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Liven Up Garden Pots with Color and Sparkle!

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As July winds down and the drought continues, I’m noticing that my yard looks a little drab, a little brown, a little lack-luster. My daughter and I came up with a plan to add some sparkle, literally, to our front step with the intention that the shine will enliven our entire yard.

In my garage there lives a bajillion garden pots. No, really, there are pots everywhere. A few years ago, we held a garage sale and sold off a few thousand. They must multiply like rabbits when the lights are off because I swear we have just as many if not more than before the garage sale and I haven’t bought any new pots.

My pot collection has pieces representating all shapes, sizes, and material yet they have one thing in common. One boring thing in common. The majority of my pots are terracotta. Don’t get me wrong, I do like the color “terracotta” and my pots are great but when there are so many of the same color then the color becomes bland.

This week my friend gifted us some flats of petunias that she didn’t need thus creating a need to pot them up. Then I looked at my stacks of plain orange-brown clay pots and decided that I’m tired of their plainness. Action was required.

I wanted color on my pots and my daughter wanted sparkle. We worked together to make it happen. In the basement we store a large box of washable school craft paint – tempera, to be exact.

Super Sparkle Pot Project Supplies

  • Pots in desperate need of color
  • Paint: tempera works fine with a clear coat on top, acrylic works great and no top coat is needed
  • Newspaper to cover the work space – or if you’re like me, let the drips fall on the deck where they may
  • Variety of paintbrushes or sponges, or just use your fingers
  • Clear gloss spray paint (optional with acrylic, necessary with tempura)
  • Glitter: now you can go the easy route like us with a can of glitter spray paint, or with a bottle of glue and some old fashioned glitter
  • Dirt
  • Plants

Painting time: perhaps an hour or more, it all depends on how many pots are being painted and how involved you want the design.

Kait and I picked out the pots we wanted to spruce up. After a quick wash with water to remove dirt, dust, and cobwebs, the pots hung out in the sun to dry.

We got our creativity on and spent the afternoon chatting and crafting together in the backyard. Kait wanted to paint a sunflower. I wanted a repeating pattern in many colors and came up with a design on the spot. Kait wanted to paint in the etchings on an assortment of clay pots. We both wanted to paint a solid color pot to highlight the glitter spray paint.

The next day we finalized the designs with the spray paint. The spray paint process was the quickest part of our project. In 20 minutes all our pots were sprayed on the driveway and brought back into the garage just as a little morning sprinkle surprised us.

After several hours of drying – baking, really, in the garage – the spray paint was dry and the pots ready for their plants. We potted up the plants and Kait up on her design hat and set the pots where she thought they looked best. I think she did a wonderful job!

I think we can all agree that my front enterance is somewhat lacking in character. Sure, there’s one pot with flowers and a new mat. If you’re not including the “shabby chic” look of the house (a.k.a.: several years over due for a paint job), then the lone pot is anticlimatic. Here’s the before picture of my front step.

The pots are looking pretty stylish on the front steps and our entrance has been lifted with a little color and a lot of sparkle!

Heather Ruch
Author: Heather Ruch

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