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Making a Terra Cotta Lighthouse

Category Yard Art
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.
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Solutions

Share on ThriftyFunThis guide contains the following solutions. Have something to add? Please share your solution!

By 35 found this helpful
June 9, 2014

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

Supplies:

  • 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)
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Steps:

  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. Stack the pots and use a pencil to mark where they overlap. Now you have the area that will show when they are stacked.
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  4. 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.
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  6. Paint the red areas, allowing to dry in between coats. Apply paint until you have even coverage.
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  8. Paint the white areas, allowing paint to dry in between coats. Apply paint until you have even coverage.
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  10. Optional: You can spray your painted lighthouse with exterior polyurethane for added protection.
  11. 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.
  12. Add a candle to the lantern and enjoy your new lighthouse!
Comment Was this helpful? 35
May 7, 20170 found this helpful

I like this always wanted to make one of these alright if I copy this

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
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By 123 found this helpful
July 27, 2009

This terracotta lighthouse is just 2 large plant pots cemented together and painted, with a lantern on top.

By patanthar

Comment Was this helpful? 123
May 9, 20130 found this helpful
Top Comment

I love lighthouses, made this large black and white one for me, with the solar light on top. I've made a few smaller ones, that I will try selling at my craft shows. I just need to learn how to paint straighter especially when it comes to the windows and such. So easy to make.

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Videos

January 5, 201755 found this helpful

Make a cute terra cotta pot lighthouse for you garden. Check out this video and learn how easy they are to make!

Comment Was this helpful? 55
August 14, 20160 found this helpful

I love that !!! Absolutly beautiful !

Thanks for this Idea.

Isabelle, from France.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
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Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

May 13, 20140 found this helpful

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

By Liz

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
May 25, 20140 found this helpful
Best Answer

That's a Rotera tea light holder from ikea. http://m.ikea.c … ts/art/90257982/

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
June 8, 20140 found this helpful

Walmart

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
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July 20, 20140 found this helpful

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

By M. Campbell from Front Royal, VA

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
May 5, 20170 found this helpful

HOW TO MAKE THE WINDOWS AND DOORS ON THE TERRA COTTA LIGHTHOUSE

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
May 5, 20170 found this helpful

I NEED TO KNOW HOW TO DO THE WINDOW AND DOORS ON TERRA COTTA POTS SO THEY WILL BE STRAIGHT AND ALSO WHERE TO GET THE FENCING FOR THE TOP

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
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May 16, 20140 found this helpful

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

By Brenda from Morristown, TN

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
May 20, 20140 found this helpful
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.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes

June 7, 20140 found this helpful

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

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
June 13, 20140 found this helpful

I used Folk Art multi-surface paint. It states that it can be used on terra cotta. Use a good quality brush to minimize streaking. Multiple coats of spray acrylic coating will pretty much hide the streaks. I ordered light house tops from Target (lighthouse tea light holders). Good Luck!

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
June 16, 20140 found this helpful

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.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
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May 29, 20140 found this helpful

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

By Tray J. from Dannemora, NY

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
October 19, 20150 found this helpful

I found a box of 6 at Home Depot for $18 that fit perfectly on a 4" saucer.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
Anonymous
April 25, 20160 found this helpful

Family Dollar has the solar lanterns, in pastel colors. Just spray paint black. Comes in three peices. I got all they had. They were 2 dollars a peice.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
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By 0 found this helpful
July 14, 2015

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

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
July 19, 20150 found this helpful

Try a red clay plate like the kind that u put red clay pots on, but I would think you would want it slightly larger than the bottom pot of the lighthouse and glue the whole thing in the center of it, either with the plate upside down or right side up.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
December 27, 20150 found this helpful

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

Reply Was this helpful? Yes

June 4, 20140 found this helpful

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

By Janet T

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
May 23, 20150 found this helpful

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 :)

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
Anonymous
November 6, 20151 found this helpful

What size pots do you use to make the 5ft tall lighthouse??

Reply Was this helpful? 1
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By 0 found this helpful
August 6, 2014

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

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
May 10, 20150 found this helpful

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

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
October 19, 20150 found this helpful

I did one 4 pots high with no problem.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes

By 0 found this helpful
July 4, 2015

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.

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
July 6, 20150 found this helpful

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

Reply Was this helpful? Yes

March 25, 20150 found this helpful

Has anyone ever cut the bottom of the pot out so the "lighthouse" can fit over a well cap?

By DT

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
April 29, 20170 found this helpful

Yes,with a dermal. Drill with a mason pit then follow with dremmel sand paper disk. My favorite troll was my nail genie. For some reason it worked faster. Even to drill whole in top plate for latern to go thru. Took a little time didn't want to crack plate. So be patient.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes

August 8, 20140 found this helpful

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

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
January 6, 20150 found this helpful

Looks like an IKEA lantern.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes

July 5, 20140 found this helpful

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

By Juanita

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
August 18, 20150 found this helpful

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

Reply Was this helpful? Yes

June 8, 20140 found this helpful

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

By Debbie

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
June 9, 20140 found this helpful

Any glue that works for outside use is fine.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes

By 0 found this helpful
May 24, 2014

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

By Ellie G.

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
June 9, 20140 found this helpful

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

Reply Was this helpful? Yes

By 0 found this helpful
May 2, 2015

What size clay pots are used to make the large terra cotta light house -using 5 pots?

Answer Was this helpful? Yes

March 25, 20150 found this helpful

I need specific instructions for Cape Hatteras clay pot lighthouse.

By Deb

Answer Was this helpful? Yes

June 7, 20140 found this helpful

How large of pots did you use?

By Linda from Denison, IA

Answer Was this helpful? Yes

June 4, 20140 found this helpful

What is the black part of the lighthouse just below the lamp. It looks circular with a rail?

By Patty

Answer Was this helpful? Yes

May 25, 20140 found this helpful

Great idea- Is the little light battery operated? Does yours really light up?

By Winona from RI

Answer Was this helpful? Yes

Archives

ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

July 27, 20090 found this helpful

Terra Cotta Lighthouse
Terra Cotta Lighthouse

Time Required for project:



Drying time of 24 hours for the silicone caulk
Drying time of 4-8 hours for the paint

Materials:

Terra Cotta Lighthouse

Instructions:


You will need to buy or find 5-6 graduated terra cotta pots depending on how tall you want this. With outdoor silicone, glue each pot to the other while each pot is turned up side down. You now have your tower for your lighthouse. With good outdoor paint, Paint your lighthouse. Pictures can be found online for the stripes as each lighthouse is different.

Coat tower with spray varnish or clear plastic coat. Top with a solar garden light. You may need to enlarge the hole on the top pot to be able to put the garden light on. This can be accomplished with a dremel tool with a sanding drum mandrel.

These would be especially pretty lining a drive way. These would also be pretty on a table using smaller terracotta pots that can be found at most craft stores. For the light on top, use a baby food jar with a glow stick that should glow until your party is over

By Debra from Colorado Springs, CO

Answers:

Terra Cotta Lighthouse

Dear Debra, How clever. this is a fantastic idea for me as I like all things nautical. I would like to try this for my garden. Thanks for sharing. (11/21/2006)

By downunderchick

Terra Cotta Lighthouse

What a great idea! (12/29/2006)

By nmcl

Terra Cotta Lighthouse

Great idea. I will give this to Dad for Father's day! (05/06/2007)

By momo5

Terra Cotta Lighthouse

I love lighthouse. I was looking for an idea for my pots. Thanks for the wonderful idea, keep em coming! (04/27/2008)

By lessa

Comment Was this helpful? Yes
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