This is a two-day activity (so paint can dry). It can be a great way for residents to get creative and make pots for their own windowsill herbs and succulents or to share with a loved one as a gift.
- Terracotta pots - new or used - one for each person in the group
- Terracotta sealer (terracotta are porous and unless you seal them, water will seep through in a few months, ruining the projects)
- Acrylic craft paint in desired colors
- Foam brushes and artist paint brushes
How to clean used terracotta pots:
You’ll need a stiff brush and soft brush, white vinegar, and a large plastic container or sink.
- Wet and remove dirt with a stiff brush as much as possible. You may use sandpaper for stubborn dirt.
- Make a vinegar and water solution (the ratio should be half & half) and submerge pots and soak for 30 minutes.
- Use a soft brush to scrub off the remaining dirt.
- Allow to dry thoroughly either in the sun or overnight.
How to clean new terracotta pots:
- Remove tags and stickers by soaking in warm water for one hour, then scrub clean with a brush. Dry completely before painting.
Instructions for Painting:
- Spray terracotta sealer thoroughly on the insides of the pots (this is done outdoors by staff, preferably on the day before the session).
- Cover the work surface with newspaper to avoid a mess.
- Give each resident a pot or two, plus a foam brush and paint.
- Instruct by example if needed; sit with them and start a project.
- If the pot absorbs the first coat, apply a second, even a third. It is a good idea to let the paint dry for 15-20 minutes in between coats.
- Protip: Don’t apply paint to the bottom; it hinders drainage.
- Encourage residents to customize their projects.
Here are some examples of designs:
- Use painter’s tape to create a geometric herringbone outline using the artist brushes
- You can glue pictures or cord braids around the pot to give it more texture
- Use neon paint to make bright, beautiful designs!
- Use some old, recycled nail polish as paint for the finer details in the design
- Write messages, such as “Happy Spring!” or “Spring has sprung!”
- Scallop the edges in a different colour to make the pots pop!