Use these ideas to turn clay pots into garden art and décor. Craft ideas include terracotta lighthouse, birdhouses, wind chimes, fairy flower pots, and wreaths.
Got the crafting bug? There are dozens more creative DIY garden ideas here.
Terra Cotta Pot Crafts & Decor
There are all sorts of creative projects you can make from clay pots.
I find older, vintage clay pots very pretty and cannot bring myself to paint or alter them. But newer clay pots are not particularly attractive or strong and good candidates for all sorts of crafty, DIY projects.
There are zillions of these pots sitting unused in sheds and garages, so you might find what you need just by checking your own storage spots or asking friends if they might have some they don’t want. There are more tips for finding cheap or free craft supplies in the Resources section.
- 10 Creative Terra Cotta Clay Pot Projects
10 Creative Terra Cotta Clay Pot Projects
1Clay Pot Lighthouse
To create a clay pot lighthouse, you need three different sizes of clay pots.
If you’re displaying it on your patio, add a dollar store solar light (Dollar Tree – US has them) on top for a soft glow at night. Otherwise, lighting a garden at night is not recommended because it is disruptive for nocturnal animals.
DIY Instructions: Garden Art Lighthouse DIY Project | Empress of Dirt
2Clay Pot Birdhouse
Turn some clay pots and saucers into a hanging birdhouse. You will need to create holes in the pots for this project.
3Fairy Garden in a Pot
Use a regular clay pot or choose a broken one to create a fairy garden with some small succulents or other miniature plants.
This guide to choosing living, miniature plants has lots of plant ideas.
The project (above) is from the book Fairy Gardening 101 by Fiona McDonald.
Project by Shanna | Restoration Redoux (site no longer active)
A broken pot also looks great in the garden with flowers spilling out, or, leave it empty to create a toad house. They like cool, shady resting spots.
4 Clay Tipsy Pots
If you see old, vintage clay pots at a yard sale, get them! They are becoming hard to find and look so much nicer than new ones.
Tipsy pots are a good use of vintage pots because you don’t have to alter than in any way.
DIY Instructions: Tipsy Pot Tutorial | Empress of Dirt
5Terra Cotta People
There are lots of these clay pot projects online. Some are goofy, others are creepy or funny, depending on your viewpoint.
Try a Google search of “clay pot people” or “clay pot animals” to see all sorts of ideas.
You will need various sizes of pots, saucers, a power drill, wire, and washers. Clothing is optional.
6Clay Pot Candle Planter
A clay pot makes a good candle holder for the patio. This one is surrounded by some gorgeous, potted red primroses.
DIY Instructions: Project by Stephanie | Garden Therapy
7Potted Plant Shelves
This project is from the book Big Ideas for Small Spaces.
The hanging shelf is custom made to fit the size of the clay pots.
DIY Instructions: DIY Hanging Shelf Project
8Bird & Bee & Butterfly Baths & Fountains
This is a really simple way to make a birdbath: place a large clay saucer on top of an upside-down clay pot.
If you want to secure the saucer in place, use GE II Silicone Sealant.
There are many ways to make a bubbler or water fountain. The main component is a small recirculating pump with the right strength (measured by how much water it can move per hour).
DIY Instructions: Tiered Fountain Project | Katie at Ad’d 2 DIY
9Hand-Painted Clay Pots
How about hand-painting one-of-a-kind designs on clay pots?
DIY Instructions: How To Hand Paint Clay Pots | Empress of Dirt
10Mosaic Clay Pots
If you are new to mosaics, covering a flower pot is a good first project to get a feel for it without requiring a lot of materials.
DIY Instructions: Project by Carrie | Kenarry.com
11Wreath with Mini Clay Pots
I don’t have an image of a clay pot wreath so I made one in Photoshop. I guess you can tell (lol) as it’s kind of goofy looking but you get the idea. It’s a sweet project.
DIY Tutorial: Confessions of a Plate Ad*** for a tutorial.
12Mini Clay Pot Wind Chimes
Get a bunch of same-size pots and make a wind chime. Careful where you hang it in case the pots are fragile.
There are various tutorials online. Most use wire and metal washers to suspend the pots.
How to Instantly Age Clay Pots
If you want the patina of an old clay pot, there are a few options. I always suggest doing a test first to be sure you like the result.
Spray pot with a solution of hydrated lime (also useful in the garden for raising soil pH) and water (1 part lime: 2 parts water). Allow to dry. Sand off excess. Repeat several times. Seal with spray sealant if desired.
White Paint Method
Brush on patches of diluted white acrylic/latex paint with a stiff brush (to get a crosshatch appearance) and immediately remove excess with damp rag.
Yogurt or Buttermilk Slow Method
Brush plain yogurt or buttermilk onto pot. Rub on bits of moss if desired. Over time, algae will grow on the surface. Spray occasionally with water and fertilizer to encourage growth.
Natural, Slow Method
Use your pots! Keep them outdoors. Let nature do its thing.
Thrifty Shopping Tips
Ways to find cheap or free items for crafts, repurposing, & upcycling:
- Check Your Own Stuff
Got stuff in storage? Shop your own home first.
- Family & Friends
Let people know what you’re needing. Make it clear whether you are willing to pay for items.
- Online Ads & Groups
Don’t just watch the ads but place your own stating what you’re looking for.
- Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, Kijiji, Community Groups
- Buy, Sell, Barter, Trade Groups
- Garden Club and Horticultural Society plant sales
- Auction Sales | In-person or online
- Yard Sales
- Thrift Shops & ReStores (used goods including building materials)
- Retail Stores
Use free phone apps like Reebee and Flipp to easily check sale flyers and price watch.
There are countless other save-when-you-shop-through-us apps and incentive programs as well.
Off-season or end-of-season sales are always worth checking as well.
Online / Mail Order
Depending on the deal, it may be worthwhile to pay the shipping.
I hope you found ideas to get your crafty mojo going.
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~Melissa the Empress of Dirt ♛
25 Garden Art Projects & Ideas
by Melissa J. Will
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