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Easy DIY Paper Plant Pot Covers – With Old Maps

Inside: Make a DIY plant pot cover in 10 minutes with old road maps or any other paper.

This is my latest map craft, how to make gorgeous DIY paper plant pot covers from old road maps. This is a very quick and affordable 10-minute papercraft.

I’ve made map paper luminary bags before, but I want something more substantial for these paper bags as I wanted to use them to cover plant pots.

Paper plant pot covers are eco-friendly, especially using recycled or repurposed paper like old road maps. They are a great way to reduce waste and make your plant pots more attractive at the same time.

I added contact paper to the old road maps to make them more robust, flexible and waterproof, perfect for making DIY plant pot covers.

By the way, you can make fabric plant pot covers like these paper ones. The only difference is using stitches instead of glue; no contact paper is needed.

old road maps

Making Map Paper Plant Pot Covers

A couple of weeks ago, after we were finally allowed some freedom, I visited the Cambridge University Botanical Gardens. On the way out, I couldn’t resist popping into the shop; it seemed a long time since I’d been in a nonfood shop.

I treated myself to a gorgeous plant called peperomia burbella. But it just came in the usual terracotta plastic pot. When I got it home, I decided to make the map paper plant pot cover for it.

peperomia burbella

This only took about 10mins, so I made a couple more custom-sized map planter pot covers. They were still in their ugly plastic pots for some of my other houseplants.

That’s the beauty of this map craft tutorial; it shows you how to make custom-sized map paper plant pot covers. Also, the map bags were so sturdy that they could be used as fun storage bins.

Using Old Road Map Paper

After denim, old road maps are my favourite thing to craft with. I love the colours, patterns and feel of old maps. They can add personality to a craft and make it unique if you use maps of your favourite places.

On a practical side, old road maps are readily available as everyone uses a sat nav or their phones. Also, maps eventually go out of date, so plenty of redundant ones are around.

Just ask family and friends if they have any old maps. Now that mine know how much I love map crafts, they automatically pass me old road maps. Thrift and charity stores are also excellent sources of cheap road maps.

Another wonderful thing about road maps is that they tend to be printed on extra-large pieces of paper. This is great for crafts like these paper planters, which use large pieces of paper.

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What You Need

  • Old road maps
  • Contact paper / sticky back plastic – This is available in various colours. Buy it in rolls by the meter; that way, you can ensure you have a large piece for your paper bag planter. You can only make small bags with the stuff that comes in sheets.
  • Duct tape
  • Measuring tape
  • Scissors
what you need

How To Make The DIY Plant Pot Covers

Step 1: The first thing to do is work out how big you need the map plant pot cover to hide your plastic pot. Theoretically, you could plant straight into the bags as they are waterproof. But you could have problems with drainage, so I recommend using an inner plastic pot.

Using tape, measure the circumference of the pot at the widest point. Also, measure the height of the pot.

My pot was 45 cm in circumference and 15cm in height. I added another couple of centimetres (47cm) to the measurement to allow the bag to slip over the pot easily. To allow enough paper to make the bottom of the bag and to allow for a turnover, I doubled the height measurement to 30cm.

measuring the circumference of the pot

Step 2: Next, I cut my map paper and contact paper into sheets using these measurements of 47cm by 30cm.

Top Tip: If making these as a personalized gift by using a map of a particular place, think carefully about how the map will look when finished. You might want to ensure a particular town or village is in the centre of the cut map.


Step 3: Remove the backing from the contact paper (sticky back plastic) and stick it to the back of the map slightly off-centre. The sticky back of the contact paper is used to join both ends of the map.

Along the joining edge, overlap the contact paper by about 2cm. And along the top of the map, let the contact paper overlap by about 5mm.

contact paper edging

Step 4: Fold over the overlapping contact paper on the top of the map to form a yellow edge. If you want a different colour trim, use contact paper in another colour to match your decor.


Step 5: Roll the paper into a cylinder and join both ends of the map with the overlapping sticky contact paper.

Making map tube
Map tube

Step 6: Next, fold over the top of the map by about two cm. This creates a nice coloured border on the paper plant pot covers.


Step 7: Lay the paper tube down flat. Then fold up the bottom of the bag by about 12cm and create a crease along this fold.

Folding up the bottom

Step 8: This next stage is this papercraft’s only slightly tricky bit. I could have folded the bottom of this map paper bag like my map luminary bags, but this would have made them boxy. I wanted these DIY plant pot covers to look more round.

To do this, I opened the map tube and then folded it in the paper at the base along the crease fold I made. I pinched the paper at the crease and then made small triangles of the paper and folded it as I went around.

You will end up with about three triangle flaps on the base, then stuck down with duck tape.

Folding in the bottom
Sticking the paper base

Step 9: To finish off, shape the map paper bag into a round shape and crumple it slightly. This will make it look more like a paper bag.

Map DIY paper plant cover

These map plant pot covers are waterproof due to the contact paper lining, but I would still use a saucer at your pot’s bottom to ensure.

DIY plant pot cover from maps

As these map plant pot bags only took 10 minutes to make, and I have a lot of old maps, I made some more in different sizes and colours. These upcycled road map bags are surprisingly sturdy and would make fun storage buckets and plant pot covers.

Look at these home decor paper crafts if you have any paper left over.

Map paper storage buckets
Upcycled map plant pot covers

If you liked these upcycled road map plant pot covers, you should check out my paper vases, which only take 10 mins to make. Or you can use old road maps to make unique personalised DIY paper gift bags.

Tin cans are another household item I love to upcycle into planters; you can see all my tin can planters here. Including my very popular and colourful Marimekko tin can planters.

I have also repurposed old tiles into Moroccan planters that only take 5 minutes to make. If you have more time, check out my upcycled plastic bottle planters.


FAQs About Paper Plant Pot Covers

1. What types of paper can be used for plant pot covers?

You can use a variety of papers for plant pot covers. Some popular choices include craft paper, scrapbook paper, old book pages, newspaper, wallpaper samples, or any other type of decorative paper. For durability, it’s recommended to use heavier-weight paper.

2. How do I measure the paper to fit my plant pot?

First, measure the height of your pot. Add an extra inch or two if you want the paper to extend beyond the pot’s top. Then, measure the circumference of the pot. Add a little extra for overlap where the paper will be glued or taped.

3. Can I water my plant with the paper cover on it?

Removing the paper cover when watering your plant is best to prevent it from getting wet and potentially damaging. Alternatively, you can use a saucer or tray underneath the pot to catch excess water.

4. How durable are paper plant pot covers?

The durability of your paper plant pot cover depends on the type of paper used and how well it’s secured. A paper cover can last for quite a while if kept dry and handled carefully. However, they may not hold up well in more humid environments or if frequently moved.

You can also find my crafts in the DIY idea center.


Wednesday 22nd of September 2021


Claire Armstrong

Friday 24th of September 2021

Thank you so much. They are so easy to make.


Saturday 22nd of May 2021

Quite fascinating to see, especially as the map that you used shows the village where I spent my childhood in Kent. I’m just repotting a large plant so a map pot will suit it just fine.

Claire Armstrong

Saturday 22nd of May 2021

That's an interesting coincidence, good luck with it.

Rebecca Payne

Sunday 16th of May 2021

So creative. I love these.

Claire Armstrong

Monday 17th of May 2021

Thank you so much, they are handy and fun.

Marie B.

Wednesday 12th of May 2021

You are the queen of amazing denim and map ideas. These road map plant pot overs are awesome!

Claire Armstrong

Wednesday 12th of May 2021

Thank you, Marie. They are really handy, I'm currently covering all my ugly plant pots with them.

Denise/My Home of All Seasons

Tuesday 11th of May 2021

What an amazing idea! I absolutely love this! Thanks so much for the inspiration. Pinned!

Claire Armstrong

Tuesday 11th of May 2021

Thank you so much and thanks for pinning.