Making a Terra Cotta Lighthouse

An inexpensive craft project made with clay pots is a lighthouse for a garden decoration. This is a guide about making a terra cotta lighthouse.

Terra Cotta Lighthouse
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Terra Cotta LighthouseThis terracotta lighthouse is just 2 large plant pots cemented together and painted, with a lantern on top.

By patanthar

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I found the perfect lantern at Ikea to use for this clay pot lighthouse. These cute yard decorations are easy to make!

clay pot lighthouse in garden


  • candle lantern
  • clay pots (various sizes that stack)
  • primer spray paint
  • outdoor craft paint (I used Patio Paint brand)
  • ruler
  • pencil
  • paint brush
  • E6000 glue (or similar)


  1. Spray the clay pots with multiple layers of primer. Add layers and allow to dry according to primer instructions. Spray them in a well ventilated area.
  2. primed pots 1primed pots 3primed pots 4
  3. Stack the pots and use a pencil to mark where they overlap. Now you have the area that will show when they are stacked.
  4. mark overlap 1mark overlap 2
  5. Divide the exposed area into equal sections for the painted stripes. I chose to have 2 red stripes and 2 white stripes. Use a ruler to make marks all the way around the pot, then connect the marks so that you have a guide line for painting.
  6. mark stripes 1mark stripes 2stripes marked on pots
  7. Paint the red areas, allowing to dry in between coats. Apply paint until you have even coverage.
  8. paint red stripes 1red stripes
  9. Paint the white areas, allowing paint to dry in between coats. Apply paint until you have even coverage.
  10. paint white stripeswhite stripes
  11. Optional: You can spray your painted lighthouse with exterior polyurethane for added protection.
  12. Apply glue to the pots and stack them together. Apply glue to the bottom of the lantern and the top of the clay pot lighthouse base. Attach lantern. Allow glue to dry completely.
  13. put glue on lanternput glue on pot
  14. Add a candle to the lantern and enjoy your new lighthouse!
  15. candle in lanternClay Pot LighthouseClay Pot Lighthouse at night
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Make a cute terra cotta pot lighthouse for you garden. Check out this video and learn how easy they are to make!

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Where can the top of lighthouse be purchased ? It looks like one that is on my lighthouse I purchased from Walmart.

By Liz

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Best Answer

That's a Rotera tea light holder from ikea.

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What do you use for the base of the 5 pot lighthouse please? Thanks.

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    It does look like a larger saucer upside down painted Black!

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    What kind of cement is used to put the pots together?

    By Brenda from Morristown, TN

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    Best Answer

    You can stick just about anything to anything with E6000 glue avail in craft and home improvement stores. It comes clear, black or white so be sure to get the color you prefer.

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    What kind of paint do you use for the lighthouse? Is it spray paint, as last time I painted a terra cotta pot with a paint brush it was all streaky. Any ideas on how to paint it so it is even and has not got the streak lines?

    By Wendy

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    Make sure your paint is colder than what you are painting even if you have to put it in the fridge. It should result in a streak-free finish.

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    What sizes of pots do you recommend for making this feature? The pots that I have looked at stack too low down on each other.

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      You can place small blocks of wood, plastic, etc., between the pots so that they can stack as whatever size you prefer.

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      What kind of lantern did you attach to the light house? How do you connect the pots together for the pot heads?

      By Deborah from Perrysburg, OH

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      Looks like an IKEA lantern.

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      Has anyone had a problem with the weight of 3 or 4 pots stacked on each other breaking the ones below them?

      By Nina W

      AnswerWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

      I made lighthouses stacking 3 pot with no breaking problems. I would feel ok doing 4.

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      How did you make the windows on the terra cotta lighthouse?

      By M. Campbell from Front Royal, VA

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      I was wondering the same thing, I'm guessing they had a template.

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      What is used for the fencing at the top of the large lighthouse?

      By Juanita

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      Some one was wanting to know where to get fencing for light houses. Hobby lobby sells these in 3 different sizes.

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      Why do you have to use cement, why couldn't you use Gorilla glue?

      By Debbie

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      Any glue that works for outside use is fine.

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      Are you sure its just two large terra cotta pots? looks like more to me.

      By Janet T

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      The directions are for using 2 pots. The picture at the very top of the page uses 5 pots. I think you can use as many pots as you want per your taste :)

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      Could you possibly use a solar path light, that looks like a lantern, for the &"topper"?

      By Tray J. from Dannemora, NY

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      I've been making lighthouses out of clay pots since '85 and always used the regular solar lights for the top. Recently I did see on the internet where someone bought the lanterns but was going to use a candle with it. If you can find the solar lanterns that fit the size of your top pot's bottom, go for it. Would love to hear how it turned out and your resource for the lanterns.

      ReplyWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

      What type of paint do you use for the clay pots? Should you use two different sizes of pots?

      By Ellie G.

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      A spray primer is a good idea. They make craft acrylic paint that is for outdoor projects. I found it at Joann's. is best to use pots that get progressively smaller in size.

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      Crafts Garden & Yard Yard ArtMay 1, 2014
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