Whimsical Potted House Number

Dear Marc:

We are renovating the front of our home. I am looking for a whimsical way to display our house number. I don’t want another metal number on the wall! I love your projects! Can you help me think of something?


Dear Darlene:

That’s a great question! I love to visit new places and meet new people. As someone who is directionally challenged, numbers and unique house features help me find a destination. Let’s just say, I have a better chance of finding a needle in a haystack than a destination without the use of a GPS. To add to the complex, my grandfather had pride in the fact that his children and grandchildren knew the difference between North, South, East and West just by glancing at the sun at different times in the day.

I, on the other hand, was never able to tell the difference. Anne Heche said it best to Harrison Ford in the movie 6 Days, 7 Nights when they landed on a deserted island. “Aren’t you one of those guys?” Anne asked. “What Guys?” replied Harrison. “You know, the type of guy that you send into the woods with a toothpick and they build you a shopping mall!”

I love that movie! It makes me laugh every time. Well I can assure you that I cannot build a shopping mall out of a toothpick and on most days, I wouldn’t be able to find the mall itself. With that being said, let’s hope I am never dropped into the wilderness. If that ever happened, my instincts would tell me to find the nearest tree to climb to get cell phone reception. As my hands gripped the bark and my Italian shoes rubbed against the sap of the tree trunk, I would ask myself one question. “Marc, why in the world didn’t you pay more attention in Boy Scouts?” Tree climbing skills would come in handy at that very moment. I guess during my boy scout years, I was too busy wondering why we had to wear such hideous outfits. My mother still has a picture of me smiling wearing a sky blue scout’s cap with a brown visor. Did I mention the picture is inset in a handmade, heart-shaped wood shaving frame (courtesy of the Scouts)?

Long story short, it is very important that we have unique features on our houses that help the directionally challenged find our homes. This way we give them (and myself) the chance to find your home at the next BBQ party! I personally love to add a little whimsy to a home by placing planted pots with a stenciled house number by the front door.

Stenciled Outdoor Planted Pots


  • Small Terracotta Pot
  • Medium Terracotta Pot
  • Large Terracotta Pot
  • Stenciled numbers
  • Krylon Dual Paint + Primer Spray Paint (White)
  • Krylon Indoor/Outdoor Spray Paint (Bahama Sea – Blue)
  • Plants of your choice
  • Potting soil

Step 1:

Prime all three Terra Cotta pots using Krylon Dual Paint + Primer in White. Apply a second coat of white to the medium pot and two coats of blue to the small pot. Let dry.

MarcAtiyolil_Outdoor Pot_Step2a MarcAtiyolil_Outdoor Pot_Step2c MarcAtiyolil_Outdoor Pot_Step2d

Step 2:

Add your house number with self adhesive numbers to the front of the large pot. Spray two coats of blue Krylon Indoor/Outdoor Spray Paint Spray Paint. Let dry.

MarcAtiyolil_Outdoor Pot_Step3a MarcAtiyolil_Outdoor Pot_Step3c

Step 3:

Remove the numbered stencil and get your hands dirty! Fill the large pot halfway with potting soil. Set the media pot inside the large pot.

MarcAtiyolil_Outdoor Pot_Step4

Step 4:

Fill the medium pot halfway with potting soil and set the small pot inside the medium pot. Fill small pot with soil.

MarcAtiyolil_Outdoor Pot_Step5

Step 5:

Dig and plant greenery in each tier. Fill the remainder of the container with potting soil.

MarcAtiyolil_Outdoor Pot_Final

Step 6:

Water your new house feature and next time you have a party write on the invite: “The house with the blue and white potted plant beside the door.” Oh, and make sure to include your phone number on the invite for those who need help finding the actual street. Happy Summer!

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