Introduction: Painted Cats Terracotta Flower Pot

I've had this plain terracotta pot on my counter for over a month now with the intention of painting something on it before I plant something inside of it, but I just couldn't settle on something.

I had seen something similar online but didn't think I would be able to free-form paint all those cats like they had. In a Eureka moment this morning, though, I thought, "What if I make a cat head pattern?" And I got to work.

If you already have a terracotta pot you want to use but there's already a plant inside, I would suggest temporarily displacing it. It's totally possible to do this with a plant inside, of course, but there were many times where I had my hand inside the pot holding it upside down to paint some of the finer details.

Let's get to work!

Step 1: What You'll Need

To paint your own, you'll need these supplies:

A terracotta pot (duh)

A pencil

Acrylic paint (I used black, white and gray)



Q-tips + toothpicks

A piece of recycled thin cardboard or paper

Pens and markers (fine-tipped + Sharpies)

Step 2: Make a Pattern

Draw a simple cat head shape on the piece of recycled cardboard or a piece of paper and then cut it out with your scissors. If it kind of looks like a little devil or batman, don't worry. Once you paint the face on, it will look like a cat. :)

Step 3: Draw the Cats

Hold the cat pattern (the cattern!) on the terracotta pot with your non-drawing hand then trace around it with a pencil. You can make some of then slightly off-kilter, and some of them taller/shorter. I didn't do it around the whole planter because I know I'll be putting it on a shelf.

Step 4: Start Painting

Now's the time to mix some paint colors together. I decided to use monochrome colors -- white, black, and different shades of gray. It's a bit like coloring inside the lines at this point. You don't really want to do the same shades next to each other. At this point, you'll see things are starting to shape up!

Step 5: Draw Some Details

Thankfully, acrylic paint dries really quickly so you won't have to wait very long to get to the most fun part -- the details! Use a black marker to draw some eyes and make some outlines around the cat shapes. To make some differentiation, you can make some white eyes with Q-tips and then make smaller black dots on top with the marker.

Step 6: Draw the Faces

Use different markers for different details -- use a fine-tipped marker for whiskers and a thicker marker for the outlines. Use a pink marker for some rosy cheeks, or a Q-tip dipped in white paint for some white cheeks. Dip a toothpick in some white paint for details on the darker cats, like whiskers and forehead stripes. If you mess up on any part, you can always paint over the whole cat and start again. I had to do that a couple of times. Have fun with it! My husband suggested I hide in one angry/mischievous looking cat in the mix, so I drew some inward-slanting eyebrows on one of the darker gray cats (on the second row on the right side in the third picture).

Step 7: Finished!

All that's left to do now is transfer a plant into it. I just love the way it turned out! I think it's super cute. Even if some of the individual cats got a little messed up (a couple of mine have some wonky eyes where the paint got smeared), you don't really notice. I like how individual they all look even though they started out as the same exact shape.

Indoor Plants Challenge

Runner Up in the
Indoor Plants Challenge