Painting Terracotta Pots: Make a Windowsill Herb Garden

If your family is anything like mine, your arts and crafts projects tend to be messy and fun, but not often particularly useful. While we love art for art’s sake, how good is a project that will get daily use when you’re done? Thanks to The Sane Mum for sharing one of her favorite kid’s art projects – painting terracotta pots. I love that these have a long life, well after the paint dries.

Painting terracotta pots is a brilliant art project!


I love that it is inexpensive (the pots are less than a $1.00), it can be enjoyed by children of all ages (and dare I say, adults!), it can very easily become a science lesson on top of being an art project, and the end result provides you with a very useable, practical object!


We love our fresh veggies and herbs in this house! We already have a lovely vegetable garden with tomatoes, capsicums, chillies, lettuce and some herbs, but I love the idea of having the fresh herbs I use most often accessible on the kitchen windowsill! The small terracotta pots are perfect for a windowsill herb garden!

What you’ll need

Terracotta Pots and Saucers

Acrylic Paints


Masking Tape

Newspaper/Butcher’s Paper (to line your table with)

Clear Finishing Sealer (optional)


Step One: Preparation

I’ve done this project with my kids a couple of times now and they have absolutely loved it every time! There are two things I learnt from painting terracotta pots in the past: Firstly, you want to line your table before the kids get their hands on the paint; and secondly, you want to put masking tape around the bottom of the terracotta pots before the kids start painting. The first step is pretty obvious and self-explanatory. The second one becomes important if you are actually going to use these pots to plant herbs or flowers in them. As you water the plants, if there is paint around the bottom of the pot, or on the inside of the saucer, the whole pot will become a mess, and the plant will be “drinking’ contaminated paint water! Not something I want in the herbs I’ll be adding to my dinner!


Step Two: The Fun

Here is where the fun begins! Let your kids’ imaginations run wild! They can do just about anything! Show the younger ones how the paint colours mix together to create other colours, they will love that! Or let them fingerpaint! I have photos of my kids doing this project in 2014, when they were 5, 4 and 2. Back then, they enjoyed painting blobs of colour and sprinkling the pots with lots of glitter. This time, at 8, 7 and 5, they painted houses and flowers! This is what I love about this project, it suits such a wide range of ages. Even I would have loved to get painting!

Step Three: Finishing Touches

Allow the pots to dry naturally, or speed the process up with a blow dryer. Once dry, you can spray them with a Clear Finishing Sealer, to protect the paintwork. Remove the masking tape, and your pots are ready for planting in!

Step Four: The Science

You can now plant some seedlings if you are after an instant result, or you can take the project a step further and turn it into a science lesson by having the kids plant seeds and monitor/record their growth! Even if you plant seedlings, there’s lots to talk about from a science perspective!

I love our little windowsill herb garden, it adds lovely colours and fragrance to our kitchen, as well as adding amazing flavours to our meals! Win-win! Hope you and your kids enjoy painting terracotta pots as much as we did!


The Sane Mum is a minimalism-loving mum of three young kids, living in beautiful, red, country Western Australia! She loves long and sunny summer days, the beach, coffee, reading, and easy recipes! In her spare time, she pulls out either the sewing machine, or the hammer and power tools: it all depends on what mood strikes and on what needs doing around the place! Currently preparing to do the big lap in a caravan! 
Find The Sane Mum on her blog, Facebook, and Instagram.