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Winter Park / Maitland Observer Wednesday, Oct. 1, 2014 4 years ago

Help kids turn dull clay into fancy flowerpots

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Flower pots are more than just containers for fragrant herbs, summer's begonias or fall's chrysanthemums.
by: Donna Erickson

Flower pots are more than just containers for fragrant herbs, summer’s begonias or fall’s chrysanthemums. Grab a plain clay pot the next time you and your kids are at a nursery or garden center, hold it up and think of it as an artist’s canvas, waiting for your creative expression. Purchase several, or repurpose empty clay pots you have at home, and you’re on your way to this fun family activity.

Once you and your kids have added the artistic embellishments to the pots, fill them with fresh potting soil, plant cuttings from your summer garden or pot new flowers for fall and watch your living “windowsill masterpieces” grow. Use extra decorated pots as catchalls for desk supplies, hair accessories, etc.

Here are three easy techniques.

WACKY JUNK

Slather tile grout on the outside of a clay pot like you are frosting a cake. Dig through your toy box, junk or desk drawer and choose tiny, lightweight, whimsical items such as plastic spiders or sea creatures, a pocket mirror, leftover game piece, badge, button or coin. Embed the pieces in the grout. Let dry thoroughly.

SAND DESIGNS

Create a Southwest look, ideal for potting a cactus. Draw designs like zigzags, triangles and circles on the pot with a pencil or marker. Trace the design with white household glue on one section of the pot, then sprinkle clean, colored craft sand over the glue.

Or, cover the entire pot with tile grout (see above) and sprinkle colored sand over the grout. Embed small objects such as marbles into the sand and grout.

SIMPLE PAINTING

Paint a clean clay flowerpot with acrylic paints using a paintbrush or a painting sponge. Experiment with a crazy, splashy design of swirls, stripes and spots (dip the eraser end of an old pencil in the paint to dab on the dots).

For a spattered look, older children can dip the bristles of an old toothbrush in paint and run their thumb across the bristles to spray flecks on the pot.

Donna Erickson’s award-winning series “Donna’s Day” is airing on public television nationwide. To find more of her creative family recipes and activities, visit www.donnasday.com and link to the new Donna’s Day Facebook fan page. Her latest book is “Donna Erickson’s Fabulous Funstuff for Families.”

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