Kids Craft Uses Terra Cotta Containers and Plants For Creative Fun

Great looking gifts can be inexpensive and fun to make when you add a live plant to a hand-decorated clay pot. Kids love to show their creativity and parents, grandparents, teachers and neighbors will enjoy this gift for years to come. Students and scout groups also can make these for their families and as a service project for nursing home patients or the elderly.

Start With a Clean Terra Cotta Pot

Use a new pot that is dust free and has been washed and dried. You can also use an old terra cotta pot that has been scrubbed. Sand any rough spots with a fine sand paper. Soak the pot it in a solution of bleach and detergent and then scrub with a steel brush or steel wool pad to remove any mineral deposits. Rinse well and allow to air dry completely.

Choose Your Paint Carefully for Kid’s Craft

Craft stores carry a variety of paints and markers designed for decorating terra cotta pots. Look for products that are lead free, non-toxic and waterproof. Choose age appropriate products for children with the markers being a good choice for smaller children.

Paint the Inside of the Clay Pot First

Paint the top two inches of the inside of the pot first as this is all that will show once the dirt is added. A neutral color or the same one you are using on the outside top part of the container will work. The plant you use can be as simple or as complex as the recipient.

Decorate the Outside of Terra Cotta Gift Planters

If you have a smaller child with a short attention span, prepare the container for them by painting it all one color. Then let the child use a painting sponge or terra cotta marker to make the design. For older children, the paint sponge works well but they may want to add more intricate designs with small brushes and the markers. Let them be creative by painting abstract designs, names, holiday symbols, or flowers, They are only limitied by their imagination!

Add the Plant to Your Decorated Container

Start by adding a good quality commercial potting soil to the container. Fill the container about half full and then set the plant in. Fill in the space around the plants with more soil, leaving an inch or two at the top for watering. Water well until the water runs out the drainage hole. This will help assure that you have not left any air pockets around the roots and that the plant is firmly in place.

For a gardener, almost any plant will be appreciated and nurtured. If the gift is for a parent, care should be taken to choose a plant that will thrive so the child sees a long-term reward. A simple vine bought at a discount store will work well. This can surround a simple blooming plant such as a marigold. When the bloom is gone, there is still a growing plant in the container and the child can watch it grow. For a nursing home or elderly relative, this works well also.

With a little guidance and a few simple supplies, your child will learn the fun of creating and the joy of giving!