March 26, 2012

Polka-Dotted Tiered Planters

This tiered planter at Positively Splendid is so perfect for sprucing up outdoor spaces!
If you’ve been around since the very beginning here at PS, you probably remember when I originally posted about my Tiered Terracotta Planter, a project that was a take on an idea that originally graced the cover of Southern Living probably close to ten years ago. Of all of the projects I’ve ever completed, I have received more rave “real-life” reviews of this one. One evening, I actually had two complete strangers stop by to knock on my door to tell me how much they love this planter!Β The beauty of this project is how deceptively easy it is to do, and how amenable it is to customizing to your particular decor tastes. Take, for instance, my original version, which reflected my favorite red-and-turquoise color scheme at that point…

…and my new version! Believe it or not, these are the very same terracotta pots I used for the original planter project, after some sanding and a bit of repainting.

After completing my Spring Wreath last week, I knew I wanted to use that as the springboard for designing our front porch decor this year.

I specifically wanted to use the wreath’s color scheme of coral, buttercup yellow and navy blue. So, I grabbed my supplies and set to work transforming these pots into the image I had dancing in my head!
Here’s how I did it:

  • I sanded the surface of the old pots to remove all of the peeling paint before spraying each one with two coats of Zinsser spray primer. After they had dried completely, I sprayed each one with 2-3 coats of paint (Krylon Coral Isle and Meringue).
  • When the pots were all dry, I used some white latex paint and my circle foam pouncers (love these!) to paint polka dots on each pot before spraying everything with a coat of polyurethane sealer.
  • I then cut out a decorative address label from outdoor-grade adhesive vinyl using my Silhouette. I loved that the original planter doubled as a house number sign, and I wanted to be sure to do that again with this one!
  • After all of the painting and embellishing, all that was left to do was to construct my stacked planters. Check out the original post for the play-by-play for exactly how to do that.

All finished!
This time of year, this area near the porch is totally shaded, so I filled my planter with some asparagus fern, a spike plant (the name of which escapes me at the moment), begonias and coleus. When summer sets in and the spot gets a bit more light, I’ll fill it with petunias and vibrant green sweet potato vine (my favorite!).
And, yes: I do know that I’m being awfully bold to plant so early this year. With the mid-eighty-degree temps we’ve been having, I just couldn’t resist! πŸ™‚

In case you’re thinking you don’t have room for such a large planter, take heart: I used this technique to make a miniature version that looks just as great as its larger counterpart!Β The only difference was that I used a large rock instead of a brick to boost the smaller pot in the display, and I didn’t have to use the empty cans as space fillers.Β 
It’s amazing what a difference a little bit of time makes. Just look at all of the gorgeous fullness of the plants after a few weeks of beautiful sunshine!

Before I sign off today, a few closing thoughts about what I’ve learned since my original post:

  • Even if you’re working with brand-new pots, I recommend priming your pots before painting. Spray primer makes this incredibly easy to do, and it will save you the frustration of having to apply a ton of coats to ensure even coverage!
  • Seal your painted pots with polyurethane spray. After two years, my pots were definitely in need of some TLC (the paint was chipping badly in certain areas), and I’m hoping the spray sealer will mitigate some of that this time around.
  • When filling your planter with flowers, start planting on the top tier and work your way down. That way, you won’t fling potting soil on top of the plants in the lower levels as you work your way up.


If you enjoyed this post, I would love for you to add it to Pinterest! Do so easily by clicking the link below.
Have a great week, everyone!
Linking this to…
Skip to My Lou
Home Stories A to Z
Serenity Now
Tatertots and Jello
Oopsey Daisy
Creations by Kara
Every Creative Endeavor
Lolly Jane
Lil Luna
Flamingo Toes

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82 Responses to Polka-Dotted Tiered Planters

  1. Jen @ My Own Road March 26, 2012 at 6:49 pm #

    I love all the polka dots! really pretty way to add some character to the front of a house (especially here in Tennessee where it’s horribly hot and I can never get anything to grow in this soil! Maybe this would work better for me πŸ™‚

  2. Amanda March 26, 2012 at 7:00 pm #

    Oh my goodness, this is such a great idea, they look great!

  3. Jessica Kielman March 26, 2012 at 7:15 pm #

    Love these! I have tons of terra cotta pots sitting in my garage…can’t wait to get started on mine!

    Jessica @ Mom 4 Real

  4. Terrie Mathison March 26, 2012 at 7:24 pm #

    I love yours!! I just showed my hubby the picture of one similar I pinned. He thinks we can do it! I am so on the lookout for pots! Thanks for inspiring with your fun colors! I’m pinning this too!

  5. mismandie March 26, 2012 at 7:34 pm #

    Very cute! Love that you put the house number on them too! πŸ™‚

  6. Fox Hollow Cottage March 26, 2012 at 7:36 pm #

    SO CUTE! I have been double stacking my big front urns for a few years but I never triple stacked my Terra Cotta post before. So cute! Love the project it is darling and so fun with the Summery paint job.

  7. Renewed Upon a Dream March 26, 2012 at 8:10 pm #

    Oh I love this! I have had something similar pinned on pinterest for a few weeks & have been contemplating making my own. I love how colorful yours is now with the refinishing!

  8. Nova March 26, 2012 at 8:14 pm #

    love the way yours turned out! gonna have to go back to michael’s and get some this week… πŸ™‚

  9. Nova March 26, 2012 at 8:15 pm #

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  10. Bonnie @ Uncommon March 26, 2012 at 8:21 pm #

    Adorable!! LOVE the polka dots!!

  11. Jess March 26, 2012 at 9:50 pm #

    Dying over here! So cute! Polka dots are a fav πŸ™‚
    xo Jess

  12. Sugarr2518 March 26, 2012 at 10:09 pm #

    I’m loving the pots within a pot! The way you decorated them is too cute:)

  13. Nova March 26, 2012 at 10:41 pm #

    btw: where is the blue pig statue from????

  14. . March 27, 2012 at 10:10 am #

    I borrowed your original idea last year and I think I might again this year. I love the little blue pig as well. I think it deserves it’s own little post. πŸ™‚

  15. Amanda @ Serenity Now March 27, 2012 at 2:10 pm #

    Amy, I am in love with those planters. I’m always in awe of your creativity! I wish I lived next door so I could come over and craft with you. πŸ˜‰ Great job…I’m inspired to get started on a Mother’s Day project I’ve been thinking about!

  16. Brandy March 27, 2012 at 3:46 pm #

    You know I LOVE your planters! I totally copied you 2 years ago! I desperately want to make more this year, but we are moving cross-country in a few months…in the dead of summer…so it will have to wait until next spring!

    These are so beautiful, as were your other ones!


  17. jillianwvu March 28, 2012 at 12:49 am #

    These are so amazing!!! Question…what size pots did you use for your large, 3 tiered planter? THANKS sooooo much!

  18. Jenn Lifford March 28, 2012 at 1:53 am #

    So, so cute!! I love the polka dots and the address label. We still have frost here so no plants yet! I’ll definitely remember this in a month or so though!
    Jenn πŸ™‚

  19. Jennifer March 28, 2012 at 2:12 am #

    Love the new version! And totally stealing it! πŸ™‚ thanks for the idea

  20. Alison @ Oopsey Daisy March 28, 2012 at 3:35 am #

    Girl, you are rocking those polkadots!!

  21. March 28, 2012 at 2:47 pm #

    I love this! Can’t wait to do this for my porch πŸ™‚

  22. Tenille March 28, 2012 at 5:59 pm #

    What a fabulous idea. I love how they turned out. And they go perfect with your adorable wreath. Thanks for sharing. I would love it if you could link this up to our linky party going on right now.

  23. Lori@thestonybrookhouse March 28, 2012 at 6:41 pm #

    Great idea! Love this, the repainted pots look so cheery!

  24. charlene carmeans March 28, 2012 at 7:58 pm #

    I did this planter years ago with the terracotta…and still have it…pokadots will be a great update for the tired look…thanks for sharing a great ideal

  25. Dawn March 29, 2012 at 1:09 pm #

    love these! can’t wait to get some flowers on my porch-have to check out my pots and see if i have enough for these planters πŸ™‚ i pinned these and they have gotten tons of repins πŸ™‚

  26. cupsbykim March 30, 2012 at 2:46 am #

    I just found this post on Pintrest and love the idea of this! My mom loves flowers, this is definitly going to be her Mother’s Day gift this year!! Great work!

  27. Farah Muzaffar March 30, 2012 at 7:47 am #

    Hi Amy love this post and pin it before your saying:)…they look so lovely and easy to do…Thanks a lot for sharing your cutest pots…I will try soon some… I am your new follower too…

    Hope you will enjoy a visit at
    With love

  28. Lori March 30, 2012 at 3:12 pm #

    That is too cute..and I love polka dots. I’m glad I found your blog at the Creations by Kara party. I’m a new follower too, so I can keep in touch. I would love if you stopped by and followed back on LF and GFC. Nice to meet you, Lori

  29. Claire March 30, 2012 at 10:48 pm #

    Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful! I love the polka dots and the tiers add such a fresh take to terra cotta pots. Thank you for all the tips!

    Claire @

  30. LillysNLollipops March 31, 2012 at 12:09 am #

    I love these, I can’t wait to make them πŸ™‚

  31. Heather March 31, 2012 at 12:36 am #

    I LOVE THESE!!! Polka dots steal my heart! πŸ™‚ Great Job!!!


  32. Jennifer March 31, 2012 at 1:02 am #

    I saw tiered pots on Pinterest somewhere and have it on my MUST TRY list. These polka dot pots reminded me how much I want them! I have to do this. I am going to Home Depot this weekend for some plants… might as well grab some pots!

  33. Stacey March 31, 2012 at 2:53 am #

    Great idea…adore the polkas!
    I would love if you came by my Creative Inspirations party to link it up! I would love to see you there!
    Stacey of Embracing Change

  34. schiperose March 31, 2012 at 11:00 am #

    I’ve been looking for something like this for the front porch of my new home – just love this! I pinned it on Pinterest from your link and more than 50 people have repinned it!!! It’s a definite winner! Can’t wait to make this!!

  35. Michell @ Girl In Air April 2, 2012 at 2:59 am #

    I LOVE all things Polka Dots! These are wonderful….

    I did stacked tipsy pots in polka dots a couple of years ago and also get compliments from the neighbors..LOL

    Now I want to make another set:-)

  36. Jill ~ Jillify It April 2, 2012 at 3:31 pm #

    LOVE your polka dot planters!! Toooo cute!!


  37. Meredith April 4, 2012 at 10:31 pm #

    This is fabulous! I was just beginning to think of what to put on my porch and I love this idea! It will give my plants height without having to put a pot on some kind of table πŸ™‚ yay!

    New follower too!

  38. redesigndecor April 4, 2012 at 11:16 pm #

    We featured you on our blog…

    Great job on this DIY!

  39. Lolly Jane April 6, 2012 at 11:35 pm #

    AMY I stinkin L O V E these!! Don’t be surprised when you see a copycat on Lolly Jane πŸ˜‰ Oh, and when you see them featured at tonights link party!

  40. sugarnspicemakeseverythingnice April 17, 2012 at 2:57 pm #

    I LOVED this idea so much I did one myself! I deviated a little bit from how you did yours, but they are basically the same. I also posted them on my bl! Thanks for the idea!

  41. Inspire Me Heather April 18, 2012 at 12:07 pm #

    Your pots are just too cute – I MUST make some too! I’ve got this linked to my planters post as well today, it’s a keeper!

  42. Karen April 22, 2012 at 12:49 am #

    You *totally* inspired me! I made my smaller version of this and it’s all planted and on my porch. Thank you!!

  43. Karen April 22, 2012 at 12:50 am #

    I forgot to add that I linked to you in my blog – not that anyone reads it! But just wanted to let you know.

  44. Jess April 23, 2012 at 6:39 pm #

    I love this idea. I have just discovered your blog and have been looking for some ways to add a bit of character to the front of my house! I will definitely be coming back here. πŸ™‚

  45. Jess April 23, 2012 at 6:39 pm #

    I love this idea. I have just discovered your blog and have been looking for some ways to add a bit of character to the front of my house! I will definitely be coming back here. πŸ™‚

  46. Jess April 23, 2012 at 6:39 pm #

    I love this idea. I have just discovered your blog and have been looking for some ways to add a bit of character to the front of my house! I will definitely be coming back here. πŸ™‚

  47. Jess April 23, 2012 at 6:39 pm #

    I love this idea. I have just discovered your blog and have been looking for some ways to add a bit of character to the front of my house! I will definitely be coming back here. πŸ™‚

  48. Jess April 23, 2012 at 6:39 pm #

    I love this idea. I have just discovered your blog and have been looking for some ways to add a bit of character to the front of my house! I will definitely be coming back here. πŸ™‚

  49. NiNNi's Place May 10, 2012 at 12:09 am #

    Wonderful idea. We are changing our curb appeal and this is a great way to pop color into the front yard. Thanks so much for the inspiration and tips.

  50. Amy & Justin May 14, 2012 at 11:07 pm #

    I think I am going to use this idea but plant herbs in the pots.

  51. Danielle Wagasky May 29, 2012 at 4:06 pm #

    I just wanted to let you know I featured you on Blissful and Domestic today. Stop by and check it out.

    Danielle @ Blissful and Domestic

  52. Nicole June 7, 2012 at 3:09 pm #

    Love it and did mine!

  53. Deanna Taylor June 19, 2012 at 8:35 pm #

    When I saw these, I just loved them! I had a bunch of old plastic pots of various sizes in my backyard that were getting a little worse for wear. I bought a can of the spray paint for plastic and revitalized them. I then did your stacking idea, and it looks AMAZING! I did a little collection of them in front of my house, and I couldn’t be happier! Thanks for the great idea!

  54. Joanie July 14, 2012 at 10:08 pm #

    Amy I just wanted to thank you for this wonderful idea! I found it on Pinterest and made it mine!

  55. Amy - Get Busy Gardening July 16, 2012 at 6:38 pm #

    Love it, great job! I made a tiered planter too, but it’s not as cute as yours. My Tiered Planter


  56. Julie December 10, 2012 at 2:46 pm #

    your original post keeps saying page not found and i am looking for the steps on how to assemble it all together. can you share the steps for putting this together please!!!!!!

    • Amy @ Positively Splendid December 10, 2012 at 2:57 pm #

      Hi, Julie! I recently moved from Blogger to WordPress, and some links got broken in the process. I’ve corrected the link to the original project, and here is the direct link: Thanks so much for your patience! πŸ™‚

      • Julie December 10, 2012 at 3:15 pm #

        Thank you so much!

  57. Caroline April 4, 2013 at 2:56 pm #

    I just wanted to let you know that I LOVE your blog! Today I did a post on my blog about DIY projects for spring and I included a link to this project! Love the polka dots! A nice touch.
    Thanks for sharing!

    • Amy @ Positively Splendid April 9, 2013 at 11:02 am #

      Thank you so much, Caroline! I truly appreciate it!

  58. karri April 11, 2013 at 10:48 am #

    these are so cute! I want to do them for my yard…did you use flat spray paint or gloss??

    • Amy @ Positively Splendid April 15, 2013 at 7:43 am #

      I used satin finish Krylon paint for this project. Thanks for stopping by, Karri!

  59. sharaya June 6, 2013 at 2:16 pm #

    I love this. Could you use plastic pots? Thats all i seem to find. Or is the ceramic better?

    • Amy @ Positively Splendid June 7, 2013 at 3:56 pm #

      I think plastic pots would work just fine.

  60. Megan June 13, 2013 at 5:26 pm #

    Hi! I LOVE these and plan on making them as soon as I have free time. How did you do your address like that?

    • Amy @ Positively Splendid June 19, 2013 at 9:59 am #

      Hi, Megan! I cut the address using outdoor vinyl and my CAMEO. registered & protected

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