This quick tutorial will walk you through the process of turning any standard store-bought planter into a unique piece of art for your garden. With the strategic use of stenciling alongside the unique look of mineral-based chalk color, you can quickly and easily “bee-gin” to transform your yard.
- X-Press It stencil sheets
- Two colors of Tommy Art chalk-based mineral paints
- Silhouette CAMEO, or any other plotter or vinyl cutter
- A plain planter (a smooth surface will work best—avoid picking a planter that has an embossed pattern)
- A potted, bee-friendly plant (for a list of plants that are good sources of nectar and pollen for honey bees, visit this page)
Step 1: Make a Stencil
We chose to create a bee stencil, in celebration of Earth Day, but this same technique can be applied and customized for endless creative possibilities. If you’d like advice on how to design your own stencil, check out our more advanced DIY planter tutorial. If you’d like to use a bee stencil for your project, we’ll give you headstart with these downloadable files:
Each of the above downloads include two separate stencils. One for the outline of the bee, and one for the detail line work. While they can be printed on regular printer paper, we highly recommend X-Press It stencil sheets. These are thick, reusable vinyl sheets perfect for making reusable stencils.
After printing, these can be easily run through a vinyl cutter. If you don’t have access to a vinyl cutter, cutting the stencil out by hand using an exacto knife will work, but it will be far more time consuming.
Step 2: Base Painting
Once you have your stencils, apply the bee outline stencil to the planter pot and add a layer of chalk-color using a medium-sized paint brush.
Step 3: "Bee-autiful" Detail
Once your base coat is dry, remove the first stencil. Then, being careful to align it correctly, apply the second stencil over the top to start painting on details. Using another medium brush, apply the detail work in a contrasting color.
We went with the traditional yellow and added blue accents, but Tommy Art paints come in such a wide variety of brilliant colors, we recommend you experiment and use your favorite color combo.
Finally, remove the second stencil, admire your line work, and use a fine brush do any touch up work or detail work needed or desired.
Step 4: Plant and Bee Patient!
Your planter is now ready to be filled! Transplant bee-friendly plants into your decorated containers, give them a good water, and wait. It may take a while, but eventually they'll bee there.
Remember, a great way to prevent further damage to honey bee population is to avoid spraying pesticides on your yard and garden, but if you can't help yourself and need to spray something, check out this more advanced version of this tutorial that uses the Copic Airbrush Sytem.