Because you guys loved our Simple Fall Home Decor post so much (so excited about that, by the way – same wavelength!), we thought we’d hit you with a double whammy today in that same vein and give you more of the good stuff. And by the good stuff we mean the easiest, most awesome Fall home decor DIY project of all time that will not only fit right in all year round, but that will also make your home smell like a Fall paradise sent straight from heaven. Heaven! Because we all know that Fall is as much about the smells as it is the sights. Fall vibes, people. All the Fall vibes! And they can be yours in a matter of minutes.
shop fall candles
We know that we’ve painted terracotta pots about a million ways around here, but we can’t help ourselves. It’s just too fun! And easy. We’re pretty sure we’re going to do some sort of painted terracotta pot project for every season (ICYMI, check out our Easy DIY Terra Cotta Heart Pots post that we cooked up for V-Day), so we hope you’re cool with that. Today’s painted terracotta pot project, however, may just be our favorite yet! These simple, understated little dotted pots are perfect for Fall and beyond and instead of using them to house the standard cactus, we decided to switch it up and make these pots work harder, using them as “votives” to create the most magical DIY Fall home scent that’s currently making our home smell like some sort of cider-mill-cozy-coffee-shop-wonderland. And we’re super into it.
As a whole, this DIY project is sort of a mashup of two things that inspired us. We fell in love with this terracotta pot from Studio McGee the second we saw it (and included it in our Simple Fall Home Decor roundup) and we wanted to create a fun dotted look that sort if emulated it. By default, terracotta fits right into the Fall color palette, so using a terracotta pot in your Fall decor lineup is such a simple, easy way to bring in the season without going full glitter pumpkin. And we’d seen versions of using coffee beans and vanilla scented tea lights in a jar to create a cozy Fall scent — the idea being that the tea light heats up the beans emitting a coffee/vanilla fragrance — but the vessels weren’t very exciting. Which is fine, but we wanted a vessel that felt like Fall and could be re-used to house just about anything else, like a cactus, after you’re sick of the scent. Marrying the two things seemed like a match made in Fall heaven and turns out, it totally is!
If you follow us on Instagram and Instagram Stories (if not, come hang out with us!) you probably saw that I debated keeping things totally simple and neutral or adding a few other hues from the Fall color palette to the pots, and even took a poll to see what you guys thought. Turns out you, like me, thought that simple was the way to go! And it was. It really was. I had a few other Fall paint colors hanging around and tried them out on a pot and it was not magical. No no no it was not. But I think it you had a really fun mix of Fall colors, it could be cool. I maybe didn’t have the right mix of colors in my arsenal to pull it off. But I love the simplicity, subtlety and versatility of whitewashing the pots in Martha Stewart Satin Craft paint in Porcelain Doll and then mixing that with a little bit of the color “Poodle Skirt” to do the dots.
One thing I absolutely love about this easy DIY project is that it’s super affordable, if you play it right. The pots and saucers are only 78 cents a pop at Home Depot. I have the paint hanging around, but each color is $2.49. I used coffee beans that we already had around (C might not be super pumped that I hijacked his beans, but he’ll survive), but if you don’t have any at home just know that to fill both small pots it required less than one bag of beans. I also already had the tea lights, but if you don’t I’m absolutely loving this amazing, Fall-scented variety pack from Target which is $7.99 for 24 lights. Then I had some cinnamon sticks, the pack for which was only $2.99 at the grocery store, and added one of those to each pot for a little cinnamon scent kick. When all is said and done, this project should cost under $30 for 2 to 3 pots!
We hope you love this easy DIY Fall home decor project as much as we do! It’s such a simple one to tackle with the most awesome payoff that you’ll be enjoying all season long. These would also make such a fun, cute little gift for a hardworking teacher, awesome friend, a housewarming, etc. — a homemade gift that they’ll actually love and enjoy, and that won’t totally disrupt their existing home decor. Happy Fall DIYing, friends!
Supplies Used for your DIY Home Fall Scent
Soft Cloth or Rag
How To: Painted Terracotta Pots & DIY Home Fragrance
1. If your terracotta pots have imperfections on them, which so many of them do when you grab them off of the shelf, just sand those spots to even it all out. A 150-grit sanding block should do the job. Wipe with a clean, damp cloth and let any wet spots dry.
2. In a cup or bowl, mix about a quarter sized dollop of Martha Stewart Satin Craft Paint in Porcelain Doll with about 1 tbsp of water to create your wash. This doesn’t have to be an exact science. More paint to less water will make for a more opaque wash, and more water to less paint will make the wash more transparent. Make sure the combination is thoroughly mixed for an even application.
3. Using any brush you want (I used a random craft brush I had on hand), brush your wash onto your terracotta pot and saucer and immediately wipe with a soft, dry cloth. The longer you let your wash sit without wiping, the more opaque the wash will be. I like a really subtle wash, so I wipe it off right away. You can always add more, so I like to air on the side of caution and go light at first.
4. Once your wash it set on your pot and saucer, you’re ready to paint your dots! For my dot color I mixed a quarter-sized dollop of Martha Stewart Satin Craft Paint in Porcelain Doll with a quarter-sized dollop of Martha Stewart Satin Craft Paint in Poodle Skirt. Mix them until completely combined for a subtle nude/makeup color. If it’s too pink, add more Porcelain Doll. If it’s too white, add a little bit more Poodle Skirt.
5. Dots can be tough if you don’t use the right brush, but honestly I love an imperfect, slightly watercolor-ish polkadot so it’s all gravy in the end! For my little dots, I found it easiest to use a number 4 Filbert brush. If you want your dots to be thicker and even maybe even slightly 3-D, you can put more paint on the brush and dip your brush back into the paint after every other dot you paint. Just quickly press the end of the brush head and lift. If you’re Ok with your dots being a little bit more transparent or watercolor-like, then you can dip your brush back into the paint after every 6 or so dots. Again, not an exact science so do whatever feels good to you!
6. To create the exact dotted stripes that I created, I painted four dots in a square pattern. I kept doing that all the way around my pot until the two ends met, and then I added one dot in the center of each of those squares of four dots. I tried it several ways and that was the easiest way for me to keep my dot lines somewhat straight and the dots evenly spaced all the way around.
7. Once the paint was dry I added my coffee beans to the pot! Just make sure you have the pots set on your saucers before you pour so beans don’t slip through your drainage holes in the bottom of the pot. Once the pots were filled I placed my tea light on top and added a cinnamon stick to each one, too right next to the tea light so that the stick would heat up a little bit as well and become really fragrant.