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Clay Pot Christmas Trees That Kids Will Love!

Learn how to make clay pot Christmas trees using simple craft store supplies! Kids will love to make these to add to your holiday decor.

Skills Required: None. If this is your first craft ever, that’s okay! You’re going to be painting pots in some various ways, adding dots, and then stacking. You can do this, and so can the children (of all ages).

Clay Pot Christmas Trees

If you’re a child of the 70s and before, perhaps you’ll take a trip down Christmas memory lane with me. I’d like for you to let me know if you remember a little something called the ceramic Christmas tree:

Vintage ceramic Christmas tree

Did your family have one? Because ours did. And it was a big deal to bring it out every year. Because not only was it amazing to watch my mom plug it in each year, but we also got out to set around the ceramic pieces that went with it. There was a kid on a sled and even a little dog!

We were expressly prohibited from touching the tree for obvious reasons. I had four brothers. You start playing with the tree, and it’s about five minutes before it’s toast. So we could never touch or play with the tree, but we could watch its brilliant glow from afar.

Maybe you had a tree like this one growing up, or you even have one now (you can get them on Amazon). Either way, your littles might want to participate in the holiday fun. I’ve got a great craft for you: “lighted” clay pot Christmas trees!

Clay pot Christmas trees for kids

Clay Pot Christmas Tree

These trees can be made in four easy steps. You’ll paint the pots using two shades of green (I went darker on the body and lighter on the rim). Then you’ll add the “snow” to the bands, and add the polka dot lights. Finally, you add the toppers on top!

Kids are going to love making their own clay pot Christmas trees using the colors of their choice. They get to add their own lights and toppers . . . and then they have a tree of their very own. While this tree is still somewhat fragile, it costs WAY less than a ceramic tree. I only spent a little over $4 to make one.

Learn how to make these cute trees of your very own with your kids. They are so fun!


Gather These Supplies

  • Clay pots – 2 1/2″, 3 1/2″, and 4 1/2″
  • Acrylic paint – green (two shades), white, and then multiple colors for the dot lights
  • Paintbrushes
  • Craft glue
  • Hot glue gun and glue sticks

Notes about this project:

  • Make sure the pots are clean and dry before painting. You don’t need to do anything if you purchase them new, but if you use old plant pots, clean the dirt off and wash (and let dry) so the paint sticks.
  • You don’t need these exact pot sizes – you can go bigger or even smaller (to make an ornament!). You want about a 1″ difference in diameter between your three pots to make it work.
  • You can use inexpensive craft paint like Apple Barrel for this project. It’s a great price, while at the same time providing good coverage (and it’s safe for kids).

Paint the Pots

Start by painting the main parts of the three pots with your darker green color. Give several paint coats and let dry.

Painting the base of three clay pots with bright green craft paint

Paint the lips of the clay pots with a different, lighter green color. Wrap the paint around the top of the lip a bit so that all of the terra cotta is covered. Let dry.

Painting the rims of three clay pots with green craft paint

Add the Faux Snow

The “faux” snow is made by dry brushing white onto the rims of the pots. This means you’re going to remove most of the paint from the brush and scrub or dust the remaining paint on.

You’ll put a little bit of white paint on the brush and then remove most of it. Then scrub the paint around the rim. Practice a little bit on your palette or some scrap paper . . . then try it on the pot.

If you don’t like the snow you make, you can just paint over it and start over! This dry brushing technique is a fun one for kids to learn and can be used in a variety of applications.

Using a brush to add snow detail on the rim of a clay pot

Repeat with all three pots and let dry.

Clay pot painted green to make a Christmas tree

Add the Polka Dot Ornaments

This is the fun part! It’s really easy to add “lights” to your clay pot Christmas trees with the end of a paintbrush. This is another fun technique for the kids to learn. Grab a paintbrush. You want one that comes to kind of a small end.

Hand holding a Mod Podge paintbrush

Dot the end of your paintbrush into the paint, and then place it down on the painted tree to create a colorful light. reload when you run out of paint. And obviously – use multiple colors and sprinkle the “lights” around the tree!

Adding painted dots to a green clay pot with the end of a paint brush

Place the Toppers

I rooted through my stash and found some old table scatter to use for the tops of my Christmas trees. I attached with hot glue.

You can use just about anything. Painted cardboard, stiff paper, a wood shape . . . root through your stash to find something that will work as your topper! You’re not required to use a topper, but it really adds something.

Don’t you think?

Clay pot Christmas tree

If you are feeling really Christmas-y, I dare you to paint the entire pot with Sparkle Mod Podge. Kids love the glitter effect and it’s so festive! I’d love to know if you make these . . . let me know in the comments!


If you enjoyed these Christmas trees for kids, you’re going to love these other craft ideas: