Once you learn how to decoupage flower pots with napkins, you’ll never look at a pot the same way! In my last post, I shared tips on painting terracotta pots like a pro. In Part 2, we’ll use Mod Podge to create a chinoiserie look for your container garden.
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How to Use Mod Podge on Flower Pots
Before you begin, it’s important to get the right Mod Podge for the job. You can view all the details in my related YouTube video.
If you’re completely new to decoupage, I suggest you start with my beginner’s guide to decoupage.
The most important aspect of decoupaging outdoor flower pots is knowing how to seal the terracotta. I used Mod Podge Outdoor specifically for this purpose.
I first used this product when creating my patriotic garden stakes, and I loved the results back then! “Why not give it another go?” I thought. Well, I’m glad I did because I think this is one of my favorite projects ever!
The active time involved is minimal, though you should plan to wait about 20-30 minutes between coats and 3-7 days before placing your pots outdoors.
I know, it’s hard to wait to display something so pretty! I promise it’s worth the wait!
Related Post: How to Make Fabric Covered Flower Pots
Watch This Tutorial
Tips for Making Decoupage Flower Pots
You can scroll down for the complete tutorial, but be sure to check out these tips before you get started on your project.
Tip #1: Seal the inside of the flower pots
As I mentioned in my post on painting terracotta pots, to get the best results, you should seal the inside of your flower pots before painting them.
I like to use this clay pot sealer to do the job because it sprays on so easily.
Tip #2: Always paint the terracotta pots first
When using napkins for decoupage, you’ll want to apply a light-colored basecoat of paint first. This helps to make your napkin design stand out and get all the attention it deserves.
If you’ve sealed the pots already (which I hope you did), you can use chalk paint or, better yet, outdoor acrylic paint for this purpose. I like the matte finish of chalk paint, but it’s totally your choice. Spray paint is another perfectly good option.
Tip #3: Use plastic wrap to prevent tearing
If you ask me, plastic food wrap is key when decoupaging with thin tissue paper or napkins. Gently lay the plastic over the napkin once you apply it to the pot, and you won’t have trouble with sticky fingers. As you’ll see in my upcoming video, it also helps prevent the paper from tearing.
Also, you can let the Mod Podge dry slightly before applying the napkin to ensure that the paper won’t become too saturated.
Tip #4: Remove napkin edges with a paintbrush and water
Over the years, I’ve discovered that using a wet paintbrush helps to remove the edges of your napkin for decoupage.
When using napkins for decoupage, you have the choice to 1) apply the whole napkin or 2) cut out smaller portions to partially cover the pots.
I chose the first option, so I dipped a paintbrush in water to tear off any excess pieces of napkin around the rim and bottom. This gives you nice, soft edges that make the design look hand-painted.
Tip #5: Never expose a decoupage flower pot to direct rain or sunlight
Mod Podge Outdoor works really well for a covered porch or patio, but you’ll want to avoid exposing your finished pots to rain or sun. This decoupage glue is water-resistant, not waterproof.
If you start to see some wear and tear on your pots after some time, you can always re-apply a coat of Mod Podge Outdoor. To continue decorating your container garden, check out my tutorials for stenciled flower pots or mosaic flower pots.
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How to Decoupage Flower Pots with Napkins
Prepare Terracotta Pot for Decoupage
- Wash and dry the terracotta pot if necessary.
- Optional: Sand any rough edges of the pot if desired.
- Seal the inside of the pot with Clay Pot Sealer and let it dry completely (about 24 hours).
- Apply a base coat of paint to the pot using 1-2 coats of chalk paint or outdoor acrylic paint and let it dry completely (about one hour in between coats).
- Separate the napkin into individual plies to isolate just the printed layer. Most napkins come in 3 layers, and it's helpful to cut an edge of the napkin to expose the layers.
- Cut the napkin into the shapes you want to decoupage if needed. For larger terra cotta pots, you may need to use more than one napkin and attempt to line up any patterns.
Decoupage the Pot
- Apply a thin coat of Mod Podge Matte and let it dry slightly (a minute or two) before applying the napkin.
- Use plastic wrap to press the napkin onto the pot instead of using your fingers. This prevents the napkin from sticking to your fingers and makes for a smoother application.
- Use a paintbrush dipped in water to wet any edges of the napkin you want to remove. This helps to tear the napkin away easily without ripping it.
Seal the Pot
- Wait 20-30 minutes for the napkin layer to dry. Then, apply a coat of Mod Podge Outdoor to the outside of the painted/decoupaged pot to seal it.
- Wait 3-7 days before transferring plants to your flower pot and placing it outdoors.