tiny polymer plant pot DIY tutorial

I’m really a sucker for anything miniature. You know what’s cute? A horse. You know what’s even cuter? A miniature horse. Just try to deny it. You can’t. It’s scientifically proven. It’s also undeniable that these tiny little plant pots, complete with mini plants, are way cuter than full-size ones. They’re also super convenient, since you can fit one just about anywhere, and you can make tons of them if you have more space.

Polymer clay (I used Premo Sculpey in white, from here)
Melon baller (or other tiny scooping tool)

1. First a little bit about clay. I haven’t used polymer clay much, but from what I read about it the different types (Sculpy, Fimo, etc.) have slightly different characteristics. I chose this one because it is supposed to be very strong and durable after it bakes up. I’m sure you could use another type if you wanted to. Like all polymer clays, though, it needs to be conditioned before you use it, which just means it needs to be kneaded and worked until it has softened up.
tiny DIY polymer clay plant pot
2. After you soften up your clay, grab a couple of inches and roll it into a ball. Keep rolling until it’s a perfect sphere, without any creases or lines. After you’ve achieved a ball you’re happy with, put your clay in the freezer for about 10 minutes to stiffen it back up. This helps prevent it from getting squished in the next few steps.
tiny DIY polymer clay plant pot
3. Take your clay out of the freezer and scoop out the insides using a melon-baller. It helps to use a knife to start the scooping.
tiny DIY polymer clay plant pot

tiny DIY polymer clay plant pot

tiny DIY polymer clay plant pot
4. Keep scooping until you’ve thoroughly hollowed it out and the walls of the pot are about 1/4 inch thick, unless you plan to cut geometric faces. If you want a faceted look, leave the walls of your pot at least 1/2 inch thick.

See that excess clay you scooped out of your pot? You can squish it all back up and use it for another pot.
tiny DIY polymer clay plant pot
5. If you want a faceted pot, put your clay back in the freezer for about 10 minutes, then use a very sharp knife to slice geometric planes into the sides of the pot. For one of my pots I did very regular cuts, and for the other I freestyled it. The photo below shows the pot without the hole in the middle, but scooping out the middle after you’ve cut the facets is really difficult and I don’t recommend it. I tried several times and had to restart each time. If you cut too deeply or squish your pot while you’re doing this you’ll have to start over. I won’t lie, I had to re-do mine several times before I got the look I was after.
tiny DIY polymer clay plant pot
6. Place your clay pot on a small piece of cardboard on top of a baking sheet and bake according to the directions on your clay. My clay said to bake at 275 F for 30 minutes for each 1/4 inch thickness of clay, and I think I baked mine for 40 to 50 minutes, depending on the pot.

7. Put some teensy plants in your pots! I borrowed some succulents from a nearby sidewalk and my yard. You really don’t need much dirt, but try to use some that is kind of sandy, since you won’t have drainage in these pots. If you want drainage you can poke holes in the bottom of the pot before you bake the clay, but I didn’t think it was necessary.
tiny DIY polymer clay plant pot

tiny DIY polymer clay plant pot

I made this plain little pot a holder using these instructions and substituting embroidery thread for rope.

tiny DIY polymer clay plant pot

tiny DIY polymer clay plant pot

tiny DIY polymer clay plant pot

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  • Ldkeesee

    How cute. I know what you mean about minature. I am the same way. Use to collect minatures from mini ketchup bottles to minature goats (-;
    But have yet to get my minature donkey (so cute) and minature pig.
    Great tutorial. Thanks for sharing.
    Linda @MixedKreations

  • http://twitter.com/nisseworks Stacey Brown

    Oh! This is a great idea – I’ve been looking for a unique pot to give to my mother-in-law for her new sunroom and these would be perfect! Thank you for sharing :)

  • RachelJG

    I love this! I am making some for my dorm room! :D

  • Cara Jane Hayman

    great idea – so cute!

    • admin

      Thanks, Cara Jane!

  • http://www.besottedbrand.com/ Miss B,

    The cutest + most clever tute ever:)

    • admin

      Thank you, Miss B!

  • Jennygizzi

    Does it need anything on it once baked in order to put water in it? So Cute!

    • admin

      Jennygizzi, nope! It should be waterproof after baking. Thanks!

  • Melissa

    Adorable! But I was wondering if you can use hot glue on it? I have never messed with polymer clay but how cute would it look if you hot glued a bunch of these to a piece of plywood and hung it on your wall.

    • admin

      Melissa, I’m not sure how well hot glue would work, but this seems like a great idea! You just might want to use a sturdier glue, like my personal favorite, E6000.

      • Kirsten

        I’ve been addicted to polymer clay for about two years now and have been using it for all kinds of things. If you scuff up where you’re going to glue before you bake it, the glue will adhere well. But if you’re planning to just glue normal clay, it will slip right off.

        • Rachel

          Really good to know, Kirsten. Thanks for the info!

  • De

    Melissa, you could probably modify the design a bit to add screw holes, or holes around the top for decorative wire hangers, or a hole for a section cup on the window hanger.

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  • Briana

    I’m not sure how I find your website, but I’m happy I did! I have been making things with this exact same clay and I’m super excited to make this today! I hope my fiance doesn’t mind a billion little plants everywhere in the house lol. Great idea! And the hanging part…ohhhh mannn, even cuter!

    • admin

      Thanks, Briana! I hope you (and your fiance) like them!

  • carlos

    i want to make it into the shape of Mexican sugar skulls and then paint it

  • Taron

    I’m always looking for new things to keep me busy, and this is perfect. My apt could use some plants and plus this looks really cool. Thank you so much for this idea.

    • admin

      Taron, so glad you like it!

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  • Sidney

    What plants would be tiny enough to fit inside this?

    • Rachel

      Sidney, I used a succulent groundcover, which is a type of sedum plant.

  • Briana

    You totally inspired me to make some too! Here is one of them.
    I also made some pumpkins haha
    I’m thinking of trying out making a turkey. The little pot was actually the most difficult! After baking, I did a lot of sanding which was easier for me than slicing at the beginning.

    • Rachel

      Briana, awww, those are so cute! You did a great job! I think a turkey would be adorable. Would you use it as a Thanksgiving decoration?

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  • Kathryn

    Love these! Going to make them with my daughter for her fairy garden.

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  • Christine

    Thanks so much for the inspiration. My daughter and I made these for Christmas gifts for our family. Even though they were miniature they were a big hit. Thanks again! :)

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  • Rachel Denbow

    So darling! I love that you made a hanging one, too. I bought some clay for my daughter and I to make beaded necklaces with and cut a bunch into geometric shapes but didn’t know what to do with them other than string them up. I may need to make some mini planters with them!

    • Rachel

      Thanks, Rachel! Your necklaces sound cute! If you make some mini planters, I’d love to see how they turn out :-)

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  • Tanusree

    this is so pretty. i have never worked with clay but you make is sound so simple that i want to give it a try.

  • Anna

    You can also slice polymer clay with a sharp knife after its been baked. If you use black clay, it leaves these cool looking lines in the clay – kind of urban and edgy looking.

    • Rachel

      Anna, that sounds cool! I’ll have to try out both of those methods next time I use polymer clay. Thanks for the tips!

  • rox

    Hi! great tutorial. Just a question, In step 6 where you give baking directions… does that mean bake in a regular oven or a special clay baking oven? I’m not familiar with baking clay, so I want to make sure. Thank you!!

    • Rachel

      Hi Rox! You can bake polymer clay in a regular oven, or a toaster oven. Good luck!

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  • Minalg

    I liked it..I’m gonna try this for sure.

  • Jen

    Here’s how mine came out. Thanks for the inspiration! http://jenmeyerart.com/2013/06/05/diy-baby-succulent-planters/

  • Vladi

    I found some similar cool planters here:http://lovelythings.org/diy-planter-fallen-tree-piece/

  • http://j9sopinion.tumblr.com/ Jeanine H

    Just trying this today.. Wondering first, did your “cardboard” in the oven bake not Burn up? How is that? What is the purpose? I have a sort of chicken rack to put on the baking sheet to lift up the wee pot and bake it every side. Is that what the cardboard is for? Sorry, this is my very first go at polymer EVER

    • transientexpression

      Jeanine H, the paper keeps the clay from touching the metal directly. If it’s on metal it will end up shiny on the part that was in contact with the metal. The cardboard should be fine as long as it’s not directly touching any parts of the oven, but if you’re worried about it you can also use parchment paper. Good luck!

      • http://j9sopinion.tumblr.com/ Jeanine H

        wow…. thank you! i did end up crafting quite an “acceptable” (we are our own worst critiques) and used parchment paper ;D worked like a charm!!!!!

  • http://j9sopinion.tumblr.com/ Jeanine H

    Hey there! I just tried and finished mine! It was my very first time EVER, working with this clay! I have to thank you for your amazingly simple tutorial instructions! I don’t think mine looks near as good as yours, however, the only reason I had the ability to try was becuase of your post! SO MANY THANKS for taking the time to share this with us!!! I will upload a photo for you to see once I find a succulent. I don’t believe this grow in our backyard! I will have to ask a neighbour :D :D

  • Arman De Rochefort

    can you use a regular oven

    • transientexpression

      Yes, that’s what I used.

  • Shayna

    does the clay need to be sealed? can you get planter wet?

    • Rachel

      Shayna, the clay doesn’t need to be sealed and can withstand moisture just fine.

  • nikki

    where does one get those tiny plants? awesome job on the pots, super duper cute

    • Rachel

      Nikki, mine were succulents that are used as groundcover. Depending on your area you may be able to find them in the yards of friends/family, or in the garden section at large home improvement stores.

  • Renee Chester

    I had a hard time keeping mine perfectly round and intact, how should i do it?

  • hairi

    What type of this plant??

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