Christmas Container, Part 1

Apologies to modern readers for the tiny photos: This post is old but it still has some good information for those wanting to do a holiday-themed container.

I’ve been planning to put a holiday-themed container on our front porch for awhile, and decided I’d better get to the job before New Year’s arrives. The first step was to make a pot with a holiday look.

I’m not particularly artistic, which is why I love decoupage. For a couple of years now, I’ve been making plain plastic pots look more interesting by surrounding them in colorful papers. The process is messy but fun and requires almost no artistic talent.

img_0490.jpgYou start with a pot. In this case, it’s one I picked up free on the side of the road. (I will not dumpster dive, but I’ll stop to look at free stuff anytime.) You also need a decorative paper. Since Northfield’s Art Store was going out of business, I stopped there and picked up several sheets of decorative paper. For the Christmas pot, I used a red paper that had a texture like alligator skin and a sparkling gold paper on top. You also need the amateur artist’s best friend: Mod-Podge, a thin glue that leaves a shiny finish.

To begin, use a large pan (I used the utility sink in my basement) and fill it with a small amount of water and some Mod-Podge to make a thin sludge. Also paint full-strength Mod-Podge on the pot. Then, cut the paper into pieces that will wrap easily around the pot, dip them in the sludge water, and stick them on the pot. Your hands will get wet and messy, but there is something very satisfying about this process. Make sure there are no air bubbles under the paper. Once the paper is on the pot, let it sit for about 15 minutes to set up, then paint a layer of Mod-Podge over it. Wait another 15 minutes, and continue this process until you have about 5 layers of Mod-Podge.

img_0667.jpgWhen you are done, let it dry thoroughly, probably overnight, before you fill the pot with greenery or plants. What surprises me about these pots, is how well they hold up. I’ve had a couple of pots done this way for two years, and though they look a trifle dirty on the bottom, the paper is still attached and they are reasonably attractive.

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