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How to Make Garden Ornaments

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How to Make Garden Ornaments

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Adding garden ornaments to landscaping, decks, patios or front porches is one way to add personality to an outdoor space. Painted clay pots are ornamental and are a project in which the whole family can participate. You can plant flowers, vegetables and other plants in painted clay pots, but you also can use small pots for holding napkins and eating utensils on a garden picnic table. To add more whimsy to your garden, transform painted pots into a wind chime (see resources). Your imagination is the only limit to how you can use colorful pots as garden ornaments.

Painted Pots

Step 1

Wash and dry the clay pots if they were previously used. Set them in the sun, making sure they are completely dry before painting them. Wipe new pots off with a soft cloth to clean any excess clay dust on them..

Step 2

Give each pot a double base paint coat of a single color. Let the paint dry between coats. (You may want to complete this step in advance if you are working with younger children.)

Step 3

Make stripes by placing painter's tape around the pots at different intervals for decoration. Paint different colors between the tape. Remove the tape to reveal sharp-edged stripes, and let the paint dry overnight.

Step 4

Glue decorative details, such as buttons, shells, stones or tile pieces, onto the outside of the pots. Let the glue dry overnight.

Step 5

Spray the clay pots twice, inside and out, with an exterior clear polyurethane sealer. Let the product dry between coats. This type of sealer comes in a matte or glossy finish. Let the sealer dry overnight before planting anything in the pot or creating other garden ornaments out of the pot.

Clay Pot Birdbath

Step 1

Wipe down the 16-inch clay pot with a soft cloth to remove any dust. If it has been used previously, wash and dry it thoroughly.

Step 2

Paint the outside of a 16-inch clay pot with a double coat of a single color of acrylic paint. Paint the 18-inch saucer entirely. Leave them a solid color or paint a design in other colors of acrylic paint after allowing the base coat to dry.

Step 3

Spray a double coat of clear polyurethane exterior sealer on all sides of both clay pieces once the paint is dry. Let them dry overnight.

Step 4

Turn the pot upside down on a flat work surface. Spread a heavy-duty exterior glue over the bottom of the pot. Center the saucer, right side up, over the pot's bottom.

Step 5

Place a brick or other heavy object on the saucer to weight it down. Allow the glue to dry overnight before placing the garden ornament outdoors and adding water to the saucer.

Things You'll Need

  • Clay garden pots
  • Acrylic paints
  • Paint brushes
  • Decorative trinkets
  • Heavy-duty craft glue
  • Clear exterior polyurethane sealer
  • 16-inch clay pot
  • 18-inch clay saucer
  • Heavy-duty exterior glue


  • Fine Gardening: Painting Clay Pots
  • The New Homemaker: Decorating Clay Pots
  • Thrifty Fun: Mini Clay Pot Birdbath

Who Can Help

  • Crafters Love Crafts: Make Your Own Clay Pot Birdbath With Terra Cotta Pots
  • Crafters Love Crafts: Make Your Own Clay Pot Wind Chimes
Keywords: garden ornaments, painted clay pots, clay pot birdbath

About this Author

Karen Ellis has been a full-time writer since 2006. She is an expert crafter, with more than 30 years of experience in knitting, chrocheting, quilting, sewing, scrapbooking and other arts. She is an expert gardener, with lifelong experience. Ellis has taken many classes in these subjects and taught classes, as well.

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