DIY Vintage Flow Blue Pot from Plain Terra Cotta!

Wondering what to do with that cheap terra cotta flower pot? Transform it with this flow blue technique using IOD stamps.

We are going to show you how to create a flower pot in the Flow Blue tradition.  You’ve probably heard of Flow Blue, it was created around the 1820’s by Staffordshire Potters and has a beautiful, blue willow appearance.  It is soft and ethereal because of the glazing process which blurs slightly during firing, but we are going to show you how to achieve this look at home!

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Let’s get started!


All IOD products can be purchased from an approved stockist. To find a shop local to you, click here. To find an online store, click here.

  • Terra cotta pot
  • Rose Toile Stamp by IOD
  • IOD Brayer Tool
  • Spray or spritzer bottle
  • Sanding block
  • Your favorite brand of white chalk or mineral-based paint in white
  • Your favorite brand decor paint in bright blue
  • Your favorite brand of decor paint in olive green(for ‘moss’ action)
  • Lint-free shop cloth
  • High-quality water-based sealer designed for outdoor use
      1. 1.

        You want to add a couple of layers of whitewash on your pot with your watered-down chalk paint.  You can use one part water and one part paint, then dilute as needed to get the consistency you want.

      1. 2.

        Once the whitewash has dried, lay your pot on its side.  I have mine in a box to help stabilize it so that it doesn’t roll around while I am working. For more tips on stamping a curved surface, check out this post.

      1. 3.

        Using your brayer tool, add a nice even coat of your bright blue paint directly to the stamp surface.

      1. 4.

        Wet the surface of the pot just a bit with your spritzer.  This will help the first application of the stamp have the blurred look we are going for. You are also using the stamp ‘bare’ for this application, so you will not be using anything to mount it.  Many times you will mount your stamp, you can find all of that information in our 101 video.

      1. 5.

        Lay your stamp down, without shifting.  Now press it down onto the pot (again without shifting).  Since this application will be the blurry one, it doesn’t have to be perfect.

      1. 6.

        Take a moist shop towel and tap down over the top of the area that you have stamped.  This will make it blurred. You can use your spritzer to spray a little more water onto the pot to continue the blurring process.  Continue until you have the stamp completely blurred out and you don’t see any form at all. This is an important step, you will need it blurred out before going back in with the stamp or you will get a double vision effect. Since terracotta and chalk paint are both porous it will set up really quickly, you will want to do just one section at a time.

      1. 7.

        Load up your stamp again for the second impression and give it a little spritz with your spray bottle. Place the stamp, again being careful not to shift.  Apply pressure to all the areas of the stamp. Now we have a nice impression over the top of the blur.

      1. 8.

        Repeat this process over the entire pot.

      1. 9.

        I am going to add another technique on this pot, which is kind of fun and has a different effect. I am going to spritz my pot liberally and I am going to apply paint onto a different stamp and hold that directly onto the area I spritzed.  This gives a nice soft stamp without the blur. Having the detailed and the soft together gives a great look. If you want an even softer look, you can spritz again on top of the section you just completed.

      1. 10.

        After you have completed your stamping and it has had time to dry completely, you can hit several areas with the sanding block.  This lets the terracotta peek through a bit and gives it a more aged look.

      1. 11.

        Once you have sanded to achieve the look you want, use a soft cloth and wipe away all the dust. Don’t apply too much pressure during this step or you will take off more of the finish.

      1. 12.

        Using a damp shop cloth, apply a small amount of the olive green paint, and then spritz the cloth and the pot where you want to apply. Dab the cloth onto the pot for a ‘mossy’ look.  You can add as much or as little as you want. Make sure to stay fluid with this step to avoid harsh lines. To have a good mossy look you want it to be soft and blended.

And that’s it! You are done with your masterpiece.

If you loved this IOD project, here’s another idea for DIY flower pots you might like:

How to Turn a $7 Plastic Container into a French Clay Pot 

Spring Decor Ideas Just for You

IOD - Newsletter


  1. Julie McDowell on May 18, 2018 at 7:54 am

    wow! Need this in my life

  2. Sheila Falcucci on May 18, 2018 at 10:27 am

    I can see this being used in a multitude places thanks Josie ????

  3. Marion on May 18, 2018 at 2:13 pm

    Hi i h a ve trouble when using a brayerwith paint. Its too thick andnot detailed when I stamp. Itry to use a little paint. If not enough of course some bits doesnt stamp. What is the secret. Stamp on paper first then on pot. I wish to use IOD stamps on the wall. Not sure how decor ink will work unless i put it on theblank stamp pad.

  4. chris on May 25, 2018 at 5:47 pm

    my word this is freaking gorgeous xx

  5. Joey on May 25, 2018 at 6:36 pm

    I really love anythng IOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. Dana on May 26, 2018 at 1:14 pm

    Oh LAWD….help me now! So gorgeous and creative…thank YOU!

  7. TERRY FEGAN on May 27, 2018 at 2:39 am

    Hi, Love this!1 itching to start using some of the new products, is there a specific date they are coming out? Thanks for all the inspiration. Terry

  8. Jerri on May 28, 2018 at 7:33 pm

    I love this! I collect flow blue china. These really look like old china.

  9. Diana Kelly on May 29, 2018 at 3:02 pm

    Fantastic! I love this pot. You are so creative, thank you so much for sharing this.

  10. Joan Schmidman on June 11, 2018 at 9:23 am

    How do you protect it from dissolving from the dampness from watering the plant? Do you use an inner pot?

    • IOD Customer Service IOD Customer Service on August 27, 2018 at 12:47 pm

      Hi Joan! I apologize for the delayed response. Yes, you are correct; use an inner pot to protect from the dampness!

  11. Constance on June 27, 2018 at 4:56 pm

    Do UU have to use the wax on the chalk paint
    Or can UU use the rustoleum spray paint to seal the paint on the clay pot

    • IOD Customer Service IOD Customer Service on August 27, 2018 at 12:48 pm

      Hi Constance, I apologize for the delayed response! We recommend using an outdoor clear sealer to seal the paint on the pot.

  12. Juliette Pahl on August 24, 2018 at 8:50 pm

    Oh … this is too much! Now I want to sit at your feet for a month and learn to do what brilliant things you come up with! I’m a little sad that you don’t answer the questions because they’re the same questions I’d ask. But IOD sisters — you are sooo amazing and clever!

    • IOD Customer Service IOD Customer Service on August 27, 2018 at 12:50 pm

      Thank you so much, Juliette! We’re so glad you’re loving the products, and we will be responding to questions on the blog posts from now on! 🙂

  13. Sheryll on September 12, 2018 at 4:14 am

    Has the pot been sealed? We usually seal ours with a sealer before painting. And if do you seal afterwards?

    • IOD Customer Service IOD Customer Service on October 1, 2018 at 1:38 pm

      Hi Sheryll, we used a sealer after we used our Décor Stamp on the pot!

  14. Anat mattes on June 6, 2020 at 6:15 am

    Just brilliant!
    Not so easy to buy Anne Sloan here in Australia. Will any chalk paint do?

    Also, will the chalk paint eventually wash away if I don’t seal it and use it outside?

    • IOD Customer Service IOD Customer Service on June 8, 2020 at 10:21 am

      Hi Anat,

      Yes, there are many quality paint brands to choose from. I would definitely apply a good outdoor sealer in do a few very think coats for best results.

      Kind regards!

  15. Dixie Montgomery on June 30, 2020 at 9:57 am

    I love the pot and would like to make a couple but cannot find the stamp could you please tell me where I can find it

  16. Annemarie Havenga on October 18, 2020 at 10:35 am

    Do you think this method would work on glass aswell?

    • IOD Customer Service IOD Customer Service on October 21, 2020 at 9:49 am

      Hi Annemarie, many have had success using IOD stamps and chalk paint on clear glass! You may enjoy joining our IOD Creative Tribe on Facebook and searching for “stamps on glass.” Many projects will pop up with examples! Additionally, it’s a great place to post questions or ask for tips from other creators using IOD products. Check it out here:

      It’s a closed group but members are approved with very little wait time! ❤️

  17. Denise on April 5, 2021 at 11:17 am

    Totally awesome.

  18. Kathy on May 14, 2021 at 5:33 pm

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE this….I bought the stamps and the paint…but now I can’t find a terra cotta pot that is large and smooth….they all have a lip. Where did you find that pot? Thanks!

  19. Debbie on February 24, 2022 at 11:21 am

    Love these pots. Bought your stamp and can’t wait to use it. 😜. Can I use craft paint for the blue and green? Or should it be enamel? Does this work on plastic pots? Thanks so much. Love you guys!!

    • IOD Customer Service IOD Customer Service on March 8, 2022 at 5:09 pm

      Hi Debbie! That is so exciting! Not to say that you can’t use a certain type of paint, but we personally have only used chalk type paints! As far as this working on plastic pots, it totally would! You may just need to switch up the way you do it a little bit. I will link an old video of Sally doing a project on plastic pots for you here:

      Thank you for the support Debbie, it means so much to us!❤️

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