How to decorate planter boxes

In this round of It’s not about the craft, we join mum Keryn as she and her son Daniel as they hang out outside and paint their new planter boxers.

Recently we bought some fence planter boxes to plant our New World Little Garden seedlings in. To brighten up the fence, we decided a fun mother-son project would be to paint them in colourful designs.

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First, we cut some paper to the same size as the planter box and did a plan drawing. Daniel decided he’d like to do an underwater scene. After we’d finished our plans we talked about what colours we needed and then we took a trip to our local Resene ColorShop to buy some test pots.

The Resene test pots we used

In progress

Daniel has an attention-demanding little sister so one-on-one time with him is precious. To start, we gave them an undercoat in white. Once we’d done the undercoat and let it dry, I decided I’d sit with him and watch him paint his underwater world.

Mine, planted with borage and nasturtiums.

Admittedly, this was mostly so I could make sure paint wouldn’t get everywhere! But it turned out to be a fascinating process to slow down to his pace and watch him paint. There was no adult over-thinking, rushing, critiquing or self-consciousness about his creativity. He was completely ‘in the moment’. We discovered a spider living underneath the planter box and wondered together whether he minded his home getting “all slippery” with the paint, to put it in Daniel’s words.

Daniel’s finished planter box, planted with thyme and coriander. Spot the shark, mermaid, angler fish, seaweed, and erupting volcano.

We hardly used any paint so I’m looking forward to doing more paint projects with Daniel in the future. I think a pot plant for the Grandmas for Mother’s Day next year might be nice! The planter boxes will remain on the fence for years to come and they’ll always remind me of the peaceful creative hours spent with my son when he was five.


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About Author

Keryn Grogan

Keryn is a mum of two who is part of our Parenting Place team as a Fundraising Administrator. A self-confessed all-rounder (and recovering perfectionist), Keryn enjoys reading, painting, and music. She is currently studying Te Reo Māori through Te Wānanga o Aotearoa and is a Toolbox facilitator. Above all else she considers parenting her full-time and most fulfilling past time, and loves sharing her everyday experiences of it through writing. You can email Keryn at Keryn.Grogan@parentingplace.nz.

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