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This project was inspired by the Australian eco-designer Joost Bakker, who’s famous for using terra-cotta in surprising ways. You only need to add wiring to turn a simple terra-cotta pot into a garden-worthy light shade. We painted the cord yellow for added visual interest. Use a globe incandescent lightbulb to cast a soft, flattering light. For a video of us making our own, click here.


  • Painter’s canvas drop cloth
  • 1 can Rust-Oleum Painter’s Touch 2x Sun Yellow exterior spray paint, high-gloss finish
  • 1 cord set
  • Wire cutters
  • 1 4-inch terra-cotta pot
  • Wire stripper
  • 1 15-amp quick wire plug
  • 1 clear globe 40-watt incandescent lightbulb
  • 1 ceiling hook
  • Phillips-head screwdriver


  1. Cover a work surface in a well-ventilated room or outdoors with a drop cloth. Paint the cord with two coats of glossy yellow spray paint. Let dry.
  2. Using wire cutters, snip the plug off the pendant cord. Thread the cord through the drainage hole in the bottom of the terra-cotta pot (the light-socket end must be inside the pot).
  3. Use a wire stripper to strip off about a half inch of casing to expose the two wires on the cord’s open end. Follow the installation instructions included with your plug to attach the wires to the plug. After assembling, screw in the lightbulb.
  4. Suspend the pendant light from a hook in your porch ceiling or covered overhang.

As featured in the Summer 2017 Edition of Beekman 1802 Almanac Magazine. For more check out Gardenista: The Definitive Guide to Stylish Outdoor Spaces by Michelle Slatalla (Artisan Books). Copyright © 2016. Photographs by Matthew Williams.

by Aray Till

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