Flower Pot Craft- Bird Bath!

greatlakesbirdbath.jpg

I recently came across this craft and I am going to try making it this weekend! If you happen to make your bird bath before I do, please send me pictures! I would love to see your finished product!

Terra Cotta Flower Pot Bird Bath.
Your best bet for decorating terra cotta that will be used outdoors is Patio Paints. I know they are a little pricey, but they are fade resistant, non-toxic and designed for outdoor use. Patio Paints also make a clear, non-toxic sealant that will protect your handiwork.
Another option for protecting your work would be a water-based polyurethane. Read the instruction label and look for soap and water clean-up, and a product that is meant for use over painted surfaces. I don't recommend oil-based polyurethane for painted surfaces. It is yellowish in color and over time it will cause your work to have a yellow tinted appearance.  Whatever you choose, remember it won't be permanent. Your bird bath will likely require refinishing and touching up every other year. After all, it will be outside in the elements!

For the saucer of your bird bath, try to find a waterproof type that won't require any treatment inside the bowl, (where the water will go). For the outside, Patio Paints are again preferred.

MATERIALS NEEDED:
  • One each, 12", 14", and 16" terra cotta flower pots
  • One - 20" diameter clay saucer. If you can find a waterproof saucer, that's even better; you won't have to seal the inside of it. If you choose pots that are smaller than those listed above, just be sure your saucer is 4" larger than your largest pot. This will keep the bird bath base and bowl in proportion.
  • Paints in assorted colors suitable for your design. You can use Patio Paints or Plaid Durable Paints for the best resistance to fading. I have successfully used Sears Weatherbeater Satin or Flat as a base coat on many bird baths.
  • Patio Paint Clear Gloss Sealant or some other water based sealant for sealing the painted surfaces of your project. The instructions for Patio Paints and Plaid Durable Paints don't call for one. I have always used one in spite of this. A sealant helps protect against water damage. Ultimately, this is up to you.
  • Oil based polyurethane for sealing the insides of the flower pots.
  • Paint Brushes, Sponges, if desired, Stencils and Stamps
  • Liquid Nails Construction Adhesive-A small tube is around $2.00
HOW TO DO IT:
  • Sand away any rough spots or loose clay particles on the rim, bottom edge, and outside of the pots and saucer.
  • Stack the pots, starting with the largest pot, upside down, on the bottom, then the medium sized pot, then the smallest pot on top.
  • Draw a line with a pencil, below the rims of the small and medium sized pot onto the pot below it. After you unstack the pots to paint them, this will help you define the area that will be exposed when the pots are stacked. You don't want your design to be hidden!
    stackedbb2.jpg (31220 bytes)
  • Seal the inside of all the pots, (and the saucer if it isn't waterproof), with oil-based polyurethane -2-3 coats. I also recommend sealing the lower edge of the largest pot, (the edge that will rest on the ground), as opposed to painting it. If you can, apply the polyurethane in a sunny place. The sun will "bake" the polyurethane as you work, causing it to set-up a little quicker. Let the polyurethane dry completely before handling your pots to paint them. A word about Thompson's Water Sealant; many visitors have suggested using Thompson's Water Sealant in place of polyurethane to seal terra cotta pots. I have never tried this, so I don't know if it works!
  • Now that the pots are sealed inside, after they dry, they are ready to be painted with your choice of base paint. You can make each pot a different color, or they can all be the same. Paint them to match your house if you like! Soft, pastel colors will be best for painting brightly colored flowers and patterns. Remember, don't bother painting too far above the lines you have drawn which indicate where the pots will overlap. It is a good idea to go over your lines an inch or so, just to be sure of good coverage.

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