Springtime evokes images of sunshine and pretty flowers. What better way to celebrate it than to embellish a dull, unadorned planter with bright colors and festive flowers? A spring planter will make a great addition to your porch or patio, and it’s easy and fun to make with basic arts and crafts supplies like stencils, paints, brushes, and sponges. The following directions are guidelines – feel free to be creative to make spring planters that will look pretty for years to come!
Paper or plastic flower, leaf, and stem stencils—available online, in crafts stores, and in books (Wild Flowers Stencils by Katrina Hall, Fun with Flower Stencils by Paul E. Kennedy). Also, Martha Stewart Crafts Beginner’s Paint and Stencil Kit has some flower and leaf stencils, brushes, and paints that work well for this project. Note that plastic stencils are reusable – you just need to clean them with rubbing alcohol.
Masking tape or spray adhesive
Newspapers to protect the surface you’ll be painting on
Stencil sponge (or triangular cosmetics sponge wedge)
Paintbrushes, width of head: 1/8 in (thin) and 5/8 in (medium width)
What to do
Start with your planter. I used a plain, antique wooden basket that I picked up for $1 at a local flea market.
Paint in a well-ventilated area.
Spread newspapers over the surface you’ll be painting the planter on.
Spray a thin coat of paint all over the planter. Be sure to use a pendulum motion with the spray can, sweeping from left to right. I opted to use white spray paint and to paint only the exterior of the wooden basket. Because drying times vary, be sure to read the instructions on the can to find out how long you should let the planter dry, according to the manufacturer. You have the option of spray painting several thin coats to get a solid, even finish. I chose to stop after one coat because the transparency of the coat adds to the basket’s rustic allure.
Once the planter is completely dry, spray adhesive on to the bottom side of the stencil or use masking tape to affix the stencil to the planter.
Using the medium width brush, use the acrylic paint to gently paint the planter in the area that’s bounded by the stencil design. I used blue for the flowers and green for the leaves. I used the thin brush and a dark brown paint for the stems. Be sure to use a light, whisper-like touch, not a heavy stroke. Once the design is painted on the planter, remove the stencil.
I then used a stencil brush to soften the edges by giving them a featherlike quality; otherwise the edges of the design would be sharp.
Let the painted on design dry. Because different manufacturer’s drying times vary, be sure to check the instructions on the paint bottle.
Once dried, line the planter with plastic (a garbage bag will work) if necessary, as was the case with my wooden basket. Add dirt and plants. Enjoy!