The window in my kitchen needed some DIY decorating goodness. My kids are always making crafts and I wanted to find a way to combine my need for decorating and their need for crafting. I decided that we should try planting succulents and painting the pots. I LOVE how they turned out!
Planting Succulents and Painting Pots
This story of DIY adventure has two parts. Just for fun, I’m starting with the second part: planting succulents, which was uncharted territory for me.
Both stories begin with gathering supplies. Aside from the pots (more on those later), I needed soil and succulents. There were lots of choices for both items. I enjoyed choosing four different succulents among all the colors, textures, shapes and sizes offered. The soil choices, however, were a little overwhelming. Fortunately, I found this potting mix which is just right for planting succulents. See it on the top corner?
I couldn’t find anyone in the home center to ask about all the choices, so I thought about asking Google. Before I did that, however, I decided I am smart and could figure it out by looking at the bags of soil. I’m glad the creators of this soil were thinking of people like me: not a green thumb but want to venture into planting succulents! And bonus, I appreciated the easy-to-follow instructions for planting succulents located on the back of the package.
First, fill the bottom third of the pot with soil.
One more item for the supply list: heavy gloves to protect ourselves from the needles. Cactus plants are sharp!
Next, squeeze the bottom of the root ball to loosen up the roots. It’s ok if some or all of the soil falls off from the nursery potting. Your new succulent-friendly soil is designed to drain well and keep moisture off the roots, which don’t like to be wet. Place the plant in the pot, holding its base at the level where you want it to be positioned in the pot.
Finally, add enough soil to fill the pot to within one half inch to the top of the pot and water! I even let my kids use my fancy pitcher because they were going to be photographed. 🙂 This first watering is to let the soil settle, but after that, wait a couple days until the soil is dry before watering again. This gives the roots time to heal before they have to do their job. We try to remember to water them about once a week.
Painting Pots & Trays
Now for the part my kids love!!! Before we could paint though, we needed to gather our supplies: terracotta pots, terracotta pot trays, patio paint, foam brushes, copper spray paint, and UV-Resistant Clear Acrylic Coating. I headed to Michaels for these.
After I found the terracotta pots (with a hole in the bottom for good drainage) I noticed this Patio Paint nearby. With so many paint choices, I appreciated the display’s suggestion. The paint bottle said the paint resists weather and water and adheres to terracotta, concrete, and wood.
All of this sounded good to me, so I picked it up. Because I have four daughters, I bought four different tones of blue. Side-by-side, they will take on an ombre effect in my windowsill. A side note about color: the girls did not get to come along on this trip or I would have had pink and purple glitter pots. 🙂
Back at home, each child painted her pot. It took two coats each per pot and the coats remained a little spotty. Now, this is where you have to decide if you want to paint an extra coat while they are sleeping to get all of the pot covered with paint. If you do, I won’t judge. Promise. The patio paint instructions does that you need to wait 72 hours before exposing the painted surface to moisture. That means, we waited THREE whole days before planting them…because I’m a rule follower.
In addition to the ombre blues, I wanted the pots to have a metallic copper color, so I decided to spray paint the pots’ trays. Just like the blue paint, it took two coats of the copper spray paint to get a solid coloring. I was surprised by the challenge of holding the trays to paint them without painting my hands too. If you have tips for me on how to do this for future painting adventures, please comment below.
The instructions on the copper spray paint said the paint does not resist water, but the helpful paint lady at Michael’s recommended the UV-Resistant Clear Acrylic Coating. I could already imagine the great color combination of ombre blues and copper, so the extra work of the acrylic coating did not discourage me. And after a few weeks of watering, the clear coating continues to protect that copper paint.
All four succulents sit on my windowsill and live there happily. We try to remember to water them about once a week. Aren’t they soo cute?