Dress Up Those Plain Terra Cotta Pots!

5 Materials
1 Hour

I really love terra cotta pots! My only complaint with them though is that they're plain and boring.

So I look at them as possibilities instead. The ways you can dress them up are nearly limitless.

dress up those plain terra cotta pots

This project was inspired by one of the members of our Facebook Group: The Creative's Corner. Each week we focus on a single theme and share projects, tips, questions, and ideas.

A few weeks ago we were talking about planters and the idea for these dressed up terra cotta pots became a focal point of the week.

I loved it, and shared a live video how-to in our group. Now, I'm excited to share it with you too!

dress up those plain terra cotta pots

Start by covering the pot with craft glue.

dress up those plain terra cotta pots

Then, wrap a single layer of cheesecloth over the pot and press it down. You want a few areas where it isn't completely smooth, and it's also good if you have a little terra cotta peeking out along the top edges. This will help it look more authentic, which is key with faux finishes and techniques.

Just make sure you don't have any cheesecloth that hangs loose from the pot - and you're good!

dress up those plain terra cotta pots

Now trim the extra away and let the glue dry completely.

dress up those plain terra cotta pots

It's still drying, but you can see a nice gap here at the top of the pot.

dress up those plain terra cotta pots

Choose 5-6 colors that you want to use. I chose a bright summer palette for this one.

dress up those plain terra cotta pots

Start by using a damp sea sponge to dab on a base color. I chose white because it creates a basic solid background. Don't forget to also cover the top of the pot and even extend down inside the rim a little.

If you don't have a sea sponge, you can use damp wadded paper towel, or an old sock or t-shirt.

dress up those plain terra cotta pots

Next, add a second color, dabbing it on in random places.

dress up those plain terra cotta pots

And another. Keep adding colors until you've used them all.

dress up those plain terra cotta pots

When you've added all the colors, you can go back and add more of any one that you think may be lacking, or if you have one that's too prominent, you can tone it down by repeating some of the other colors. Just play around with it until you're happy with how it looks.

dress up those plain terra cotta pots

After it's fully dry, pot up a favorite plant and enjoy your gorgeous, custom-designed planter!

Because these pots are pretty small and we have such intense summers here, I keep these inside on the kitchen windowsill. If you want to use yours outdoors, give them a few good coats of sealer before planting to protect them from the weather.

dress up those plain terra cotta pots

I just have to show you the original design - faux patina! It's the one I demoed in our group. If you'd like to see the video, visit and join our Facebook group for access, and stick around for all kinds of themed creative projects every week.

These are just two color schemes you can use to decorate plain terra cotta pots. How would you style yours?

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To Work With My Hands

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

2 questions
  • Babs
    on Jul 28, 2018

    Do you have to seal it to make it waterproof

    • Reba
      on Jul 28, 2018

      Love this idea too. Try lace, used an old lace curtain. You can put a plastic pot inside for your plants. But I like your idea about using a sealer. Nice work!

  • Melinda Martin
    on Aug 5, 2018

    What kind of sealer?

Join the conversation

4 of 13 comments
  • Maxine Waller
    on Jul 29, 2018

    The darker one in combination with the green plant are so pleasing to the eye that I don't want to look away! Great idea!

  • Dee
    on Dec 11, 2018

    I love all things dealing with flower pots!!! This is Wayyy cool!

    • To Work With My Hands
      on Dec 11, 2018

      Thanks, Dee! I do too and have a few more on the blog. There's just no shortage of ways to dress them up, is there?

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