Clay pot painting is perfect for beginner crafters! Learn how to decorate terra cotta using these tutorials great for both kids and adults.
Terra cotta clay pots are fabulous surfaces for a variety of art forms, such as pot painting, stenciling, decoupage, and mixed media. Clay pots are smooth, offering the perfect crafting surface for all ages!
Keep reading to learn how to clean and repurpose clay flower pots, prepare terra cotta pots for paint projects, and how to seal them.
When I think of clay pot painting and decorating, I typically think about spring and summer. I picture getting ready for warm weather and bright flowers.
But what I’ve learned over the course of time is that decorating clay pots isn’t just a hobby for warmer weather. Plenty of creative people like yourself are looking for ideas to decorate flower pots all year ’round!
There are a few reasons to decorate and paint pots besides flowers – not limited to but including gift containers, home decor, and crafts (like clay pot animals!).
Pot Painting and Decorating
I absolutely love decorating clay pots! They are such a fun surface and you can use almost any craft supplies with terra cotta – paint, Mod Podge, glitter, ribbon, tape, and more. Not only that, but they are an inexpensive!
Every time I see them in the craft or home improvement store I try to think of different projects that I can make. I pulled together a list of brilliant ways to decorate clay pots and thought you might be interested in these ideas as well.
Before we get into the projects, I wanted to go through some FAQs for project success. If you’re not interested, scroll down to get the projects; however, I hope some of these help you in your clay pot decorating journey.
If you’ve never painted pots before, check out these tips because they will be invaluable to making a lasting design.
Is it ok to paint terracotta pots?
Yes it is! You’ll need to prep them first – instructions below – but yes, you can paint on them, and it won’t hurt the plants at all. I do recommend using acrylic, waterbased paint for this purpose.
Which paint should I use on pots?
If your terra cotta will be used outdoors, I recommend using either FolkArt Outdoor or FolkArt Multi-Surface paints. Both paint formulas deliver rich color and coverage in a very creamy consistency, making it easy to brush on.
Both formulas were also created to be weather resistant, tested for UV protection, dry to a satin finish and cure to the surface within 48 hours. Best part . . . there is no need to apply a sealer or varnish over the completed design because the paint is self-sealing.
However, if you live in extreme conditions or the item will be in direct sun or rain, I recommend adding an additional acrylic sealer over the design (multiple coats). You can use brush on or spray on. Both will work with paint.
How do you prepare terra cotta pots for painting?
Let’s talk about “new” terra cotta first, then used pots. Clay pots found in craft stores, garden shops, and DIY home improvement stores are unglazed and porous. This means they are not waterproof.
Unglazed or unsealed terracotta will draw moisture from the plant and soil, keeping the pot itself moist. Extra moisture may affect the external decoration by causing paint to blister.
In a nutshell? YOU NEED TO SEAL THE INSIDE OF THE POT.
You’re going to carefully seal the INSIDE with a water based acrylic sealer. I can recommend two different sealing techniques:
1. Spray seal the inside of the pot with a couple coats of Clay Pot Sealer. Allow each application to dry before applying the next.
2. Brush on FolkArt Outdoor Sealer over the entire inside. Same idea as option number one, but it’s a brush on versus a spray on.
Once the sealed clay pot is dry, it is ready to be painted. For flower pots that will be used outdoors, use either an outdoor or multi-surface paint with UV protection.
For painted flower pots that will be used inside, use any of the following premium-quality acrylic paints: FolkArt Acrylics, Delta Ceramcoat, or Apple Barrel Acrylic Paint.
Where can I buy clay pots?
They are available at craft stores, home improvement stores, the dollar store, Target and Walmart (seasonally), and even at the Goodwill.
But what if you want to use old pots? Well – you’ll need to clean them first!
How to clean a used clay pot before painting
- To repurpose a used terra cotta pot, be sure to thoroughly clean it first before sealing and decorating.
- Thoroughly remove dirt and salt residue; if needed, scrub the surface with a wire brush.
- Once clean of dirt and debris, soak the flower pot in a solution of 9 parts water to 1 part bleach for 24 hours in order to kill any lingering bacteria (this is optional, but handy if you have really grimey pots with moss and stains!).
- After soaking, thoroughly rinse the pot with clean water and allow it to dry completely. Follow by sealing ins before decorating.
Are you ready to get the ideas? From paint to decoupage, there are all sorts of great projects here. Scroll down to learn more and let me know your favorites in the comments!
Clay Pot Painting and Decorating
Do you like painting terracotta pots? Get several ideas to paint and decorate this unique surface - here are 30+ projects you'll want to try. Perfect for the garden, front porch, and more.
Flower Pot Decoration Ideas
Three flower pot decoration ideas including paint and stencils, washi tape, and Mod Podge! Use these methods on clay pots; they're so easy.
Dripping Paint Clay Pot
Turn a clay pot into a bright and whimsical container for markers, crayons, and other craft items. All you have to do is drip paint.
Photo Flower Pot
This DIY flower pot is a great Mother's Day gift for moms and grandparents alike - and would also make a great table centerpiece!
Shabby Paisley Clay Pots
Create this shabby clay pot using stencils and blended paint. You can distress this project as much or as little as you like.
DIY Chalkboard Clay Pots
Create chalkboard clay pots you can customize! You can write anything on the base; these are perfect for giving spring and summer hostess gifts.
Colorful Cactus Painted Pots
Make these easy painted pots using terra cotta planters and your favorite paint colors. The cute sayings will brighten up any dreary days!
Mod Podge Terra Cotta Pots
Use pretty fabric on these Mod Podge terra cotta pots for the perfect EASY spring craft project! Makes a great container garden – or gift idea.
Rainbow Painted Flower Pots
Use a variety of colors to make painted flower pots with rainbow ombre awesomeness! Both children and adults alike will love this easy craft. So fun!
Lighthouse Bird Feeder
Learn how to make a lighthouse out of terra cotta pots - and use it as a bird feeder.
Queen Anne's Lace
Do I love the texture of this clay pot painting? Absolutely! It's super simple to make using texture paint and I love the effect.
Confetti Washi Tape Clay Pot
Add small pieces of cut washi tape to a clay pot to create a modern confetti design. Seal it with Mod Podge to finish off.
Clay Pot Critters
I love reptiles and insects in the garden when they look like this! This family of clay pot friends is so fun for both kids and adults to make.
Paper Mosaic Clay Pot
Create a faux mosaic look with cut pieces of watercolor papers and Mod Podge.
Crackle Clay Pot Makeover
If you've never used crackle medium before, you're going to be amazed at how cool the effect is. Great for both rustic and farmhouse style decor.
Painted Girls Flower Pot
Clay pots aren't just for holding plants, they're great for storage! This painted clay pot is perfect to hold items on a little girl's desk or dresser.
Terra Cotta Fairy Garden
Use terra cotta pots and your favorite (bright) paint colors to make these unique fairy garden houses! Your kids are going to love painting these.
Clay Pot Photo Transfer
Create some hair-raising planters with Mod Podge photo transfer and fun family headshots.
Tiny Neon Pots
The littler the pot, the cuter it is, and the easier to paint! I love these mini pots from Jenni. You have to see her darling, tiny succulent garden.
Painted Clay Pot Fox
Create a clever little fox with two clay pots and some foam sheets! This is one of my favorite clay pot decorating projects ever.
How to Stencil a Clay Pot
Learn how to stencil these pretty distressed pots for fall – they look perfect on your porch, planted with colorful mums.
DIY Sugar Skull Flower Pots
A little paint and some markers and you'll be celebrating Day of the Dead all year 'round! I love calaveras skulls, and turns out they look great on the side of planters.
Upcycled Scarf Planter
This post is proof that you can Mod Podge just about anything to a terra cotta pot! Grab an old scarf, a bottle of decoupage medium, and get creative.
Fabric Plant Pots Using Mod Podge Ultra
Adding fabric to plant pots is one of my favorite ways to decorate them. Grab a bottle of Mod Podge Ultra to gussy up some pots in a way that is nearly waterproof.
Unicorn Iridescent Terracotta Plant Pots
These terracotta plant pots are unicorn inspired, with iridescent cello wrap applied with Mod Podge and confetti. Perfect for parties!
Chalkboard Paint Label Clay Pot
Personalize the banners on this large clay pot to fit any occasion. I love how chalkboard is used as just an accent rather than covering the entire surface!
Watermelon Clay Pot
It's hard to deny the cuteness of a cheery watermelon pattern, whether it's summer or not! This is such a fun idea, and perfect for gifts. What other fruits can you paint on a pot?
DIY Scalloped Painted Pots
Geneva was so happy to find a super simple way to add a design to a pot is perfect for people with shaky painting hands (like me . . . ). Your scallops can be perfect too, yay!
Herringbone Flower Pots
Painting pots is fun, and sometimes it's even more fun with paint markers! You can make more intricate patterns with paint markers, like the herringbone in this post.
Stars & Stripes Flower Pot
If I could be a flower pot, I would be this stars and stripes patriotic flower pot. I love the chippiness of it, the old aged look of it, and the fact that it is all about the U S of A!
Buffalo Plaid Painted Pots
These DIY buffalo check painted pots are a gorgeous Christmas decoration or handmade gift idea. I want to make several of these for my mantel.
Broken China Mosaic Pots
Learn how to make broken china mosaics using old plates with flowers and patterns. These pots look especially good with succulents (and make great gifts)!
Dip Dye Succulent Pot
When I dip, you dip, we dip! Can you believe you can decorate clay pots just by dipping? You can! It doesn't get any easier.
Decoupage Flower Pots
Learn how to decoupage terra cotta pots with napkins! This is such an easy and pretty craft idea.
Saturday 29th of April 2023
Saturday 20th of May 2023
Thursday 15th of July 2021
I am going to keep this from you,we could make some for our stall everybody likes the idea for garden.