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How to Decorate Plant Pots

By Diane Steinbach ; Updated September 21, 2017

Decorating a plant pot is a creative way to put a personal touch on a housewarming, birthday or holiday gift that your friend or family member can enjoy year-round indoors or outdoors. Terra cotta pots are available in many sizes and are a useful canvas for your paints or add-ons. Whether you want to reproduce a fine art painting on a large planter or make a traditional accent for a shabby-chic garden or porch, you can make it happen with just a few tools and a little imagination.

To Paint

Determine your medium. Plant pots can be painted in a colorful design with acrylic paints or can be painted with chalkboard paint to create a versatile decoration surface.

Clean your pots. If you are using older terra cotta pots, wash and dry them thoroughly to get rid of any dirt, dust or moss.

Apply a colorful design in acrylic paints using a heavy application with a medium-sized brush. Allow each design area to dry before adding new colors to make sure colors stay separate and crisp.

Cover the entire pot in a design or just apply a design to the lip margin for a plainer look.

Apply an exterior clear-coat sealant to make the pot weatherproof and extend the life of the design and the brightness of colors. Wait until the pot is dry.

Tiles or Glue-Ons

Gather your tools for attaching d├ęcor to the pot. Include the terra cotta pot, mosaic tiles, glass tiles or marbles, grout or clear ceramic glue.

Flip your pot upside down so that the lip of the pot is on a covered table surface. This makes it easier to apply either paint or mosaics.

Attach mosaic tiles in a random pattern or glass tiles or marbles to the surface of the pot, using ceramic glue. Cover the entire area of the pot before moving on to the next step.

Mix up your grout. Purchase plain or colored grout and mix with water, following the label directions.

Carefully apply the grout using a small palette knife, spatula or your fingers to fill in the spaces between marbles or tiles.

Wipe off the excess grout with a damp sponge after the grout has set for about 15 minutes.

Allow to dry and set completely before potting a plant inside.


Things You Will Need

  • Terra cotta pots
  • Acrylic paints
  • Medium-size paintbrush
  • Clear exterior sealant
  • Mosaic tiles
  • Glass marbles
  • Ceramic glue
  • Grout
  • Palette knife
  • Spatula
  • Damp sponge


  • Wander through your craft supply store before beginning your project to get ideas for materials and patterns.
  • Call your local garden center or stained glass store and request any colored, broken pots or stained glass scrap to use in your mosaic pot decorating.


  • Be careful when using broken china as a mosaic medium as sharp edges may cut during the making of the pot.