Our New Favorite Instagram DIY Trend Will Have You Running To The Craft Store

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Collective Gen (or Geneva Vanderzeil @collective.gen) started an Instagram movement when she began the hashtag #TrashtoTerracotta. Between vases, Christmas ornaments and more, bloggers all over are turning their home decor into terracotta masterpieces. Here’s how it all started and how you can get terracotta-ing.


How It All Started

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Geneva Vanderzeil started her blog, Collective Gen, in 2008. She’s also the author of “Home Is Where You Make It” which she released in 2020. In December of 2019, she posted this blog post where she explained how to paint ugly vases into gorgeous terracotta pieces. Since that post, #TrashtoTerracotta blew up on social media and everyone started doing it. When she first started the project, she had only specifically used terracotta paint, but ever since then she has been trying and testing new ways and methods.

The Three Ways To Terracotta

In a more recent blog post, Vanderzeil described her process and how it has shifted since her initial post. Check it out below!

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Terracotta Paint:

The first way includes using terracotta paint (this one has amazing reviews!). While the exact paint she uses can only be purchased in Australia, she gives other examples as well. Basically, this method uses specific paint to change the color of the vases. You paint a few coats, and you’re done! This way is definitely the most simple, but it can’t be done with household paints.

terracotta paint

White Terracotta:

After posting her first method, many of her readers were dying to know if they could have the same terracotta look but with using white paint. This led her to try out mixing any type of white paint with baking soda to get a textured white terracotta look. When she realized that this method could work with any color paint, option #3 came into existence.

terracotta paint

Terracotta Paint in Any Color:

Personally, this is my favorite option and it is so EASY. I have a ton of acrylic paint tubes around the house, and all you need to do is mix them with is baking soda (but I’ve found that powder works too!). Take whatever color acrylic paint you would like to use, mix some baking soda into it, and there you go. It will have a rough texture that perfectly mimics real terracotta. I’ve painted vases, Christmas ornaments and more with this stuff! This method can take anything bland and turn it into a classy decoration. My favorite colors to use are pinks, whites, tans and oranges. For the Christmas ornaments, I even used a light green and it turned out amazing! So, grab some paint and baking soda, mix them together, and start transforming your household items!

terracotta paint

terracotta paint


Have you tried #TrashtoTerracotta? What crafts plans do you have? Comment below!

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