Flower Tower in (a Few) Hour (s)

Terracotta stack

Terracotta Stack after gold leaf finish

We had the most glorious weather today! Our highs reached 75 F ( 24 C). Can you believe it? The temps should start dropping tomorrow, with much-needed rain in the forecast but today was lovely.

It was also the perfect, no-excuses day to take on my two-tiered challenge. I wrote at Crafts and Plants: My Winning Combination that I wanted to finally get around to planting a flower tower of terracotta pots. I found the idea back in 2008 in a magazine called Do It Yourself.  Today, I finally did. I also challenged myself to try something new; in this case, applying gold leaf.

As it turns out, it was really easy to do and a lot of fun. Like many things you try for the first time, there are things I would do differently. Overall though, not bad for a rookie.

Here’s what I did:

Clay Pots and Gold Leaf

Clay Pots and Gold Leaf

I picked up three clay/terracotta pots in graduating circumferences (12″, 10″ and 8″ inches) from the garden center, along with a saucer and some potting soil.

I bought a metal leaf starter kit at our local craft store. It included six pages of gold leaf, adhesive size, sealer and antiquing glaze. I had a couple of small paint brushes on hand.

I read the directions (twice) then jumped in.  Using a small paintbrush, I spread the sizing across the side of each pot, using a swirling pattern to create an organic shape. Once the sizing/glue was tacky to the touch, I applied the first sheet of leaf, brushing it into place with a soft, dry paint brush. (That was my favorite part!)

Antique finish detail

Antique finish detail

The leaf is super light and fly away, so I learned that you better have a plan. There are no second chances once it hits the adhesive. As small pieces tore off, I applied them to places with sizing. That was it!

Since the effect is as shiny as a new gold coin, I went ahead and brushed on a coat of antiquing (after sealing the gold first). I like the color but didn’t expect the brush strokes to be so apparent after it dried. The Mona Lisa Art Products Starter Kit came with enough product to complete one side of all three pots. You would need three or four kits to get enough coverage for all of them.

Stacked pots filled with soil

Stacked pots filled with soil

I raced back to the garden center late this afternoon and picked up a few cell packs. All that fresh dirt was simply begging for plants.

I planted:

  • 6 penny White Violas
  • 6 Penny Denim Jump-Up Violas
  • 6 Alyssum
  • 1 ‘Bluebird’ Nemesia fruticans

What do you think?

Flower Tower

22 thoughts on “Flower Tower in (a Few) Hour (s)

  1. That is so cool Alys! We talked about gold leafing last time I saw you. It sounds like fun, I think I need to try that, but on paper. I am getting addicted to paper. Lovely day for an outdoor project.


    • Thank you, Laura. It was really a lot of fun. It was a great day for outdoor projects. Today we worked indoors. Mike put up some square-shaped shelves for me and I cleaned out the bookcases. I “re-decorated” the top of the e-center and set up a cube storage in my crafting area.

      Had a lovely, lovely chat with Shirley on Saturday. Mwaaa to you both.


  2. WOW, you really made that in a day, that is stunning Alys. I can’t wait to smell all the Alyssum wafting thru your garden. I used to buy the Johnny Jump ups too, they are so sweet. Love it all. Are you doing your posts in shades of purple and white this summer? I thought I spotted purple pansy in the background too. I can’t wait to get outside and plant something pretty too.


    • I wish you had a longer growing season. That must be hard when you love planting. I guess you are used to making the best of it.

      I do seem to be leaning towards purple flowers these days. My favorite color is green, second favorite is purple. I like the purple and yellow or purple and white combos as well.

      Those Johnny Jump-ups are cute, aren’t they? I can’t wait for the Alyssum to start trailing down the sides. I just love that honey smell too.




  3. Wow! 24C… that’s classed as a heatwave over here! The pots are beautiful and I love your choice of flowers. I can’t wait to get started planting 🙂


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