Paint Your Own Pottery

If you read this post, you are familiar with my favorite local business, The Art Barn Studio. I had so much fun last Saturday that I returned for another project.

This creation was made especially for a sweet couple getting married next month in Kentucky. I’m excited to attend Josh and Lindsey’s wedding and personally deliver their gift…along with a batch of homemade secret BBQ sauce for Josh ~ but that’s a different post.

I know Josh and Lindsey both read my blog, but I am the world’s worst at keeping giftsa secret. I am “Fort Knox” when it comes to keeping secrets, but presents make me happy and I want to share them immediately If I ever become a parent, I’ll be the worst Santa ever.

I decided before I arrived at The Art Barn that I would use the couple’s last initial as the focal point. I found a beautiful scroll border online and selected a 15-inch square platter as my “canvas.” It had wide rim too, perfect for a decorative border. This particular platter is perfect for displaying on a shelf or piece of furniture.

Once I had an item, I needed paint. I chose four colors: Basketball (burnt orange), Deep Purple, Dark Olive, and Chocolate Brown ~ all beautiful, autumn, and earthy tones. Of course I had help selecting these colors when I talked to Lindsey and she willingly answered all of my specific questions (i.e. what are your wedding colors? What colors are in your home?) without hesitation!!!!

tee hee hee

I just realized something: Josh is a former basketball player and current coach. I didn’t think about this when I chose the paint named Basketball!


I used Publisher to place a font inside the scroll image (for spacing) and carefully traced the design onto the plate. I didn’t use any magical measurements or even graphite paper (which is a suggestion and can be purchased at any craft store). I used a plain ol’ pencil…with an eraser. You see, when the pottery is “fired” inside the kiln, all particles ~ including pencil lead and rubber eraser marks ~ burn off. I wrote the letter “S” by hand. Handwriting is about the only artistic ability I have. I can’t draw a straight line WITH a ruler. Seriously.

I learned from my friends at The Art Barn (hey Hilary, Katie, Lindsey and Adriene!) that a minimum of two coats, preferably three, are best for intense color. The above photo shows the scroll design painted in Dark Chocolate and the “S” is Basketball (burnt orange). I applied three really thick coats of paint to ensure proper coverage and reduce streaking, or brush lines. I’m pleased how this turned out.

No, it’s not perfect but it’s handmade. Love it or leave it.

Here’s the platter as it looked when I left the studio. It’s ready to be glazed and then it will spend 24-hours in the firing kiln. When complete, it will have a glossy finish.

I promise to post pics of the final-final platter!

Whether you live in Texas or Wisconsin (don’t ask where that came from!), I encourage you to find a paint-your-own studio in your area. I’m fortunate to live less than five minutes from The Art Barn Studio.

Before the end of the year, I want to create “something else” at The Art Barn. In fact, I’ve added this to my 2011 Bucket List.

If you are in the Fort Worth area, I encourage you to visit The Art Barn Studio in Joshua. Tell them I sent you! If you’re located elsewhere, find your own creative sanctuary and have fun getting your ART on!

Peace, love, and custom wedding gifts,






p.s. Congratulations, Josh & Lindsey! Please don’t hate me because I couldn’t keep your gift a surprise. Love y’all!



  1. Well painted Nicole.It is always much nicer to receive a gift or card that is personally made for you. It shows that you care

  2. Yay! I am so excited to get this plate. I will have to send you a picture when I get it displayed. I loved the fact that it has the basketball color in it too! I love “homemade” gifts! Those are the best kind that are made with “love”. I am blessed to call you family and look forward to seeing you in a month!
    PS. Santa isn’t real??? 🙂

  3. I knew where you were coming from, you never could keep secrets!!!!!!!!!!!!! I can see you now running down the hall holding your hand over your mouth trying not to tell you Mother her birthday gift. Stinker…………. Take care, you know I love you. Later BABY

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