Some Parisienne whimsy and a sweet Valentine gift, these chic French flower pots are charming and they are so easy and fun to make. I’ve always wanted to grow my own herbs and have fancied having a pair of those cute little herb scissors to clip fresh rosemary to sprinkle over hot plates of spaghetti or to cut a sprig of mint to add to tall glasses of ice tea in the summer. So when I saw these free, printable labels from The Graphics Fairy (click here for link and full size printable PDF) it was just the motivation I needed to get busy and make some sweet little containers to start my very own ‘herboristerie’ – French n. herbalist’s shop (; I’ve already used the labels on 3 terra cotta pots I painted and the look of the aged and vintage patina with the French labels peeking through is perfecto!
French labels from The Graphics Fairy
Supplies Needed for Making French Flower Pots using Labels:
- terra cotta planters and saucers
- Mod Podge (I used Mod Podge Matte – water base sealer, glue, & finish)
- white acrylic paint (I used Apple Barrel “antique parchment”)
- bristle paint brush (sponge brushes do not produce the desired texture and streaking effect)
- paper to protect work surface you paint on (I used wax paper)
- Graphic Fairy labels (click here for full size printable PDF copies of labels)
- copy paper
- Cover work surface with wax paper or other protective covering
- Dip paint brush into the paint, wiping away any excess paint on the brush before applying the paint to the planter.
- Continue painting planter with this dry brush technique, wiping away any excess paint on the paint brush before applying the paint to the planter – paint predominantly in the same direction, except for some random strokes “here and there” to add dimension and depth – apply paint thicker in some areas than others – and allow the terra cotta color to show through in parts to resemble an aged pot
- Paint inside of planter for uniformity
- Allow paint to dry (it dries quickly)
- Cut out desired French label and apply Mod Podge to the back of the label and adhere the label to the planter
- Paint over the label with Mod Podge to seal and allow label to dry
- Brush white paint lightly over label in different areas to make the label “blend” into the pot
- Allow label to dry
Cutting out labels and adhering with Mod Podge
As soon as the Mod Podge was dry, I took my little pots out to the Cottage Greenhouse, sat down at my potting table and began filling them with potting soil. I did have a rosemary plant to plop into my first container for future plates of spaghetti, and though I didn’t have a peppermint plant, yet (I have one ordered) I was happy I had a snapdragon loaded with buds, and 2 golden orange pansies that were waiting for my new containers.
My sweet little rosemary planted in a Specialite De Patiences French Pot with a Queen Bee on the front.
This battered, old cubby holds all kinds of fun garden paraphernalia and the rosemary planter fits right in among my collection of floral frogs and antique salt and pepper shakers. The Depression Glass green shakers are my favorites with their shabby little screw caps that are dented and worn. They all look pretty and winsome sitting about, but they are dual purposed and make great containers for tiny things. I use them in the Cottage Greenhouse to store the seeds I gather from my flowers and trees.
In the greenhouse looking glass.
My plants winter residence. (:
The other night it was supposed to get close to freezing so I went out to my greenhouse after dark, to turn the heater up. Richard put lights in the greenhouse for me, but I didn’t bother to turn them all on, and only flipped on 1 switch. The corners were shadowed and the back of the greenhouse was dark. I enjoyed seeing this new, nighttime look in the greenhouse without the sun pouring in. I felt like a kid under the sheets with a flashlight peeking around at the looming shapes, while I walked to the dark back corner of the greenhouse.
I have a clock hanging over my potting table that has 12 pictures of birds on the face of the clock. Each hour, a bird song is “trilled out” corresponding to the bird pictured for the hour. (See picture of the bird clock, 2 pictures above) Right as I was walking by my potting table, the bird of the hour, the Wood Thrush started trilling out his song and scared the wits out of me. After I got over my fright, I had to smile as the lines to Edgar Allen Poe’s poem, “The Raven” came to mind…”Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary.”
I hastily turned on another light and “Presently my soul grew stronger, hesitating then no longer” I turned the thermostat on the heater up, and after all…still thought my cottage greenhouse looked enchanting by nightfall.
I took a picture for you to see; notice the dark shadows toward the back of the greenhouse when all the lights are not on. By the way, the thermometer in there read 63 degrees and my plants looked very cozy when I turned out the lights and let myself out. (:
My shabby chic white-washed French planters that only cost me a $1.48 each! Fill them with fresh herbs and they would make delightful Valentine’s Day gifts for your friends and neighbors! To make things even easier for you, most grocery stores keep live herb plants stocked in their Produce Section. I ordered my live rosemary plant when I made out my Wal Mart grocery order and it was only $2.98 ! (P.S. I have already added the Mint and Basil live herbs to my shopping cart for my next on-line order!)
Au revoir! (:
From my cottage to yours ~ Trenda
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