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With the wet and cool, mid-winter weather outside, we are spending most of our time inside. One way to rush spring along is to add a few indoor plants to your home decor, to get some greenery growing and improving the indoor air. Using flower pots with brilliantly bright colors can also lift spirits and, if painting them yourself, can give you something fun to do with the kids.
I chose this project for the kids because I was able to use materials from around the house. The only purchase I had was for fresh potting soil. It helps that the kids and I work on various crafts throughout the year, so we have plenty of craft paint, brushes, and a spray paint crystal clear sealer on hand. The terracotta pots came from my shed from plant purchases, years ago. For the plants, I happen to have a Philodendron that is easy to start new plants from, using clippings from it’s vines.
The Philodendrum is a bright green plant with heart shaped leaves. The plants themselves are short, growing 6-8″ in height. They are happy in low-medium light so they are great indoors, even in a room without windows where the only light is from florescent bulbs. They don’t require fertilizer and only need lightly watered, once per week. They have trailing leaves, so they are great for hanging baskets for setting on a high shelf where their vines can hang low. Vines can be trimmed easily to start new plants or just to keep them from growing too long.
Painting the terracotta pots was super easy. Because I pulled the pots from the shed and they had previously been used, I washed them with hot water and allowed them to dry before we sat down to paint. While they dried, I used the time to lay out a plastic table cover to protect my table. Then I gathered my supplies:
- Terracotta Pots
- Table cover (Plastic is best for this project, but you could use old newspapers and layer them very, very thick)
- Craft Paints
- Styrofoam cups
- Paint brushes
- Spray Paint Crystal Clear Sealer
- Optional: Craft shirts for the kids to protect their clothes
I started by having the kids apply a first coat of paint on the pots, so they would have a solid base color and completely cover up the color of the terracotta. Because my boys (my son and the boy I babysit) are both age 5, they have a little trouble with full coverage and with keeping the paint smooth. It’s okay if there are a few bumps, they add character. However, I still smoothed out heavy areas to increase the time this first coat took to dry.
Once the first coat of paint had dried. I had the kids pick out the other colors they wanted to use to pour over the pots. I sat out three Styrofoam cups and allowed the boys to squirt a big glob of each color into the bottoms of the cups. They globs were probably about 2 tablespoons in size. I added about a teaspoon of water to each cup to thin out the paint and had the kids stir them, using their paint brushes.
When we started dripping the first color we wanted the drips to start off small and controllable, so we used the edge of our paint brush to control the drips.
It didn’t take long before my impatient boys started to pour the paint all over the pot, straight from the Styrofoam cups. However, the outcome was absolutely amazing.
Once the dripped painted dried, which took about 4-6 hours. I sprayed each pot with the spray paint sealer in the high gloss, crystal clear finish. I let the pots sit for 48 hours before adding soil and the starter plants I had clipped from my Philodendron.
If you decide to give this project a try, share your images in the comments below. I’d love to see new color combinations and ideas to help brighten things up. This is an easy project to work on with kids of all ages, or just to have enjoy as a fun craft for yourself. Thank you again and happy reading.
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