Wow! What kind of paint did you use and what did you seal it with? Can I ask what state you are in? I have always been afraid to paint my steps because of my fear that, come winter, the snow and ice will cause the paint to bubble and leave me with a huge eyesore. That is an amazing transformation.
I had some really ugly old plastic pots that I wanted to use outside. I also had a bunch of tree bark from my firewood. I just took large pieces and leaned them around the outside and secured with twine. They look really cute.