DIY Terracotta Pot Heater: A Step-by-Step Guide

To build a terracotta clay pot heater, stack two pots with candles in between. This simple and affordable heating solution can provide warmth in small spaces.

Terracotta clay pots are readily available at hardware stores and garden centers. To construct the heater, place a candle in the center of a tray, then place a terracotta pot over the candle. Stack a second pot on top of the first, offsetting the openings so that they do not line up.

Light the candle, and the warmth will be trapped between the pots and radiate outward. This diy heater is perfect for small spaces, camping trips, and emergency heating needs.

DIY Terracotta Pot Heater: A Step-by-Step Guide


Why Make A Diy Terracotta Pot Heater

How to build a terracotta clay pot heater- why make a diy terracotta pot heater

Terracotta clay pot heaters have become a popular way to keep spaces warm without incurring high energy costs. Instead of buying an expensive heater, making one yourself is a cost-effective way of achieving the same results. In this section, we’ll explain the advantages of making your own terracotta pot heater, including cost-saving benefits and environmental impact.

We’ll also discuss safety concerns and precautions to take when creating a diy project like this.

Explanation Of The Advantages Of Making Your Own Terracotta Pot Heater:

Making your own terracotta pot heater has several advantages, including:

  • Cost-effectiveness: The primary advantage of building your own terracotta pot heater is that it saves you money. The supplies you need to make one of these heaters are relatively inexpensive, and it’s much cheaper than buying a conventional space heater.
  • Easy to build: This type of heater is straightforward to create. With only a few supplies and a little patience, you can have a functional heater that keeps your space warm.
  • Warmth: The primary function of a terracotta pot heater is to provide warmth, and it does so very effectively. It’s perfect for chilly evenings or cold nights when you want to stay warm without turning up the thermostat.

Cost-Saving Benefits And Environmental Impact:

Terracotta clay pot heaters have a minimal environmental impact and can help you save money by lowering your energy consumption. Here are some benefits of making your own terracotta pot heater:

  • Uses little energy: Compared to a standard space heater, a terracotta pot heater uses very little energy. It’s an eco-friendly way to keep your space warm, which can help you save money on your utility bills.
  • Reuses waste materials: Making a terracotta pot heater gives you the opportunity to repurpose waste materials, such as old candles and scraps of wood. This means that you’re creating something useful while reducing waste, which is a win-win situation for the environment.

Safety Concerns And Precautions To Take When Creating A Diy Project Like This:

Although making a terracotta pot heater is generally safe, there are still some precautions you should take to avoid accidents. Here are some safety concerns and precautions to be aware of:

  • Fire hazard: As with any heating device, there is a risk of fire when using a terracotta pot heater. Be sure to place your heater on a stable, fire-resistant surface and keep flammable objects away from it.
  • Carbon monoxide risk: Make sure to use your heater in a well-ventilated area to prevent the buildup of carbon monoxide gas. This gas is odorless and can be deadly in high concentrations.
  • Unattended heater: Never leave your terracotta pot heater unattended. If you need to leave the room for any reason, turn off your heater and come back when you can monitor it again.
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By keeping these precautions in mind and following the instructions for building a terracotta clay pot heater, you can avoid any safety hazards and enjoy the benefits of a warm and cozy living space.

What You’Ll Need

List Of Tools And Materials Required, Including An Estimate Of Costs

Before you begin building your terracotta pot heater, you’ll need to make sure that you have all of the necessary tools and materials. Here are the items you’ll need to gather:


  • Cordless drill with 1/2-inch drill bit
  • Screwdriver
  • Wire cutters
  • Pliers
  • Marker


  • 3 to 5 terracotta pots, with their matching saucers, in varying sizes (these can be found at any home improvement store or local garden center)
  • Tea lights (try to find long-lasting ones)
  • Nuts and bolts (1/4 inch in diameter and 2 inches long)
  • Washers (1/4 inch in diameter)
  • Steel wire (16-18 awg)
  • Glass top (optional)

Estimated cost:

You can complete this project for around $20-30, depending on how many pots you want to use.

Tips For Finding The Right Terracotta Pots For The Project

When selecting pots for your terracotta pot heater, it’s essential to choose the right ones to ensure that your heater will work efficiently. Here are some tips for selecting pots:

  • Choose pots that are unglazed and unpainted because they are the best at absorbing and radiating heat.
  • Select pots in varying sizes so that you can stack them, creating layers for the candles.
  • Be sure to check that the pots and saucers fit snugly together so that the heat from the candles won’t escape.
  • Consider using pots with different designs to add character and personality to your finished heater.

Explanation Of Why Certain Materials Are Necessary And Important For The Project

Each of the items required for this project serves a crucial role in ensuring that the terracotta pot heater functions effectively and efficiently.

  • Terracotta pots: As mentioned earlier, unglazed and unpainted terracotta pots are the best option because they can absorb and hold heat for a long time, slowly releasing it into the room.
  • Tea lights: They produce enough heat to warm a small room, and they can last up to four hours.
  • Nuts, bolts, washers, and steel wire: These items are used to hold the pots in place and create airflow, allowing heat to escape through the top of the heater.
  • Glass top: If you decide to add a glass top to your heater, it will help to direct heat downwards, where it’s needed most.

By carefully following these instructions and gathering all the necessary tools and materials, you’ll be able to create your terracotta pot heater in no time. It’s a fun and cost-effective way to keep your room warm and cozy during the colder months.

Step 1: Preparing The Terracotta Pots

Cleaning And Drying The Pots

Before starting to build a terracotta clay pot heater, it is vital to have your materials ready. In this case, two large terracotta pots of varying sizes are needed, along with candle wax, sand, and a blow torch.

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Key Points:

  • Clean both pots thoroughly, removing any dust or debris.
  • Dry the pots completely before using them in the heater.

Layering The Pots With Candle Wax And Sand

After cleaning and drying the pots, the next step is to layer them with candle wax and sand.

Key Points:

  • Melt a large amount of candle wax in a heating pot until it is fully liquefied.
  • Once the wax has melted, evenly coat the interior of the larger pot with a thick layer of wax.
  • Before the wax has hardened, place the smaller terracotta pot inside the larger pot, making sure there is at least a one-inch gap between the two pots.
  • Pour sand into the gap between the pots, filling it up completely.
  • Add another layer of wax over the sand and allow the wax to cool and harden before moving on to the next step.

Using A Blow Torch To Create A Hole

The final step in creating a terracotta clay pot heater is to use a blow torch to create a hole.

Key Points:

  • Use a blow torch to heat up the surface of the smaller pot in the area where you want to create a hole.
  • Once the surface is heated, use a screwdriver to make a hole through the pot.
  • Repeat this process on the opposite side, making sure the holes are directly across from each other.
  • The two holes will allow airflow, which will help heat circulate and radiate from the heater.

With these three steps, you can easily create a simple yet effective terracotta clay pot heater for your home or outdoor space. Happy building!

Step 2: Assembling The Heater

Building your own terracotta clay pot heater is not only a cost-effective way to stay warm in chilly weather but also an environmentally-friendly solution. Assembling the heater is the second step of the process. Here is what you need to know:

Connecting All The Pots Together

To assemble the clay pot heater, you need to connect the pots together. Here are the steps:

  • Apply adhesive to the bottom of the first pot and place it on a heat-resistant surface.
  • Apply adhesive to the top rim of the first pot and place the second pot on top of it, making sure it is centered.
  • Repeat the process until you have stacked all the pots on top of each other.

Adding Tea Lights

Tea lights are the source of heat for the terracotta clay pot heater. Here is how to add them:

  • Flip the heater upside down and remove the last pot from the bottom.
  • Place four tea lights in the center of the pot and light them.
  • Place the pot back on the bottom of the clay pot heater.

Testing The Heater For Efficiency And Safety

To ensure that your clay pot heater is functioning efficiently and safely, follow these steps:

  • Place your hand near the top of the heater to feel the warmth. It should feel warm to the touch, but not hot.
  • Use a thermometer to check the temperature at the top of the heater. It should not rise above 180 degrees fahrenheit.
  • Make sure the heater is placed on a stable surface where it won’t topple over or cause any damage.
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Now that you have successfully assembled and tested your terracotta clay pot heater, you can enjoy the warmth it provides. Stay cozy and save energy with this diy project!

Step 3: Using The Heater

Building a terracotta clay pot heater is an easy and affordable way to warm up your home without breaking the bank. Once you have constructed your heater, the next step is to use it effectively. Here are some tips and safety precautions to keep in mind, as well as an explanation of how the heater works:

Tips For Effective Use

To get the most out of your terracotta clay pot heater, keep the following tips in mind:

  • Place the heater in a safe and non-flammable area.
  • Keep the heater away from curtains, furniture, and other flammable items.
  • Place the heater on a stable surface to prevent it from tipping over.
  • Remember that the heater will only warm up the immediate area, so position it accordingly.

Safety Precautions

When using a terracotta clay pot heater, safety should be your top priority. Keep yourself and your loved ones safe by following these precautions:

  • Never leave the heater unattended or leave it on for an extended period of time.
  • Keep children and pets away from the heater.
  • Use the heater in a well-ventilated area to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Always use gloves and/or tongs when handling the heater, as it will get hot.

Explanation Of How The Heater Works

The terracotta clay pot heater works on the principle of convection. As the candles burn, they heat up the clay pots, which in turn heat up the air around them. As the air heats up, it rises and is replaced by cooler air, creating a continuous flow of warm air.

To use the heater, simply light the candles and place them in the bottom tray. Then, place the clay pots over the candles, making sure they fit snugly. Finally, place the top tray over the pots.

The heater will start to warm up within minutes, and you will begin to feel the warmth radiating from the pots. Remember, the heater will only warm up the immediate area, so it is best used in small rooms or for personal use.


Building a terracotta clay pot heater is not only cost-efficient but also environmentally friendly. It uses renewable energy and doesn’t emit harmful toxins. As you have learned, the process requires a few materials and minimal effort. By following the steps outlined in this blog post, you can create your own disc heater and enjoy the warmth without having to rely on fossil fuels.

Moreover, with the added bonus of being able to use the heater as a cooking surface, you can take advantage of its versatility. A little creativity can also lead to a beautiful design that complements any room. Imagine being able to create a cozy atmosphere in your home while helping the planet.

Start by building your own terracotta clay pot heater, and reap the benefits of this simple but effective hack.


I am a mechanical engineer and love doing research on different home and outdoor heating options. When I am not working, I love spending time with my family and friends. I also enjoy blogging about my findings and helping others to find the best heating options for their needs.