DIY: Painted Flower Pots

It’s almost time to transplant the little herb seedlings, probably next weekend. In preparation for that I bought some Terra Cotta pots. They’re cheap and nice looking, but I’m not a fan of the “brand spanking new” look. So thought I’d pretty them up and give myself some painted flower pots.

Painted terra cotta flower pots

I love the “springtime feel” they bring to the room. They’ve been sitting on my kitchen table for a few days now as I worked on them and let coats of paint dry. And every time JM or I walk into the room they bring a big smile to our faces because they’re so cheery!

*UPDATE* When I made these pots I did not remember to seal them, and my beautiful paint job bubbled up and was ruined within weeks! I learned my lesson, so after you have painted your pots, make sure to check out this tutorial for sealing your painted flower pots!

Painting your own Terra Cotta pots is super simple, you need:

The beginnings of a cute flower pot
The beginnings of a cute flower pot!

Step one is to rinse your pot super well with water to get any dust off of it. Also, Terra Cotta is very absorbent and your paint will stick to it better after it soaks up a bunch of water.

In order to get a thick opaque color like my pots above, make sure to let the pot air dry for a few minutes before you start painting. The less water on the pot, on your brush, and in your paint, the better. Squirt some paint onto a plate and start painting with a dry brush so the paint doesn’t get thinned out by the water on the brush.

On the other hand, if you’d rather a translucent “white-washed” look then you can start painting right after you rinse the pot, while it’s still dripping wet. Grab a cup of water and make sure your brush is very wet so that the paint is thinned out. Paint thin layers until you are satisfied with the amount of color.

I painted three layers and let it dry about an hour in between. I made the mistake of painting the first layer with too much water (I got my brush wet before starting to paint, and it was all downhill from there!) so it was fairly translucent and the second layer wasn’t quite enough to fully cover the brown Terra Cotta color underneath.

Painted terra cotta flower pot

I made sure to paint a little bit of the inside as well, but the rest of the brown will covered by soil once we transplant the seedlings.

Since I’ve got a ton of un-sanded grout from the last time I made chalkboard paint, I decided I’d use chalkboard paint to label the plants rather than soil markers.

First I cut a label template out of some contact paper with an exacto knife. (If you like the label shape I used you can download the template here)

Label template cut out of contact paper

Then I peeled the contact paper off the backing, stuck it to a pot, and painted inside the template with chalkboard paint. To get the best chalkboard surface on your finished pot you should do two thin layers, one painted with horizontal strokes and the second with vertical strokes. Let the first layer dry for about an hour before painting the second layer.

If you’re painting more than one pot like I was, about a minute after you paint the second layer of chalkboard paint onto the pot you can pull off the label template so you can use it on another pot.

A little bit of paint seeped under the contact paper and the borders weren’t as clear as I would have liked. (*sigh* I really want a Silhouette Cameo cutting machine so I don’t have to do this with the exacto knife anymore, but they’re just so expensive!) But a little bit of paint and a really skinny paintbrush fixed that right up!

Before and after, cleaning up rough label edges

I gave each pot a little colored border in an accent color and it totally made the whole project! It covered up the rough edges of the label, and it gives it a handmade look that I love.

Even though the weather isn’t great right now, these little pots are already making it feel like spring is here. It’s awesome!

Have you decorated for spring yet? (Not that I have done any real decorating, but these pots are pastel-colored, so I’m willing to count it :-p) Do you have any flower pot decorating ideas?


I link up at these awesome parties!

Jessi Wohlwend

I believe that anyone can do crafts and DIY projects, regardless of skill or experience. I love sharing simple craft ideas, step by step DIY project tutorials, cleaning hacks, and other tips and tricks all with one goal in mind: giving you the tools you need to “do it yourself”, complete fun projects, and make awesome things!

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Reader Interactions

  1. Jessi W says

    12 years ago

    Thanks Amy! I didn't really find the label template anywhere, I just designed it in a photo editing program, printed it out, and cut it out on contact paper. 🙂 If you want though I'll email you the picture file and you can feel free to use it for your pots (or whatever) too!

  2. Amy says

    12 years ago

    Oh my gosh, I LOVE these!! I'm pinning them right now! I've been wanting to paint my own flowerpots this year but wasn't sure what design I wanted…now I know, I'll just steal yours! 🙂 Where did you find the template? Also, I never knew the pots would take paint better if they'd been wet first. My son and I have painted tons of them for various projects and I never tried that trick. Thanks so much for the tips and the idea; so glad you linked up at Shine on Fridays!!

  3. Kristin @ Brilliant Like Fireflies says

    12 years ago

    Love these. The colours you chose are just perfect.
    Visiting from Mingle With Us Blog Hop. Hope you'll visit me. 🙂

  4. Kali at The Vintage Milk House says

    12 years ago

    I'm in LOVE! Just the inspiration I needed to get using my chalkboard paint & silhouette! I found you via the mingle! & now following via GFC – I'd love for you to stop by The Vintage Milk House! – Kali

  5. Our Pinteresting Family says

    12 years ago

    Such a great project. They turned out great. Megan

  6. Betsy @ Romance on a Dime says

    12 years ago

    Love this! So darling. I've already pinned these pots. Thanks so much for linking up to Romance on a Dime!!

  7. Jessi W says

    12 years ago

    You should Mom! Just paint them out on the deck, and sit in the sun reading a book (or playing WWF) while you wait. Quick and painless!

  8. audrey says

    12 years ago

    Awwwww….. These are great! I HATE crafty stuff (making it, not seeing it) and I'm sorely tempted to make these! Darling. And the label idea – really, what could be better? Thanks J.

  9. Jessi W says

    12 years ago

    I know! I'm so excited at how they turned out! Thanks Katie 🙂

  10. Katie says

    12 years ago

    Those are too, too, TOO adorable, Jessi!

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