It takes more than a stiff breeze to topple over one of those sturdily built, terracotta pots. Some might say that God Himself would need to help the wind blow it down—and even then you might be surprised at how long it takes to cave in. But if you don’t want to wait for an act of nature, here are some simple ways to cut one down.

If the base of your pot is not attached securely to the sides, you can use a hacksaw with a blade that fits into the gap between the dirt and the pot’s base. Saw through the base horizontally. If your pot is small, you might give it a tap on the backside with your foot to jar the dirt loose and cause it to fall out of the bottom of the pot.

how to cut terracotta pots

Don’t have either of these tools? Try using an electric jigsaw with a blade that will fit into the seam between the sides and the base. If you don’t want to damage your jigsaw, then guide the blade with a piece of wood as you cut into the pot.

Turn your old pots into planters by painting the rims and cutting a hole in the bottom for drainage, or you can use a keyhole saw to make a round opening that is large enough for your hand to remove any debris that accumulates inside. You might want to drill holes around the top edge of the pot so that you can attach it to a post in your garden. The possibilities are limited only by your imagination.

Cut the pot using a sharp blade

A fine-toothed blade or turn your old pot into an ice bucket by using a hot glue gun to attach the handles. Once you are finished with your newly created planter/ice bucket, remember to cut away any excess plastic left on the rim of the pot before you plant it out.

How to cut a terracotta pot

There isn’t much that can break a terracotta pot, but if you need to cut one down, then the base of the pot must be attached securely to the sides. This means attaching it at the bottom of the pot and at the shoulders. If you don’t do this, it’s like trying to remove a loose tooth: The whole thing comes out (pot and dirt) in one piece.

Of course there are some pots that have no base, such as glazed planters; these can be cut any way you like. Other non-negotiable pots, such as the birdbath example above, have a lip at the top of the pot that creates an edge along which you can cut.

Score around the edge of the pot with a sharp object.

A keyhole saw or a jigsaw blade that fits into the gap between the pot and the dirt will create a nice clean cut. If your pot is large, you may need to push down on the handle as you work around it so that it doesn’t spring up and away from you as you work. This technique works well with smaller pots, too.

Use a jigsaw with a fine-toothed blade to cut from the pot rim down to the base of the pot. Cut slowly and don’t allow the blade to jump out of the seam as you work around it. You may need assistance holding the pot in position as you cut if it’s particularly large or heavy.


How to cut a terracotta pot with a hacksaw. Cut horizontally through the base of your pot using a hacksaw with a blade that fits into the gap between the dirt and the side of the pot. To secure it, turn it over and hammer down any loose dirt around the spot where you’ve just sawed.