Make weathered, shabby chic flower pots using spray paint & candle wax.

I’m on a faux-finishing kick at the moment.  Last week I showed you how to make a faux rust effect using spray paint and salt.  
Today I wanted to show you how to create the look of those chippy, weathered, shabby chic flower pots and other garden items.  Have you priced them?  Crazy!  I am not going to pay those prices, especially when I can make them myself.

This flower pot…

…was once a boring, plain terracotta flower pot.

Besides an old flower pot, you’ll need a good adhesive, some modeling clay, some wax and an old paintbrush and 2 colors of spray paint.

Take the modeling clay and knead it and work it until it’s pliable.  Take a wad of it and flatten it out on a cutting board.  I trimmed the edged of mine to make a rectangle.  (Mine didn’t need to be perfect because I knew I would cover it with the clay roses.)

Next use a stamp or a toothpick to write in the clay.  I used one of the Martha Stewart Stamp sets.  (If it’ll work with ink, it’ll work with clay… just be sure to clean it afterwards.)

When done, carefully form it to the pot where you want it.  Put it in the oven right on the pot.  That way it hardens in the exact shape you want.  Bake according to package directions.

Once it has hardened in the oven, glue it in place on the pot.

How to make the Clay Roses:

No cracks about my desperate need for a manicure, OK?

1. Break off a piece of modeling clay and knead it until it’s nice and pliable.
2. Take a small bit of the clay and flatten it into a long, thin piece.
3. Start rolling at one end, sort of pinching at the bottom as you go along.  That’s the center of your rose.
4. Pinch off another piece of clay and flatten it into a long oval shape to make more petals..
5. Begin overlapping where the last  piece of clay ended, wrapping more “petals” as you see fit.  Go ahead and form them into whatever shape most looks like a rose as you go along.
6. As you create more petals, you will be pinching at the bottom of your rose and will end up with a clay “stem”

Once you’ve made your rose, it’s time to Bake It.

1. Cut the excess clay “stem” off of the bottom of your rose.
2. Score the bottom of the rose.  The score marks help to create a stronger hold when gluing to your flower pot.
3. Put your roses on an oven safe plate and bake according to package directions.

When your roses are done, you can begin to glue them around your decorative quotation.  I recommend that you turn the pot on its side and glue them that way.  You will probably end up gluing one half of the pot, letting the glue dry, then rotating it to do the other half.

When finished it will look like this.  I wasn’t happy with the finished product because there were gaps in some places.

To fix that problem, I made a few individual “petals” and shoved them in to cover the gaps.  I then put the whole pot in the oven at a really low temperature to set the petals.

Because they were wedged in there and hardened that way, they are secure and there was no need to glue them.  (If you try this you may find that yours need extra glue.  Just do whatever works for you.

Because I am going to do a wax-resist effect on the pot, I needed to coat it with my base color first.

Rustoleum’s Satin in Putty

Here’s where the wax comes in.  This technique is called Wax Resist and the idea is that the wax prevents the second coat of color from adhering to the pot.  When you remove the wax, the base color should show through underneath.

Click photo to see a close up of the wax on the edges of the petals.

You can take the wick and little metal dish from a tea-light and melt it in the microwave (or just burn a white candle and carefully use that melted wax.)  Take an old ratty paintbrush that you won’t mind ruining, dip it in the wax and paint wax all along the edges of the petals.  You can smear some in various places on the pot too.

Spray paint your top coat.  I chose a gloss white.

Let the paint dry thoroughly.  You may even want to wait a day for this next step.  (For the purposes of making this tutorial, I rushed the process a bit and I am not as happy as i could be with the end result… Learn from my mistakes, people.)

Once the paint is dry, put a strainer over the drain in your sink, run tap water as hot as you can get it and let the water wash over the wax.

The hot water melts the wax away (which takes the top layer of paint with it) and the strainer catches the paint so it doesn’t go down the drain.

The end result looks like and old, chippy pot.

Pretty cool, huh?  You could do this with just about any design and on lots of different surfaces too.
Have fun!


  1. says

    You never cease to amaze me! thanks for sharing..I have been wondering how to make the clay roses. You’re the best and as always…love your blog and all it has to offer!
    Ta Ta

  2. says

    Way cool, I am certain I will be seeing this all over! I love that trick of wax and paint, but it never occurred to me to use it on a pot. Also, I have never worked with clay, I love the way it turned out. I just might try this!

  3. says

    Very, VERY cool! What a great idea. You’re a brilliant girl! I made faux mossy terra cotta pots with spray paint. I love what you can do with a cheap terra cotta pot and a little imagination!

  4. says

    Oh my gosh, I LOVE this idea because it has so many applications and you could customize it for different holidays, and looks, etc. AH! You are amazing! Seriously, one of the best ideas I have seen in a long time. Thanks for sharing!

  5. says

    I like it better before you chipped it but that’s just my opinion. HOW DO YOU EVEN KNOW HOW TO DO THIS STUFF??

    I’ve read this twice just to try to wrap my head around it. My brain waves just don’t go where yours do. It’s funny just how different we really are BUT opposites attract, right?

  6. says

    This is beautiful! I found you on facebook and ‘liked’ you so I can follow your blog. Hope you can find my facebook too, or follow me by email. Little Bit from

  7. says

    Another BFC best friend crafter I have added you to the club fictional of course another words I admire you terribly love the pots I too am liking tweeting and old fashioned not so chic these days telling by word of mouth-hey do you a sister???


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