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Spruce up your porch with this stenciled 'welcome' planter

Lo is the author and creator of A Lo and Behold Life, a blog about all things that make her house a home. She’s always looking for thoughtful and creative ways to add joy, charm, organization and a casual California style into her family...

Make a great first impression by stunning your guests with this stenciled planter

Did you know that first impressions are formed in less than 30 seconds? When you invite friends and family to your home, the front-door entry is often the first thing they see. Make a big impact with a charming planter at the front door to greet your guests.

Check out this easy tutorial on how to create a do-it-yourself stencil to turn an old galvanized bucket into a personalized planter that will create a warm welcome to your home for friends and family.

A Lo and Behold Life

Photo credit: A Lo and Behold Life

Let's start with your list of supplies:

  • Computer
  • Printer
  • Paper
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • Chalk
  • Pencil and permanent marker
  • Drill with 3/8-inch drill bit
  • Large bucket
  • Weed block
  • Gravel
  • Potting soil
  • Potting shovel
  • Plant

Yep! That's it. Chances are you probably have most of this stuff lying around the house. OK, here we go...

First step: Get creative

You may think you need some fancy-schmancy editing software to create a stencil, but guess what? You don't! There are some great online photo editing tools at your fingertips for no cost at all. To create my planter stencil I used Ribbet.com. Follow these simple steps to get your stencil started.

  1. Go to Ribbet.com and upload an image.
  2. In the Editing tool, select the "Sticker" tab.
  3. In the left sidebar, select the square shape under the Geometric feature and drag it over the uploaded image.
  4. Change the color of the square to white in the "Sticker Properties" pop-up window and stretch the square over the entire image.

A Lo and Behold Life

Photo credit: A Lo and Behold Life

Ribbet has all sorts of great image icons and fonts to choose from. It also allows you to upload your own fonts into the tool. For my stencil I chose one of my favorite fonts, Petunia Bounce. In the Editing tool, select the "Text" tab. Choose a font and add your text to the image.

Since my stencil was being used for a large bucket, I wanted to make the font as large as possible. Because of this I created two separate images — one image for the first few letters of "Welcome" and one image for the last four letters. Then I printed both images onto paper, trimmed it with some scissors and taped it together to create my "Welcome" stencil.

A Lo and Behold Life

Photo credit: A Lo and Behold Life

Second step: Get chalky and Sharpie with it

  1. Take the stencil and rub chalk onto the back side of the paper.
  2. Tape the paper stencil chalk-side down onto the bucket and trace each letter with a pencil.
  3. When you remove the paper stencil you'll see that the pressure from the pencil creates a faint template of the font.

A Lo and Behold Life

Photo credit: A Lo and Behold Life

You can trace the chalk template with whatever you want to use to create your message. I used a black Sharpie marker, but you could use any color marker or even a cool paint.

A Lo and Behold Life

Photo credit: A Lo and Behold Life

Third step: Get planted

Now it's time to turn your bucket into a planter.

  1. Mark the bottom of the bucket with X's where the drainage points should be.
  2. Drill holes into the X's with a 3/8-inch drill bit.
  3. Flip the bucket over and lay a sheet of weed block inside. This will prevent any gravel or dirt from seeping out when the plant is watered.
  4. Add a layer of gravel to enable proper drainage.
  5. Add a layer of potting soil over the gravel.
  6. Place the plant into the bucket and fill the spaces with more potting soil.

A Lo and Behold Life

Photo credit: A Lo and Behold Life

Fourth step: Get fed

Lastly, give your new plant a refreshing drink of water.

A Lo and Behold Life

Photo credit: A Lo and Behold Life

Whether you're a beginner or an expert DIYer, this planter is a great way to personalize your front entry. Get ready to greet your guests with a warm "Welcome" without even answering the door.

A Lo and Behold Life

Photo credit: A Lo and Behold Life

More planter ideas

10 Surprising things you can make into flowerpots
Update your outdoor lighting with lanterns
5 Unusual garden planters

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