Organize & Clean

How To Make Terra Cotta Pot Pendant Lamps

updated Jul 17, 2020
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(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

At last night’s Apartment Therapy Design Evening, we heard from a couple of readers who presented their original DIY projects in front of a sold-out crowd. For those who weren’t able to make it, here are the full instructions for making Robin Horton’s Terra Cotta Pot Pendant Lamps.

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Robin Horton of Urban Gardens came up with this clever DIY lamp for a potting shed they converted into a “Creative Garden Retreat”. They used ordinary reclaimed terra cotta garden pots, turned them upside down, added a ceiling cord set, and hung them as ceiling pendant lamps, bringing a bit of garden to an indoor room.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

What You Need
• Terracotta Garden Pots
• Ceiling Cord Set (find at IKEA or Home Depot, or here if you prefer cloth cords)
• Toggle-bolt hooks to hang the lamp

Step By Step Instructions
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 the 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 narrow inexpensive molding over the cord and paint it to match your wall. Alternatively, you can wrap the cord in something to make it a decorative element — either some chandelier cord covers or wrap 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.)

Thanks, Robin!

(Images: Robin Horton)