How to Make a Terra-Cotta Bird Bath

Make a sanctuary for birds to bathe in your garden with a few terra-cotta planters and a paint marker. Then, sit back and do a little bird watching.


This idea comes from our friend Kara Whitten of A Kailo Chic Life. Terra-cotta planters and pots of all sizes, which we use to make our bird bath, can be found at major home improvement stores.

What You'll Need


  • Terra-cotta bowl planter (Pennington Terra Cotta Clay Dish Garden Planter, 12")
  • Terra-cotta planter pot (Pennington Terra Cotta Clay Azalea Pot, 8")
  • Terra-cotta saucer (Pennington Terra Cotta Clay Saucer, 8")
  • Terra-cotta polymer clay
  • Oil-based white paint marker (Sharpie White Bold Point Oil-Based Paint Marker)
  • Shellac or other waterproof sealant (Zinsser Clear Shellac Spray)


  1. terra-cotta-bird-bath-step-1-0620_vert

    Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Form the terra-cotta clay into a disk and press it into the bottom of the bowl planter to plug up the drainage hole. (Note: If the bowl planter you are using does not have a hole, you can skip this part.) Place on a baking sheet, and bake the planter for 15 to 20 minutes until the clay is set; let cool.

  2. terra-cotta-bird-bath-step-2-0620_vert

    Decorate the bowl using a paint pen to draw geometric shapes, lines, and curves. (Tip: We used a variety of dots, scallops, lines, and zig zags.)

  3. terra-cotta-bird-bath-step-3-0620_vert

    In a well-ventilated area, apply three to four coats of shellac onto the bowl planter, planter pot, and saucer; let dry 20 to 30 minutes between each coat. (Note: This step will waterproof the surface so that it can hold water and not seep into the porous terra-cotta.)

  4. terra-cotta-bird-bath-2-0620_vert

    To assemble the basin, stack your terra-cotta pieces: First, position the planter pot upside down; stack the bowl planter on top; lastly, stack the saucer inside the bowl to create a raised level section for the birds to bathe in. Fill the basin with water about one inch above the saucer top and position it in your garden or backyard.

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