My DIY Instructions for a Tipsy Plant Tower





I saw the idea for a really cute ceramic planter tower on Pinterest, but there were not detailed instructions on how to do it.  I went to Lowe's and used one of their cool craft idea sheets and the photo from Pinterest to make my own version of what I call the Tipsy Plant Tower.  This is the finished product.  I planted different herbs in each pot (draping rosemary, oregano, thyme, mint, lavender and sage, but it would be really pretty with flowers too.  This was my first attempt and will be given as a class gift for a favorite teacher who enjoys cooking (and I turned it so it doesn't show on the picture but each small pot is labeled with the name and birthdate of her five grandchildren and the bottom pot says "Mimi and Poppy's Garden Treasures."  

 I've never created an instructable file before, so bear with me.  I'll try hard not to leave anything out.

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Step 1: Here's What You Will Need:

Five  6" standard terra-cotta pots
One 10.5" azalea pot
One 12" terra-cotta saucer (the ones that go under the plants to catch liquid)
Acrylic paints (various colors)
Paint brushes
Turkey baster with bulb removed (I pressed it in paint to make the outline of the polka dots)
Two cans of Valspar Clear Sealer Gloss for Interior/Exterior
Seven 1/2"-13 hot-dipped galvanized zinc hex nuts 
One 1/2"-13 acorn-nut
Seven 1/2x1-1/2" Zinc-plated fender washers
One Steelworks 1/2-13 x 3' threaded rod (Lowe's has them cut to this size already)
Handheld drill
Skil 6 x 1/2" Masonry Bit (around $5 if you don't have one)
parchment paper

Step 2: Power Tool Time!

Each of the clay pots will already have a large hole in the bottom.  The saucer does not.  Following Lowe's recommendations, I soaked the saucer in water for about 10 minutes to keep it from cracking when it is drilled.  I then used the handheld drill and 1/2" masonry bit to drill a hole in the center of the saucer. I put it upside down on the ground outside to drill.  Be sure to come straight down in the center and don't angle or it might crack. 

(I failed to take a picture before painting, but this will give you the idea).

Step 3: Painting the Pots and Saucer

Next comes the painting!

First, I laid the parchment paper out on my work space and then used the acrylic paints I had left over from other projects to paint each pot and the saucer, inside and out (because I'm anal like that).  I put two coats on each one, allowing each to dry in between.

Once the second coat was dry, I used the turkey baster without the rubber bulb to create an outline for my polka dots.  I just dipped the end into white paint and carefully placed it on the pots.  Quickly before the outline dried, I filled in the inside of each polka dot with white paint.

After allowing the polka dots to fully dry, I used the spray on clear gloss finish.  As instructed on the can, I used multiple light coats, allowing it to dry fully between each coat.  

Step 4: And Now for the Assembly...

It took a little trial and error to get this right.  I began by taking the 3' threaded rod and putting a hex nut about 1-1/2" up from the end.  I then placed a fender washer on it.  I slid the saucer onto the threaded rod to rest (concave side down) on the fender washer.  Basically, since the saucer is supposed to help stabilize the tower, I wanted the rod to come down all the way to the floor, but not so far that it caused the saucer's lip to not sit flat.

Next I slid the big azalea pot onto the threaded rod to rest on top of the upside down saucer.  The hole in the azalea pot was pretty big and allowed too much lean, so I next added another fender washer and hex nut to the threaded rod so that they were on the inside of the big azalea pot.

One at a time, I added a hex nut that I twisted down to the desired height (just above the lip of each lower pot) and then put a fender washer on top, followed by a 6" pot.  The pots at this point stood more or less straight up and down, but since there was not a washer and hex nut on the inside of the pot, I could make them lean to one side easily.  When I had placed the very top pot, I placed the acorn hex nut on the inside of that pot, but didn't tighten it down too much to avoid making the top pot stand straight up and down. 

I then filled each pot one by one with planter's soil and replanted some potted herbs.  Before filling and planting, I made sure that the pot was tipping in the direction I wanted.  The dirt and plant help keep each pot at it's jaunty angle.  The plants cover the threaded rod and hex nuts so all you see is the cute pots tipping in either direction as if about to spill their plants over.  

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    29 Discussions


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Such a wonderful project! My wife saw yours and decided I needed to make one for her. I read through yours and got the general concept. I documented mine all the way through and just finished up posting here my version of your project. I meant all along to give you credit, and wasn't able to find yours again until I finished mine up! Thanks for the basic design idea and the hours of fun putting it together! Here's mine:


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    I sure will, I'm having a small problem though, the holes on the bottom of these clay pots are smaller them the pole I got for it. so I'm having to re-drill them a little bigger.


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Taria, if you haven't already drilled the pot holes bigger, you can always buy a smaller threaded rod. I went with the larger one for my project, but I know Lowe's had them in smaller circumference and shorter versions too.


    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    BTW I did make these in smaller version, all painted up like a rainbow. the smallest pot is about 2 inches I think maybe 3 at the most. It is cute.


    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    sorry for the late response, I am finding these everywhere. Places I never even thought about looking. And no I never did get around to drilling, but I glad I found this before I did cause now I know I can find them at lowes. thanks for that.

    So cooooool! Can't wait to make one!!! I posted your diy on my website, here's the link:


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Im so making me a smaller version of this, I have some smaller pots right now...hmm to late to do it tonight sooo maybe tomorrow? we'll see :) now to have something to put in them..LOL


    7 years ago on Introduction

    I've seen something similar (but a lot less fancy!) in a blog on Grows on You, link attached with any luck - it shows how that person did the construction. j Hope it helps

    2 replies

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Very cool link! I did mine differently but that is a great way to do it too. I saw a finished product photo on Pinterest but the link didn't have directions so I did my own version. That website looks like it has great directions for a similar tower though. Thanks for sharing it.

    I like how they used the wood blocks in the big pot to increase stability. For mine, I used the upside down saucer as a base so that I could put it on a porch instead of in the ground, and I used a threaded rod so that I could just twist the hex nuts and fender washers into place. I will try to add some more pictures of that part, but it basically is just hand tightening the hex nuts into the right place.

    Have a great day!

    If you have access to RIGID plastic pots, you can use these, also. Easier to cut the needed holes and keeps the plants moister for longer. Clay pots have advantages AND disadvantages but they are certainly more "green". I am on my way to make one of these , as it is a most excellent idea! Especially for folks who are space and/or sunlight limited. ( ie very few places in the yard where one receives full sun all day) . Thank you for sharing. Namaste.

    1 reply

    Great idea, especially for those who might be concerned about the tower getting knocked over by kids/dogs. I would love to see how it turns out when you're done. My mom is going to try making a tiny version with little pots for her apartment window.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Seriously cute! And it looks like a lot more work than it actually was, at least from appearances. Great job!