DIY Aztec Print Succulent Pots

update on 1/20/17 ***Many of you have asked if I can make you your own version of these pots, so I am selling these pots in a variety of sizes, with customizable saucer colors and gold leaf add-ons. Please email if you'd like pricing and shipment info. Thank you!***

I love to make things. I love to paint things. I love to plant things. I may not technically be "good" at any of those things, but I love doing them, so there's rarely a week that goes by that I'm not dreaming up some ridiculous DIY project to beautify the house and trying to tackle it. It always starts with something I saw and was inspired by, and evolves into something that I just can't get out of my head and have to try. Having such a specific vision for something is usually my downfall because what I've laid out in my head is typically much more perfect than anything my flawed hands can create, but it's always equal parts fun and frustrating to try! DIYing anything is a labor of love, and I'm pretty sure that Chris thinks I've completely lost my mind when he finds my "reject" projects in the trash bin outside and comes home at night to find me covered, head to toe, in all colors of paint. 

This project was inspired by an amazing artist named Lindsay Gardner. She created some super cute wallpaper downloads that I saw on one of my favorite blogs, Designlovefest and I fell in love with this particular one...

Art by Lindsay Gardner

Specifically, I loved the funky black and white Aztec print on these succulent pots, and wanted to bring these to life in our home! Lindsay has so much more where this came from, so you have to hop on over to her site and check out all of her art. She also just launched her Etsy shop, so excuse me for a moment while I proceed to buy every. single. piece. 

And so it began. I would attempt to create my own real-life version of these succulent pots using terra cotta pots, some matte spray paint, a handful of paint pens, a lot of patience and much to Chris' dismay, a few reject pots that just didn't make the cut. I also added gold leaf to one larger pot - I couldn't let this project slip by without throwing a little gilding in the mix! Gilding is a craft that takes a little time to master, and I'm by no means a master, so I'll leave that tutorial for another post of its own down the line when I have more sound wisdom to impart. The pots turned out to be perfectly imperfect, and I gotta say, I couldn't love them more... and the fact that I finally just finished them may play a part in that love. They're a perfect fit for our little black and white Southwestern abode!

See below for links to the products I used and pics of the step-by-step! I drew all of my patterns freehand to give the pots that imperfect feel, but drawing the patterns with pencil first helped guide my spacing and gave a non-artist like me a good blueprint when it was time for the permanence of the paint pen. 



Terra Cotta Pots and Saucers (I found mine at Home Depot)

Multi-Surface Black Paint Pen (a "chisel tip" made it easier for me to use this and keep clean lines)

White Flat/Matte Spray Paint (I also used this colored matte spray paint for my saucers in "Robin's Egg")

Fine/Medium Grit Drywall Sanding Sponge (Terra Cotta pots sand very easily, so these work perfectly)

For Gilding:

Gold Flakes (you can also use "sheets")

Gilding Adhesive

All-Purpose Sealer

Foam Brush


* When I drew my pattern in pencil, I broke the pot up into fourths with tiny hashmarks at the bottom of the pot. That helped space my designs evenly on the pots.

* It was easiest to draw my pattern while propping it up on my knee while I was sitting. Be careful where you're holding it though - the paint from the paint pen can smudge on your leg and your fingers if you're not careful where you're setting and holding it.

* If you mess up with the paint pen (easily done), you can just let the paint dry, sand it and start again with your white matte paint! You don't have to throw your "rejects" into the trash.