One of the best things about living in South Africa is that we get to spend a lot of time outdoors, pottering around in the garden. So it’s no wonder that we enjoy making things for our garden; like these terracotta pot halves. They add so much visual interest and fit right in with this month’s IBC pottery challenge. So I thought I’d share an easy to follow tutorial that shows you how to cut terracotta pots the right way and use them to make create a broken pot fairy garden or these pottery tree planters.

How to cut terracotta pots so they don't break or crack,. Use them to create beautiful outdoor tree planters #terracottapots #treeplanters #easycrafts #planterideas #terracottaplanters

But before I show you how to cut terracotta pots, let me quickly tell you a little about the IBC (Int’l Bloggers Club). Every month a group of bloggers from around the world get together to create something using a common theme. Our previous challenge was all about wool and we shared our secret tricks to make the fluffiest pom poms ever!! You’ll be able to see what my friends did with their pottery challenge at the end of the post.

What you need

If you want to cut terracotta pots quickly and easily you’ll need one of my favorite tools – a Dremel. Whoever invented that thing deserves an award. If power tools frighten you, then a Dremel is just what the doctor ordered to get you over that fear. They’re lightweight and so easy to use. Plus they come with all these teeny-tiny, little attachments which means you can use your Dremel to slice, dice, drill, screw, sand, buff…… well just about anything you can do with a normal power tool 😉 To cut the terracotta pots you’ll need the diamond cutting wheel attachment, some water, gloves, and a dust mask.

If you plan to turn the terracotta pots into tree planters you’ll also need some outdoor garden twine.

What you need to make the terracotta tree planters #terracottapots #treeplanters #easycrafts #planterideas #terracottaplanters #acraftymix

How to cut terracotta pots the right way

Terracotta pots can be difficult to cut cleanly. They’re quite brittle and crack or chip easily. And cutting them is a dusty business. So best do it outside and to reduce dust while you work, soak the terracotta pots in some water for about 20 minutes first.

Place the terracotta pots in water for a few minutes #acraftymix #cutterracotta #tipsandtricks

Let the pots sit for a few minutes to dry out a little before cutting. Mark where you want to cut.

Mark where to cut #terracottapots #treeplanters #easycrafts #planterideas #terracottaplanters #acraftymix

And secure the terracotta pot in a vice or on some kind of stable surface.

Place the terracotta pots in a vice to secure #terracottapots #treeplanters #easycrafts #planterideas #terracottaplanters #acraftymix

Put on your protective gear and move the diamond cutting disc slowly along the cut mark to avoid wearing out the disc.

Use a Dremel and diamond cutting blades #terracottapots #treeplanters #easycrafts #planterideas #terracottaplanters #acraftymix

Take it slow and steady so the disc doesn’t overheat and crack the pot.

Use a Dremel and diamond cutting blades #terracottapots #treeplanters #easycrafts #planterideas #terracottaplanters #acraftymix

Apply a slight, downward pressure as you move the disc along the cut mark.

The first cut has been made #terracottapots #treeplanters #easycrafts #planterideas #terracottaplanters #acraftymix

When the first side is done, flip the pot over and lightly score the other side along the mark you made earlier. It should crack along the score mark without you having to cut all the way through, very much like when cutting a piece of slate to make a heart.

The other side's cut has been made #terracottapots #treeplanters #easycrafts #planterideas #terracottaplanters #acraftymix

Remove the cut terracotta pots from the vice and sand the cut edges.

Two equal unbroken halves of a terracotta pot #terracottapots #treeplanters #easycrafts #planterideas #terracottaplanters #acraftymix

And they’re ready to be turned into tree planters.

How to cut terracotta pots so they don't break or crack,. Use them to create beautiful outdoor tree planters #terracottapots #treeplanters #easycrafts #planterideas #terracottaplanters #acraftymix

Turning the cut terracotta pots into tree planters

Turning the terracotta pot halves into tree planters couldn’t be easier. All you need is a suitable tree and a piece of garden twine.

Use twine to tie the pots to the tree #terracottapots #treeplanters #easycrafts #planterideas #terracottaplanters

Place the cut terracotta pots against the tree and wrap the twine a few times around both the pot and the tree to secure. Don’t tie them on too tightly to avoid damaging the tree. Just make sure they’re flush up against the tree and won’t slip down.

A side view of the terracotta pots tied to a tree. #terracottapots #treeplanters #easycrafts #planterideas #terracottaplanters #acraftymix

We put ours on a yucca that’s growing outside our front door.

Tie the "broken" terracotta post to a tree for a unique little planter #terracottapots #treeplanters #easycrafts #planterideas #terracottaplanters #acraftymix

Add a few small pebbles, sphagnum peat moss, potting soil, and suitable water-wise plants to the pots. Terracotta is porous, which is great for preventing soil disease and root rot. But, it does mean that the pots won’t “retain” water as well as other materials, so it’s best to plant something that’s drought-tolerant. The peat moss will help with water retention too.

A close up of this stunning terracotta planter. They look so cool tied to the tree like that #terracottapots #treeplanters #easycrafts #planterideas #terracottaplanters #acraftymix

I planted some creeping thyme in ours. It doesn’t mind a little shade and is very drought tolerant once established. We have lots of thyme in the garden. It’s one of my favorite plants to use in our fairy gardens. A lovely Flowering Ivy (Senecio Macroglossus) and succulents will work too. What would you plant in yours?

If you like the idea of using terracotta pots as tree planters don’t forget to pin it for later.
How to cut terracotta pots so they don't break or crack,. Use them to create beautiful outdoor tree planters #terracottapots #treeplanters #easycrafts #planterideas #terracottaplanters #acraftymix

And if you’re looking for some of the things we used, we’ve got you covered Disclosure: Clicking on the links below, means we may receive a commission from Amazon. But don’t worry it won’t come out of your pocket, and it helps us come up with more amazing craft ideas to share with you 😉

Newly Designed Natural Terracotta Fallen Pot or Hanging Pot with Loops Handles
KINGLAKE Natural Jute Twine String 328 Feet Best Arts Crafts Gift Wrapping Twine Christmas Twine Durable Packing String
Goodman and Wife Newly Designed Hand Pressed Ancient Stressed Terracotta Petal Shaped Flower Pot or Planter. Large

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Until next time, hope you have a lovely crafty week and don’t forget the see what my friends from the Int’l Bloggers Club have done with their pottery challenge. Their links should be down below.

IBC pottery challenge - Leanna and Sam

Raggedy Bits | Faeries and Fauna

Made with love by a Crafty Mix