Despite being somewhat of a self confessed plant killer (OK, I’ll admit it, I’m pretty useless when it comes to looking after my green friends .. I’m trying to improve …), I do love having plants around. Fortunately the days of a boring “one size fits all” white planter are gone. There’s so many great ones out there! Is anyone else loving the “Punny Planters” that are doing the rounds? These quirky planters make great gifts. Check out this selection on Etsy! But, they’re also easy and relatively cheap to make yourself. Especially if you’re making a few at the same time.
For this post I made 2 planters for my Aloe Vera cuttings which have been patiently waiting to be potted. Although let’s be honest, with my track record, a “Dill death do us part” planter would probably have been more appropriate!! ..
Here’s what you need<
- A terracotta plant pot with saucer. I got mine from B&Q here or check your local garden center for good deals!
- All purpose primer
- Emulsion paint – I used a left over paint from a previous decorating project. To keep the cost down, check out your local DIY store for tester pots!
- Glue gun
- Rope – I used 2 different types to try different effects. 8 mm organic rope here or twine, like this one here.
- Baker’s twine to add a bit of colour – I got mine for brilliant value in The Range.
- A stamp lettering set, similar to this one here (or use a Sharpie pen for “free-hand” writing)
- Black ink pad
- Polyurethane finish spray – I used gloss on this occasion
Here’s how to make your planter
I started with priming my terracotta pot and saucer.
Update note!! Because terracotta is a porous material, water will get into the pot. Therefore, without priming, water will get into the wall of the pot and gradually seep through. Unfortunately over time this will affect your paintwork and may ruin your display. Therefore, if you want your design to last, it’s worth taking the time to prime BOTH the IN and OUT side of your pots! ESPECIALLY if you’re looking to have them for outdoors.
For a quick spray primer, check out this product.
Check the instructions on the primer for drying times. Set aside and leave to completely dry accordingly.
Once the planter and saucer are completely dried, get an emulsion paint of your choice. (I’m sorry for the bad quality photo. It was late you guys and artificial lighting clearly does not give the best photo quality!)
We had some left over emulsion that we had used for decorating our lounge, so I know for certain it will match our interior. If you’ve not got any left over paint, check out your local DIY store for some cheap tester pots. Or have a look on Facebook Market place – people are always selling left over paints off for cheap. Anyway, my pots and saucers needed 2 coats for full coverage.
To add the rope to the pot, start by squeezing a small line of glue from a hot glue gun at the bottom of the rim. The glue dries pretty fast so I like to work in small sections. Add a line of a maximum of 2 inches at a time so you can press the rope into the glue while it is still hot and pliable. Press the rope down and work your way upwards around the rim. I added a small section of baker’s twine to the rim for a bit of colour, but it looks great without so this is completely up to you.
Whoop whoop, they are taking shape! As you can see, I did one with wider rope and one with narrow twine – just to see which effect works better. I personally like the right one best. This one was also much quicker to do because of the wider rope. Definitely an added bonus for future projects! Which one is your favourite?
Adding the letters
Think of a quote to add to your planter. I went for “Aloe! Is it me you’re looking for?” and “Aloe from the other side”. Is Aloe Vera not your thing or do you have another type of green friend to pot? Don’t worry, there are loads of other quotes! Check out Etsy here for some great ideas for other punny planters! Or check out Pinterest for inspiration.
With your stamp set and ink pad, carefully add the lettering to your plant pot. Wait! – before you dive in … write down the quote you want on paper and plan how you want it to appear on the pot. It just helps you to plan to space things out accordingly and avoid getting too many words on one line. I find it helpful to do a “dry” practice run on paper. Even if it’s just one word to get a feeling of how the stamps feel and how the letters sit. Once you are happy with your design, go for it!
As I was writing the quote I thought of another thing to add to the “other side” of the pot. Pardon the pun!
I know! The lettering is not completely perfect, but I think it adds to the handmade element. Besides, I kinda like the “quirky” imperfect effect (that’s my excuse anyway :). But of course, if you’re really after perfection you can paint over it and redo it.
All that’s left now is to cover in varnish to give your work a protective layer. I chose to use a hard wearing spray polyurethane gloss finish. Make sure you use it outside or in a well ventilated area and closely follow the instructions. Leave to dry completely before adding your plant.
Tip – When using the spray I noticed that the outline of the letters go very slightly “fuzzy’ when adding the varnish. The spray worked perfect without bleeding but if you are using a brush to varnish your masterpiece, I would recommend a black acrylic or black emulsion paint to work with rather than a stencil pad.
And here’s the finished article!
Pin for later!
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