Baby Shower Favors – Distressed Pots with Herb Seeds

Our friends Chris & Shara are having a baby!  We offered to help with the favors for their shower.  They had a pretty large shower – around 40 guests!  So we knew the favors had to be awesome, but also economical.  After some internet surfing, we came up with this idea, which is a mashup of several other ideas we found. 

We bought special, “chalky” paint to create this distressed look.  But I really do think that normal acrylic paint would work just fine, too.

Distressing Paint

Want to know how we did it?  Easy peasy.  Follow the steps below:

  1. We started by painting all the terra cotta pots with a base coat.
  2. Allow to dry 3+ hours.
  3. Apply the 2nd coat.  Second coat should be done in a different (but complementary!) color.
  4. Allow to dry overnight.

***Now for the FUN part***

  1. Pull out whatever power sander you own, and go to town!  I used a Dewalt orbital sander with 220 grit sandpaper.  But really any sander should work… including your own two hands!  If you don’t own a power sander, don’t worry, you can definitely hand sand these.  Your forearms will be on FIRE, but it’s definitely doable.
  2. Keep sanding each pot until you’re happy with the look.  Sand a little, and some of the base coat will start to show through.  Sand a lot, and a LOT of the base coat will show though.  Sand a ridiculous amount, and the clay pot will show through (which is actually a really cool look!).

Once the pretty pots were done, we just had to finish out these favors.  We put a thin layer of pebble at the bottom of each pot to help with drainage, and tied some twine with a “Thank You” note around each one.  We stamped muslin bags with the word GROW, and put an herb seed packet inside.  **Hint** If you do this for a shower, make sure to buy the more popular seeds (cilantro, basil, chives, etc.).  I bought a mixed assortment from Amazon, and it came with some less-popular seed options such as Sweet Marjoram and Savory Seeds.  Huh??  Avoid the bribing and bartering and just get the good seeds.  🙂

**Suggestion** Another option (which would take less time and avoid the dust storm in your garage from all the sanding) is to use a dry brush technique.  Dry brushing involves  very little paint, hence the term “dry brush.”  You could dry brush the 2nd color, possibly eliminating the need for sanding.  The end product might look a little different, but many people use dry brushing to achieve a “distressed” look.

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