I completed this project late summer but really, it’s a perfect winter project. These planting pots I painted for our local library as their houseplants were in dire need of repotting, but I imagine painting more pots for summer containers either to brighten up a shady spot or to add personality to a porch or deck. I have a good stash of what I call craft paints – the kind you can purchase at Michael’s or a similar store. They are basically an acrylic paint. There are many different economic brands and believe me they last for years. They also wash up with dish soap and water. I used paper plates as a palette (not the most earth friendly), but I didn’t want to mingle these paints with any of my watercolors. I also used old, inexpensive brushes (not my watercolor brushes!). You could also use different sized foam brushes depending on your design.
I came up with designs that would invoke images of the area in which we live: the river, the pebbly and rocky shores, the white pines, the beautiful sunsets. I then proceeded to transfer those ideas to four inexpensive terra cotta pots.
I like free form. No need for perfect stripes or lines. You could do the same. Just brush away. Maybe the brush strokes will remind you of a flower. Maybe you just want to capture the colors in your garden. Maybe you want to mimic your favorite glaze. Maybe you just want a bright blue pot, or a series of blue pots for a grouping of plants you have in mind. This is a relatively inexpensive way to achieve what you want. Ceramic pottery can be pricey. Once painted I like to add a coat of water-based polycrylic to protect the design.
I mixed up the library’s plants and attempted to match their personalities to the pot designs. To me, having a variety of different plants in one pot seemed more interesting. I also added some new plant cuttings I had started for them.
Imagine the possibilities in designing your own pot, and “potlings,” for your porch this season. Or maybe you have a favorite houseplant that needs a new pot – you could cater your creation to make a perfect fit. This project has the potential to brighten up a dull winter day and I hope you try it.