DIY Kraft Paper Planter Bag Tutorial

But coming back to the packing paper thing … gosh, where do I start?…. I love the stuff! Aside from one of it’s most obvious function (wrapping fragile items for parcel travel if you didn’t know), it’s also great for doodling on and great for making planter bags! Especially when said planter bags happen to be water safe like these ones I made.


Learn how to make a durable waterproof planter bag from Kraft/Packing paper!

Easy tutorial on how to make paper planter bags that are water safe / grillo designs

[Psst! Join me on Instagram to keep up with all my behind the scene shenanigans!]


There are three things you should probably know about me.

  1. I use exclamation marks way more than I should! 
  2. I love IKEA to infinity and beyond
  3. I move homes – quite often. Hence the endless supply of cardboard boxes, bubble wrap and packing paper (aka kraft paper) you might find in my spare room. Oh and I’m also pretty hopeless at keeping plants alive – although, my luck might be changing with that one….

Well ok…. four things then.

But coming back to the packing paper thing,  I really do have rolls of it packed away in storage. Which is super handy because I happen to really love the stuff!

Aside from it’s most obvious function (wrapping fragile items for parcel travel if you didn’t know), kraft paper is great for doodling on and for …. making planter bags! Especially water proof ones like these below!

A pair of planter bags made from packing/kraft paper / grillo designs


You can actually purchase washable brown paper on Etsy? You know, the kind that doesn’t immediately turn to mush when you water your plants, but will cost you an arm and a leg to buy? My planter bag idea however is a much cheaper alternative. I’ll show you how, because Im good like that 😉



materials used to make a paper planter bag / grillo designs
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First you will need to cut your packing paper to your desired length and height. I wanted quite a large bag so I kept the height as it was and the width about 60cm. I used a ruler to ensure my lines were cut straight.


diy paper planter bag tutorial / grillo designs


Next, apply the contact paper to one complete side of the packing paper.

As you can see from the image below, my application looks slightly amateurish. The roll of black contact paper I used hadn’t been long enough to cover the entire kraft paper in one go – so I had to fill in a lot of gaps. Let me reassure; It doesn’t matter if this part isn’t done perfectly because no one will see it!


apply contact paper to brown paper to make watersafe planter bags / grillo designs


Flip your paper over to the brown paper side and cut off any excess contact paper edges with your scissors


cut of excess contact paper in this planter bags tutorial / grillo designs


You should be left with a more durable paper that looks like this. Brown on one side and black contact paper on the other.


both sides of the planter bags / grillo designs



Straighten your paper and fold over the opposite ends  so they meet in the middle (with a very slight overlapping). Remember the side covered with contact paper  will become the inside of your bag so make sure only the brown side is visible at this point


fold over both ends of the paper to make planter bags / grillo designs


Use your glue to keep the two overlapping ends together. You should end up with a rectangular shape like the image below


Folded over sides to make diy planter bags /grillo designs


Fold the bottom of the sack upwards – this will become the base of your plant so it’s important to decide here just how wide you want that base to be. The longer the fold up – the wider the base.


Make the base for your planter bags / grillo designs


Make a diamond shape with the bottom you have just folded over and fold it flat.


Make a diamond shape in your planter bags base / grillo designs


Then fold the bottom and top edges of your diamond corner into small triangle flaps.


make triangle flaps in the base of your planter bags/ grillo designs


Secure in place with tape – I also used glue here for added strength! The image below isn’t perfect I know but again…its another part no one will see.


secure the base for your planter bags with tape / grillo designs


FYI: If by this point, you’re wondering how I became such a pro at folding paper bags… I’ll be honest and say I only learnt this method a few weeks back…when I googled how to fold a paper bag…and got this image



Place your hands inside the planter bag and turn the edges over so that the inner contact paper shows (it wont tear…promise! I folded this bag about 4 times…because it ended up being quite tall.


Completed planter bag / grillo designs


Scrunch the bag into a ball to give it that added texture.. then straightened it out again.


scrunch your paper planter bag into a ball for texture / grillo designs


And then finally – stencil , although this is totally optional.


stencil your paper planter bag / grillo designs


I used this stencil that I bought of eBay along with a sharpie pen to write out the words GROW.


Use a sharpie to stencil on your planter bag / grillo designs

Water safe kraft paper planter bags for your home / grillo designs


I made a few other bags too.. I mean once I got the hang of it they were quite easy to  make.


durable waterproof planter bag made from packing paper / grillo designs


I’m actually glad I have endless amounts of packing paper stored in my garage. I think using this paper to make planter bags might just become a new obsession of mine (aside from collecting vintage baking tins and many other things) . It’s so much fun!


Top view of kraft paper planter bags / grillo designs


And of course… I tried and tested my bold ‘its waterproof’ statement because no point in talking the talk if you cant walk the walk right? The water from the pot drainage holes didn’t soak through the planter bag. I was even able to take the plant pots out and wipe around the inside with no problems!

Win! I feel like a Facebook Live tutorial is in order….what say you my friends?




Step by step tutorial on how to make a paper planter bag / grillo designs


Some of these other green thumb worthy planter posts, like:


baking tin wall planter / grillo designs



industrial wall herb garden/ grillo designs



DIY Stars & Stripes Cinder Block Planters / grillo designs



plastic bottle indoor herb garden / grillo designs



repurposed planter container ideas / grillo designs






  1. Thanks for this great tutorial (with wonderful photography too)! I came across it on Pinterest while looking for a way to NOT use the garish foil wrappers that come on Christmas poinsettias. I am pinning it too.

  2. Fantastic idea and tutorial! I tried it and am very happy with the result – plus, it doesn’t have to look perfect, which suits me and my two left thumbs! hahaha.

  3. These look really cute! Such a fun idea!
    I love exclamation marks too! (that’s what we call ’em here in the UK) I usually go through my writing before publishing and remove some, but I have to leave a few otherwise people might not realise I’m attempting to be funny!

  4. I use exclamation points a lot too. Most of the time I go back through my posts and take half of them out. And I still have a ton. LOL Oh well, I think it’s just the way I write.

    This project is great! My daughter is obsessed with indoor gardening right now and we have plants all over the place. Seriously, when I say all over the place I mean ALL OVER THE PLACE! I’m not sure what I am going to do when she goes to college next year. I don’t exactly have a green thumb. I guess I am going to learn. In the meantime, this might be a less expensive (and fun) alternative to the pots she keeps buying.

  5. These have got to be the coolest planters I’ve seen. I just adore the brown paper bag effect and the stencils. I have the same aloe Vera plant from IKEA too!

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