pretty planter turned functional

I wanted to take a couple of small plants to work and brighten up my office. I bought a jade plant to join the lucky bamboo plant that I've had for years. The fun thing about new houseplants is a pot to go with it...

I debated decorating a terra cotta pot, but the pots were either a size too small or a size too big. Instead, I opted to buy a cute, affordable ceramic planter; it was the exact color and size I was wanting. Unfortunately, it had neither a drain hole nor saucer, and this pot is small enough to need drainage. I resolved to drill a hole into the bottom and paint a terra cotta saucer to match. I figured if I broke the pot in the process, I was only out a couple of bucks. Obviously, I was successful.

What you'll need:
For the drain hole

  • Ceramic planter
  • Drill with masonry drill bit - My bit was 1/4". I had a hunch that we had a masonry bit, but Peter was convinced we did not. After several minutes of trying with a normal drill bit, I made him help me look. Low and behold, we had the aforementioned masonry bit. It cut through the ceramic like cake.
  • Water - My dad has drilled holes in the bottom of ceramic planters for me before. He always kept the bit wet while drilling; it keeps the bit cool, prevents breakage, and keeps down the dust. It may very well work without water, but I have never dared to try.
  • Scrap block of wood - To protect your work surface from accidental drilling. (My pictures don't show this as they were fairly posed, but I did have something underneath the pot to protect the deck.)
  • Hearing protection - The screeching sound is not pleasant; our neighbors probably hate us.
  • Potting materials - Drainage rocks, potting soil, etc.

For the saucer

  • Terra cotta saucer
  • Acrylic paint
  • Foam brushes
  • Plastic lid - I use plastic lids from yogurt, cottage cheese, and Cool Whip containers as a pallette when painting.
  • Mod Podge - I used the Matte variety.

Create the drain holes.

Step 1: Pour water into the pot so that the water level is 1/4" to 1/2" high.

Step 2: Drill through the ceramic. Change the water as it becomes opaque for increased visibility.

Step 3: Pot your plant. I would have put a coffee filter at the bottom to prevent soil from leaking out, but not being a coffee drinker, I don't have coffee filters. Instead, I put a handful of drainage rocks leftover from another potting project in the bottom.

Paint the saucer.

Step 4: Paint the saucer; covering the deep red terra cotta with cheap acrylic paint took a ridiculous number of coats. If When I paint terra cotta again, I will seriously consider spray paint instead. I had to mix paint to get the exact color I wanted. I did the majority of the necessary coats with a close ready-made color. Then, I mixed up the desired color for the final couple of coats. This method prevents a ton of unnecessary mixing.

Step 5: Let dry completely (several hours or overnight).

Step 6: Apply 2-3 coats of Mod Podge to seal the paint job and protect it when wet. Let dry.

Step 7: Admire your work!

Do you like this project? Consider pinning it, subscribing to me, or checking out my other projects. For a complete list of all blogs I link up with, see my link party page.

I'm linking up with:
Made by You Monday @ Skip to my Lou
Time to Shine Party @ A Diamond in the Stuff
Lil' Luna Link Party @ Lil' Luna
Share It Link Party @ The Winthrop Chronicles
Time for a Party @ Fine Craft Guild
Weekend Wrap Up Party @ Tatertots & Jello
Sundae Scoop Link Party @ I Heart Nap Time

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  1. Great tutorial, Kelsey!
    I'm visiting you today from Lil Luna. I hope you get a chance to stop by my blog and leave a comment, too!
    ~ Megin of VMG206
    Decorative Flip Flops~ Gift Idea

  2. Nice tutorial! Visiting from TT&J!


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