Paint Your Own Pottery Ideas & Designs

Updated July 19, 2017

Designing and painting your own pottery can be a very relaxing and rewarding experience. You do not need a lot of tools to get started painting pottery either. All you need is a plain piece of pottery, paint, paintbrushes and an idea.


Unpainted pottery can be purchased at craft stores, paint-your-own pottery shops and ceramic supply stores. These pieces will be in a variety of shapes and sizes to choose from. The paints and paintbrushes can be purchased at these stores as well. The pottery may already be baked and you can apply the paint directly to it. Or you can take your piece back to a paint-your-own pottery shop, to have your piece baked for you.

Flower Designs

Flower designs can be painted over the entire piece of pottery or as a focal point on the pottery. For example, choose your favourite flower to paint or work from a picture of flowers. Sketch the flowers first in pencil, to make sure the placing is correct before painting. Use a combination of paintbrushes to create the petals, stems and leaves. Or divide the pottery piece into sections and create a pattern of alternating flowers around the piece.

Fingerprint Designs

Fingerprint designs are a simple way to paint a pottery piece. For example, make caterpillars and butterflies with your fingertips by dipping your fingertips in the paint and making horizontal dots that overlap for the body of a caterpillar. Forbutterflies make dots that overlap vertically. Then use a paintbrush to add antennas, eyes and wings to the creatures. To make a daisy, dip your fingertips again in paint and place dots in a circle. Use a paintbrush to add a stem or leaves to the flower. Place the caterpillars, butterflies and flowers randomly over the pottery piece.

Food Designs

Food designs work very well on plates, bowls, cups and platters. For instance, a plate may be made to look like an orange or an apple that has been sliced in half. Paint the entire piece orange for an orange or red or green for an apple. Using a thin paintbrush, paint on the details of the centre of an orange or apple, such as the core and seeds. Make matching sets of dinnerware by painting the same design on each piece.

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About the Author

Crissi Enger has been freelance writing for five years on a variety of topics and subjects. She has a bachelor's degree from UNLV in both theater and English. Enger has been published on such sites as eHow, Associated Content, Bukisa, and Shvoong.