Terracotta Pots Get French Country Style

For years, I've admired the look of Vintage French Country pots. I've been pining for three large ones on the corner of our deck but the hefty price tag made that wish unattainable. Chalk paint, a spray bottle, printer, and image transfer medium, my existing terracotta pots get French Country style!
How to turn ordinary clay pots into Vintage French Country style

The inspiration for sharing my Terracotta Pots get French Country Style is a decorating challenge hosted in the Decorating and DIY Enthusiasts Facebook Forum.  May's Challenge is Decorating With A Clay Pot and I'm so excited to be participating for the first time in this monthly challenge.

Here is a picture of what my flower pots used to look like taken a few summers ago...

Terracotta pots before a makeover

All I did to create the look was water down some chalk paint in the color Versailles to the consistency of milk. Randomly brush the paint onto your pots and let it dry to the touch. Using a spray bottle spritz the paint to dampen it and with a damp sponge remove (wet distress) the paint in some areas. That's it!

I didn't apply a protective finish because I want the paint to age naturally from the outdoor elements. All three pots were painted late last summer and they withstood our harsh Canadian winter and still look fantastic!

Terracotta pots painted with Versailles chalk paint and wet distressed

Clay pots painted with chalk paint and distressed

While I loved how they turned out, I wanted to add more French elements and so this challenge motivated me to apply the finishing touches.

How To Add A French Typography Graphic

Step 1 Finding the perfect French Typography

I went to the Graphics Fairy website and found the perfect French Typography graphic for the front of the largest pot.

Step 2 Printing the graphic

Using a laser printer, I printed the graphic in black & white on the "best" print setting.  If your graphic has any text be sure to print a mirror image (reverse the image) before printing.

Step 3 Preparing the graphic

Cut the white space around the image (as seen in the photo below).  The closer you cut around the image, the less paper to remove later.

Step 4 Transferring the graphic onto the pots

Using an Image Transfer Medium (my preference is the Country Chic Paint brand) but Mod Podge Photo Transfer Medium works well too, apply a generous coat with a foam brush onto the front (printed side) of the graphic.

Using Image Transfer Medium to add French Typography to painted clay pots

Carefully place the graphic onto the surface of your pot and with your finger or a plastic scraper (like the one pictured above) remove any wrinkles and air bubbles.  Be careful not to move the graphic or it may smudge.  Let it sit for several hours or overnight, until the paper the transfer medium is completely dry.

Adding French Typography Graphics to painted terracotta pots

Step 5 Revealing the graphic

Using a spray bottle dampen the graphic (not soak) and with your fingers or a clean rag gently rub until you remove ONE layer of paper.  Let it dry and repeat this process until all the layers have been removed and only the ink remains.
Tip:  don't rub too hard or you risk removing some of the graphic. 

That's it! 

Like the paint, I didn't apply a protective finish over the graphic because I want it also to age over time from the natural elements.

After adding a French Typography Graphic to painted pots

I was so happy to finally plant some flowers in these pots last weekend. Here in the Great White North, there is usually the risk of frost until after the May long weekend. So while my flowers look scrawny right now, by mid-summer they should be filled with colorful blooms that cascade down my French Country pots.

Turning terracotta pots into Vintage French Country Style A

Turning terracotta pots into Vintage French Country Style B

Turning terracotta pots into Vintage French Country Style C

Turning terracotta pots into Vintage French Country Style D

Turning terracotta pots into Vintage French Country Style E

I'm thrilled with how they turned out and glad I resisted adding graphics to all three.  They look great with the Vintage Door Turned French Flower Planter we made last year for the deck.

Vintage Door Transformed Into French Flower Planter

For another idea on how to Repurpose plant pots, visit my post Plant Pots to Water Fountain.

Be sure to visit the fabulous hosts and see what they did for the Clay Pot Challenge!

3 Month Decorating Challenge - One space, three ways brought to you by a group of top bloggers!

Top This Top That

You'll find this project linked to these fabulous link parties.
A big thank you to the following for featuring this project..
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Thrift Store Score {A Set Of Duncan Phyfe Dining Chairs}

Hey guys, remember I told you Mr. Frugalista found a set of four Duncan Phyfe Dining Chairs for $20.00 a piece?  Well I finally finished giving them a makeover and I'm thrilled with how good they look with the thrifted Duncan Phyfe Dining Table we scored last year.

Duncan Phyfe Dining Chair Makeover

Here is what they looked like before. Don't you just love the fabric pocket stuffed with a thin layer of foam and glued to the existing upholstery. Fancy Schmancy!

Duncan Phyfe Chairs Before

Much nicer now!  I picked up enough of this fabric for all four chairs, another piece I'm working on for this space, a table runner, and two pocket pillows for the living room.  It cost me a grand total of...wait for it...$24.00!

Duncan Phyfe Dining Chairs with new upholstery

I sprayed these chairs using my handy dandy HomeRight Finish Max Pro paint sprayer using a 50:50 ratio of Annie Sloan Old White and Pure White Chalk Paint.

Duncan Phyfe Dining Chairs painted in Old White and Pure White Chalk Paint

Using fine grit sandpaper I distressed the edges and the raised bits and followed up with a coat of clear wax.

Duncan Phyfe Dining Chairs painted with white chalk paint and distressed

Duncan Phyfe Dining Chairs After

I love how they look with the Duncan Phyfe Dining Table.

Thrift Store Duncan Phyfe Dining Chairs get a makeover to go with Duncan Phyfe Table

It feels so good to be putting the final touches to our Dining Room Makeover.  If you haven't seen the transformation of this brown-on-brown dining room before, take a peak at Phase One and Phase Two.

Dining Room Makeover with thrift store Duncan Phyfe Table and Chairs after their makeover

I have something special on the go for the wall side of the table.  It should be finished in a couple of days.  Here's a sneak peak...

Headboard and Foot Board being transformed for dining room Before

What do you think of my fabric choice? Do you think it works well with the chairs and table? What about with the other elements in the room?

I'm sharing my Duncan Phyfe Dining Chairs at these fabulous Link Parties

Thank you so much to the following fabulous bloggers who featured this project:

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How To Make Nursery Pallet Wall Art Three Different Ways

In March we were blessed with our first grandchild. Up until recently, he's been sleeping in a bassinet in Mom and Dad's room but soon he'll be graduating to a crib and moving to his own room. My daughter asked if I would help decorate his nursery and there was no twisting my arm.

The first thing I did was give a vintage rocking chair a makeover and then an IKEA Tarva hack into a Nursery Change Table. But now the room is begging for some finishing touches and so I created a trio of rustic art for a surprise. Now that the surprise has been revealed, I thought I'd share a tutorial on How To Make Pallet Wall Art For A Nursery.

Nursery Pallet Wall Art

In this tutorial, I'm not going to share how I built them because I shared a step-by-step tutorial last week and you can find it here in my post How To Build Pallet Wall Art. Instead, I'm going to share how I made each individual piece of wall art. 

But first I aged the new fence boards used to make the pallet art trio so we'll start the tutorial there.

How To Make Nursery Pallet Wall Art 

Aging wood naturally

Aging new wood naturally is super easy and you probably have everything you need in your kitchen cupboards. You can use either method below or both, which is my preference.

Tea Solution

Make yourself a pot of strong black tea using two tea bags. You may want to grab a cup while you wait because it'll be at least an hour before it's ready. The longer the steep, the darker the brew! Let it cool until it can be safely handled.

Brush the tea onto the new wood until it is saturated (but not too much that it warps the wood) and let the magic happen while it dries. Reapply again for the preferred patina.

Vinegar Solution

Simply pour apple cider vinegar into a lidded container with a pad of extra fine #0000 steel wool. The iron in the steel reacts to the oxygen around it and gives you a container full of lovely rusty water. The longer you let it soak, the darker the water. I let it brew at least overnight but my preference is after 24 hours.

Brush the steel wool over the wood and wipe off the excess with a paper towel. Repeat this process until you have the patina you prefer. Let it dry completely. You can see a good example of what the wood looks like after being naturally aged here in my post, Rustic Plank Wood Clock.

My preference for aging wood is to start with the tea solution and finish with the vinegar but I knew I'd be painting over the aged wood so I only applied the vinegar solution on these.

DIY Nursery Pallet Wall 3 Ways

Paint the wood

Thin chalk paint with water to the consistency of milk. I used Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in the color Antibes Green. Apply the paint over the aged wood with an inexpensive chip brush. Before it dries remove some of the paint with a paper towel to expose some of the wood underneath. Let it dry and if you prefer a more distressed look, remove more paint with fine grit sandpaper.

Pallet Wall Art For Nursery

Pallet Art Number 1 - Photo Transfer On Wood

Photo Transfer Nursery Pallet Wall Art

You may not have noticed - and I hope you didn't because that means my oops isn't that obvious at first glance.

Yeah, don't make the same mistake I did. Look closely at the tattoo on Dad's arm. Can you see what's wrong? It's backward.

I was paying so much attention to getting a good quality photo transfer that I completely forgot about the tattoo.

The lesson...
Look for any obscure text in the photograph first, like a tattoo or clothing with text on it. You MUST print the photograph in reverse!

For a detailed step-by-step tutorial on how to transfer photographs or graphics onto wood, press this link Image Transfer Technique Using Transfer Medium.

Photo Transfer Onto Nursery Pallet Art

For a step-by-step tutorial on how to add text to the wall art, like I did in the photo below, visit my detailed Image Transfer Technique Using Graphite Paper tutorial.

Once you've transferred the text, paint over it with a colored paint pen. It's that easy peasy!

Add Graphics Onto Nursery Pallet Wall Art

Using a foam brush apply two coats of your favorite clear matte polyacrylic, letting it dry between coats. I used Tough Coat by Country Chic Paint on this but you could use any non-yellowing protective finish.

Pallet Art Number 2 - Chevron Monogram

Chevron Striped Monogram Nursery Pallet Art

Step 1: Add chevron stripes

Measure the center point of your pallet and apply a piece of Chevron Frog Tape in a straight line across. From there take two small pieces of tape to use as your guide when applying the next stripe and each one thereafter (as seen in the photo below) to get even and straight stripes.

How to add Chevron Stripes onto wood

Step 2: Paint the chevron stripes

Using a 6" foam roller, apply an even coat of Anne Sloan Chalk Paint in the same Antibes Green. Before the paint dries remove the tape, pulling at a 45°angle. Once dry distress the stripes lightly with 220 grit sandpaper for a rustic worn look. If you want perfect chevron stripes, then eliminate that last step.

Step 3: Attach the monogram

I found this sweet monogram at Michael's but my intention was to buy a galvanized metal letter but they were out of stock. I love the distressed white finish on one side and the galvanized metal bits on the other. Simply hot glue the letter onto the wood and you're done.

Pallet Art Number 3 - Framed Photograph

Framed Photo Nursery Pallet Wall Art

Step 1: Paint every second board

For this one, I painted two of the slats (using the same paint technique as Pallet Art 1) but left the middle board natural wood.

Step 2: Add burlap to the back of the picture frame

I purchased 6-inch wide burlap ribbon at Michael's but fabric or paper would be nice too. Remove the glass from the dollar store frame and hot glue the ribbon onto the side that will be visible. Make a little rope banner with twine and hot glue it onto the back of the board, leaving a little slack in the rope. Attach mini clothespins onto the twine and hang your favorite photographs. I love that they can easily be switched out.

Step 3: Add character to the dollar store frame

To give the inexpensive silver dollar store frame a galvanized metal patina, simply rub blackened bronze with a cloth and wipe away the excess.

Step 4: Attach the frame to the pallet 

Reassemble your frame and hang a 4 x 6 photograph from the clothespins. Simply hot glue the frame onto the pallet wood.

There you have it, a fun trio of  Rustic Nursery Pallet Wall Art that won't break the bank. I can't wait to hang these in my grandson's nursery but before I do, Grandma had to add a special note on the back.

Message from Grandma on DIY Nursery Pallet Art

These could be made for any room in the house. I hope I've inspired you to make some for your home or to give as gifts.

Nursery Pallet Wall Art Trio

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How To Build Pallet Wall Art

I'm so excited to tell you about a new monthly blogging Power Tool Challenge series hosted by my friend, Wendi from H2O Bungalow. Several creative tool-toting female bloggers have come together to encourage and empower our female readers to step out of their comfort zone and try tackling simple DIY projects made using a power tool.

This month our featured power tool is a drill, one of the least intimidating power tools, wouldn't you agree? It's the tool I started with during my real estate home staging days for hanging pictures and assembling furniture. It didn't take long before I purchased and claimed my very own power drill.

To start our very first Power Tool Challenge I am sharing How To Build Pallet Wall Art. Seriously, building these is so easy that it took all of 15 minutes.

How To Build Pallet Wall Art

How To Build Pallet Wall Art

The inspiration for my pallet art is that on March 21st we became grandparents for the first time. Up until now, our grandson has been sleeping in a bassinet in his parent's room. All that changes in two weeks when our little man graduates to a crib in his own room.

I've been helping get Westin's nursery ready for the big day and this trio of nursery pallet art will go above his change table. Psssst, Westin's Mom & Dad haven't seen this surprise yet.

Easy DIY Pallet Wall Art

First, let's talk a little bit about safety...

Here is what you'll need to make them...
Materials to Build Pallet Wall Art

Materials List

  • Plank boards (I used leftover pressure treated fence boards)
  • Upright Wood Strips (mine are ripped cedar leftover from another project)
  • If you need to purchase fence boards and 1 x 2's, Home Depot will cut them to size for you for free. 
  • Power Drill
  • Pilot Hole Drill Bit 1/16-inch
  • 1 1/4-inch #8 Wood Screws
  • Robertson Drill Bit (size of screw head)
  • 2 (per pallet art) D-Ring Picture Hangers or Small Eye Hooks 
  • Picture hanging wire gauged for the weight of pallet art

Wall Art Measurements

Horizontal Planks = 5 1/2" x 16"
Vertical Uprights = 1" x 2"x 14"
Note: If you purchase the lumber somewhere like Home Depot, they will cut them to size for you at no cost.

Step 1: Measure the planks

Planks for DIY Pallet Wall Art
Measure 1-inch from the edge of each fence board plank on both sides and draw a pencil line.

Step 2: Drill Pilot Holes On The Uprights

DIY Pallet Wall Art Uprights
On each vertical upright measure 2-inches from each edge and mark with a pencil in the center.

To avoid the wood splitting when you assemble the pallet art AND to help the screw go in nice and straight, drill small pilot holes with a 1/16" drill bit (as pictured above).

Step 3: Attach Uprights

DIY Pallet Wall Art Assembly

Align the uprights to the 1-inch pencil mark you made previously. One screw per plank on each side is sufficient to hold them together. 

Drill the uprights in place with wood screws but first, make sure the length of the screw is not too long where it pierces through the front of the plank.

It helps to apply a little pressure on the drill (pictured above) to countersink the screws slightly so they sit just beneath the surface (pictured below).

Assembled DIY Pallet Wall Art

Step 4: Attach Picture Hangers

DIY Pallet Wall Art Picture Hangers

On the uprights, measure 3-inches from the top and insert either a D-Ring Picture Hanger or Small Eye Hook on either side. My preference would be a D-ring but eye hooks were all that I had on hand. Attach picture hanging wire gauged for the weight of your pallet art.

I couldn't resist writing a message from Grandma on the back of each one.

Easy No Measure Picture Hanging Tip

No Measure Wall Art Hanging Tip
  1. Attach a strip of masking or painter's tape across the back of the wall art and each D-Ring picture hanger (pictured above)
  2. Mark the top of each D-Ring where the wall screws will go.
  3. Remove the masking tape and attach it to the wall where you'll be hanging the art.
  4. Use a level to ensure the tape is perfectly straight.
  5. Mark each dot using an Awl and remove the tape.
  6. Place a drywall screw on each mark. Hopefully, you hit a stud otherwise you'll need to install drywall anchors.
Now marvel at your handy work and give yourself a pat on the back for using a power drill if you've never used one before.

Quick and Easy DIY Pallet Wall Art

I hope my How To Build Pallet Wall Art tutorial has inspired you to pick up a power drill and give this a try. There endless possibilities for decorating your pallet art so have fun being creative. They make fabulous signs for outdoors or transfer engagement photos for rustic wedding decor. 

How To Build Pallet Wall Art

To see how I turned them into rustic art for my grandson's nursery, see my post 3 Ways To Making Nursery Pallet Wall Art where you'll learn how to age wood, transfer your favorite photos, paint chevron stripes, and create a photo frame. 

This trio of pallet wall art will look adorable above the IKEA Tarva Dresser Turned Change Table and the Rock'n Green Chair that I transformed for the nursery.

One Power Tool Challenge Graphic

Thank you, Wendi, at H20 Bungalow for creating, organizing, and hosting this fantastic series.  She's a creative, power tool savvy kinda gal and I encourage you to check out her blog. Now it's time to see what the others created using power drills.

Now I invite you to see what my blogging friends on the Power Tool Challenge Team made using a power drill.

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