DIY colorful painted houseplant pots

All four pots

Final product of my DIY painted planters.

I have a dark confession: I don’t like houseplants. I know for some that’s a crazy concept and it makes me out to be a nature-hating city dweller. That is far from the truth. I love nature and the outdoors. But, for whatever reason houseplants aren’t my thing.

Unfortunately, my boyfriend is big into the houseplant scene. In an effort to be the type of person who can compromise for the ones she loves (blah, blah…) I concocted a devious plan to bring pops of color and design to his green friends. I decided that in smaller, aesthetically interesting pots I could learn to love the plants, or at least cohabitate with them.

This plan brought me to Pinterest and then to Home Depot – a dangerous string of events. My creations were inspired by posts on Eva Daiberi’s blog Miss Renaissance and Amanda Wright’s blog Wit & Whistle. The posts offered tips and techniques that proved to be advantageous.

Overall, this project was fairly cost efficient. I escaped Home Depot only $25 poorer as I already had paints, brushes and some plants. I bought a succulent and a cactus because I think they’re more interesting than the large leafy green plants we already had. My suggestion is to underbuy when you’re taking on a new DIY project as you may have things you can substitute in at home or you may end up hating the project. If you don’t like that philosophy just make sure to save the receipt. Here is everything I needed:



Terra Cota pots and bases



-Acrylic paint and brushes

-Painters tape


-Water cup

On To Painting

If you want vibrant, deep colors you first need to prime your planters. Basic white acrylic paint works fine. Primer helps display the color as it is lighter than the paint and the pot. I wanted to experiment with multiple looks so I tried some pots with and without primer.

I painted this entire pot white because I wanted to cover it completely with a bright yellow. After it dried I used painters tape to block off a triangle. It took two coats of paint for each to ensure it was opaque.

I primed the entire planter to prepare for a design that covered the whole body.

I primed the entire planter to prepare for a design that covered the whole body.

I left the base the original terra cotta color since the pot has so much going on.

I left the base the original terra cotta color since the pot has so much going on.

Next I played around with color blocking. I took two approaches here, one with a rubber band and one with tape. Wrapping a rubber band at a diagonal around the pot helped me create a clean line with a nice curve. These pots look like they were dipped in a paint can.

For a curved color block look I used a rubber band.

For a curved color block look I used a rubber band.

Finished rubber band planter

I painted a turquoise color over the primed portion that was blocked off by the band.

To get the ombre look below I taped off the bottom half of the pot. It gave me a clean line level across the pot. I painted the bottom half red and then worked yellow paint into it from the top to create the fade. I made sure not to paint over the faded area too much so as not to mix orange.


After a bit of repotting and resoiling I now have colorful plants scattered through my living room. This was an easier project than I originally anticipated and a great deal of fun! I would definitely recommend it for anyone that wants to spruce up the look of their houseplants.


Painting the night away

I recently took a fantastic acrylic painting course at the 92nd Street Y. Since it ended I have been trying to keep up with the practice of painting once a week. It is a great creative outlet and stress reliever. This is my latest attempt.


Two pastels from this summer

This summer I drew two pastels for my boyfriend Kevin that I gave to him as gifts. I took his two favorite pictures of himself, one of him building a fire in Vermont and one of him Kayaking in Maine, and recreated them. This is how they came out.

Bringing back old hobbies; my first painting of the summer

Now that I have graduated many people have told me that I’ll have more time to myself that used to be filled with homework and studying. To those who don’t know me, let me tell you something about me: I don’t like free time. I have never been good at relaxing, I don’t particularly enjoy vacations or days off, unless they are filled with purpose.

So, being told that I’ll have lots of time to fill gave me a little jolt of anxiety. Then I realized that it is a perfect opportunity to do things that I used to love doing, but did not have time for while running a daily newspaper at UConn.

The first thing up on my docket was art. I used to spend a lot of my time drawing, and painting and I loved it. My favorite medium is pastels. I haven’t really sat down and drawn with pastels for a couple years. I decided to try my hand at it again last Monday. I gave the painting to my mom for her birthday, which was yesterday. (Happy birthday mom!) Forgive any rustiness and remember that I am not trained, I simply love to do it.

I was inspired by a picture I took during my trip to Paris with my friend Kim. We found an adorable little cafe, with sweet people, around the corner from the Sorbonne. We had our first cup of French espresso, which incidentally kept us up until 4 a.m. that night because we made the mistake of having it in the late afternoon. It was one of our favorite afternoons in Paris.

My pastel painting.

My pastel painting.