Terra Cotta Space Heater

10 Materials
30 Minutes

Ok, I have to admit, this is pretty thrifty. This space heater is a clean and cheap energy alternative and also a pretty fun looking little piece. If you live in a place where one room tends to get colder than others, or you want to save a little cash money, or are like me and live in a space where you can't control your heat, this is great! This space heater is made from some simple terra cotta pots and hardware and can really heat up a space on the cheap.
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-6" Terra Cotta Pot
-6" Terra Cotta Saucer
-5" Terra Cotta Pot
-1/2" x 12" Threaded Rod
-Drill with Masonry Bit (I use this drill in almost all of my projects. I absolutely love it! You can buy one on Amazon.)
-14 1/2" nuts
-11 1/2" washers
-11-12 link Chain
-Garden Hook (not pictured above)
STEP 1: **Before screwing anything onto the rod make sure that you use a lighter to burn off any oils from the rod. Sometimes the rods are greased and this could be a fire hazard. If you use a lighter and heat up each section it should burn any off just in case. Screw the nuts onto the rod
Take two bolts and screw them onto your threaded rod about an inch down.
Twist the nuts in the opposite direction to lock them into place.
STEP 2: Secure the link chain
Take a link chain (about 11-12 links) and place each end link around the threaded rod and secure it into place with another nut.
STEP 3: Place a washer under the nuts
Now grab a washer and feed the threaded rod through the hole so that the washer rests under the 2 nuts from step 1.
STEP 4: Place the rod through the terra cotta pot
Grab your 6" terra cotta pot and feed the rod through the drain hole so that the open end rests away from the chain.
STEP 5: Take another washer and place it on the rod.
Follow this washer up with another nut to hold it and the pot in place.
STEP 6: Add the other terra cotta pot
Place another washer over the rod followed by the 5" terra cotta pot. Make sure the pot faces the same way as the first, so that it rests on the inside of the 6" pot. You're basically placing one inside the other, but you're spacing it and securing it with washers and nuts.
STEP 7: Secure the terra cotta pot
Place another washer over the rod so it rests against the 5" pot. Secure this pot and washer in place with 2 nuts twisting them in opposite direction once they are in place to lock them in.
STEP 8: Add more washers and nuts
Place another washer followed by a nut around the rod. Repeat this 6 times.
Once all six sets of washer and nuts have been attached add one more bolt to the end to keep them in place. Twist the last two nuts in opposite direction to create a lock.
STEP 9: Drill a hole throught the terra cotta plate
Grab your terra cotta 6" saucer and, using your drill, drill a hole through the center that is large enough for the threaded rod to fit through.
STEP 10: Secure the saucer onto the rod
Once you feed the rod through the hole you made in the saucer secure it in place with yet another washer and nut.
The saucer can be adjusted to rest higher or lower on the rod to create different temperatures.
STEP 11: Add your tea lights
Take tea lights (real ones, not the LED ones), and place them on the terra cotta saucer so that they fill any empty spaces (about 5-6)
***** Please note that the placement of the candles is crucial to the safety of this contraption. Here is a video explaining... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fnna1PAakV4
STEP 12: Hang it up
Hang a garden hook where you wish your space heater to be and hang the heater by the chain around the hook.
Light the candles and cozy up!
Not only is this thing functional, but it's kinda cute too! You can hang this from anything that can handle the weight... it doesn't have to be from a garden hook. You could even make it to look like a lamp if you wanted.
Can't wait to fire this thing up on a cold night!
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Hometalk may collect a small share of sales from the links on this page. More info

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Have a question about this project?

3 of 13 questions
  • Melanie
    on Dec 6, 2018

    How long does the pot retain / release the heat after the tealights have either run out or been blown out? Trying to figure out timing / amount of tealights to keep on hand. Thanks.

    • Flipturn
      7 days ago

      All wax tea light candles are not created equally. Depending on the price, grade of wax, and manufacturer, the burning time can vary considerably, as others above have made reference to.

      Without any timer on, there is a risk that you might forget about the burning candles, and forget to change them before the foil gets too hot and possible burns through.

      Any live flame device should never be left unattended.

  • Dan Tonia Webb
    on Jan 6, 2019

    why does it need so many nuts and washers?

    • Sherry L Doke
      on Feb 19, 2019

      All of your ideas are great but I think this was also meant as a "fun" project not necessarily a whole house heat source. Pretty cool project!! Just sayin!!!!

  • Julie Jones Semola
    on Jan 7, 2019

    Approx. how long does it take to feel a differance in the room temp of about a 10 x 15 bathroom?

    • Varetta
      on Jan 13, 2019

      To long, for just a small space I’m sure on 6 tea lights. Umh

Join the conversation

3 of 77 comments
  • Jane Ketchum
    on Feb 20, 2019

    Very cute. I think I’ll try it on the patio & use citronella tea lights to also keep the mosquitoes away.

  • Tracy Owsley Bell
    on Feb 20, 2019

    This is a very DANGEROUS idea . My son and I followed similar instructions and had a fire in our house. The issue was, it gets so hot within the pot that the wax candles caught on fire, not just the wick. Luckily I smelled the wax burning from the other side of the house and we were able to get the fire out safely.

    • Flipturn
      7 days ago

      Tracy, Thank you for sharing your experience.

      Yes, I'm sure if you showed this to any firefighter they would agree that the danger of causing a fire offsets any potential benefit from heat that may radiate out from the device.

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