How to Make a Lantern with a Painted Terra Cotta Flower Pot

Terra Cotta Flower Pot Lantern

Lately, I have been concentrating on larger projects, like the DIY wired laundry basket and the floating shelves in the bathroom.  So for today’s post, I am sharing a super easy terra cotta pot craft idea that you can make in less than half an hour with an extra hour in drying time for the paint.

Two examples of painted terra cotta pot crafts, using white chalk paint, flowers and hurricane lamp shades to make floral lanterns.

A couple of week’s ago I purchased a small stack of terra cotta pots for crafting, painted them white and then did nothing with them until I saw the hurricane lantern tops at Michael’s on sale for $2.  Swoop in the cart they went.

A hurricane lamp shade with sales tag as inspiration for a diy terra cotta pot craft project.

Tutorials for Two Styles of Lantern

As you may know, I love using miniature lights in my flower arrangements so the first style I made using the lights.  The mini light version is perfect for a covered porch, a cabin, or indoors, but I also wanted one I could leave outside so I created a second version.

With the exception of the mini lights, both lanterns require the same supplies.

Terra Cotta  Flower Pot  Lantern Supplies

One Small and One Medium Terra Cotta Pot

White Chalk Paint

Glass hurricane lamp shades

Small concrete medallion (with holes for attaching)

Small annual garden flowers, potting soil

Embroidery cotton and sticky putty, or miniature lights

The supplies needed to make a terra cotta lantern craft idea using terra cotta pots, flowers, and lights.

Paint the flower pots inside and outside with two coats of white chalk paint.  Let dry between coats.

Place the small pot open side down inside the large pot.

Flowers being planted in a terra cotta clay pot craft idea.

Fill the space around the smaller pot with small annual garden flowers like allysums.  Then add any extra garden soil.  I only used a couple of tablespoons of soil to fill my pot size.  Make sure that the soil is lower than the center of the small pot. To fill the pot and make them pretty today,  I used 5 plants.   As the flowers grow I will need to trim and/or remove some of the plants.

Mini Light Terra Cotta Pot Lantern

A terra cotta pot craft using chalk paint, mini lights and flowers to make a pretty flower pot lantern.

Place the battery pack for the mini lights on top of the terra cotta pot.  Hide the top of the battery pack with the medallion.  The flowers will hide the sides of the battery pack.  Place a faux candle mini light on top.  Then add your hurricane lantern cover.   To protect my miniature lights I won’t leave this version outdoors permanently where it can get rained on.

Outdoor Terra Cotta Pot Lantern

DIY terra cotta lantern with white chalk paint. An easy to do terra cotta craft.

As you don’t need the medallion to camouflage the battery pack I used it as an embellishment.  It would look really nice tied on with twine or gingham ribbon as well, but I chose purple embroidery thread from the dollar store to match the purple allysums.

A concrete medallion and embroidery thread for attaching to a painted terra cotta pot idea.

To attach the medallion use the whole length of embroidery cotton.  To open it without tangling I looped mine over a knob on the cupboard, opened it and then repeatedly folded it in half.  Once it was refolded I tied the ends into small knots.

A concrete medallion and embroidery thread for attaching to a painted terra cotta pot idea.

Weave the thread through holes in the medallion.  Tie on to the front of the flower pot.  To keep it secure I added some putty to the back of the medallion as an afterthought.  I did not glue it.

A pair of terra cotta garden lanterns made using mini lights and white chalk paint.

The lanterns are really pretty at night,   I am hopeful that the photograph gives you an idea of just how nice they are.

DIY terra cotta flower pot lanterns.


  1. I love ethereal lighting for evenings sitting outside with friends and family! Such a cute idea ~ definitely pinned for you! <3 Coming over from Courtney's Feathered Nest Friday at French Country Cottage today! So nice that you were featured!!!

    Happy Mother's Day to you,
    Barb šŸ™‚

  2. This is such a lovely project! I’ve been looking for something as a centerpiece for the patio table, and I think this is it! Thanks for sharing with Party in Your PJs!

    1. LeannaForsythe says:

      Right on, it makes me happy to know that. I think they will look wonderful, and they aren’t too tall either.

  3. Leanna this is so cute and you know what? I just happen to have found one of those lantern glasses so now I know exactly where I can use it. Thanks for the inspiration.

  4. What a great idea! I love anything that lights up! I will have to remember this for sure and make one. I would love one for my patio too!

  5. How pretty as part of an outdoor tablescape. There’s nothing worse than not being able to see what you’re eating, LOL! Visiting from Happy Now party.

  6. Your little lanterns literally just made me gasp when I saw how beautiful they look all lit up. What a stunning idea Leanna

  7. These are adorable, Leanna, love this idea! You had me at $2 for the hurricane shades – makes me want to get out of paint splattered yoga pants and see if they still have some. I’d love to have these on my potting bench in the backyard. Pinned šŸ™‚

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