DIY Garden Planter & Birds Bath

I shared yesterday that I was working on a diy garden project that was for the birds! Our Lowes Creative Ideas Network challenge this month was to create a diy bird feeder or birdbath. After Matt’s failed attempt at creating a bird feeder, I just went ahead and purchased a cute feeder from Lowes. However, I had this fun idea to create a planter and bird bath in one and today I’ll show you how to make your own!

diy garden

Supplies needed:

NOTE: Please use your own measurements and judgement when recreating this project. These are guidelines to follow and you shouldn’t necessarily even want to copy my project exactly. Be creative and add your own flair, pot sizes, rebar size, birdbath top, paint color, etc.

  • 1  8″ tall terracotta pot for the base
  • 4  6″ tall pots
  • 1  4″-5″ tall pot
  • 62 inch piece of rebar (I bought a 10ft piece from Lowes and had Matt cut it to size with a hacksaw. Lowes will cut if for you if you ask.) **Edited to add: My Lowes said they could cut it for me; however, someone had trouble getting their rebar cut by Lowes so you might need to purchase a hacksaw for this project. It’s $5.
  • Spray paint primer. (I used Valspar primer.)
  • Spray paint in your color choice. (I used Valspar in Exotic Sea.)
  • Discarded globe from “boob light”.
  • Little ceramic bird (Optional but uber cute.)
  • DAP Household/Aquatic Adhesive

garden diy

Step 1: Prime all of your pots and then spray paint them in whichever color you choose. This was my first time using Valspar spray paint and I have to say that I wasn’t a huge fan of the primer, but I loved the paint! The primer seemed to splatter a bit out of the can and it took two cans of primer to thoroughly cover the pots. Granted, I didn’t seal the pots before painting so they were thirsty for the primer! However, I used less than one can of Valspar’s gloss spray paint in Exotic Sea on all of the pots and on the birdie. I love this fun color for the garden!

garden diy

Step 2: Measure the height of all of your pots and then add 24 inches to that number to determine the length of your rebar. Cut your rebar to size using a hacksaw. Use a hammer to pound the rebar into the ground at least two feet down so that it will hold your heavy pots.

diy garden

Step 3: Thread your pots onto the rebar and fill with soil. Alternately tilt each pot from right to left, filling with soil as you go.

diy garden

diy garden

diy garden

Step 4: Take the globe from one of your discarded “boob lights” and place it onto the top of the rebar. The bowl will be resting on the top flower pot but the rebar should thread all the way up into the birdbath bowl. I used DAP household/aquatic adhesive to attach the bird and to seal around the gap between the bowl and rebar hole. The adhesive takes a day to cure, so I’m not able to fill my bowl with water yet.

diy garden

Step 5: Plant your flowers and enjoy!

diy garden

For more DIY bird feeder, birdhouse, and bird bath projects be sure to check out Lowe’s Creative Ideas Magazine!

Disclosure: Lowe’s provided me with a gift card to showcase this project this month as part of their Lowe’s Creative ideas Bloggers team.

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  1. says

    This is so stinkin’ cute! I absolutely love it! I can’t wait to see pictures later in the season when the flowers are overflowing ! Great idea Beth! I’m tweeting, FB, & Pinning this one!

  2. Christen says

    That is super cute!!! I love the paint color and the little bird. Now watch – this will have started a new blogger trend “how to reuse discarded boob lights” ; )

  3. Kim B. says

    Wow…TOTALLY creative!! Looks like it belongs in Whoo-ville & that’s a compliment 😉 I love seeing things that are SUPER cute & VERY original!! No wonder you’re Lowe’s go to girl :)

    • Beth @A to Z says

      Nope. The bottom is an 8″. The middle (main pots) are 6″ and the top is a 4″ or 5″ but really you can mix it up and do whatever you want.

  4. Candice says

    Found your site through pinterest…LOVE this! Can’t wait to try it in our back yard. Seems like the perfect thing to add some major impact in a small space – which is exactly what our back yard is. Thanks for sharing this wonderful idea!

  5. says

    I was reading through the list of supplies and got to “boob light” and cracked up!!!!! I didn’t realize there were people (outside of my family) that called them that! Thanks for the how to on this. I’ve seen them a bunch and was never quite sure how they went together.

  6. Loretta says

    My flower bed will be rocking one of these very soon.Best part is it’s super easy and I already have all of the supplies.Thanks

  7. Alexandra says

    Hey!! I am so excited for this project. I found it on pinterest and spent all day shopping/planning and starting this project!! have to admit I am more comfortable in a craft store than in a hardware store but am looking forward to the challenge! Thank you for this wonderful idea!!

  8. Meg says

    I would love to try this for my yard this summer. (I have pinned one of your photos to my PI page; if you’d like it removed, please let me know.)

  9. Bethany Tetzlaff says

    I had to show Lowe’s this blog before they would cut the rebar for me. Otherwise, they said this.. “We don’t cut rebar.” Get your facts straight, please.

    • Beth @A to Z says

      Sorry you were put out by it Bethany. My Lowes offered to cut it for me as I was struggling with a 10 ft piece on my shopping cart. Perhaps it’s not standard practice. I’ve updated my post to reflect this.

    • says

      Perhaps a different approach to a comment could have been that you were frustrated to find out your Lowe’s store would not comply with your request. Not all stores/personnel follow the same procedure.

      Beth would not purposely cause chaos between customers and nationwide Lowe’s stores. What did you LIKE about the post that attracted you to Beth’s post?

  10. Dayna says

    Beth, fantastic idea, found thru a mislabeled pin thankfully you watermarked so i could find it
    keep up the great ideas, and dont let others put you down.


  11. Brittany says

    Awesome idea! I’ve spent the morning shopping for all the supplies and. Any seem to find a ceramic Birdy:( any help on where I could find one would be awesome, I’ve tried joAnns and hobby lobby with no luck. Thanks in advance

    • Beth @A to Z says

      I used DAP Household/Aquatic adhesive (which can be used for aquariums) to seal up the gap between the bowl and the rebar. That being said, my water leaked out :(. I don’t know if I didn’t use enough or if I didn’t let the glue cure long enough. I’m going to try again and might need to do several layers with curing time between. I’d love to hear others thoughts on what else might provide a water tight seal.

  12. globae says

    I have been doing this design for about 5 years now, I love where i can move it around my yard if i need, I did find that trailing plants look really pretty in here, Moss Roses on the bottom made it look so pretty, Just so you know,, you do NOT have to paint the clay pots if you do not want to, I do not, and i do not put a bird bath on top, i put flowers.

      • Beth says

        Hi Tracy, I don’t move mine around at all. It’s a semi-permanent fixture. In the winter, I will “unthread” the pots and store them in the basement until next Spring but the rebar will stay where it is.

  13. Rebecca says

    I can’t wait to do this!! Looking at your pictures I could swear you were in my backyard! Our fence is the same as yours, stained the same color and we didn’t stain the very bottom either!! LOL…actually we did on the first couple panels but then realized that dirt was getting into the stain and brush. This project is just too cute!!

  14. says

    I love this design so much. I will be making one this Saturday. I am planning to run drip irrigation hose up into the pots through the same holes along with the rebar.

  15. Sherri says

    I absolutely LOVE this!! I’m wondering if anyone has ideas on how to assemble this with some sort of base so it can be moved? Also, since water is leaking out of the light globe, maybe attach a regular wide & shallow bowl or cute pie plate or treated terra cotta saucer to the top. The top pot would need to be secured snugly to the rebar somehow so it doesn’t tip….so maybe fill it with styrofoam cut to fit snugly inside….or a disk of wood with drilled hole in the center and glued. Just thinking out loud! :)

  16. Paul Griffin says

    Great idea. I’m thinking of using this idea for strawberries. Much cheaper, and better than those expensive strawberry posts you can buy.

  17. Aisia Ackard says

    I LOVE THIS!! I’m going to attempt to make this for my mom for mother’s day…only problem is where does one find a ‘boob light’ similar to the one you used? Otherwise I found the rest of the materials. Thanks!

  18. lizzie lou says

    I am deffinately making these for Mother’s Day…. My Mom, His Mom and My Granny…. they are gonna love it…..

  19. Margo C says

    I am so excited to make this and now have my mom on board to make one too!! Super cute and oh so creative!!!

  20. Storie says

    I love this idea! I saw it last night on Pinterest and went to Lowe’s and got all the stuff today!! I already have the primer on the pots! ah! can’t wait to paint on the blue!! thank you so much for sharing! I am a new home owner and now a new gardener and this is going to look great out there!

  21. says

    What an excellent idea. I am passing this one to my sister who has a small garden spot and this would be perfect for her. Love it.

  22. Brandi says

    I’m working on building one of these for my patio, but when I brought all the pots home and took a second look at the picture, I realized that the top pot measurement must be off. No way that pot is 4in wide. Maybe it was measured by height? This is such a cute project though!

  23. Katie says

    I showed this to my husband when I first saw this and he happily agreed to let me make it for our garden! We went to Lowes this afternoon and purchased everything we needed. My only problem was my 4″ pot’s hole is too small for the rebar we bought so we’ll have to gently drill it out. My Lowes was more than happy to cut the rebar as well! Can’t wait to put it all together tomorrow.

    • Darla says

      Hi, we had the same problem. We simply used the rebar as a sanding tool and rotated it back and forth. It shaved off enough to let the rebar in.

  24. linda says

    just found your blog and this is so pretty thank you for the idea and the material list. looking forward to seeing you more often now. blessings from southeast iowa

  25. Amy says

    Just wondering….what keeps the top pot from tilting like the others? I didn’t see anyone mention what did, but I may have skimmed right over it 😉

  26. Darla says

    Thank you for the wonderful tutorial. I made 2 of these for our mom’s for mother’s day. I have seen them around town. You are an inspiration. Our moms loved them. I replaced the light bowl with a clay saucer for the bird seed and it worked great.

  27. Lauren says

    I adore this project! I really want to make one but I live in an apartment so it would have to go on the balcony. Do you think there’s any way I could make this work without the ability to hammer the rebar into the ground? Any ideas? Thank you!

  28. Dawn says

    How hilarious that you call that a boob light! When my son was a newborn he would focus on the light in our bedroom. We jokingly call it the boob lamp because he was breastfed. We assumed he was gazing at it longingly :) I love this. I’m looking for a cheap bird bath for my yard. I’m surprised, though, at the price of terra cotta pots. It’s almost cheaper to just buy a bird bath.

  29. RuthAnn says

    I absolutely LOVE this!! Is there any way to print out the instructions…I will never be able to remember it all!! Thank you! I am looking forward to other projects!

  30. AManda says

    How did you get the top planter to be straight? How do you keep the water in the bowl when there is a hole in the bottom of it? I love your idea and would love to give it a try!

    • Beth says

      The light globe on top holds the pot upright. The rebar is slightly raised in the middle of the light globe and the DAP Household/Aquarium glue around the rebar (with some caulk) keeps it water-tight.

  31. Sarah Kate says

    So beautiful :) I was also wondering, since I have a deck, have you got any suggestions for keeping this upright without hammering it down? Thanks and amazing inspiration on this site x

    • Beth says

      Hmmmmm. Well, if I was going to do it as a stand alone, I would increase the size of the pot base and I would mix concrete and pour it into the pot with the rebar in the center. Once set, I would cover with soil and hope it wouldn’t tip over ;).

  32. Erin says

    this is so funny that you refer to the bird basin as a “boob light” i thought i was the only one who thought those light fixtures looked like boobs. haha….great project! i plan on trying this soon!

  33. Nancy says

    I finished it yesterday……….so so cute!!! I did it exactly like yours. The Lowes I went to would NOT cut the rebar so I
    had to buy a 6′ length and only put one foot of it in the ground. It leaned a little bit after it was planted so I wired it to the fence.
    The little bird, I purchased at Michaels. He’s a stuffed little blue bird and will fade in time. His feet are attached to a tiny clothespin that just clips on the light fixture/bird bath. When I find a cute little ceramic bird to replace this one with, I will glue him to a regular size clothespin!!!

  34. Bette says

    Hmmm……I don’t have any more “boob” lights in my house. How do you think it would sound if checked the local stores and asked if they ugly “boob” lights. LOL

    I love this birdbath. What a pretty idea.

  35. Cheryl Cooper says


    I am really wanting to make this but am having a really hard time finding the birdie. Where did you get yours or where did others get theirs? Any ideas of where to check?


  36. Kendra says

    Absolutely gorgeous. I just pinned this to one of my boards (the pic without the instructions is being pinned from a bogus site – ugh). I don’t think birds will bathe in a bowl that deep, but either way this is sooooo inspiring. What a beautiful project you created.

  37. DAP Products, Inc. says

    Hey Beth — we think this project was a great (and very unusual) idea! But when we saw your comment that our Aquarium Sealant was leaking, we asked one of our product experts for some advice, since this is an unexpected application for that product. Here’s what he suggested for future reference:

    “Using the aquarium sealant alone may not be the best idea, as the bowl can keep moving. Plus, if the rebar is either bare or “primed” with a zinc coating, the acetic acid in the silicone will corrode those surfaces, thus rendering the seal unusable.

    I would use a stainless steel threaded bar, and then use a rubber gasket with a stainless steel nut/bolt along with either our household adhesive or straight polyurethane sealant to create a better seal.”

    Hope this helps!

  38. Bernice says

    Hey Beth, I know it has been a while, so I am wondering how your bird feeder/planter has held up?
    It is still so cute, I haven’t made one, but just sent instructions to hubs on his computer, so he can be thinking about it all winter!

    • Beth says

      Hi Bernice,
      It still looks brand new. It’s held up better than I thought it would! I need to take it apart for the winter because the pots will crack in the snow, but so far so good.

  39. Sallie says

    I fell for this project as soon as I saw it on Pinterest, but the link was SPAM so I reported it. I used google image to find you, and just repinned! I think anyone would be happy to have this in their garden. Perfect Mother’s day or Father’s day gift. Just one question — What diameter rebar did you use?

  40. Tonya says

    OHMYGOSH!! I absolutely LOVE this!! Thanks for the great idea. I’m so excited to do one! Ps. Where did you get the little birdie?

  41. says

    I saw this tutorial on pinterest but the link always lead back to random sites. I had finally given up on finding the original when I JUST today came across the image with your website printed on it. SO glad I finally found the right place. I’m excited to create one just like this for my garden.

  42. Diana Kolb says

    Hi; I made the “tippy pott’s” from an idea I got from Birds & Blooms Magazine, but it did not have the bird bath on top, I am always looking for new ideas, and since I have been nagging my hubby for a bird bath this is the perfect solution to the problem. Now my birds can enjoy the flowers and take a bath at the same time. lol. Thanks for a great idea.

  43. tailleur says

    je tiens a vous dire super toutes ses belle choses qui nous font rever, et surtout nous donner des idées
    un petit bémol domage que ce ne sois pas en francais aussi
    pour certaines explication
    bonne journée et tres bonne continuation

    tailleur nicole

  44. Mal says

    Where can I find a “boob light” and do you know the approximate cost of the entire project, not including the paint? Very cute and creative!

    • Beth says

      It’s just the “globe” part of a flush-mount discarded light that I had. You can find one second hand at a thrift shop or Habitat Re-store. I really don’t remember the total cost of the project. I would guess around $25 but I’m not sure.

  45. Dolores says

    OMG this is such an awesome and cute garden idea. I will be doing this with my 4 year old daughter who has been asking me to plant a garden and build a bird house with her. Two birds one stone, perfect!! BTW I thought I was the only one that called those light covers “boob lights” my friends and family look at me like I’m crazy when I say they look like boobs.

  46. Niki says

    Love this, just bought all the stuff for it. Spent 18 on pots, used a 12″ on the bottom and 5 8″ for the top. Alternated between yellow and purple paint at 3$ per can and 3$ for the rebar. Not sure what plants to use yet. Something the birds will enjoy tho and I’m going to use a deep dinner plate for the bath, I’m afraid the boob light might be too deep for the feathered friends:) so for any one wondering the structure itself with out dirt and plants 25$-30$ depending on the size pots if your doing it all brand new. Love this project so much! Thanks for the fabulous idea!

  47. Jamie G says

    I love love this! I am trying to make this for my mother on mother’s day. If I do not have a “boob” light what do you suggest I do? Or can I ask for one at Lowes? HELP

    • Beth says

      Hi Jamie, you don’t need a flush-mount light fixture to go on top. You can use any round planter. I’ve seen some people use the large “coffee mug” planters on top (that I think are at Walmart), a bowl (that they drilled a hole into), or just a large plant drainage plate. Good luck and send me some pictures when you’re done. I’d love to see it :).

  48. Cordelia says

    I just made this and it came out beautifully. I didn’t do the bird bath on the top, another flower instead. Thanks for the instructions!

  49. Thea says

    I just stumbled upon your birdbath through Spoonful. I just wanted to say that I love that you call it a “boob light” too. I read that and I knew EXACTLY what you were talking about, knowing I have a couple of those in my ceiling that I would love to discard. haha

    • Beth says

      Thanks for stopping by Thea :). And yes, I still have a few of the unsightly things in my hallway that need to be replaced!

  50. Angela says

    I love this idea and all your other ones… we are a family of 6 and as you can imagine on a tight budget, what would really help out is knowing how much (and I know this wasnt much) you spent on the entire project. Thanks love the site

    • Beth says

      Hi Angela, I’m guessing between $25-$30. Maybe more depending on plants purchased to fill the pots and spray paint purchased.

  51. Nicole says

    I LOVE this project, and I finally figured out a good spot for it. :-) Quick question, though — did the birds use it even though it has such a curved bottom? I love the light fixture idea, just wondering if the birds love it also. :-)

    • Beth says

      Hi Nicole. No, the birds aren’t huge fans of it. The rim is probably too narrow for them to fully be comfortable landing on. If you keep the water in the bowl shallow they will use it as a puddle and splash around in it, but birds rarely use it.

  52. Linda Day says

    I love this but don’t no what a boob light is???? Looking forward to hearing back from you. Thank linda

    • Beth says

      Hi Linda, it’s just my own slang term for the builder-grade flushmount lights that resemble a breast hanging from the ceiling. We got rid of most of them in our home so I recycled the globe/dome part of the light as a bird bath. You could use a plant saucer or bowl-shaped planter on the top as well.

  53. says

    I tried to sign up for the free Lowe’s magazine and I couldn’t do it. It took me to a site where I could sign up free for a subscription. Sign up free? When did it ever cost to buy a magazine?

  54. Courtney says

    Hi Beth! I’m almost finished with this adorable bird bath! I have a question though, how did you attach the bird to the boob light? I have a flat bottom bird and a very slim edge on my boob light… I was going to hot glue it because i think that may dry the fastest but not sure that will hold in the rough weather we get in upstate NY… Any advice will be appreciated!! Thank you!

    • Beth says

      Hi Courtney. I think I hot glued it, but I can’t imagine that’s all I used. It’s still on and has stayed put for over a year now in all four seasons of rough weather. I would probably use Epoxy Glue (E-6000) to make sure it holds though.

  55. Courtney says

    Hi Beth! Can someone please give some ad vice on how to attach the birdie?? Mine has a flat bottom and the edge of the boob light is very slim… Thanks!

  56. Pa-Chunga says

    I saw this on facebook last year was dying to do this for my little patio garden I had also seen others like it, all very cute, but I had made a few changes. Since my garden is not on land but on a 2nd floor patio I added a base, just a piece of old flooring board, but it did the trick nicely. I also did not paint my pots love the untouched natural look. What I did to add a splash of color is I screwed in an old tin watering can.filled with fake flowers that thread down the rod making an illusion that the watering can is watering my pots, while hiding the rod … I have fake flowers that are glued into place to hide the screw holes too, its so beautiful looks magical too since the watering can is at an angle it looks like its floating in mid air … thanks for sharing!

  57. says

    I absolutely love this! I tried making my own (without the bird bath on top) and its definitely now where near as awesome! I linked to your website on my blog though! Thanks for the great post!

    LA Garden Girl

  58. says

    I absolutely love this! I tried making my own (without the bird bath on top) and its definitely now where near as awesome! I linked to your website on my blog though! Thanks for the great post!

    LA Garden Girl

  59. Judi says

    If you live near new home construction, you can probably pick up some rebar in the trash when they cut the post tension rebar after pouring the cement for the slab. May not be 6 feet long, but you can do the same idea with fewer pots and still look good.

  60. Margaret says

    Hi Beth, I saw your bird bath on Pinterest and new I had to make one. I bought all of the pots, rebar and paints at our Bunnings store but forgot to grab the paint. My wonderful hubby who won’t,let me pick paint (as for some reason I always pick one that I end up hating), so he picked up some paint on his way home from work for me.

    He hadn’t seen your post of the bird bath so he had no idea of the colour you used, but guess what colour he came home with? Its is the same as you have done.

    I am thrilled with the finished bird bath and it looks great in the garden. Thanks for having the wonderful idea and making it work out.

  61. S Hauer says

    Wondering how well this holds up in heavy rain…….does all the soil run out (w/flowers) or does it hold up pretty well?
    Thank you. Anxious to make one of these…..if it works well, I may make 2 more for Mother’s Day gifts. But don’t want to “gift” it if one heavy rain destroys it.

  62. Beth says

    I meant to take my pots apart and bring them in for the winter but I didn’t. The spray paint has chipped off of the top pot which I anticipated would happen. I’ll have to touch them up as soon as it’s warm enough to spray paint again. A coat of poly certainly wouldn’t hurt but if you live in an area with snow clay pots in general don’t do great outdoors all winter. Don’t overfill your pots and you won’t have any trouble with run off.


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