flowerpotsGardeners love decorative containers as the number of companies offering them attest. We search for the perfect complement for our most treasured plants and often spend considerable sums of money on special containers. Sometimes pricey containers cut into our plant budget, so we're constantly on the hunt for low-cost ways to spruce up existing flowerpots.

Many gardeners are quilters and if they're not, a large percentage enjoys country-themed décor. This month's Frugal Gardener is instructions for using fabric to create decorative quilt blocks on clay flowerpots. Even if you don't care for the quilt theme, you could substitute your favorite college or pro sports team. Most folks have a beloved tee-shirt that is too tattered to wear. The logo could be salvaged and placed on a container too.

This was an extremely frugal craft. The Mod-Podge® was purchased many projects ago and will be good for several more. The cotton fabric was left over from a quilt that I made for my niece. The white paint, flowerpot and clear sealer were all on hand from other projects too. I did purchase the rosemary plant for a couple of dollars, but it will give me many tasty meals throughout the year, so this project cost me almost nothing. Check out earlier editions of the Frugal Gardener at this link to see how the other flowerpots in the image were made.

material

I dug through my fabric stash and came up with some co-ordinating cottons. Iron your fabric well. Wrinkles make it harder to work with.

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Squares are easy to work with and a snap to cut. Simple shapes create interesting patterns, so just stick to the basics.

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Cut more than you think you'll use, That way, you'll have plenty of pieces to play with.I ended up not even using the plaid pieces.

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I cut the squares into triangles. For those of you who sew, there's no need for seam allowances. Just cut your triangles like you intend to use them.

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After I cut my triangles, I experimented with patterns, creating several combinations. I decided the one on the far right had more contrast, so went with that one.

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I had a terracotta flowerpot left over from another Frugal Gardener, so didn't have to paint one for this project. I used a flat, matte white if you want to re-create the look. I also laid out my patchwork blocks to make them easier to pick up.

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Spread a thin layer of Mod-Podge® on your flowerpot and start placing your pieces in the design you've chosen. I found that it was easier to put the dry fabric on the prepared flowerpot, instead of covering the pieces in Mod-Podge®.

trim

I added thin border strips after I had the patchwotk stuck. It seemd to give it a more finished appearance. Use the paintbrush to lightly cover the top of the fabric with a coat of Mod-Podge once it is dry to the touch.

trim

Check your work and make sure that there aren't any creases or bubbles. Now is the time to make adjustments before the Mod-Podge® completely sets up.

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Watch the edges so that stray threads do not distract from the finished piece. In most instances, the stray threads can simply be tucked back along the edge of the fabric. If you miss one, use a razor blade to slice it flush with your patch.

spraying

Be sure to seal your flowerpot inside and out with a clear, waterproof coating. This will keep moisture from seeping through the terracotta and ruining your patchwork.

rosemary plant

I thought a rosemary plant would go well in this container. The soft, gray-green foliage matches the quilt block.This was a fun and easy project and I think the 'quilty' flowerpot is a nice addition to my collection!