LEFT for vintageimagecraft.com

Decoupage a Vintage Flower Pot with Whimsical Turn-of the-Century "Flower Faces" 

Flower Pot photoVictorians loved a flight of fantasy, and "Flower Faces" were all the rage on postcards and books. Flowers of every variety sprouted human faces -- usually children or fashionable young women. Here are two variations on a decoupaged flower pot. The first has a faux copper patina of thinned turquoise craft paint.  The second, a simple scumbled paint technique.

Turn a $2.00 clay pot into a priceless keepsake.

First, the "Copper" Pot:


  • Flower pot step 1Vintage images
  • Lightweight photo paper
  • Clay flower pot (6" diameter)
  • Acrylic craft paints (copper or bronze, dark red, medium brown, light turquoise)
  • Decoupage medium (like Mod Podge)
  • Polyurethane (Gloss or Semi-gloss)
  • Scissors
  • Brushes
  • Brayer
  • Natural sea sponge (unlike the dreaded unnatural sea sponge)


  1. Flower pot step 2Use the sponge to lightly pounce the dark red paint on the rim of the pot.  Pounce around the edge and a little way down inside as well.  It is fine to paint onto the side of the pot, since you'll be decoupaging over it.  Let it dry.  Pounce on the copper paint until it looks like, uh, copper.
  2. Print images on photo paper and trim them to your liking.

  3. Flower pot step 3Position the first image on the pot, trim the top as needed along the top rim or bottom edge, brush the back with decoupage medium, and smooth it onto the pot carefully.  Continue the process, image by image, covering the entire pot.  You can use a brayer over a piece of aluminum foil to roll out bubbles (see Tips).  Brush on a coat of decoupage medium over the entire pot.  Let it dry.

  4. You're going to manhandle this surface now, so you need to protect it with one coat of polyurethane and let it dry for three hours.
  5. Flower pot step 4Add age: Mix up a wash of brown paint and a few drops of water - just thin the paint a little.  Brush it over the entire pot quickly, and wipe it almost entirely off with a damp rag. Leave a little brown paint in streaks and in the crevices.  Let it dry.

  6. Flower pot step 5Add copper patina: Mix a similar wash of turquoise paint and water. Brush it into the crevice under the rim.  Wipe of any excess with a damp rag. Now, sponge it on very lightly around the rim and down onto the pot.  It should look like natural aging of copper. Wipe off what you don't like (see why you used the polyurethane earlier?  All this wiping would have rubbed off your images).  Let it all dry.
  7. Brush on two coats of polyurethane. Apply two coats on the inside of the pot as well, to make it more durable.

Variation - The Pansy Pot

Pansy Pot photoMaterials

  • Vintage image
  • Lightweight photo paper
  • Clay flower pot (6" diameter)
  • Acrylic craft paints (three shades of beige)
  • Decoupage medium (like Mod Podge)
  • Polyurethane (Gloss or Semi-gloss)
  • Masking tape
  • Scissors (decorative-edge if you wish)
  • Brushes
  • Brayer
  • Natural sea sponge


  1. Mask off the rim of the pot.
  2. Flower pot step 6Use the sponge to pounce on a light coat of the darkest beige paint.  When it dries, repeat with the next two shades of beige, ending with the lightest shade.  When it is dry, remove the masking tape.
  3. Brush a coat of polyurethane over the entire pot and let it dry.
  4. Print your image on photo paper and cut it out with scissors, or with decorative-edge scissors. (We used a small scalloped edge)
  5. Position the image on the pot and trim it to fit against the top rim.
  6. Brush the back of the image with decoupage medium, place it on the pot, and smooth it out carefully.  You can use a brayer over a piece of aluminum foil to roll out bubbles.  Brush on a coat of decoupage medium. Let it dry.
  7. Brush on two coats of polyurethane.  Apply two coats on the inside of the pot as well, to make it more durable.
  8. For God's sake, put a pansy in this pot.


    Crafts & Supplies at joann.com!
  • Why use a brayer over a piece of aluminum foil? Two reasons: rolling directly on the image can damage the paper, and it keeps your brayer from getting sticky.  Aluminum foil, wax paper, terry cloth - they will all work.  Just pull it off gently.
  • Now and then, decoupage medium makes the ink on images blur a little.  To avoid this, spray a light coat of polyurethane on the images before you cut them out.   
  • On the Pansy Pot, if any paint gets under the masking tape, scrape it off with a craft knife or razor blade.  
  • It has been suggested that this flower pot could be really rugged and waterproof by glazing it with casting resin.  This is not for the faint of heart, but it really does add a glassy surface.  It takes about 2-oz of casting resin to cover the pot, inside and out.  First, put a piece of making tape over the hole inside the bottom of the pot. Place the pot upside down over a large can or jar so the rim doesn't touch the table (protect it carefully).  Mix one-ounce of resin, pour it over the pot, and quickly brush it down the sides with a disposable foam brush.  If bubbles form, gently blow on them (the carbon dioxide in your breath will make them pop).  Let it dry in a dust-free place for about 12 hours.  Sand off any drips along the rim.  Then repeat on the inside of the pot.  Let it dry for three days.
  • Interesting note about that charming green copper patina:  As copper weathers, it forms its own protective coating or patina.  The rate of patina development and its chemical composition are a function of the prevailing atmospheric conditions. The main constituent of patina is a mixture of basic copper carbonate and sulfate. This is the mineral brochanite, Cu4SO4(OH)6. In industrial areas the basic copper sulfate predominates. In coastal areas copper chlorides prevail while in rural areas it is predominately basic copper carbonate. The color variations from greenish to blue-gray depend on the difference in chemical composition. Hope that helps.
  • If you want to try your hand at adding a natural patina to copper (without waiting for time and the weather to do it), see our article on Verdigris (blue/green) Patina on Copper on the Craft Recipes page.
Return from Flower Pot Craft to the Main Craft Page

Vintage image download gallery button

footer for vintage images page