DIY Pendant Lamps From Clay Garden Pots

May 1, 2012 by

Here’s a great way to extend and blend the boundaries between indoors and out. For a designer show house where I helped convert a potting shed into a Creative Garden Retreat, I upcycled ordinary terra cotta garden pots into cool pendant lamps. 
It was easy: We reclaimed a few used pots, turned them upside down, added a ceiling cord set, and hung them as ceiling pendant lamps to bring a bit of garden to the indoor room!

What You Need
• Terracotta Garden Pots
• Ceiling Cord Set (from IKEA or Home Depot) or for a more refined look, a cloth cord set

Home Depot Cord Set


Hemma cord set from IKEA.

Cloth swag cord from Shandell’s

• Toggle-bolt hooks to hang the lamp

Note: You will likely need to enlarge the drainage hole on the bottom of the pot to accommodate the cord socket.

1. Soak the bottom of a terra cotta pot in water for one hour to soften the clay for drilling.

2. Enlarge the hole with a conical rasp bit (or Dremel 562 tile cutting bit) or file.

3. Place the cord socket through the hole of the pot.
–Gently squeeze metal ears on socket and insert socket into hole.
–Release pressure on ears.
–Install light bulb (75 watt maximum)

4. If you want a bit of extra hold, add a bead of sealant around the circumference of the pot opening where it meets cord socket.

5. Hang the Lamp
Hang the pendants using strong ceiling hooks and then run the cord as inconspicuously as possible (across ceiling and down corner of wall) to the nearest outlet.

6. Optional: Hide the Power Cord
You can place some inexpensive narrow molding over the cord, then paint it to match your wall. Alternatively, you can wrap the cord in something to make it a decorative element—like one of those scrunchy chandelier cord covers, or try wrapping the cord in jute or another type of decorative string. (If you use a cloth cord set, you can select a color that works as an accent.)

I hope these will be as much a hit in your space as they were at our designer show house!

Photos: Robin Plaskoff Horton


  1. Marnie Plunkett said:

    These could go with my shovel/hoe curtain rods in my kitchen. Have I posted pics of those on twitter for you before?

    — May 2, 2012 @ 07:59

  2. Lene / Peekaboodesign said:

    Wauv…that looks great. !

    — May 2, 2012 @ 08:09

  3. hazel jarvis said:

    You might even paint the inside of the pot a silver or gold for extra glow. Neat idea

    — May 2, 2012 @ 10:53

  4. Robin Plaskoff Horton said:

    Marnie and Hazel, great ideas! I would love to see the shovel/hoe curtain rods!

    — May 2, 2012 @ 23:50

  5. becky3086 said:

    OMG! I love these!

    — May 3, 2012 @ 14:50

  6. Joe said:

    Terra cotta lights, they seem very fitting for a garden shed.

    — May 4, 2012 @ 01:40

  7. Donna said:

    Very nice idea.

    — May 4, 2012 @ 21:59

  8. Sheds Garden said:

    Brilliant post! Thanks a lot for sharing.

    — May 7, 2012 @ 12:47

  9. electricald said:

    Thanks for share for this cost of any Pot lights Fittings.

    — May 23, 2012 @ 02:57

  10. Tuinvrouw Huisman said:


    What a wunderful idea!!! I used it in my own blog with a link to yours. I hope you agree.

    Many greetings, Anja Huisman (Holland)

    — June 15, 2012 @ 03:36

  11. Liz said:

    Imaginative upcycling, really love it!

    — July 29, 2012 @ 09:55

  12. Agen Bola said:

    I am really thankful to the author of this post for making this lovely and informative article live here for us. We really appreciate ur effort. Keep up the good work. . . .

    — August 16, 2012 @ 22:28

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  17. Amy said:

    I’m thinking about doing something similar in my kitchen. Did you feel like these gave off much light?

    — April 27, 2023 @ 09:05

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