DIY Garden Project: Topsy Turvy Flower Planter

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase.

DIY flower planter

The season of gardening and flowers is upon us! Looking for a striking DIY garden project that you can whip up in an afternoon? Add some height and visual drama to your landscape with this easy-peasy, topsy-turvy planter.

rebar – about 6 feet
Sledge hammer or mallet
1 large clay pot for base
4 or 5 medium size clay pots for middle
1 small clay pot for top
Potting soil
A variety of flowers and/or herbs

Tip: Rebar is easily found in large home improvement stores, or hardware shops for approximately $10.


1. Pound rebar into the ground at least 1 foot deep. If you want your stack shorter, you can buy a shorter rod, or hammer it deeper in the ground.

2. Place rebar through the drainage hole of the large clay pot.

3. Fill pot with dirt.

DIY flower planter

4. Take your medium sized pot, put the rebar through the bottom hole, and rest it on top of the soil of the base planter.

DIY flower planter

5. Continue placing rebar through the Terracotta pots. Stack each pot on the edge of the pot below it. End with the smallest pot.

6. If you have any rebar sticking out above the top, hammer it further into the ground.

7. Fill all of your pots with potting soil. Do not overfill, or your angled pots will lose too much dirt, when watered.

DIY flower planter

DIY flower planter

DIY flower planter

Tip: To add extra “Wow” factor, plant a variety of flowers in each pot. A good rule of thumb is to include at least one trailing flower or plant (such as Ivy, variegated Vinca, Creeping Phlox, Petunias, or Verbena), a taller accent plant for added height (Spike Dracaena or Steel Blue Meadow Sage are both perfect for this), and a bright pop of color in between the two!

Complimentary colors (like purple and yellow or blue and orange) look fabulous next to each other if you are looking for a good starting point. You may need to fiddle with your plants a bit, to get them to stand up straight, and create an equal balance.

8. Once you are happy with what you’ve planted and the locations, fill any holes with more potting soil. Then give those babies a good drink of water. (If you are using naked clay pots, as opposed to painted, they will dry out quicker, since water seeps through the dried clay.)

Now stand back and admire your fast, flowery and fun DIY!

DIY flower planter

we heartsters – what plants and flowers are you growing this year?

All photos: Rachel for we heart this

Rachel is a stay-at-home Mom that never seems to be home. She’s a military wife, mother to The Danger Boys and a self-proclaimed craftaholic that enjoys photography, knitting, baking and all things handmade.



  1. This is so amazing. Kind of reminds me of Alice in Wonderland with the kooky teacups! This is a great DIY.

    1. We just watched Alice in Wonderland last night! So trip-y!

    2. That’s what I thought. Paint bottom pot black/white checkerboard.Then stripes, polka dots, etc. It would be very “Alice”.

  2. Yes–the Mad Hatter would definitely approve! I love this idea; I’ve been looking for ways to spruce up our patio and this would be perfect; great idea! We’re also attempting a small veggie garden this year: corn, microgreens, Swiss chard, and spicy bell peppers. And I always do tons of different herbs.

  3. My verbena & blue sage have been attracting the butterflies like crazy! The petunias & lobelia are trailing beautifully! I highly recommend this super-easy project! We are growing veggies & herbs too. So far I have been able to harvest spinach & strawberries & mint for our morning smoothies! The lettuce is darling! Can’t wait to eat it in a salad!

  4. How pretty and fun! I’m notorious for killing plants… even the little cactus I was given is kind of a goner…

  5. This looks so good! Looks like a great way to add some more color and depth to a garden display.

  6. I AM IN LOVE WITH THIS! And it’s much easier than it looks, I was sure drilling was involved at first… I’ve pinned this as a project for when we finally buy a new home. Super easy AND looks like I put more work into it than will be required. I love it!!

  7. This is just adorable! Great DIY post @rachelshay!!
    We are going to pick our first tomato today to use in our salad and I’m soooo excited for all to the other varieties to ripen! We have 14 15 gallon pots along the one side of the house! We have about 12 pepper plants of various varieties growing and a complete herb garden that is going bonkers! Gardening has become a full time job but well worth it. We live out there like little farmers! My husband is the brains behind the care and maintaining it so well and yes all organically grown.. I love it, it is one of the best things we ever decided to do on a serious level a few short years ago!

  8. h2oplease says:

    I have done this project in years past and filled it with all kinds of succulents. I suggest that you put a piece of landscaping cloth in each pot to cover the bottom and up the inside of each pot. Even with the small hole punched in the cloth for the rebar to go through, this method helps to keep the soil in place in each pot rather than flooding out each time you water.

  9. I think it would look pretty cool to plant some strawberries and tumbling toms-type trailing tomatoes in at least some of those. :-)

  10. I cant wait for spring. Im trying to get a community garden spot since I live in an apparment but the spots arent very big. Ill be doing a few of these to go vertical with my garden. One will be herbs, another with calendula and maybe even a third if I can figure out what will work well in it.

  11. Sherrie Dungon says:

    Hmmmmmm, now wouldn’t a row of these make a cool screen/fence between you and the neighbors?!

  12. I love this idea and have seen it many times. My only concern would be that it seems top heavy. Clay pots are heavy by themselves and then you add dirt and flowers to it. Living in Missouri our ground get quite a bit of rain and I would be afraid that even with the re bar in the ground that it would fall over? I do like the idea of gardening cloth in the bottom though. It looks very pretty.

    1. I wonder if you could use the faux terra cotta pots that are actually plastic? I bet you could!
      Thanks for your comment.

    2. Janice Ruth says:

      You can get extra heavy rebar just look around a bit. I was thrilled to see this idea as we have caliche soil and once you sink rebar, there’s no gettin’ it out. Gonna start mine tomorrow…..from Tucson Az

    3. Dig a hole and cement the base in – problem solved :)

    4. Grandmadd says:

      My husband welded the rebar to a plow disc for stability.

  13. This looks amazing
    Am going to start it asap
    Can’t wait to start this project.
    We get quite wet in our winter in New Zealand so will use a heavy steel, and make sure it is deep in the ground

  14. Susan M Ingalls says:

    I did this a few years ago. I just repainted it this year.

    1. Curious about how the pots themselves are holding up. How long have they been stacked?

  15. How does it hold up to heavy winds? We get really strong wind here on the northern plains of Colorado, and I would be afraid the top tier would get blown off.

  16. Angela D. Deckard says:

    Can I use plastic planters?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *