Monogram your terra cotta pots

Through the holidays, I worked on this project inspired from this website about using terra cotta pots for tabletop candle holders and this one about transferring graphic images onto terra cotta pots.

click photo for a larger pic view

The terra cotta pots ready to be painted:

Paint is applied with a dry brush method. This simply means the brush is very dry and has little paint on it. For variation, you might try a slightly damp sponge with a little paint.

Painted with the first coat of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint (Provence). Of course color choice is up to you though I like blues, blue-greens, grays, and whites with some of the terra cotta showing:

Left pot has second coat with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint (Old White over Provence with Terra Cotta):

The colors are further smeared with a slightly wet paper towel. The ASCP smears nicely; I don’t think regular latex would work because when distressed it would peel off the terra cotta however, you could try Poster paints if you don’t want to go the expense of ASCP.

These candle holders will go down the middle of the table and can be seen from two sides. Here’s how the letters will lay out to spell correctly:

Modge Podge is applied. If going outdoors, use Modge Podge for outdoor use. Put on a nice layer, don’t skimp, where the image will be applied:

Each letter must be put on as a mirror image so check the alignment. I also measured from the bottom of the pot to keep them the same from pot to pot:

Let sit from 6 hours to overnight to dry. Once fully dry, use a wet washcloth to wet the paper. Experiment with how wet, but I found getting it thoroughly wet all over the paper so the paper seemed transparent worked well:

To start removing a layer of paper, use the pads of your fingers to roll off the excess paper. Work from the outside corners inward:

Here are some tips:

Start from the outside corners and work inward. This gives you a feel for how much pressure you want to use.

If you find yourself rubbing too much off, set aside and let dry before trying again with no or less water.

Realize that removal doesn’t mean removing all the paper. You will have some left where the image remains on the pot.

If the black starts to smear, set aside and let it dry before trying again.

If too much image is being removed, I let it dry some and then go back and roll off more.

This does randomly distress the lettering. It’s not supposed to look perfect and that is okay!

After it was completely dry, I used a metal brush to file off any excessive paper – or you could use very fine sandpaper or a sanding block. I also put one last coat of diluted Old White over it all which I immediately wiped off just to bring down the brightness of the lettering. I put a layer of AS clear wax on it (or you could have sprayed with with a protective coat) and let it sit overnight

Floral foam goes inside each pot. After the candle is set, the top is decorated with greenery such as moss, spare Christmas tree branchlets, Rosemary, berries, mini pinecones, and/or acorns. For Valentines Day, I’ll be making a LOVE set with red glass stone/beads with the candles. Use your imagination!

Download a 4 circle blank, HomeLove or Noel graphic (the circle border is from the Graphics Fairy, and the font is Book Antiqua) in a jpeg. These images are reversed for application and ready for printing. 2 rows will fit on a 8 1/2 x 11 piece of paper.

Planning: powder room

Our downstairs bathroom has a pedestal sink and toilet and has bugged me from day one of our move into this house 13 years ago. The wallpaper has only gotten more dingy, the molding more grimy and the whole thing a burr under the saddle!

These are the before photos of our downstairs, powder room which contains a sink and a toilet. This is the same hall that leads to the laundry room (done in our previous remodel). Due to the cramped nature of a small bathroom the photos are a bit cramped too 😉

Pedestal Sink, mirror and current lighting

Thoughts on this room:

  • Uninspiring and nothing special. This room doesn’t offer anything unique or tempting me to see the rest of the house.
  • Very tired. The wallpaper is dirty and so are the baseboards. This is a hard used room as everyone uses it when downstairs where the living rooms, kitchen and dining rooms are located.
  • Needs ART! The walls are borrrrrrinnnnggggg!
  • Pedestal sink just looks cheap as does the frameless mirror.
  • Hate the brass coverplates and towel ring.
  • Baseboards seem to suck onto dirt.

The plumbing arrangement won’t be changed, so toilet and sink remain where they are. Room size is almost a square: 56 1/2″ (wall with sink, toilet) x 55 1/2″ (door wall).

Planning for the NEW bathroom look:

1.) Remove the pedestal sink and replace with a vanity and sink combo. Instead of going with the Lowes’ stock vanity we found an antique table we will be using instead. $120

2.) Replace the faucet and sink ~ DeNova brushed nickel vessel faucet from Overstock. $170

from Overstock.com

Vessel sink bowl – China White sink whose shape mimics the medallion on the light. $113

3.) Replace the toilet. Jacuzzi  Prestige White High Efficiency WaterSense Elongated 2-Piece Toilet $200. This toilet is not an easy install- you need to know what you are doing as you must drill new anchors into the floor. Great flush, very quiet, love the smooth sides and trim at bottom, very small tank, plastic seat is rather cheap feeling.

4.) Walls and Ceiling ~ Remove Wallpaper and replace with Venetian Plaster from Lowes: wall color will be a soft blue (Aquamarina #67); the ceiling a dark silver grey, both of these colors will really pop with the crown molding.

5.) After viewing cabinets at Lowes, have remodeled the current over-john cabinet (31″ x 30″) to a taller height (30″ x 42″) by adding molding trim over the top.

6.) New lighting over mirror. Found on Craigslist $25

7.) New mirror. Current mirror is 20″ wide and 36″ tall. Loved this Jacqueline mirror  (42″H x 27″W x 1″D) but for $200 (plus shipping) my budget went with a  local find (28″ x 36″) at $69, at an antique shop.

9.) Replace base molding with 6″ tall base used in Laundry room.

10.) Install new crown molding.

11.) Art, decor, towels. Artwork x-ray plants in soft lavender, greens and blue with face towels and wash clothes that match.