I love terracotta pots. Whether plain or decorated, they add beauty and structure to the garden! In addition, all kinds of pots are easy to improve with a little paint and a few hours of time. Best of all, there are countless pot painting ideas to choose from!
If you’re looking for a family craft for the weekend, gather everyone together and create some completely unique planters to show off your herbs and pansies in style.
Pick a satin finish white paint and just coat the outside of the pot. One coat of white paint won’t completely cover the red pottery, but the contrast will brighten up the whole garden.
2. Dia De Los Muertos
Add some stylized sugar skulls, winged hearts, and bright flowers! This style is great for big pots of mums, sunflowers, or bright red roses.
3. European Folk Art
This wood cut style of painting is full of bright colors, beautiful birds, and flowers. Best of all, the images are simple, fun, and not too challenging. You don’t need to be a master artist to make something pretty with this aesthetic.
4. Polka Dots
Sometimes, just a few bright circles of color are all you need to add some pretty color to a garden pot. Alternate large and small polka dots for a cool, combo look.
No-one will judge you if you want to skip freehand painting altogether and order some pretty stencils instead. There are so many gorgeous stencil options available—just pick a few and have a variety of styles on your garden pots. Try cobalt blue and white for a Moroccan feel: perfect for housing mint or purslane.
Wait, that’s not painting! I know, but trust me: if your sister gives you her stack of old literary journals, decoupage them onto a few terracotta pots. They’ll be gorgeous, and you look like the coolest English major-turned-rural-gardener. Of course, you can decoupage with old fabric or empty seed packets too.
7. Chalkboard Paint
This is a fun way to make personalized pots for kids. Or, use chalkboard paint to give your potted herb collection a crafty, mod vibe. Chalkboard painted pots or pails are a cute option for office plants too.
8. Metallic Charm
Gold, silver, and copper paints can give your garden pots a sunkissed sparkle. Paint the top half of a pot gold and the bottom black, or switch it up. In contrast, you can just add a silver flower to the side of a solid-colored pot to catch the sunlight.
Paint big, beautiful plant labels or quotes directly onto your pots. Anything goes here, from fancy script to typewriter fonts. On larger pots, add a brief description of the plant as well! Calligraphy labels are a great way to keep track of what you’ve planted, where.
10. Roots and Leaves
A beautiful and interesting way to decorate your terra cotta pots is by painting roots and leaves onto the outside of the pots.
11. Seasonal Styles
Paint representations of the seasons on your clay pots. Whether you’re personifying them as Mucha did or just picking colors that fit each one, its fun to have a pot for each season. Try painting images of trees in spring, summer, fall, or winter. Or even just one single image: a raindrop for spring, a snowflake for winter, etc.
12. Moon Phases
Plant some pretty, healing herbs in a series of moon pots. Paint one phase of the moon on each pot and arrange them according to the moon cycle. This delightful, intentional way of using painted pots will make your garden—or kitchen!—into a space of ritual and focus.
Painted ombre pots are so attractive. Have the color fade upward to a pale top, or downward so that the dark rim of the pot contrasts with the plant’s leaves. Either way, your ombre pots will be eye-catching additions to your space.
14. Paint the Rainbow
A row of small pots painted red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet would be so pretty. Line them up on the windowsill and fill them with succulents or hang them from the porch ceiling. Rainbow pots are a cheerful addition to kids’ rooms as well.,
15. Dipped Pots
Just dip your pots in a can of paint! Dip an eighth, a quarter, or two-thirds of the pot in a single color and enjoy the contrast. A single, smooth, patch of color can bring out so much of the beauty in your plants. In addition, this is an easy, no-fuss way of decorating your pots without any stress.
16. Coffee Pots
If you’re as much of a coffee fan as I am, this is an ideal way to infuse your beany love into your love of plants. Paint a picture of plants bursting out of a coffee cup. Or of cups pouring out coffee. Then take things a step further and add some coffee grounds to the potting mix.
17. Pretty Insects
Decorate your pot with ladybugs, butterflies, dragonflies, or any other insect that makes you happy. Maybe they’ll even encourage such beneficial pollinators to come by for a visit!
18. Moss Pots
Collect moss and attach it to your terracotta pots for a English cottage garden look. Moss pots are great for water loving plants, but don’t try them with plants like rosemary and lavender that like to dry out completely between waterings.
19. Marbled Polish Pots
Adding drops of nail polish to water creates an opalescent dip dye, which is a great, unique technique to marble your pots. Marble all your pots just in time for your first book club meeting! Fill them with houseplants and you’ll be the talk of the town.
Paint the rims or bodies of your pots with glue and dip them in glitter. This is ideal for little girl’s parties, so everyone can feel like a princess, surrounded by glitter. Glitter planters work well with succulents and small flowers, though they can also work well with miniature roses.
21. Potato Stamps
Remember making potato stamps in elementary school? Well, it turns out that these compostable creatives aren’t just for kids. Make a few potato stamps and decorate a few pots with leaves, flowers, or other simple artwork. Then, plant a potato in each pot!
22. Woodland Chic
Wrap your pots in birch bark and twine for a rustic, woodland look, or just paint them to look like birch bark instead. I love wrapping everything from candles to gift boxes in papery thin birch bark. It’s so pretty, and it lasts forever. Try wrapping a sheet around the middle of your terra cotta pot, tie it up with twine and pop some thyme into it.
23. Inspirational Quotes
Time to put your calligraphy skills to good use! Whether it’s as simple as “Live, Laugh, Love” or something longer and deeper, celebrate your beliefs and favorite quotes with bright letters and beautiful script.
24. Dream Pots
Paint an image from your dreams, hopes, or aspirations on the pot and plant a flower in it. After all, a garden is just a dream in bloom. Let your dreams grow and blossom in pots that look forward with hope.
25. Two-Toned Pots
Try painting the pots with two complimentary colors. You can either dip these pots or you can paint them, but the end goal is to have eye-catching color combinations that draw your attention and brighten up a room.
26. Striped Memory Pots
Use rubber bands to help you paint horizontal stripes all the way down the pot. On each line, record everything from sprouting and first leaves, to flowering and fruiting. In addition, add a note or two to each line about what the weather was like that day, or the music playing, transforming these pots into nostalgic treasures for years to come.
27. Face Pots
Turn any pot into a pretty face! Paint sleeping faces, smiling faces, spooky jack-o-lantern faces, or all of the above. Face pots are cute and friendly, and can fill your apartment with unique quirkiness.
28. Sticker Bomb
If your painting skills are sub-par, just sticker bomb them instead! Use washi tape, or even bumper stickers to show your beliefs and make your garden the punkiest around. Sticker bombing on pots may require the added strength of Modge Podge to stay on in the heat of summer humidity, but they’re well worth the extra effort.
29. Plaid Pots
Support your wee little bairn of a seedling with a cozy, wool plaid wrapped terra cotta pot. Tuck it up on the window sill and sing it sad songs as it grows. Seriously though, plaid wrapped pots are a great way to keep your winter herbs looking and feeling cozy in the house. Alternatively, just use paint to create a plaid effect instead.
30. Antiqued “Shabby Chic”
Paint a glue wash first, then top it off with a bit of paint for an antiqued finish. Your pots will look like Grandma May painted them years ago. This “shabby chic” look is soft and inviting, and just perfect for a big front porch or a country kitchen.