Leaf-Painted Flowerpots

Turn ordinary terra-cotta flowerpots into works of art inspired by nature.

The designs on these pots come from leaves used as stamps.

Plain terra-cotta flowerpots are attractive and useful, but not really the stars of the gardens. This easy painting project transformed plain pots into works of art. And because this simple technique uses natural materials, each pot is unique. All you need to do is select a color scheme that appeals to you.

The instructions below show how to create these pots for your own garden.

Add a beautiful topiary to your handcrafted pot.

Brushing paint onto the ribbed side of the leaf.

Chose one or more fresh, thick, supple leaves to use as your stamps for this project. The ideal leaves will have pronounced raised veins on the underside.

While mixing and applying this paint mixture, wear rubber gloves and a dust mask. Pour one part water into a mixing container and shake in two parts Portland cement. Add one part concrete bonding adhesive. Mix to the consistency of heavy whipping cream. Brush the paint mixture onto the ribbed side of the leaf.

Press the painted leaf firmly onto the pot.

Press the leaf to the dry pot with your fingers, then with a damp sponge. Wipe away mix that seeps out. Leave on for one to two minutes. Carefully peel away the leaf. Reuse the leaf or decorate your pot with different sizes and shapes.

Painting around the edge of a leaf.

For a different look, hold the clean side of the leaf against the pot and brush around the edges with the paint mixture. Try this silhouetting technique around the rim of the pot. If you aren't happy with the results, wipe off and try again. Or, touch up problem spots with a small artist's brush.

Allow the pot to dry for five minutes. Mix a color wash of 4 ounces water, 4 ounces exterior latex paint, and 2 tablespoons of bonding agent. Paint the pot, wait a minute, then wipe in a circular motion with a soft rag. The concrete areas will appear burnished.

See more fun garden projects!

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