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Saturday, April 16, 2016

Paint Your Pots! Make It From Scratch Herb Garden

Hi guys, today I thought I'd share some pots that I decorated for my herbs. I'll keep these indoors, near my kitchen. It's great to have fresh herbs readily available year-round (and so much cheaper if you're able to keep the plant alive for a long time. Herbs can get expensive to buy in the winter!) Some good ones to grow in pots inside include mint, basil, parsley, and rosemary. 

Greens are another category of good kitchen plants: spinach, lettuce and kale will grow right there on your windowsill, encouraging you to eat well and staying safe from aphids and slugs. My garden kale is always covered in aphids by the middle of summer. This year, I'll try growing some inside, too. 

I planted some mint seeds this spring, but they didn't germinate. I planned on buying more seeds and just trying again, but I saw some great mint plants at Lowe's and decided to just buy those and be able to add fresh mint to my drinks immediately. They had sweet mint, chocolate mint, spearmint, and peppermint and I got one of each. I picked up some plain terracotta pots and spray paint, and started decorating.

I used four different techniques to make a fun group of pots. 

1. Paint and then stamp. I used a sample pot of purple paint as the base. Then I stamped on gold and silver stars. My first couple of stars were a little too smeared for me, so I just used a wet paper towel to wipe off the ink and tried again. I wanted a crisper, sharp look, rather than shabby chic. If you like the shabby chic style, you can ink the stamp, then wipe off some of the ink on a paper towel before stamping on the pot.

After the ink was dry, I sprayed clear paint on top to preserve my stars. 

2. Stripes. First I spray painted the whole pot black. This seems backward, but the cheap black paint I bought had terrible coverage and needed many coats to look solid (and was extremely stinky!). The pricier silver paint had excellent coverage and only needed one or two coats. I knew it could cover the black paint with no problem, but I had my doubts about going in the opposite order. If you buy nice paint, I'd say to do the lighter color first. I definitely advise buying name-brand paint! It's worth it. 

After the black base was completely dry, I used painter's tape to make stripes of varying widths. It's tough to get straight lines around a curved pot that gets smaller at the bottom. (I did my best to make nice stripes, but ended up using a paint brush and some acrylic paint to go over the lines. I liked the look better when it was free-hand all the way around, rather than sharp and straight at the top of each stripe and jagged at the bottom.)

If you get a pot that's got straight sides, it will be easy to make straight stripes. If not, do your best to make stripes with the tape. Then spray with the second color to cover the untaped sections. Do as many coats as needed to get the coverage you want. After it's dry, peel off the tape. Then touch up the stripes as needed.

3. The Fade. I sprayed the whole pot with silver paint. After it was dry, I turned it upside down. Using black paint, I slowly, almost reluctantly added black to the bottom. Be stingy! For this look, you don't want the black to be too solid. 

As you move higher up the pot, you want the black paint to be fainter and lighter. Start spraying the air next to the pot and then aim the stream of paint onto the pot so you get just a little paint on it. Continue until you are happy with the look!

4. Add letters. First I sprayed the pot silver. After it was completely dry, I chose some gold chipboard letters to spell out the plant's name. These letters are made for scrapbooking, but of course you could use any type of letters. Mine are self-stick, but I added super glue to hold them on more securely.

Sweet mint is such a cute name, and I love it in the gold letters. 

 After the pots were dry, I let them air out in the sun for a few hours. I wanted to let the paint fumes off-gas before I put my plants in the pots. 

I have little kids, so this type of project that needs drying time in between steps works out really well! I could stop to get snacks or get out toys or put away toys or refill water cups.

 Then, finally, I transplanted my mint into the pots. It was nice out, so I did it in the yard and didn't have to clean up the soil I spilled! I watered them freely and let the excess run out into the grass. It was so nice to make a mess and not have to clean up. The grass probably benefitted from my spills. 

We're expecting at least 8 inches of snow this weekend, so I love looking at these photos of a sunny, warm day, working with plants. I will enjoy adding leaves from my mint plants to smoothies and drinks as I wait for warmer weather to return! 

Will you plant anything to grow inside this spring?

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