I have Renee from About the Garden here with a fantastic Father’s Day gift idea!
An Easy Way to Decoupage a Terracotta Pot with Artwork
My Dad is the best Poppy! Not only is his shed a small gallery of all things artistic created by my little people, but he seriously still displays art that my siblings and I created some twenty something-something years ago. Whilst I adore that my Dad gives every item, no matter how amateur, the chance to shine, I thought this year I’d try to encourage my children to create something useful Poppy could use.
The thinking cap went on. But dear oh me, how do you give the man that has everything something useful?
Then light bulb! My Dad has always been a keen gardener, I remember pottering around with him in our back gardens picking tomatoes, rosella and squash. We always had an abundance of fruit trees (mango season was something to behold in our yard with over six trees) and more recently he has created a little oasis in the pergola area for all manner of potted plant.
So armed with my Dad’s love of pot plants and my children’s love of art, it seemed only natural to combine the two into an original Father’s Day Gift for 2014.
Pencil & drawing materials
Small flowering plant or succulent
How to make a decoupage pot
Step 1: Making a Template
It’s not as easy as printing off a template to use as terracotta pots come in a variety of different shapes and sizes. I found the easiest way to make the correct size template for the children to draw on, was to create my own. This is how:
1. Place a starting mark on the pot.
2. Holding a sharp pencil to paper and against the base of the pot, slowly roll the pot across the paper, using your starter mark as an indicator of where you need to stop. This should create a natural arched pencil line.
3. Repeat #2, but this time holding the pencil under the top lip of the pot.
TIP: If you’ve purchased more than one pot in the same size, you can photocopy or track around your initial template to save time. A good reason to buy pots the same size!
What size pot is best?
Really, it’s up to you what size pot you choose. For a first time project select something smaller over a gigantic terracotta pot, as it is much easier to work with. Ensure that whatever pot size you select it’s going to fit the plant you want, noting that most garden centers stock starts in 180mm pots.
Step 2: The Art
This part was easy. After I cut out the drawn template, I set the children to work with colouring pencils. I choose pencils over felt pens as they do not run when wet and I wasn’t sure how crayons would effect the protective layers required to make the pots water proof.
Alternatively, you can use artwork your children have already created and just cut to template size or rip into pieces for a layered decoupage look.
Step 3: Glue Mix
Decoupage is all about glue. There are specialized products you can purchase from craft stores like Mod Podge, however diluted PVA glue does the same job.
Dilute two (2) parts PVA glue with one (1) part water, and mix together well. You want the glue consistency to be easy to paint onto the pot with a standard paintbrush. The glue will have a whiteness to it initially, but will dry clear.
TIP: You can mix glitter into the diluted PVA glue for that extra bit of SPARKLE! Or if you wish to paint directly onto your terracotta pot, mix PVA glue with colour paint pigments.
Step 4: Sticking and Painting
Application of the drawn template piece is a little fiddly, so unless you have older children, it’s a job for an adult. Here is how to get started:
1. Get the children to paint the terracotta pot all over with the glue mix and let dry. Then repeat. This process adds an excellent waterproof layer to the pot and will limit potential water damage to the paper artwork.
2. This is the adult part. Recoat terracotta pot with glue mix, than carefully but quickly apply the artwork, gently rubbing your hands over the surface to get the paper to adhere to the terracotta pot. Don’t worry too much if there are a few wrinkles, but you do want to push out any air bubbles trapped underneath.
3. Trim off any excess paper artwork around the bottom of the pot. Apply glue mix and glue the edges down. Tipping the terracotta pot upside down, allow the glue to dry.
4. Most decoupage work requires numerous coats; ten (10) is what we did for this project, to seal and waterproof the paper artwork displayed. We spent a day coming back to our pots every 30-40 minutes a part and painted on another layer. Once complete give the pots a good week to dry out before adding the plants.
TIP: Whilst not essential for this project, it’s usually recommended with decoupage projects to give the surface a light sand after every application of glue mix.
OPTIONAL: Kelly has had success using an outdoor varnish over projects like this to help to preserve colour. Jo Sonja’s Gloss Varnish – Indoor & Outdoor Use works well (available from specialist craft stores like Spotlight).
Step 5: Selecting the plants
With our pots, we decided not to pot up, but rather have the plants from the garden centre sit inside the pots, so Poppy could pot himself. Poppy loves succulents, so my children selected two beautiful little succulent plants, one with the most beautiful orange flowers!
I loved this Father’s Day project, as it was something that my two and five year old could both get involved in. Best of all this method of decoupage is so versatile and cheap!
Pin this idea for later. There’s a pin ready image to re-pin here.
Other Father’s Day Craft Ideas
About Renee Gusa
Hi, I’m Renee and I’m a self confessed fun maker. Whilst I’m not the world’s best gardener (I’ve killed cactus), I believe that getting my kids gardening is one of the most important experiences I can give them as a parent. It’s my way to teach them about the environment, food production, healthy living, science and sustainable practices in a fun and physical way. I love that they are willing to taste our garden produce and that we incorporate many of our garden treasures into our craft activities.
So don’t let past gardening failures burden you, we’ve all killed plants and that’s okay. Just get out there and garden with your kids, because….well….it’s fun. Find more of my garden fun here www.aboutthegarden.com.au