Are you familiar with Wakefield garden pottery? It’s beautiful handmade pottery, and I have coveted it for a long time. The gardening pots are in high demand and bring along with them a comparable price tag, which inspired me to create a Wakefield garden pottery knock off.
I have a few pieces I splurged on, but I wanted a collected cluster so I created some of my own. I love all the detail and relief in the Wakefield planters, and I tried to achieve a similar look.
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about Wakefield handmade garden pottery
Each piece of Wakefield Handmade pottery is hand thrown by Peter Wakefield Jackson on the potter’s wheel, in his Rockdale, Wisconsin studio. Each piece is beautiful, including the designs, finishes and overall aesthetic. (Below are the Wakefield pots I own.)
In the 1990s he partnered with Guy Wolff (another garden pottery line I love) to meet the high demand for his white clay which was discovered by the likes of Martha Stewart and Smith & Hawken. In the 2000s it brought him to work with Napa Home & Garden to market his pottery.
At Whim House, where I worked for 5 years, we carried Napa Home & Garden products, which included a season we carried the Wakefield pottery. I took the opportunity to add a couple of pieces to my collection then.
what you need to make the Wakefield garden pottery knock off
- Assorted Terra Cotta Pots (garden supply | hardware store)
- Wood Bead Halves (craft | hobby store)
- Wood Appliques (craft | hobby store)
- Metal Ribbon (Dollar Tree)
- Old White Chalk Paint (Annie Sloan)
- Dark Wax (Annie Sloan)
- Hot Glue Gun and Glue Sticks
- Paint Brush
- Wax Brush
- Crafting Tweezers
how to make the Wakefield garden pottery knock off
This knock off is not the same as the beautiful handmade pottery, but it gives the same “feel” without the price tag. Don’t get me wrong, I would add more original Wakefield posts to my repertoire in a heart beat, but for the moment I will enjoy these beauties for a fraction of the cost.
- Assemble products & match accent pieces ( 1/2 beads, appliqués, etc.) with pot size
- Hot glue accent pieces to pot in desired location (on rim, underneath rim, etc.)
- Once glue is dry, clean glue strings with tweezer
- Paint planter with two coats of paint allowing plenty of drying time in between coats
- Use dark wax around all the relief to create depth and contrast
- Wipe away any excess wax
- Once everything has cured well together, add plants and enjoy
tips on making the Wakefield garden pottery knock off
I would glue the accents pieces on the pots after applying the first coat of paint. This will avoid the process of getting between all the nooks and cranies with the paint brush. The first coat of paint will provide the base layer, followed by glueing the accent pieces. The 2nd layer of paint will connect everything together.
I glued my accent pieces onto the terra cotta pots directly before painting. They adhered super strong, which is good. I discovered this when I tried to reposition a bead and it was impossible to remove the bead. Like I said, this is good. That being said, I don’t know if the seal would be as strong if there’s a layer of paint as suggested above. Just keep this in mind when deciding on your process. You might want to test it out first. I am sharing this in retrospect after being done with the project.
I always allow the coats of paint to dry over night or at least for 4-6 hours between coats if possible. Allowing plenty of drying time between coats allows the paint to cure properly.
The pots I used are between 3-inches to 6-inches in diameter at the top. I also used different profiles for added interest, meaning some pots are short and wide while others are taller and slender. The different profiles, coupled with the varied accents, creates different looks and designs. Although the planters are all different in that sense, by using the same altering techniques it brings them together as a cohesive family.
more planter inspiration
This is my collection of planters with the same whitewashed distressed finish. I have some shabby chic urns from my professional days @ Norcal Pottery plus the large Wakefield planter, from a splurge while celebrating our 25th anniversary in Half Moon Bay, CA. Now I have added my Wakefield knock offs to the collection.
If you like summer container gardening and | or houseplants, I hope this inspires you to create some of your own unique planters. It’s actually extremely gratifying. Here are some other ideas that might speak to you.