DIY terracotta pot makeover

Mix funky colours with trendy design and the humble terracotta pot goes from country kitchen to trendy chic in no time at all.

Terracotta pots

As the weather cools down, plants go into hibernation and even our evergreens stop flowering. It doesn’t mean that colour is gone from the garden, though. It simply means it’s time to move the focus from the plant to the pot.

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Terracotta pots are a staple in many backyard gardens. They are inexpensive to buy and have a lovely rustic charm about them with their traditional shape and earthy red colour.

What you may not have realised, though, is that they have a smooth, porous surface that is just crying out to be personalised.

Get the look

Try these three easy and stylish makeovers for your terracotta pots.


Stamped chevron terracotta pot

Terracotta stammped pots

The good ol’ potato stamp is not beneath you as an adult. While you could try a stencil, it would involve plastic and Stanley knives. You could try freehand, but that leaves a lot to chance. A stamp, however, allows you to mass-produce a personalised design for next to nothing. Give stamping a try and amaze people when they ask where you bought your stylish pot.


  • White paint
  • Paintbrushes (1 wide, 1 fine)
  • Acrylic paint tube in chosen colour
  • Potato
  • Sharp knife
  • Plastic plate


  1. Give your pots a thorough clean to make sure they are completely free of dirt and are completely dry.
  2. Apply two coats of white paint around the rim of the pot. Allow an hour or so drying time between each coat. Make sure you paint the inside rim of the pot as well.
  3. Prepare your potato: Cut the potato in half and draw the arrow shape with a pencil. Cut the shape into the potato about 1-centimetre deep. Trim the potato from the edge towards the shape, taking care not to cut the shape off. The shape should protrude cleanly from the rest of the potato and be dry in order to be ready for stamping.
  4. Squirt a small amount of coloured paint on a plastic plate.
  5. Dip the potato in the paint, dab it on the side to remove excess paint and then press carefully on to the rim of the pot.
  6. Repeat at even intervals all the way around the pot to create a chevron pattern.
  7. Use the fine-tipped paintbrush to touch up any of the stamped arrows to make sure there is a clean finish.

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Colour-blocked terracotta pots

Colour blocking pots

The fashion trend of pairing two or three solid colours to make a bold statement is finally making its way to the garden. The perfect way to highlight this effective technique is by working in the same colour scheme over a series of pots, rather than just one.


  • 3 terracotta pots
  • White paint
  • Mini roller and medium-bristled paintbrush
  • 2 completely different bright and fun coloured acrylic paints
  • Masking tape
  • Plastic plates


  1. Apply two coats of white paint to your terracotta pot with a large paintbrush or mini roller. Be sure to include the inside rim portion of the pot.
  2. Use masking tape to create your colour boundaries. It looks best if the boundaries are kept simple but vary slightly in position and width across the three pots. Hint: It is difficult to keep boundary lines level when you are working with a rounded surface. Use an elastic band or tie some string to help keep your boundaries straight.
  3. Squirt a small amount of each coloured paint on separate plastic plates.
  4. Paint within the lines and allow to dry.

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Ombre terracotta pot

Obmre pot

When you aren’t trying to lose colour out of something, like your favourite shirt, it seems almost inevitable that it will happen. Of course, when you are intentionally trying to blend colours, there is quite an art in doing it properly. While ombre is the most challenging of the three styles, it is surprisingly doable — especially if you kick perfectionism out the door.


  • 1 terracotta pot
  • White paint
  • Coloured acrylic paint in chosen shade(s)
  • Mini roller and medium paintbrushes
  • Plastic plate


  1. Apply two coats of white paint to your terracotta pot with a large paintbrush or mini roller. Be sure to include the inside rim portion of the pot.
  2. Squirt a blob of your chosen colour on one side of your plastic plate and a blob of white on the other side. Use a spare fine-tipped paintbrush to make a third blob by mixing your colour with white.
  3. Use a separate paintbrush (or clean between using each one) to apply each colour to a third of the pot, leaving a gap between each colour. Start with the white on top and gradually get darker.
  4. While the paint is still dry, use a dry brush between the top two layers to make crosses and start mixing the colours. Continue until all of the surface is covered and you have an even finish where the colours melt into each other.
  5. Repeat between the bottom two layers.


Seal the colour on your decorated pots by using an acrylic coating spray over the top of the terracotta pots when you have finished and have given them time to dry.

Now that you’ve added some bright and happy pots to your winter garden, spread the cheer around by making them as gifts. Mother’s Day is just around the corner; hint, hint.

More DIY projects to try

How to make an old-school ruler growth chart
Recycle your food scraps with a DIY worm farm
How to shabby-chic a dining table chair

Photo credits: Kate Thompson


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