Up-cycled Vintage Linen Planter

by Francesca De Grandis/courtesy of Jacquard Products

People who up-cycle also tend to root clippings of their plants to give to friends. These individuals likely collect vintage linens, too. Combine the three proclivities: Hand-paint a treasured doily, napkin or placemat and shape it into a planter!


  • vintage linen: cloth doily, placemat, or napkin
  • Jacquard Textile Colors #100 Colorless Extender
  • Pearl Ex Powdered Pigments – colors that complement the linen
  • craft paint brushes
  • 32 oz. plastic container (e.g., yogurt container) trimmed to a two inch height
  • small potted plant that will fit into trimmed container
  • spray starch
  • iron
  • glue gun
  • scissors


Design Note

Choose a linen large enough to completely cover and gracefully drape down from the top edge when gathered up around your pot. A ‘dry run’ will give you a rough idea of how the linen will wrap and drape around your planter. The exposed draped edge is the prominent part of the planter. You may want to focus your design on this edge. You may also want to sketch a rough outline (or full image) of your design on the linen with a Jacquard Auto Fade Pen. This is where the piece becomes your own; paint flowers, geometric shapes, words, or whatever you want.


  • Paint your design with Pearl Ex colors mixed into Jacquard Colorless Extender. Allow to dry completely.
  • Starch the cloth as stiff as possible using the manufacturer’s directions on the spray starch.
  • Shape the cloth around your planter. Handle linen gingerly. Bend it only as you must. If the starch breaks down, the cloth will become supple and droop, exposing the top of the planter.

Step 1

Step 2

Below are two ways to attach and contour the cloth. With either approach, don’t be fastidious or worry about symmetry. Let the organic nature of the plant inform the draping of the linen. Make it attractive by your own standard and allow the process to unfold. Glue as close as possible to the top of the planter so that it is not exposed.

1) Loosely gather your cloth up around the pot by basting stitches that are about 2" long. Stitch where the cloth meets the pot’s top edge. Gather the stitches as you sew. Once it’s sewn, adjust the gathers of the fabric again, to your satisfaction. Then coax the top of the fabric into draping down like flower petals. Once you are satisfied with the placement of the fabric around the planter, glue it into that position, improving the look as you go. Then cover the stitching with a narrow ribbon, glued in place.

Step 3

2) This option is a bit trickier; skip the basting and glue the linen directly to your pot. The particular sizes and shapes of your pot and linen will dictate the way you glue the linen to the pot. Your aesthetic and sense of construction will guide you.

Step 4

Your planter will make an impressive presentation, remain lovely, and always show you cared enough to create this for your friend or your home!

Step 5

Finished project

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Up-cycled Vintage Linen Planter


Outlaw Bunny AKA Francesca De Grandis is multi-purpose. Painter, humorist, mystic, public figure, semi-recluse, Santa’s elf, spiritual guide, bard, Upcycling Queen, J. Whedon fan. Busy busy rabbit. She released a best-selling music album, wrote a best-selling book, and has taught creative process to newbies and pros in a variety of artistic fields. She believes we’re all skilled artists, given the right genre and right support. She also teaches Celtic shamanism and interfaith experiential-mysticism. When Multiple Sclerosis made holding a guitar too difficult, she took up mandolin. Her focus also shifted to dye-art. and