Sunday, July 14, 2013

DIY Project: Painted Flowerpots

Terra Cotta Flowerpots (any size you’d like, I used 6" diameter pots)
Terra Cotta Saucers for Pots (optional)
Acrylic Paints
Paint Brushes
Wax Paper or Newspaper (to cover your work area)
Clear Sealant Spray (I used Matte, but Glossy works too!)
Stencils (optional)
Scotch Tape (optional)

Sketch Your Ideas

First, I sketched out a loose idea of what I wanted my flowerpots to look like. When I made the sketches, I was quickly jotting down ideas and I forgot that you could also get the little saucer for underneath!  When I bought my flowerpots I decided to get those as well, so I had I adjust my designs slightly.  But I liked them better in the end!

My quick flowerpot sketches.

Base Coats

Paint your flowerpots in the base color.  The base color will be whatever color is most prominent on your flowerpot.  For example, Mickey and Minnie are red, Pluto is yellow and Donald is blue.  I decided to try to include more colors of each character by painting the lip of the flowerpot a different color than the bottom part of it.  I also used the saucer to incorporate the colors of some of the characters feet!  The sky is the limit!

Working on the base coats.

Touch Ups

After you’ve applied a few base coats and you are satisfied with the paint coverage, you can go back and touch up anywhere that you accidentally overlapped colors, had paint splatters or had any other mistakes.

My work area before starting on the details.

Design the Details

Now you can draw the details in pencil over your base coat.  I hand drew the lines for Pluto’s green color.  I also hand drew the ovals for Mickey’s buttons.  I used my circle stencils to draw Minnie’s polka dots since I wanted to make sure that they were more uniform throughout the whole flowerpot. 

For Donald’s collar details, I used Scotch tape to tape off the area that I wanted to paint yellow.  I knew that I’d need quite a few coats to make it show up over the blue so I decided that would be the best way to keep the paint consistent.  I also used this method for the line between Goofy’s orange “shirt” and his blue “pants.”  Make sure that you put the tape everywhere that you need to cover and press down hard on it to make sure that it’s adhered to the pot.  Otherwise, paint will creep into the crevices and you’ll have to do lots of touch ups.

Note: If you’re using the tape to separate two areas that are horizontal like Goofy’s shirt and pants, you will need to use small sections of tape to ensure that the line you’re creating will be as straight as possible.  The outside of the flowerpot is tapered so using one long piece of tape will not line up correctly.  I had a hard time doing this for Pluto’s collar so I decided I’d put my interior design drawing skills to use and I freehand drew the collar lines.

Drawing and taping out the design of the details.

Paint the Details

If you’re painting freehand, slowly paint along the lines that you’ve drawn.  I found that it’s easiest to paint along the outside lines and then fill in the outline with color.  If you’re freehand painting a line, slowly rotate the flowerpot keeping your brush level.  (I freehand painted the black line of Goofy’s hat since it was an afterthought.)

If you’re using the tape method, paint within your taped area or along the line of tape.  Once the paint is thoroughly dry, take the tape off and you should have a straight line.  Make sure that the paint is fully dry.  I’d recommend letting it dry overnight.  If you take it off too soon, some wet paint might sneak through the crevices in the paint and mess your lines up.

Painting the details using both methods.

Touch Ups

After you’ve painted all of your details, you can go back and fix any mistakes.  I had to fix a few places where my hand went a little crazy on freehand painting Goofy’s hat.  I also found out that part of my Donald base coat of blue paint peeled off when I pulled the Scotch tape off of it.  I had to go back and carefully re-paint around Donald’s collar details.  Luckily, his bow hid a lot of the peeled part.

Peeled paint on Donald and paint that snuck through the tape on Goofy.

Spray with Sealant

Once you are absolutely sure that you’re satisfied with your paint job, it’s time to go outside and seal the paint!  Acrylic paint is water based so you’re going to need to seal it to make sure that the elements and watering your plants won’t mess up your hard work!

Make sure that you are outside or in a well-ventilated area since sealant is toxic and pretty smelly.  I sprayed my pots out in our driveway.  Follow the directions on your sealant.  Most sealants will have you spray 2-3 thin coats.  Make sure that you cover the inside and outside of the pot, as well as your saucers if you painted those.

Sealing the acrylic paint in with sealant spray.

Admire All of Your Hard Work

Once your sealant is dry, you’re all done with your flowerpots!  Now go get some flowers for your new flowerpots!  J

I hope that you enjoyed my tutorial!  If you decide to make some flowerpots of your own, please feel free to share pictures!  J


  1. Thank you Kathleen! I had so much fun that I bought more pots and I've started on another round of them! :-)

  2. Kathleen where did u get ur paints

    1. I got my paints at my local ACMoore craft store. I use the Folk Art acrylic paints. I've also seen them at Michael's, JoAnn Fabrics, and Wal-Mart. :-)

  3. I just LOVE these! They look like they're fun to make, and I like your design process. Fun!

    1. Thanks Rebecca! The flower pots are so cute! They're still looking great two years later! :-)

  4. Melissa this is so creative thank you. I am going to try and do one today. If you have any other ideas PLEASE share. Enjoy your magical life. Cindy

    1. Hi Cindy! I'm so glad you enjoyed my post! The flower pots are really fun and so easy to make! I'll definitely be sharing more DIY projects soon. I've got a whole list of them! Have a great night! :-)

  5. Hi Melissa! I used your tutorial to create a set of my own pots. I'd like to share them on Instagram and give you credit for the idea. Do you have one for the blog?

    1. Hi Jamie! I'm sorry I'm just seeing this now. Yes! My Instagram is @mydisneylifeblog. I'm so glad you enjoyed my tutorial! :-)

  6. Melissa Can you tell me the name of the colors you used for Goofy, especially the orange and green and blue?

    1. Yes, of course! I don't have the paints right here, but I know I used an "apple green" similar to a lime color. The orange was just a standard orange color and the blue was a royal blue color. I think it was Folk Art brand in "True Blue." I hope this helps! :-)

  7. Hi. I would like to know if your paints are waterproof and it is good to stay this info of the sunlight? What kind of the paints should I use to make a sure it will good for emerytury weather condition? Thanks a lot! Mother's Day is comming ....
    Best wishes form Poland