How to Break a Clay Pot for a Fairy Garden

DIY Tips

There are lots of gorgeous fairy gardens made from broken terracotta pots.  But what if you don't have one already broken beyond repair?

How to Break a Clay Pot for a Fairy Garden

That's easy - break one yourself!  There are a few tips that I've found useful.  As the clay shatters, it makes sharp edges, so some thought about safety is in order.

Always wear safety goggles or glasses to prevent shards from going in your eyes.  That's paramount. 

Gloves are always a good idea too. 

I usually find a pot that already has a crack in it, that makes it almost okay to smash up a perfectly good pot.

How to Break a Clay Pot for a Fairy Garden

Cover the pot with a piece of cloth to prevent the shards from flying.  It will be easy to check to see if you've done enough demolition, or it needs another smack.

To get the pot to break pretty much where you want it to, put a piece of wood inside it, and hold it against the side you'll be hitting on the outside.  This will stop it from completely shattering.

How to Break a Clay Pot for a Fairy Garden

I sometimes use a piece of wood to hit it with instead of a hammer, which tends to just break it along any flaws that already exist, rather than smashing it to smithereens.

Sometimes I use a piece of sturdy twig to break up the clay pot

Once you have one large shard smashed, and several smaller pieces, with the main part of the pot still intact, then it's time to quit.

Sometimes this takes a bit of practice - I usually end up with lots of small shards to work with, not so much a few large ones.

Reassembling the broken terracotta clay pot for a fairy garden

It's time to reassemble it, for your fairy garden.

The biggest piece is your main part, with the largest shard set back a bit and inside the curve of the main part. 

Tiny steps made from the edge of a clay pot are one of the first stages of a fairy garden

Put some soil in it to hold it in place, then take the smaller pieces and make them into the steps.  Sometimes you need to break another pot to get enough of the rim pieces which make great stair edges. 

Set them in place, using more soil to pack them into the right configuration.

Later; this is what the clay pot looks like with plants in...

Plant with moss, tiny plants or gravel to make a patio or seating area.  A tiny bench out of sticks is optional.

Mulch with screened sand or crushed lava rock to match the terracotta color of the pot.

Clay Pot Fairy Garden CollageWhich is your favorite Clay Pot Fairy Garden?

Later, like a few months, this is what the tiny garden looks like with plants getting established. 

Finding the miniature fairy garden plants in the right scale is the hard part, but totally doable.  Tiny Sempervivum, Sedum and Thyme will keep it on theme.

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