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Pretty clay pots: Make your own

As I browsed through the myriad garden catalogs piling up on the horizontal filing cabinet that doubles as my dining room table, looking for interesting new plants and products, the exorbitant price of some new planters really made an impression. A shabby-chic whitewashed terra-cotta pot -- just 6 inches in diameter -- was being peddled for $68. A "handcrafted" painted number (admittedly very pretty) was going for $89. So this puts me in an awkward position: I don't want to spend that much for glorified terra-cotta, but I don't want to settle for ho-hum clay pots, either. What's more, I certainly don't have time to painstakingly handcraft anything, and I'm guessing you don't, either. But Natalie over at natalme.com showed me that I can save a bunch of money and make some real lookers in less than the time it would take to drive to the garden center or boot up my computer for an online shopping spree. Here are my favorites. --JESSICA DAMIANO, jessica.damiano@newsday.com