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Like many Americans, freedom is a big deal in our family. We come from a family filled with veterans who took the oath to defend our country and put their lives on the line. That's why we love the 4th of July! But we also love a good deal … today I'm sharing a few easy decorating ideas with terra cotta pots that you can use for 4th of July and beyond. Pick up some pots at 99 Cents Only and let's make these 4th of July DIY terra cotta pot ideas to celebrate freedom, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Oh, and sandía … a slice of cold watermelon on the 4th of July is muy patriotic!
Our Patriotic family history
Even though I grew up in California, you could say that I came from a military family. My tio and tia both were in the Air Force and my dad, their brother, was in the Army. And my mom's dad was in the military as well. My sister and I both joined the Army right after high school. I actually met my husband in the Army! He was a true Army brat, born in Germany and growing up on Army bases all over the world. I guess you could call us REALLY patriotic!
About 10 years ago I had decorated my whole living room in Americana decor. My husband asked me to change it up and sometimes I miss it. As a kid, each family would build these elaborate holders for pinwheels and other fireworks and then set off a show. We'd spend the whole night going between the grandparents' houses to see all the action.
My mom asked for me to give her all the family photo albums from my childhood so I don't have any of those family photos to share but I did find this gem … me in Army Basic Training, repelling down a wall! Like year books for high school, the Army has basic training graduation books. Somewhere around here are all those military portraits of the family members …
My whole family is all about the freedoms that come from living here in the USA. I cannot imagine living anywhere else where the freedoms we have are not a birthright. My abuelo came here from Mexico in the 1940s and 50s and became a citizen during the 1980s. He made a life from nothing to becoming a real estate owner, business owner, and home owner. And from there, our family flourished under the freedoms we sometimes take for granted … both my dad and I have master's degrees, own our own homes, and have achieved so much in our lives. I don't know if my grandfather could have imagined that happening but it did! So when I think about the 4th of July and what it means, it has a fairly recent importance in our life way more personal than 1776 feels. That's why I love to go all out with the food, decor, and celebrations for the 4th of July. I even scrapbook the 4th of July!
Going all out with the decor doesn't mean you have to break the bank. For example, I decorated my entire mantel for the 4th of July for under $15 with supplies from 99 Cents Only Stores! My abuela was always resourceful, using what she had to make the moment special. And in the Army, I learned about a frugal military lifestyle (I have no idea how I lived on my tiny $700 a month paycheck back in the day!). But, like most Americans, I want nice things, a pretty celebration, and a beautiful home. That's where the 99 comes in …
I snagged a bunch of terra cotta pots and saucers at the 99 because who can pass up that kind of deal? Terra Cotta has such a rich feel and is such a versatile material. You can paint on it, decoupage, add mosaic patterns, and so much more. Plus the tapered pots and shallow saucers can be used for much more than potted plants. I spent $20 stocking up on post and saucers I know I can use all year long for projects, holiday decor, and more. Keep reading to see what you can make with these for the 4th!
We also grabbed some of these super fun emoji chanclas (flip flops)!! The kids in the neighborhood wanted some after they saw Matthew with them and for 99 cents, I could grab enough for all of his friends without blinking an eye.
Now if only my kids were little enough to fit in these adorable swimsuits from Coppertone for just $2.99 each at the 99. Seriously, I want that striped one in the middle in my size! 99 Cents Only Stores have all of your favorite name brands and fresh produce at a price that can't be beat. There is always something new and exciting at the 99 whether you're decorating for summer or just hanging by the beach. You never know what you'll find when you “do the 99” (so shop at 99 Cents Only Stores)!
4th of July Party Decor – a family tradition
Ever since I was a kid my family decorated for 4th of July. Usually, it was the grandparents who went all out! With my own family I like to make the tradition as special as possible without spending a lot. We recently finished our backyard patio area. I am so excited to start using this space for family gatherings all year long! We set up a long cast metal table with 6 chairs, perfect for when my parents come over for a barbecue but it looked boring and empty. Then I remembered all those terra cotta pots I bought at the 99!
I painted the pots (I'll share how in this post, so keep reading!), filled them with red and white flowers (blue flowers are hard to come by), and added cute red, white, and blue pinwheels and mini American flags. The table is set and ready to go for under $6 in supplies from 99 Cents Only.
But pots aren't just for flowers … whether you are decorating your patio or setting up your 4th of July celebration, you're gonna want to pin and bookmark these easy DIY terra cotta pot ideas. I think terra cotta pots are my new party besties!
3 DIY terra cotta pot ideas
One of the easiest ways to decorate a terra cotta pot is with acrylic paint. But did you know you can also decoupage on terra cotta? And add use stencils? Watch this video to see a few different DIY terra cotta pot ideas:
Bandanna DIY Terra Cotta Pot
Bandannas are easy to find, affordable, and easy to decoupage. Yes, you can decoupage fabric including bandannas.
I was looking for the traditional bandanna pattern at the 99 but they had American flag bandannas – SCORE! It's like they knew we would be celebrating 4th of July or something *wink wink*!
Here's what you'll need to get started:
- American flag bandanna from 99 Cents Only
- terra cotta pot with saucer from 99 Cents Only
- decoupage medium
- stiff paint brush
- red chalk or acrylic paint
Wrap the bandanna around the pot. Cut the excess bandanna away, leaving about 2″ of fabric hanging over the top and bottom of the pot. If the bandanna does not wrap all the way around the pot, save the excess fabric to patch the gaps.
Paint the pot with decoupage medium and press the fabric to the glue. Paint another layer of decoupage medium over top of the fabric to seal it and get it to stick to the pot. Fold over or pleat the bandanna around the bottom, tapered end of the pot to keep the lines of the flag pattern horizontal. Continue wrapping and gluing until the pot is covered.
Paint the saucer in red paint and allow to dry.
We planted strawberries on our bandanna pot but you can add flowers or even use it to hold boxes of sparklers during your 4th of July fireworks celebration!
DIY Drink Riser and Cutlery Holder
We love those glass drink jars with the spigot but how do you get the drink out of them if they are sitting on the table? They need a riser to sit on! If you've ever bought a drink contain like this then you know no one really sells rises. That's okay – just grab a pot from the 99 Cents Only Store and you can custom paint the pot to match any party decor.
Since our patio is an explosion of patriotic decor (yeah, I'm owning my patriotism!) we decided to make our drink station have a watermelon theme.
What's more summery and American than watermelon? Okay, maybe apple pie but let's focus. Every family has slices of sandía on 4th of July, right?
Here's what you'll need to make this Watermelon drink riser and cutlery holder set:
- large and small terra cotta pots from 99 Cents Only
- large terra cotta pot saucer from 99 Cents Only
- acrylic paint in red, light green, dark green, pink, and black
- small round paint brush
- 1/2″ flat paint brush
Paint each pot red or pink up to the rim of the pot. Paint the rim of the pot green.
Dab light green paint between the red/pink paint and the green paint. Allow to dry. Paint on “seeds” by dipping a round brush into black paint and pressing the side of the brush to the pot. Allow to dry.
Add strawberries to pink lemonade and fill that drink dispenser up for the Fourth!
Painted American Flag Flower Pots
Gather these supplies to make these American flag flower pots:
- 3 large terra cota pots from 99 Cents Only
- 3 large terra cotta pot saucers from 99 Cents Only
- kitchen sponge from 99 Cents Only
- mini American flags from 99 Cents Only
- gingham pinwheels from 99 Cents Only
- acrylic or chalk paint in red and white
- textured paint in white and blue (you can make your own by mixing fine sand with acrylic paint)
- foam paint brush
- wide flat paint brush
Dipped flower Pot:
Paint a diagonal line across the pot using red paint. Paint the pot solid red from the line down to the bottom of the pot, creating a dipped look. Paint the saucer red to match.
Stars flower pot:
Paint the terra cotta pot and saucer with blue textured paint and allow to dry. Draw a star shape onto a sponge and cut out with scissors to make a stamp. Paint the stamp with white acrylic paint and stamp onto the pot, repeating until the pot is covered in stars. Allow to dry.
Stripes flower pot
Using red acrylic or chalk paint, paint wide red stripes onto a terra cotta pot. Allow to dry. Add white stripes to cover the exposed terra cotta, using white textured paint. Allow to dry.
I filled the pots with potting soil and pretty summer flowers. Then I arranged them in a line in the middle of our patio table to give it a pop of color all summer long.
My grandma was very frugal and reused items from holiday to holiday. A great way to use those terra cotta pots from the 99 over and over again is to just paint them a new color or put something else inside! I love the stars and stripes so I plan to use these flower pots all year long. But the watermelon ones? I'm thinking I might make those into gift baskets for teacher gifts in the new year.
Be sure to hit up the 99 before you go. See what they have in store and more here:
- 99 Cents Only Stores on Facebook
- 99 Cents Only Stores on Instagram
- 99 Cents Only Stores on YouTube
- 99 Cents Only Stores on Twitter
How would you use these terra cotta pots in your 4th of July celebration? And beyond?!