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Popular in Gardening

Pretty Basil Pots

Garden herbs of any sort are right at home in these glimmering pots decorated with painted clay leaves.

What You Need:

Many herbs, such as basil and lavender, grow well in containers, both indoors and out.
  • Waxed paper
  • Red bakeable clay, such as Ovencraft
  • Rolling pin
  • Tiny leaf cookie cutter about 1 inch long
  • 4-inch terra-cotta pot with saucer
  • Knife
  • Cookie sheet
  • Acrylic paints in metallic copper, green, purple, and blue
  • Paintbrush
  • Foam plate
  • Natural painting sponge
  • Waterproof adhesive, such as Liquid Nails


1. Download the free pattern. (Downloading requires Adobe Acrobat software.)

Basil Pot pattern

Download Adobe Acrobat

Step 3

2. Place a piece of waxed paper on work surface. On waxed paper, roll out clay to about 3/16 inch thick. Use a cookie cutter to cut out leaf shapes. (You can cut out shape with a sharp knife if you do not have a cookie cutter.)

3. Carefully pick up leaf shapes and press onto the pot, gently shaping to the curve of the pot. While leaf is on the pot, press in lines for detail using a knife. Carefully remove the leaf shapes from the pot and gently lay onto cookie sheet, maintaining the leaf shape so it will fit the pot later. Let the clay dry at least one day, until it does not feel cool.

4. Bake the clay leaves in the oven according to instructions on clay label. Let the leaf shapes cool before handling.

Step 6

5. Paint the leaves green and the saucer a solid color, such as metallic green or copper. Let the paint dry.

6. To paint the pots, place the desired colors of paint on a foam plate. Soak sponge in water and squeeze out excess. Dip sponge in paint and dab onto the pot surface. Alternate with different colors, rinsing paint from sponge each time you change colors. Dab the clean sponge onto the wet paint until the colors are blended. Let the paint dry.

7. Place a small dab of adhesive onto the back side of the leaves and glue onto the painted pot as desired.


  • Use any color of acrylic paint. The colors may fade if kept outside long term. You can also use paint designated for outdoor use.
  • Be sure to keep your sponge clean while working. Don't overblend the paint; just blend it enough to create several colors.
  • Copy leaf shapes or other items from nature for clay pot trims.

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