Good Questions: Disguising Plastic Planting Pots?

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Is there any way to make those 5-gallon black plastic plant pots look non-hideous? I don't have money to buy pots, especially not big ones, so I'm planning to wrap them in (affordable) fabric. Most likely, I will use a brown fabric to try to blend with the terracotta ones I already have. If anyone has suggestions, please let me know. Our balcony also gets extremely hot so I am hoping to figure out a way to insulate the roots somehow, perhaps with some type of batting.

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It would be great to find something durable, very cheap, not bad for the planet, and not ugly. Maybe a nicer version of burlap? My roommate is sensitive to the whole "shanty-town" thing. Understandably. I assume it is not worth it to try to paint a plastic pot that's going to be in full sun?

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