How To Add Style to Ordinary Clay Flowerpots

Affordable, versatile clay flowerpots provide an ideal growing environment for indoor and outdoor plants. Because they are porous, clay pots allow air and moisture to flow through the soil, so they are perfect for plants that like well-drained soil. Their smooth finish in neutral sienna blends will work with any decor and any flowering or green plant. But clay pots can be a little plain for some tastes, so here are some suggestions for making clay pots a little more stylish.

Step 1

Give Your Pots an Antique Finish with Moss
Clay pots that have graced a garden for many seasons acquire a beautiful patina that is missing with new clay pots. Antiquing your new clay pots with moss adds another dimension of texture to the pot and lends a sense of history to a garden. In order to grow, moss needs an acidic environment; that's why this recipe contains buttermilk. Start by collecting moss from your yard or from a friend or neighbor's yard; or, buy moss spores at a garden center. If you collect the moss yourself, chop it finely and then allow it to dry for a few days before mixing up this concoction.

In a large bucket or bowl, mix together

  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 2 packages active dry yeast
  • 2 tablespoons corn syrup
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups dried crumbled moss

Leave the bucket in full sun for three days and let it ferment; you'll know it's ready to use when the smell gets really bad! Then apply the mixture with a paintbrush to the outsides of your pots. Wrap the pots in plastic wrap and leave them in partial sun. The moss will start to grow in about two weeks, and by eight weeks, you'll have pots covered with furry moss, giving them an authentically antique appearance.

Step 2

Paint & Stain

  • You can also get an aged look on a clay pot by applying wood stain. Darker colors, like walnut, work best and you can use either a liquid or gel stain applied with a rag.
  • Acrylic paint lets you bring instant color to a pot. Use two colors and paint the rim in a contrasting color. Or paint on horizontal or vertical stripes, polka dots, abstract or geometric designs. Garden theme designs like leaves, flowers, lady bugs or bees add a whimsical note.

Step 3

Glue-on Embellishments
Painted or unpainted, you can add bling or whimsy by gluing on virtually any item that captures your fancy. Use waterproof adhesive for glue-on projects.

  • Add more whimsy with flat buttons. Glue large buttons on to create the center of a flower and add smaller buttons to make surrounding flower petals. Or randomly cover pots with identical buttons for a polka-dot effect.
  • Encrust a clay pot with shells of various sizes, fitting them together like a jigsaw puzzle. Tuck in bits of moss to fill empty spaces.
  • Faux gems or glass beads can give a clay pot a whole new exterior. Cover every bit of space, or just embellish the rim. Use glass beads to create shapes like beetles, dragonflies or butterflies. Paint the pot first in a color that coordinates or contrasts with your gems or beads and it will look like a high-priced specialty store garden urn.

This article was written by A Davis, a contributing author for - a unique metal wall art store featuring decorative metal wall decor, abstract wall art and music wall art.

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