Painting Terracotta Pots with Your Kids: Supplies You’ll Need and How to

1 colorful flower pots

If you’re looking for fun activities to do with your children that can get them more interested in gardening, then you’re in the right place. Painting terracotta pots can be an extremely entertaining activity. It can also be one that leads to your child wanting to grow something in the pots. Not to mention the fact that you can take advantage of this opportunity to spend some quality time with your kid. Remember to teach him or her more about gardening. If the activity of painting terracotta pots with your children sounds like something you’d want to try, here’s what you’ll need and how to go about it.

Painting Terracotta Pots with Children

Supplies You Need to Buy

Before getting into some fun and creative ways of painting terracotta pots, we have to mention the main supplies you’re going to need for this activity. Of course, you can choose to skip some of them, or include some new ones. It all depends on the ideas you have in mind. All that matters is to be creative and get your child interested in painting terracotta pots with you. That being said, here’s a brief list of what you’ll need:

  • Terracotta pots: The main attraction of this project, terracotta pots are quite cheap and can be found online. If you want some diversity, you can choose pots of different sizes.
  • Acrylic paint: Make sure you get a set that contains all the colors. That way, you won’t find yourself wishing for your pot to be of a certain color and not having the possibility of making it happen.
  • Paintbrushes: Again, some variety would be nice, especially if you want to create smaller and more intricate designs. We advise you to get some large brushes for covering large surfaces and some smaller ones for details.
  • Marker: You might also need a marker if you’re going for more complicated designs. It will help you trace the patterns that you can later cover with paint.
  • Acrylic spray paint: Painting terracotta pots do not necessarily imply paint and a brush. You can also paint them with spray paint, for some diversity and extra fun.
  • Lace: While this may seem like a weird choice, this supply is an important part of one of the painting techniques that we’ll talk about in what follows. Still, if this is not something you want to do, this item is completely optional.
  • Plastic plates: You’re going to need plastic plates if you want to mix different paint colors and get completely different shades.
  • Sealer: If you want to make sure that your creations will last for a long time, we advise you to use a sealer (be it spray or liquid) before applying paint on them.
  • Outdoor varnish: This is useful when you’re interested in sealing terracotta pots after you’ve painted them.
  • Stencils: Another completely optional supply, stencils are great if you want to make precise and interesting shapes on your pots. For instance, you can find stencils in the shape of letters. Use them to write something in paint on one of the pots.
  • Old newspapers: They’re necessary to make sure you don’t make a mess of the place where you’re going to engage in this fun activity. Before you start painting terracotta pots with your children, cover the entire area with old newspapers to protect it.
  • Bowl of water and paper towels: Finally, since this project can get quite messy, it’s always good to have a bowl of water around. If only to clean your brushes before you switch colors. Paper towels are also useful. You can use them in case paint reaches a surface that it shouldn’t or you want to wipe your hands.

paint containers

Painting Terracotta Pots Ideas

Now that we’ve provided you with a full list of supplies you’re going to need for painting terracotta pots, it’s time to also tell you a bit about a couple of creative ways in which you can do it.

1. Quilt Print

One of the first ways of painting terracotta pots that we want to mention involves creating a design that resembles quilts made of different pieces of material sewn together. Which is why the first step is to paint the pieces that would represent the different materials. Here, you’re free to make whatever shapes you want. You don’t have to worry about them being the same. In fact, the idea is for them to be as different as possible. Also, experimenting with colors is a great idea as well. This is an entertaining project for children because there are no rules to it. They can exercise their creativity as much as possible.

Once you and your child each painted your own separate pot, it’s time to let the paint dry. This can be a boring step, but if the paint is not completely dry when you start working on the details, the colors will mix together and ruin the appearance of the pots. When the paint has dried, you should take one of the smaller brushes and work on the patterns of the different “pieces of fabric”. You can use dots, stripes, flowers, leaves, hearts, or whatever crosses your mind. If you want the end result to really look like a pot adorned with tiny pieces of fabric, we recommend you to space the details evenly in order to create the idea of a pattern.

2. Lace Print

If you were wondering why we also included lace on our list of supplies for painting terracotta pots, you’re about to find out. Moreover, if you and your child are a fan of lace and its interesting designs, you’re going to love this project. What you have to do is use the pieces of lace as you would a stencil. Cover the area of the pot that you want to decorate with a piece of lace. Then, paint over it in order to transfer the print onto the pot.

This is where the spray paint also comes in. Using regular paint for this method won’t work, because it’s too heavy and it would smudge the design. Which is why we recommend spray painting terracotta pots. If you want to make sure the project really works out, you and your child should work together as a team. For instance, you can be the one to hold the lace in place on top of the pot. He or she can be the one who sprays over it with the spray paint (or the other way around).

3. Stencils

Yet another creative way of painting terracotta pots with your children is to use stencils to create exact shapes. If you’re one for more authentic shapes, you can also paint whatever you want by hand. Still, there’s no denying that stencils look great on any type of surface. Plus, another advantage is the fact that you can find multiple shapes of stencils, from letters to symbols. If there’s a particular thing you want to be painted on your pot, but you can’t find a stencil for it, you can make your own. Just draw the symbol on a piece of thick paper and then cut it out.

We’re particularly fond of letter stencils, so we recommend you to try these with your child. You can choose to write a random word on the pots, write your names, or even an initial. Perhaps writing your child’s name on a pot will determine him or her to make it his/her own and decide to grow a plant there.

In terms of the kind of paint you should use, both the traditional acrylic one and the spray paint one work. The faster (and more entertaining) option would be the latter. However, it all really depends on your and your child’s preference.

child making a heart with her paint covered hands

Summing Everything Up

Painting terracotta pots can be a really entertaining activity. Not only for your child, but also for yourself. There are countless ways in which you could paint your pots. Today, we’ve decided to provide you with some of the most creative ones. What we like about them is the fact that they dare you to be creative and have fun, all the while being easy to accomplish even for a child. Moreover, the supplies that you need for the projects detailed above are not extremely expensive. Thus, this is a cheap way of having fun with your child.

The benefits of painting terracotta pots don’t stop here. Apart from growing your child’s interest in gardening and maybe motivating him or her to start growing plants in the newly decorated pots, you’ll also get a little something for yourself. Are you a passionate gardener who enjoys spending time in the garden, tending to it, and decorating it? Then you’re bound to love the end result of your work. No one else will have the same flower pots as you. Moreover, you can pride yourself on the work that you and your child contributed to.

As an extra tip, expect things not to turn out exactly the way you want them too, especially on the first try. Persevere and don’t get upset if you have to waste a couple of pots.

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