DIY: French Country Planters

Published on 5 May 2024 at 17:57

Author:  Kelly Lowthian

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As a lover of all things rustic and elegant, I've always been drawn to French country planters. However, the price tags on these beauties can be enough to make anyone's wallet cry. That's why I'm excited to share with you my budget-friendly hack for creating stunning French country planters right at home.  In this tutorial, I'll walk you through the step-by-step process of crafting these charming planters, allowing you to enjoy their timeless appeal without breaking the bank. 


I've also included a shoppable list of the supplies needed to complete the project.  In this example, I am using a simple terra cotta pot that goes for around $1.50 at Home Depot, however, you can use pots that you already have around the house, or find something more unique at a thrift store, garage sale, or estate sale. 

Supply List:

  • Garden pot
  • Rustoleum spray paint in Heirloom White
  • Rustoleum textured stone spray paint in Bleached Stone
  • Craft paint in white, light gray and dark gray
  • A couple of artist brushes (or small chip brush or foam brush)
  • Mod Podge
  • Decals
  • Spray bottle with water

Shop Supplies Here:

Step 1 - Spray paint entire pot with antique white

Start by painting the pots with Rustoleum spray paint in Heirloom White to completely cover the original color of your pot. This paint has a built-in primer so you won't need to prime.  Whether you spray the inside of the pot is completely up to you.  

Photo courtesy of Home & Hospitality

Step 2 - Create texture with stone paint

One of the quickest and easiest ways to make an ordinary garden pot look like stone is to use Rustoleum textured stone spray paint.  You don't need to be a perfectionist when spraying this on.  The messier, the better.  That's what gives it the aged look.

Step 3 - Age the pots with craft paint

I set up my painting station with a paper plate and squirted out those lovely grays and white. One by one, I dipped my brush, dabbed off the excess, and got to work. With a dry brushing technique and a bit of pouncing action, I added those aged-looking grays all over the pot. And let me tell you, it was a dab-and-blot dance until I got that perfect vintage feel!

Of course, there were moments where things got a tad too dark, or brushstrokes peeked through. No worries, though! A touch of white paint here and there, softened with a rag, fixed everything right up. Voila! A beautifully aged pot.

Step 4 - Download graphic in reverse format

To print a graphic in reverse format on a laser or inkjet printer, start by opening the graphic in a software program that allows you to manipulate images, like Photoshop or GIMP. Once the image is open, select the option to flip the image horizontally or vertically, depending on the desired reverse effect. Make any necessary adjustments to the size or placement of the graphic. Next, ensure that your printer settings are configured correctly for the type of paper or material you are using. Load the paper into the printer tray and hit the print button. The printer will then produce a mirror image of the graphic, ready for use in applications like heat transfers or other projects requiring reverse printing.

Step 5 - Cut around the design

Cut out the design but don't worry about being too exact.  The less exact the lines are, the more worn the design will look once it's on your pot.

Step 6 - Apply the Mod Podge 

Apply the mod podge to the PRINTED side of the paper and then place the design in the desire location on the pot.  Smooth the graphic as best you can to work out any wrinkles in the design.  Let it dry overnight.

Photo courtesy of Home & Hospitality

Step 7 - Spray paper with water

After the design is completely dry (the next day), spray the paper with water until the design is visible.

Photo courtesy of Home & Hospitality

Step 8 - Roll paper away

Rub and roll the top layer of the paper with your fingers.  If it starts to dry out, just add a bit more water until you've peeled away the paper to your liking.

Don't fret if some bits of the design come off—it adds to the vintage vibe we're going for! Just be mindful not to rub too hard and lose too much of the design. Take it slow and steady, rolling the paper away in stages and letting it dry in between peels. I usually let mine dry 3-4 times, taking off a little paper each time.

Now, a crucial tip: be super careful not to rub off the pot's stone or faux finish. We want the graphic to shine, not the pot's paint! And remember, this transfer isn't waterproof unless you seal it. So, these beauties are best suited for indoor plants or a cozy spot on a covered patio.


Once you're finished with step 8, you should have pots that look like the ones pictured below.

Photo courtesy of Home & Hospitality


With just a pinch of time, a sprinkle of creativity, and a dash of effort, I've transformed simple pots into elegant décor pieces that add a touch of charm to my home.  So, if you're looking to elevate your space without breaking the bank, give this project a try. Trust me, the satisfaction of creating something beautiful with your own hands is priceless! Cheers to crafting magic and stylish home décor on a budget!

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