Introduction: Tipsy Pots Tower Planter

Picture of Tipsy Pots Tower Planter

My husband saw this clay pot tower in someone's yard several years ago and I just had to figure out how to make one. I found some very limited information online and learned they were called Tipsy Pots. I also have full instructions on my website as well as a PDF Printer Friendly version of the instructions. This project has also been featured in the April/May 2009 Issue of Birds and Blooms. (Update: 11/21/17: I have closed down the gardens and crafts website. Visit our new website

This is a great way to utilize all those clay pots we gardeners sometime collect over the years. Having all the plants in one place saves time and water.

Also, don't limit yourself to just clay pots, you can use any relatively round object that has a hole in the bottom. I also made a neat version out of old tea kettles, which you can view on the website link I gave above.

Step 1: Step 1 - Prepare the Site

Picture of Step 1 - Prepare the Site

First, clear a spot in your garden. Remove the sod and pound in a 66" long piece of 1/2" diameter rebar into the soil at least two feet. This is very important for stability as the pots being stacked on it will be heavy with soil, water and plants. Surround the area with several layers of black/white newspaper to help block any weeds that might come up through the mulch.

Note: Depending on the height of the pots you have chosen, you may need to lengthen or shorten the piece of rebar. I would suggest you measure the height of all the pots ahead of time and then add 24" to that total before cutting your rebar.

Step 2: Step - 2 Start Stacking

Picture of Step - 2 Start Stacking

Place a 12" round clay pot at the base of the rebar, threading the rod through the drainage hole in the pot. Fill the pot with potting mix, leaving an inch or two at the top and water it in.

Step 3: Step 3 - Continue Stacking

Picture of Step 3 - Continue Stacking

Slide a 10" clay pot over the rod in the same manner and tilt it on it's side. The bottom will be resting on the soil. Fill pot with soil leaving at least two inches at the top.

Step 4: Step 4 - Finish Stacking and Plant

Picture of Step 4 - Finish Stacking and Plant

Continue stacking 10" pots on the rod alternating the way they lean until you run out of rod. We were able to use five pots based on their size and the length of the rod we started with. I would not recommend going any higher than this as it will be hard to water and the tower could become unstable. Now you are ready to plant the pots. To see a detailed account of what I planted, go to my website.

Step 5: Step 5 - Finished

Picture of Step 5 - Finished

Once planted, your tower will look something like this. You may need to add a little more soil around each plant as you are putting them in, but leave at least an inch at the top of each pot so that when you water, the water does not run out too fast. You can mulch the pots to help prevent this.

To water, start at the top and water slowly. Pour the water on until it starts to run out. Stop watering that pot and go to the next. Continue until all pots have been watered. Wait several minutes then repeat the process. Clay pots tend to dry out quickly, so you can slow this down by sealing or painting the pots first and lining the inside of the pots with newspaper. You can also use water absorbing crystals in your potting mix. This tower may need to be watered twice a day if you have temps in the 90s or more.


heidisatwork made it! (author)2017-06-10

Hi, great instructable, I made one like this a few years ago and it was really cute. My biggest problem was that the soil wanted to always run into the lower pot. But I had it up for over a year and it grew well.

swedishfish4ever (author)2015-04-06

How much is the rebar, i really want to maje this, but am on disabilty, so am on a budget.

Rebar is cheap no more than 4 dollars

Try demolition yards & recycling centres at your local tip. You can probably get it cheaper there.

Doctor What (author)2009-04-08

That's very cute!

Where do I get rebar from or can I use something else?

You can get rebar (sometimes called re-rod) at any big box home improvement store like Lowes or Home Depot. They may also sell it in more hometown stores like Do It Best and Ace Hardware.

iPodGuy (author)2012-05-06

Mothers' Day 2012?

Piece of cake thanks to you.

Awesome instructable!

1mercedes1 (author)2012-03-31

I love these Tipsy Pots; I too have been wanting one of these for several years, this is the year! :)

straycatmeow (author)2012-03-28

This is beautiful! I'm going to try doing this with my herbs this year

cairparavel (author)2012-03-27

I love this! My dogs love to trample my flowers so this would be a great solution!

cvianzon (author)2011-11-13


lotusduck (author)2009-04-24

I bet you could do this with a rope hanging from something instead of a piece of rebar anchored in the ground.

jello666 (author)lotusduck2010-05-27

You would probably want to use stainless cable or chain because even nylon rope will rot after a while .
That is a awesoe idea though thanks!

connors33 (author)2010-05-09

 could you use plastic pots for this aas well? can get very creative with this project.  I made one using old teapots as well.

chalky (author)2009-08-11

and heres mine:) i finally got around to making it lol

chalky (author)2009-07-12

Thanks for this! I remember when i was a kid i used to wall past a garden on the way to school that had one of these in and it used to amaze me(lol i know simple minds and all that) anyway ive often wondered how it stayed up and now i know and im going to make one so cheeeeers:)

wyodudette (author)2009-05-21

I am doing one with strawberry plants.

bettyroug54 (author)2009-05-21

Absolutely marvelous! What a great idea to create an interesting piece of landscaping. I am going to do this in my front yard garden.

862now (author)2009-05-11

I think I'll try this with succulents. Thanks for the newspaper trick.

MissSmurfsnot (author)2009-05-09

I don't have a garden, but, I do have room on my balcony. would I be able to mod it to stand alone? couple of bricks in a larger base pot perhaps?

Bookdemon (author)MissSmurfsnot2009-05-10

You can find what you are looking for here:<br/><a rel="nofollow" href=""></a><br/>

kyannik (author)2009-05-03

This looks great! I love it. I think I'll make one for my parents this summer.

atomicwoman (author)2009-04-23

I love this. I'm planting herbs in mine!

valmai (author)2009-04-11

i think it,s a great idea will be doing it my self thank you.

ShadowJesus (author)2009-04-10


mmould03 (author)2009-04-10

WONDERFUL IDEA! Will be doing this this afternoon! Thank you for a spectacular yet easy and affordable idea.

rupamagic (author)2009-04-09

Wow, super clever! Form and function at its best!

ChrysN (author)2009-04-08

That looks great, nicely done!

SinAmos (author)2009-04-08

I'm going to tell your straight up. This is freakin' da bomb. I love it. Am I gonna do it, probably not, but I still gots the love.

Sunbanks (author)2009-04-08

I like that :D I think I know what to make for mother's day...

hishealer (author)2009-04-08

Very nice! And a space saver too!

grasshopper2733 (author)2009-04-08

I like this very much..I will be making this.. Thanks..

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