DIY French Flower Pots & Fun, Easy Valentine Gifts

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.

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)
  • scissors
  • 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
  • printer

Directions:

  1. Cover work surface with wax paper or other protective covering
  2. Dip paint brush into the paint, wiping away any excess paint on the brush before applying the paint to the planter.
  3. 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
  4. Paint inside of planter for uniformity
  5. Allow paint to dry (it dries quickly)
  6. Cut out desired French label and apply Mod Podge to the back of the label and adhere the label to the planter
  7. Paint over the label with Mod Podge to seal and allow label to dry
  8. Brush white paint lightly over label in different areas to make the label “blend” into the pot
  9. 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 evening I went out to my greenhouse after it was dark to turn the heater up, since it was supposed to get close to freezing that night. Richard put lights in the greenhouse for me, but I didn’t bother to turn them all on and only flipped on 1 switch, which left the corners and back of the greenhouse in the dark. I enjoyed seeing this new night-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 bird clock hanging over my potting table that “sings” a different bird song each hour (See picture of the bird clock, 2 pictures above) Right when I was walking by my potting table “Once upon a midnight dreary” the bird of the hour, the Wood Thrush started trilling out his song! “Much I marveled this ungainly fowl to hear” it scared the wits out of me “filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before” and I hastily turned on another light. “Presently my soul grew stronger, hesitating then no longer” I turned the thermostat on the heater up, and after all…still thought my little cottage greenhouse looked enchanting by nightfall and I took a few pictures. I’ll let you see! By the way, the thermometer in there read 63 and my plants looked very cozy when I told them goodnight, 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!) Let me know if you make these French flower planters for yourself or for Valentine gifts! ❤

Au revoir! (:

From my cottage to yours ~ Trenda

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Romantic Valentine Table for Two

~ written by Trenda

On a day celebrating L-O-V-E, there’s no limit to the amount of lace, flowers, hearts, or pink I use in setting and decorating our table for Valentine’s Day.  Richard and I begin our celebration of Valentine’s Day on February 13th and go out that evening for a special dinner.  Then, the next morning I make omelettes and “Berry Sweet Valentine’s” (recipe and pictures in a subsequent post!) and later “when twilight descends and evening begins”  we have a lovely dinner seated at a romantic “table for 2” at our favorite “getaway” … Cottage Green on the Lake! (; 

pink setting.pngA little table right next to the fireplace seems like the perfect spot for our Valentine reservation with the coziness of a fire, the glimmer of twinkle lights and the romance of candles.

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 Nestled next to  the fireplace, I wanted our Valentine table to blend in and be a part of the little nook and romantic backdrop I decorated and wrote about in my last post. (click here to see)  I love the way the mantle decorations look like they’ve tumbled over onto the table!

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The whimsical piece that visually ties the mantle and table together is a cement statue of “Cupid.” The same roses, eucalyptus and twinkle lights I used on the mantle, wrap around the base of the angel, entwine the statuary and encircle his wings.

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For our dinnerware, I chose Kaiser Porcelain in the Marseille pattern that we bought when we lived in Germany; it’s a fine  porcelain china and the white background trimmed with pink floral garlands and rosebuds is named “Romantica” and seemed the perfect choice for a day all about hearts and flowers!

I love these white scalloped plates with their painted garlands and rosebuds and the Valentine look of the pink, doily-like charger beneath each plate.  White napkins with a bit of crocheted lace and a sweet pink flower and Kaiser Porcelain roses are scattered about the table and adorn each place setting.

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Crystal “King Edward” Waterford glasses and pink blush stemware.

The King Midas touch … gold chargers and goldware add “gleam” to each place setting.

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The drape of roses, eucalyptus, grape clusters and twinkle lights adorning the mantle and Cupid, adds subtle lighting and enchantment to the table.

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Ready and waiting for a party of two … our Valentine table is set.  All that is needed is to light the fireplace and as Neil Diamond sings, it’s time to  … “Turn down the lights.  Turn up the music.  Let’s just be together tonight.  And turn down the lights.” ❤

lights dimmed.png“Love is patient, love is kind …”

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From my cottage to yours  ~ Trend

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I’m delighted you read my Blog today!  Please click on FOLLOW in my post above or FOLLOW on my site: cottagegreenonthelake.com to have all Cottage Green on the Lake news delivered directly to your email address.  If you have any questions or comments, please leave those in the COMMENT section!  For some other great ideas, please join me (click here) for “Share Your Style Link Party #104 with host Lisa from Feathering My Empty Nest.