Decorate Your Terra-cotta Pots

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Readily available and inexpensive, terra-cotta flowerpots are perfect for decorating with paint, decoupage, and other craft materials. Group your decorated pots together for a stylish effect and to show off your creativity.

TIME IT RIGHT You can create your decorated pots all year round, but prepare them under cover if the weather is harsh or wet. Paint and glue may not dry properly in freezing conditions. As well as plants, you can fill your pots with other items; try pinecones for a festive look in December.

Decorated pots look great when grouped together. The plants we used here (from left to right) are: Cynara cardunculus, Echeveria sp., Laurus nobilis, Echinacea purpurea ‘White Swan’, Thymus x citriodorus ‘Argenteus’, Helichrysum italicum, Sedum spectabile ‘Autumn Joy’.


Paint the pot outside and halfway down the inside, then leave to dry. Lightly sand all over, but sand more at the rim and base, taking off a little of the paint along the edges for an aged effect.


Turn your decoupage pieces over to the nonpatterned side and apply a thin covering of PVA glue with a paintbrush or glue spreader. Stick the pieces onto the sides of the pots until you have created a pleasing design all the way around. Leave to dry.


Take one of your decoupage sample pieces and carefully cut around the outline with scissors. We used floral and leaf motifs cut from wallpaper.


Finally, brush over a thin layer of clear marine varnish to protect the decoration from the elements and also to add a further vintage look to the design. When dry, plant your decorated pot.

Project Steps


Paint blackboard paint around the sides of the pot but not the rim. Leave to dry.


Paint the rim of the pot and halfway down the inside in an attractive contrasting color. Leave to dry, then lightly sand areas of the rim for a weathered look.

Paint clear marine varnish over the rim area only for extra protection. Rub white chalk all over the blackboard paint, creating an even, fairly solid covering.


Take a dry cloth and rub off most of the chalk so that the pot is left with an appealing slate-colored tinge. This also cures the blackboard paint, which is necessary if you wish to write on the pot, otherwise the writing will be unreadable.

These slate-effect pots looks stylish left just as they are, but you may find it a useful and attractive addition to write the plant’s name and care instructions on the pot in chalk.

Portable Hanging

Updated: October 13, 2015 — 2:48 pm