Craft: create your own herb pots

Australian Women’s Weekly NZ - - CONTENTS -


Have some cre­ative fun this win­ter by mak­ing these arty herb pots. Mar­sha Smith tells you how.

These pots are decorated us­ing us­ing a technique known as ‘découpage’ (de­rived from the French ‘dé­couper’ mean­ing ‘to cut out’). I’ve used tis­sue pa­per and cop­per leaf, but you can af­fix just about any­thing to your pots (mag­a­zine cut-outs, pa­per or fab­ric). As long as you seal the pots well with the dish­washer-safe Mod Podge, they won’t be ru­ined by mois­ture from in­side or out­side the pot. If you can’t get the dish­washer-safe ver­sion, you could use a ba­sic craft Mod Podge and seal your pot at the end with a var­nish that is wa­ter-re­sis­tant.


1 Start by mak­ing sure the ter­ra­cotta pots are clean and smooth. Sand off any rough spots and wipe clean. Spray-paint pots with white paint in­side and out. This should be done a day or two in ad­vance, giv­ing the paint plenty of time to dry.

2 Tear and cut the tis­sue pa­per and cop­per leaf into a va­ri­ety of shapes and sizes. Be as cre­ative as you like, but keep it sim­ple. Try cut­ting some lit­tle tri­an­gles, cir­cles or di­a­monds as well. If you’re ner­vous about mak­ing mis­takes, it’s a good idea to use a piece of white pa­per or card and ex­per­i­ment with var­i­ous lay­ers and de­sign ideas. See how the colours re­act when lay­ered and what dif­fer­ent colour com­bi­na­tions and ef­fects you’ll get when they are placed to­gether. (eg: dark onto light/light onto dark).

3 Do­ing one pot at a time, sponge or brush some Mod Podge onto the sur­face of the pot and be­gin fix­ing your lay­ers of tis­sue and cop­per leaf. Be care­ful, as the tis­sue is del­i­cate and will tear eas­ily once wet. Use tweez­ers to af­fix small pieces. Another thing to be care­ful of is the bleed­ing of darker colours. The more Mod Podge you put on, the more likely it is for colours like black to run. Let darker colours dry slightly first be­fore work­ing over them too many times.

4 Once you are happy with your de­sign, set pot aside and leave to dry for 2-3 hours.

5 Ap­ply another coat of Mod Podge over the en­tire sur­face of your pot (in­side and out). Re­peat two more times for a com­plete seal. (Don’t worry, Mod Podge looks a lit­tle white when first ap­plied but it will dry clear.) Set pots aside for a few days to cure be­fore fill­ing with your favourite herbs.

6 Us­ing dish­washer-safe Mod Podge, this technique can also be ap­plied to a plain white tea cup (with­out the spray paint of course!). Be­fore you know it, you’ll be ad­dicted and want to découpage ev­ery­thing!


For a fin­ish­ing touch, you may like to make your own herb la­bels. Sim­ply dou­ble your craft wire at your de­sired length and twist un­til you have a sturdy rod. Bend one end in the shape of a shep­herd’s crook. Roll out and make an oval tag shape from mod­el­ling clay. Us­ing a straw, make a hole at one end. Bake un­til hard (see packet for in­struc­tions as var­i­ous clays will dif­fer). Write the herb name on the tag in per­ma­nent marker, hook it over the wire and ‘plant’ in your pot.

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