Slate Plant Pots




Introduction: Slate Plant Pots

About: I love making stuff, I love Instructables, I love tools, I love machines, and I love materials. But most of all I love Arnie.

A very low cost and very easy project anyone can make, great activity to get your kids involved in as they are soooo proud of making a quality gift that looks like it was professionally made. 

All you need is the following

Reclaimed slate tiles 30p each (reclamation yard, ebay, old roof)
Wood batons £ free (scrap wood, off cuts or DIY store)
Screws 30p

Total cost = £2 - £2.50 per pot

Screw driver
Drill + masonry or tile drill bit + Screwdriver bit

Step 1: Drilling Tiles

  • Stack four tiles on top of each other, ensuring the nail holes and edges are aligned
  • Measure and mark three holes for the screws (the nail holes count as one hole)
  • Drill through all the tiles at once, be careful not move the tiles whist drilling. If they do move realign them immediately

Step 2: Cutting the Wood Corners

  • Measure the distance between the bottom of the tile and the top hole, now add 20mm
  • Cut four wooded batons to the measurement above

Step 3: Cutting the Wood Corners

  • Measure from the bottom of the tile to in between the first and second holes (see the photo for clarity)
  • Mark this onto each of the four batons and cut

Step 4: Assemble

  • I use Torx screws just because i think they look cool, any wood screw is fine though :)
  • Ensure the wood is aligned with the edge of the tile before screwing in place
  • Attach two batons to one tile covering the top and middle holes, this leaves the bottom home exposed
  • Repeat on another tile

Step 5: Assemble

  • Put the assembled tile on a flat surface
  • Take a unassembled tile and align it to the edge of an assembled one
  • Screw in place
  • Repeat so you have two 'L' shapes

Step 6: Assemble

  • Bring the two 'L' shapes together and screw together

Step 7: Adding the Base

  • Turn the pot upside down and add a slate to the inside
  • You might have to cut the slate to size, there are three ways to do this, none are suitable for kids to do so adults only!

Old School Method
  • Get a machete or thin strip of steel (2-3mm thick)
  • Place the tile on a flat surface with a straight edge
  • Smash the hell out of it :)    (see video)

Quicker Method
  • Use a diamond blade in an angle grinder
  • Cut tile

Neatest Method
  • Get a wet blade tile cutter 
  • Cut tile

Step 8: Fixing the Base

  • Bolt the small pieces of wood in place
  • Turn over and admire your new pot :)

Step 9: Filling

If you have made a large pot it would take a load of soil to fill and be soooooo heavy you would need a JCB to move it

  • Use old water / milk / fizzy drink bottles and neatly stack in base. This is good for a number of reasons it resuses a waste product, makes the pot significantly lighter, and increases drainage
  • Fill the middle with garden shreddings / grass cuttings / plant trimmings. This saves much money on compost :)
  • Add compost to the top layer.

Step 10: Add Plants

  • Add your chosen plant / plants
  • If you wanted the kids to get involved but are too young to make it they can certainly help plant the flowers etc....

Now for the difficult bit...........don't forget to water them :)
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    3 years ago

    Beautiful! I'll have to buy my slates, but I plan to ask for damaged off cuts at the home improvement store (or the stone countertop place, whichever is closer when I remember!) I was thinking about using silicone caulking to put the slates/supports together, and clamping it together until the goo cures. That way, I can avoid the stone dust thing alogether. I so appreciate your idea and instructable and hope that my patio will look much nicer Real Soon Now. (I hate the plastic containers, too!)

    One more little thing: when I have to use something to put around plant pots so they fit in the overly large planter boxes or window boxes, I use packing peanuts, the gross plastic kind. My community does not allow us to recycle them, and I hate throwing them in the trash.

    Once again, thanks! Your instructable is priceless.


    8 years ago on Step 10

    Great i'ble! I'm going to have a go making these this weekend - thanks.
    Just wondering if anyone could propose an alternative to the wood, as it will rot inside the pot. I guess treated wood would last longer but I don't know how much. Also, I imagine you don't need to use slate for the support inside, as it won't be seen - was considering using a plastic pot inside (which would also cut down on the amount of compost needed as you talked about).
    Anyway, please don't take my suggestions as criticism - these look great and are just what I've been looking for for ages. Thanks again.


    Reply 8 years ago on Step 10

    Have made some of these and am really pleased with them - even my wife thinks they look good! I made a slight change and made them so a square plastic pot would sit with the corners of its lip resting on the wood used to join the tiles. That way it avoids the wood contacting the compost (and reduces the amount of compost required). Otherwise exactly the same. Thanks again for a great i'ble. Duncan


    Outstanding! Even if you had to buy the slate tiles new, it would still be cheaper than plastic pots and 100x nicer.


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks :) originaly i did that, it cost approx £6-7 per you quite rightly say, still a bargain :)


    9 years ago on Introduction

    Excellent … your pots are truly beautiful and I have a number of unused slates which now have a good reason to sit in the back of my basement until I make my own pots ! … 
    thank you for posting this inst'


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    That's great, send me a pic when you have made them :)