Peddler DIY

Stencil Transfers on to Terra Cotta


I have been admiring these old world pots in Pier One – see left photo.  I am experimenting with stencil transfers so thought maybe I could replicate these pots myself – see right photo.  Mind you, when I say “experimenting” I mean…..I’m really bad at stencil transfers and soon may have to write it off as a “it-just-wasn’t-meant-to-be” attempt.

What are stencil transfers?  They are printable graphics that you apply to almost anything (e.g. fabric, ceramic, wood, etc) using different transfer methods.  The graphics Fairy has a lot of good info, techniques, and printable graphics. She has inverted graphics too! (

imageMy previous transfer attempts included trying to transfer photos on to wood using painters gel matte medium.  Apparently you can use mod podge to transfer graphics too.  Let’s try both and see which works better.


  1. Terra cotta pots
  2. Printable graphics. I chose french themed graphics. If you are using writing  be sure to choose inverted transfers because  you want to place the ink-side directly on to the item you are transferring to.
  3. Mod Podge and/or Painters Gel Matte medium (found with acrylic paints)
  4. Sponge brush

For this experiment, I bought 2 terra cotta pots so I could use mod podge on one and the painters gel medium on the other.  I gave a light dusting of near-white paint to the pots to give some patina.  Now on to transferring the graphics…..

  1. Apply mod podge or painters gel medium using the sponge brush to the pot where you want your graphic
  2. Apply mod podge or painters gel medium to the graphic – be liberal when applying.
  3. Carefully center graphic onto the pot and press out any air bubbles.
  4. Let dry 2+ hours depending on the size of your image.
  5. Next, we have to remove the paper.  Run water over the paper until soaked.  Peel off the paper the best you can.  Using a dry papertowel gently rub off remaining paper.  This step gets tricky because the graphic usully tends to rub off a little.  For the purpose of my old world pots, this distressing gives it just the right character.

The smaller pot used the mod podge and it was the better result.  The transfer took better and the paper removal step was easier than with the painters gel medium.

You could use these little pots for anything……

  • Use in the bathroom to store  make-up brushes, toothbrushes, or tooth paste
  • Use as pen/pencil jar
  • Use at your superbowl party – line with wax-paper and add chips, peanuts, popcorn
  • Use in kitchen as utensil holder
  • Use as the catch-all key basket by the front door
  • Use as candle holder or actual flower pot

Thanks for reading this week’s post.  I plan to keep practicing my stencil transfer skills.   Wish me luck.

– the urban peddler-


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