done, put the tray inside the tote first, then insert your plant.
Fold the edge over to show your beautiful lining fabric! This also adds some stability to the tote. That’s it! Put your plant in a sunny spot and start your next tote. This method will work great for any size pot – big or small.
I used Squares in Ash and Retro Leaves in Charcoal to make my Plant Bucket Tote.
Happy planting & sewing!
P.S. If you’re the curious type, here’s how I figured all of this out. I’m no mathematician…the only reason I think it’s right is because it worked!
We want the opening of our bucket tote to match the circumference of the pot. I knew I wanted the base of the tote to be square, so the total distance around the tote could be divided by 4, since each side of the base would be the same size. The depth of the tote is one of these sides, so already we know that circumference/4 = depth.
The cut width would be equal to one side of the square plus 1/2 of the left side and 1/2 of the right side, which would equal 2 full sides. To simplify that equation I just took the circumference (which would be all four sides) and divided by 2 (which would be two sides), and then added an inch for seam allowance.
The cut height needed to be equal to the height of the pot, plus half of one side of our square base (think about the seam being in the center of the bottom of the square. The front piece of fabric will cover half of the base, the back piece of fabric will be the other half.) Then I added an inch for seam allowance and three inches for folding over the top edge. Hope that makes sense!