Monday, April 1, 2013

Past Their Prime to Pot Whimsy

{reduce, reuse, recycle, reclaim, repurpose, respect}

This week, I'm continuing to focus on cleaning out the potting shed and repurposing garden items that have seen better days.

Let me just say, my potting shed looks nothing like this incredible space. Oh, the envy!

But, I do want to share some ideas on repurposing and recycling your terra cotta and ceramic pots. Stained pots. Broken pots. Idle pots. 

Last fall, before the extended cold set in, I pulled a small- to medium-sized pot out of my potting shed for use in a holiday center piece. It was mossy, with white and yellow stains. It had a crack in it and a chip out of the lip. 

I cleaned it off with a wire brush, but didn't worry about getting it perfectly clean. I wanted it to have a rough finish to go with a mercury glass globe I planned to add to the top. I transformed the pot with a mixture of gesso and a paint sample with the name of  "Marble Glass."

You can see how I made the faux mercury glass tree here.

Crafty uses for terra cotta pots have been around a long time. "Pot people," windchimes, garden fountains and birdbaths are among the more common projects and can be found in abundance on Pinterest, if you're interested.

I set out to find a few more unique uses for old pots and found a few that I really liked.

The Sage Butterfly's post about using broken pots in the garden is one of my favorites.  In addition to using pieces of broken pots to cover the holes in the pots she still plants in, she uses broken ceramic and terra cotta pots in a unique way in the garden. I love what she's done with some of her pieces.

I hope you'll visit The Sage Butterfly to see more of her lovely buried treasure. I'm going to try her technique on this large pot. The rim broke off a couple of years ago and it's been sitting in a corner in my potting shed since. Time to put it to good use.

I have plans for both the bottom and the rim.

My son is interested in unique lighting created from repurposed parts, so lighting projects tend to catch my eye. Apartment Therapy offers a tutorial for making pendant lamps from terra cotta pots.

I think these would be especially charming made from used pots that have some garden stain and moss charm attached.

Once Wed's DIY Wedding Cupcake Stand is adorable and could be used for any occasion. In fact, it could be used to display jewelry or other small items, too. You will find the how-to for this pot project here.

Rosemary at Villabarnes is a master at repurposing all sorts of wonderful finds. I loved this pot she designed and pinned it when she first posted it. Such a lovely use of a pot. With Rosemary's treatment, you don't have to worry if your pot has nicks, chips or cracks. They'd simply add character. 

As you sort through your gardening items this spring, don't be too quick to toss old pots that might not be in perfect condition. 

Maybe you saw a pot project or two here that you might be inclined to try? Do you have your own recycled pot projects to share? Leave a comment and a link to your earth-friendly makeover or idea.

Make it a great day!
Linking to:


  1. You've rounded up some wonderful ideas - thanks! I should get out and go clean my pots too and get planning!!

  2. I have a few of these pots, painted and plain (but intact) just waiting for warmer weather. Breaking them for garden art sounds like fun. These are some clever and pretty ideas, tfs!

    Gloria, New End Studio- visiting from Creative Bloggers link.

  3. I love old pots! I can't wait to see what you do with this broken one. Thanks for linking up at the Upcycled Linky Party at

  4. Lots of good ideas here - but first, to brave the spiders and the mess in the shed will take some courage on my part!

  5. Those are wonderful ideas for old pots. There are some really cools one to try! I am totally in love with the cake and cupcake holders!!

  6. Great ideas. I have so many pots!

  7. What fun ideas! I never would have thought of using them as lamp shades, but why not? Have fun finding treasures in your potting shed. :)

  8. Thanks for sharing your wonderful ideas for pots at Project Inspired - pinned to our group party pinboard - hope to see you at tomorrow nights party too!

  9. I remember your mercury glass post, a great project. Rosemary always has great projects too. I have some broken concrete posts with angels on them and I use them tucked in among my flowers. Have a great week, Laura

  10. Great projects! The broken pots in the garden are great little toad houses too!


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.