One of the many things I love about South Africa is our rich and diverse cultural heritage. From our fierce Zulu warriors to the clicking Khoi San, the oldest race in the world, we truly are a rainbow nation. While people often associate South Africa with breathtaking landscapes and an abundance of wildlife (no I‘ve never seen a lion walking down the road, although there was that one time….. oh wait, I digress 😉 ) We’re also home to some truly extraordinary people. People like Esther Mahlangu who’s Ndebele art has embellished the tail of a Jumbo Jet, Christian Louboutin heels, and Kim Kardashian’s curves. Quite a diverse portfolio IMHO 😀 And it’s this remarkable woman who inspired this week’s crafty tutorial; 2 easy ways to make Ndebele planters. First up, these bold planters influenced by the bright and colorful geometric shapes typically used in Ndebele art.
And then I’ll share how to give a terracotta pot a quick Ndebele styled makeover with some colorful beads. It kinda reminds me of the Ndlovu choir dancing on the world stage in their Ndebele beads and colorful outfits.
The Ndebele planters are also perfect for this month’s “Local Love” IBC challenge.
What’s the IBC all about
The IBC, or International Blogger’s Club, is a group of bloggers from all over the world who challenge each other to make something using a common theme. Last month’s challenge was “Sand of Time” and we had so much fun making Prince of Persia inspired Hourglass from broken wine glasses. This month we’re focussing on Local Love, or as we would say here in South Africa – “Local is Lekker” 😉 This essentially means we get to showcase something special from our country, like these planters inspired by our Ndebele artists.
What you need for the Ndebele Planters
For the geometric planters
- Terracotta pots
- White Craft paint
- Free Ndebele Patterns
- Paper Napkins
- Wax paper
- Outdoor mod podge
For the bead planters
- Terracotta pots
- An assortment of colorful beads
- Needle and thread
- Hot glue gun
How to make Ndebele planters
Option 1 – Geometric planters
The geometric shapes that feature so strongly in Ndebele art are always painted on a lime-washed background, so the first thing we need to do is mask off the top of the terracotta pots and paint them white.
Measure the circumference of the pot. The terracotta pots I used for the Ndebele art planters are 52 cm so I divided by 10, and made a mark every 5.2 cm.
Using the marks as a guide you can either draw geometric shapes around the pots. Or you can do it the easy way and use this free template to print the shapes on a napkin like I did 😀
How to print on a napkin
Remove the back layer of the napkin and tape it onto a piece of printer paper. Make sure that all the edges are taped down. You don’t want to run the risk of getting the napkin all scrunched up inside the printer 😉 Place the “napkin covered” piece of paper in the printer and print out the geometric Ndebele shapes. It doesn’t matter whether you have a laser or ink-jet, they’ll both work.
Transferring the shapes to the planter
Leave the printed shapes for about 10 minutes so the ink dries properly and then remove the printed paper napkin from the paper and place it on some wax paper. Make sure the shiny side of the wax paper faces up and apply two layers of outdoor mod podge on the napkins.
Leave to dry. I find the mod podge helps to strengthen the napkins and minimizes any wrinkles when you apply them to the planter.
Cut out the geometric shapes and using the marks you made earlier glue them down with more outdoor mod podge.
Seal with another layer of outdoor mod podge and your Ndebele geometric planters are ready for planting.
Option 2 – Beaded Ndebele planters
The beaded Ndebele planters are just as easy to do, although they take a little longer to make.
Once again measure the circumference of the pot and cut a piece of white ribbon to fit. Mark the backside of the ribbon so you have a general guide where to attach the beads.
Double thread your needle and push it through the ribbon starting on the first mark. Using the needle, pick up different-sized, multi-colored beads and thread them onto the ribbon. How many beads you add is entirely up to you. Once you’ve added all the beads to a strand, turn the needle around and push the needle and thread back up the string of beads skipping the last bead. I hope the picture below helps explain that a bit better.
Pull the thread tight, sew along the ribbon to the next mark and repeat the process to add the nest strand of beads.
I alternated between one long strand and one shorter strand. Once you’ve sewn all the bead strands onto the ribbon, use a hot glue gun to attach the beaded ribbon to the terracotta pot.
And that’s it.
If you like the idea of adding a little Ndebele art to your planters don’t forget to pin for later.
Sharing is caring 😉
Oh and if you’re looking for some of the things we used, we’ve got you covered Disclosure: Clicking on the links below, means we may receive a commission from Amazon. But don’t worry it won’t come out of your pocket, and it helps us come up with more amazing craft ideas to share with you 😉
Before you go, don’t forget to go have a look see at what my friends from the IBC have done with their “Local Love” challenge.
1. A Crafty Mix (that’s us 😉 )
2. Raggedy Bits – How to Make A Whitewashed Farmhouse Sign
3. Unique Creations by Anita – How to Use Iron on Vinyl
4. Birdz of a Feather – Pop Art Serving Tray
5. Interior Frugalista – Alberta Wild Rose Decoupage Napkin Coaster
And as always, here’s wishing you a beautiful, crafty week filled with lots of love. Thank you so much for popping in for a visit.