Top Ten – DIY Terra Cotta Planter Updates

Terra cotta planters are great, but there’s only so much terra cotta I can take. So today’s Top Ten provides some awesome DIY ideas for updating these planters :)

10.) Solid Painted Terra Cotta Planters. The bright colors used below are so summery! And the extra details added to the planters on the left are so sweet.

{Sources: Plaid, Modern Keepsake}

9.) Colorblock Painted Terra Cotta Planters. Again, SUCH an easy update, and the results are awesome. Not sure if I like the neon or pastel shades better :)

{Sources: The Proper Pinwheel, A Beautiful Mess}

8.) Design Painted Terra Cotta Planters. I love the ikat pots on the left! And the metallic chevron pots (bottom right) are just as awesome!

{Sources, clockwise from left: Bohemian Kate, Marry This, Chicago Home + Garden}

Of course, if you’re design-challenged, you could always just add texture (and interest!) by using glitter or puff paint :)

{Sources: OC Cottage, The Perfect Pear}

7.) Antiqued Terra Cotta Planters. These are some of Liz’s favorites (because of her love for all things shabby chic). Find out how to get the perfect antiqued, shabby chic look in the top left photo below from At the Picket Fence and Camp Wander!

{Sources, clockwise from top left: Vignette Design, At the Picket Fence, Camp Wander}

6.) Chalkboard Labeled Terra Cotta Planters. Most of the examples below label the planted herbs, but these chalkboard painted pots could be used for anything!

{Sources, clockwise from top left: The Robin’s Nest, Better Homes and Gardens, Halcyon Homestead, Tea for Joy, Practically Functional}

5.) Paper-Covered Terra Cotta Planters. Alright, now to the REALLY good stuff (because whenever Mod Podge is involved it HAS to be good, right?!). I just love these paper-covered pots. The planter on the left has Mod Podged paper all over, while the planter on the left has Tissue Tape along the rim (for a similar look without the Mod Podge mess!). Could you imagine these planters using maps? So cute.

{Sources: The Bride’s Cafe, Something Turquoise}

4.) Woodsy (?) Terra Cotta Planters. Not sure what else to call these… Tree-covered terra cotta planters? No matter what we call them, they are awesome (and a great way to avoid throwing out your yardwork scraps)!

{Sources: Urban Comfort, Natural Home & Garden}

3.) Rope-Wrapped Terra Cotta Planters. I agree with Stamp 48, that a little rope can take a terra cotta planter from boring to the life of the party :)

{Sources, clockwise from left: Third Floor Design Studio, Infarrantly Creative, Stamp 48}

2.) (Non-Chalkboard) Labeled Terra Cotta Planters. I’ll admit that when I was looking for ideas for this post, there were a lot of chalkboard labeling ideas. I mean A LOT. So I was pretty excited to find these terra cotta planter labeling ideas that DIDN’T involve chalkboard paint… I love the simple paper labels for spoons, forks and knives (you may recognize this picture from one of my earlier posts about barbecue utensil holders). And I can’t believe the label on the bottom photo is made from a used pop can!

{Sources, clockwise from top left: Real Simple, Smile Monsters via Knock Off Decor, Grey Luster Girl}

1.) Fabric-Covered Terra Cotta Planters. Without a doubt, my favorite terra cotta planter updates have to be these fabric-covered pots! It doesn’t matter whether they’re covered in lace, Christmas sweaters, or just plain fabric, I love these updates!

{Sources, clockwise from top left: A Beautiful Mess, Under the Sycamore, You are my Fave}

Hope you enjoy all of these great ideas!


File Cabinet Upcycles

Liz has been talking for a while about wanting to refinish (the eye sore that is) our office’s filing cabinet. It’s a short black two-drawer cabinet — it works great, but is not so pretty to look at. Have you seen how many great ideas there are out there for file cabinet upcycles though?!

Unfortunately, Liz and Tom actually use the thing to store documents, otherwise they would definitely be up for one of these crazy upcycles… Like a sweet planter! I LOVE the industrial look of the planters below. You can hardly even tell they used to be file cabinets!

Or this painted yellow planter (with the original drawer separators removed)…

Of course, Tom would flip over this upcycled file cabinet used for garage storage.

For INSIDE the house, file cabinets could be used in the kitchen to add storage under the sink…

Upcycled into rolling kitchen carts…

Or used as more permanent counter space. The red file cabinet with the wood countertop below looks amazing!

If you have a couple of file cabinets, you could always turn them into a desk using an inexpensive tabletop from melamine!

{Sources: Houzz, Bald Man Mod Pad, Trash to Treasure, Better Homes and Gardens, Curbly, Better Homes and Gardens, Better Homes and Gardens}

So many options… Anyways, hope you’re having a good week :)


DIY French Drains

I’ll warn you in advance that this isn’t a fun interior design post (unless you looove outdoor physical labor)! However, the amount of time that Tom and Liz spent making a french drain in our front yard warrants this special post…

As you may know, Tom moved into a MUCH older house in North Carolina a couple of years ago; Liz and I followed one year later when they got married. One of the top things on their list of things to do involved addressing a wet basement. It wasn’t wet all the time, just after long rains, and even then, the water was concentrated around a few main areas (our full basement only covers about half of the house’s footprint, the rest is a crawlspace that seems to remain dry for the most part). The worst flooding was a few inches of water throughout the basement… No fun!

Even with less intense rains, the front yard would flood.

You might think, “oh, no big deal, they want to waterproof the basement, big whoop”. WRONG-O! After talking with a few local contractors (and, let’s be honest — realizing how expensive and possibly ineffective professional waterproofing could be), Liz and Tom decided they’d try a few DIY fixes first. They wanted to hold off on adding a sump pump and save that as a last resort. They also knew that any exterior sealing was probably never going to be an option (we’re talking thousands of dollars). And with that, their DIY basement waterproofing adventure began!

They started by painting the basement walls with a sealant paint (Drylok)… This somewhat worked, but mostly just updated the walls from a disgusting faded pink to a bright cheery white. They eventually ordered a dump truck full of fill dirt and mulch to regrade out front (where the bulk of the water was coming in). While they were at it, they decided to install a french drain. They followed the steps provided by HGTV and got a bit of additional advice from a friend who had installed a lot of french drains.

In addition to the fill dirt, they used 6″ perforated drain pipe, drainage rock, and landscape fabric. They started by digging a trench large enough for the drain pipe, about 2-3 feet from the house, running parallel to the foundation. Digging the trench was definitely the most difficult part, and helped Liz and Tom find this little gem…

A completely clogged gutter drainage pipe, which was SUPPOSED to be carrying water AWAY from the house! Instead, the clogged drain was helping to explain this waterfall gushing from the gutter downspout.

After they dug the trench, they added a layer of drainage rock, and laid the landscape fabric in the trench. The perforated pipe was then placed in the trench, with the holes on the bottom. Liz and Tom decided to wrap the pipe with the landscape fabric (rather than let the drainage rock touch the pipe, in an effort to prevent the drainage rock from ending up in the pipe and clogging it up). Once the wrapped pipe was in place, they covered it with drainage rock, followed by fill dirt, topsoil, and mulch. Works great — no more flooding!

It turns out a few more of the gutter downspouts were totally clogged. After replacing these, everything seems to be staying pretty dry in the basement! There’s still a bit of water coming in through a couple of old windows, but that should be an easy fix in comparison!