Pot decorations

Getting kids outside can be a struggle, there are so many technological distractions that fill their spare time all too easily. Clare Matthews has some great ideas for getting kids outside for some creative play, which will also decorate your garden.

Starry pot decorations
Pot decorations. Image: Clive Nichols
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Simple, cheery pot decorations are a great, inexpensive starter project. They are easy to make, there are plenty of options for children to use their imagination and come up with their own designs and they always look good. On top of all that they really can give the garden a lift. Popped into pots and flower beds that are not looking their best and are in need a bit of colour, they add instant interest and colour.

A cluster of three or four decorations can be used to add a special finishing touch to a pot of bulbs or pot plant being given as a gift.

How to make

Pot decoration. Image: Clive Nichols
Bead threaded on bamboo skewers make cheap and cheerful decorations. Image: © CliveNichols.com

All you need to make these decorations is a bunch of bamboo barbecue skewers, some PVA glue and plenty of colourful, weatherproof bits and bobs.

A search around the house will probably turn up lots of good materials, beads, craft foam, glass florist beads, plastic straws, ribbons and even polystyrene and plastic packaging that might all be transformed into something pretty.

  • Load it all onto a large tray, take it outside and let the children create.
  • Craft foam, available from craft shops, is one of the most versatile materials you can use.
  • Draw shapes on the bright, thin sheets with a felt tipped pen, perhaps using a template or a stencil and cut out them out with small, plastic scissors. The foam is so light it is easy to stick to the skewer with just PVA glue.
  • You can make your own everlasting flowers to brighten up the pots before the hyacinth’s buds burst.
  • Beads with small holes can be glued onto the skewers but better still are vibrant plastic beads with larger holes that can be threaded directly onto the skewer. A blob of PVA glue added to the very first and last beads should hold it all together.
  • Plastic straws, snipped into short lengths would work in the same way.
  • Alternatively spear the lengths of straw sideways with the skewers. Always better for safety if an adult can make the holes first.
  • Wind colourful ribbons around the skewers with florist beads, which will sparkle in the sun, glued in pairs along its length.
Foam shape pot decorations. Image: Clive Nichols
Foam shapes brighten up these pots. Image: © CliveNichols.com

The possibilities are limitless and don’t have to cost a fortune. Once the glue is dry the decorations are ready to arrange around the garden. Place them into pots and planters to brighten everything up or to mark where bulbs and seeds are planted.

Safety first

Bamboo skewers have sharp points, these are best snipped off before you begin and as with any craft project children will need, craft materials and supervision suited to their age and capabilities.

Clare Matthews

About Clare Matthews

Clare Matthews combines a career as a garden designer with garden
writing. As a designer she transforms gardens both large and small,
town and country. She is the author of 10 books all of which are the
result of a real passion for plants, for hands on gardening and
creating unusual and beautiful gardens. Her work has been featured
in publications worldwide. Clare spends most of her spare time in
wellies, tending and primping her gardens in Berkshire and Devon.
View all posts by Clare.