DIY Flower Pot Heater

Power go out unexpectedly in your area? Here’s a very simple, dirt-cheap homemade heater made out of flower pots and tea lights that you can put together in under 5 minutes flat- and here’s the kicker, it actually works.

COMMON SENSE DISCLAIMER: This mini heater can easily reach 300F in a very short period of time, like ANY emergency heat source, it is inadvisable to leave it unattended in a room with children or pets.

diy-flower-pot-heater

Now that we got the common sense disclaimer out of the way, check this out! This simple heat source would work fantastic in a small greenhouse to keep the chill off plants overnight! Follow the directions carefully, do not substitute items, do not use LARGER candles or votive candles.

Do not use a glass loaf pan or an aluminum foil loaf pan.

DIY Flower Pot Heater

You’ll Need:
2 Un-Glazed Terra Cotta (Clay) Flowerpots
a metal loaf pan
4 tealight candles– unscented, 4 hour burn time
a cooling rack (like you use when you bake cookies, seriously)
a couple of basic landscaping bricks (optional, but HIGHLY recommended, and btw- these are not fire bricks.)
a nickel or a small piece of tinfoil

When I first met a fellow who made one of these, he made me nervous. He balanced the clay pots on the loaf pan, which seriously made me wonder how he dared to leave it in his house at all. So, I’ve revamped the directions I’ve seen to make this topple proof.
flower pot heater materials

First, place the tea lights in the loaf pan and light them. Place a brick on either side of the loaf pan.
diy flower pot heater step 1
Set the cooling rack on top of the bricks. This is to provide stability so the pots won’t tip over
diy flower pot heater step 2

Place the Smaller Clay pot upside down on the cooling rack, directly over the lit candles in the loaf pan.
diy flower pot heater step 3

Place a Nickel over the hole on the bottom of the plant pot to completely cover it. Failure to do so will result in very little heat. Alternatively, you could use a piece of aluminum foil to cover the hole.
diy flower pot heater step 4

Place the Large plant pot Over the small plant pot, creating a Heat Hut.
diy flower pot heater step 5

Here’s what the temperature looked like in 3 minutes:
diy flower pot heater temp 3min
at 5 Minutes:
diy-flower-pot-heater
at 10 minutes:
diy-flower-pot-heater
after 35 minutes: it has reached full heat. At this point, you should NOT attempt to touch the plant pots with your bare hands as you will get badly burned.
diy flower pot heater temperature

Depending on the brand of your candles, they should continue to burn for about 3 hours.

To replace the candles simply slide out the loaf pan, replace the spent tealight with a new Lit tealight and return it to the spot beneath the pots.
refill flower pot heater fuel

Some Notes: While this does generate quite a bit of heat, this is obviously NOT going to heat a 2500 square foot house. You can, however, use 2 of these setups to keep a 10×12 room fairly comfortable if you light it as soon as the power goes out and avoid opening and closing doors, etc.

Common Sense- Shouldn’t have to say it but we will:

  • DO NOT Use Larger Candles, the tea lights are more than sufficient. Use of larger candles COULD result in the pot overheating and cracking
  • Do not use more than 4 candles at a time (see above)
  • Do not “Balance” the Pots on the Loaf Pan – use a cooling rack for stability
  • Do Not Use Scented Candles- Seriously, you’ll just get a massive headache from them.
  • Make sure the Terra Cotta pot is UNGLAZED – otherwise it will give off fumes (imagine that!)

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36 thoughts on “DIY Flower Pot Heater”

  1. the ones i saw on the internet for sale are more complicated. they had more layers of pots and were screwed together with bolts, washers and nuts. this one is much simpler to deal with.

    Reply
    • The ones I saw on the internet for sale are more complicated. They had more layers of pots and were screwed together with bolts, washers and nuts. This one is much simpler to deal with.

      The smaller pots wil hold the heat longer the ln the single pot but in a pinch this will be fine

      Reply
  2. this is nice to know as we have ‘winter weather’ for the first time since 1989 in Florida! I’ve had some friends with power out in a neighboring town earlier this afternoon. I shared this on FB.

    Thanks for posting!:120103_emTE32_prv (

    Reply
    • This is nice to know as we have ‘winter weather’ for the first time since 1989 in Florida! I’ve had some friends with power out in a neighboring town earlier this afternoon. I shared this on FB.

      Thanks for posting!:120103_emTE32_prv (

      lol, this made me grin…

      I am Albertan, we went past -50C here this winter, and I never even broke out an official winter jacket :p

      Reply
    • I had never heard of this. What an amazing idea. I have an oversized livingroom that is very hard to keep warm, so I will be trying this very soon!

      Reply
  3. does the bottom of the loaf pan get hot? should you put something under it to protect whatever surface you are placing heater on? thank you.

    Reply
  4. awesome! thank you for sharing!!! gonna make one for the parlor that doesn’t have heat!

    cool idea for this cold weather!!!

    ty!:brrrr:

    Reply
  5. wow! what a super economical way to heat your home. what a great way for people who live in new construction in florida, who don’t have fire places, to heat their homes.

    gonna try this soon, thanks.

    Reply
  6. i think a mr. buddy heater is a must have myself. i have one that i have never had to use but from the reviews i think i will feel safe heating one room. i also have two sleeping bags that are made for extreme cold.

    i have been buying things bit by bit because i hate the thought of my mother, in her eighties, being cold, hungry, or thirsty.

    Reply
  7. we tried this after seeing a video online. it didn’t work well at all. we decided against trying again after reading warnings about using these types of heaters inside because of possible carbon monoxide poisoning.

    Reply
    • We tried this after seeing a video online. It didn’t work well at all. We decided against trying again after reading warnings about using these types of heaters inside because of possible carbon monoxide poisoning.

      You can not get carbon monoxide poisoning from “4 little tea light candles”… if you use something else, that could cause a problem…

      Reply
  8. certainly would not do much here either in northwestern ontario. four little tea lights could not possibly heat a room. it might be useful in a car though if you were stranded in the snow!

    Reply
  9. OK I love this idea for emergencies….but I wonder if it would be useful in a camping situation too. We go camping in early spring and late fall when the temps dip pretty low.
    typically we just crawl into the sleeping bags super early. but this way we could stay warm and stay up a little later an play cards it it could warm a 8-man tent.

    I will try this next spring.

    Reply
  10. This looks so handy! i’m going to get the flowerpots & tealights and keep them on the shelf. just in case.

    i live in ga, but it’s been getting a little chilly down here in the winters! 🙂

    Reply
  11. That would be great. I’m going to pick up the supplies, in case we need them in the future. We are just starting to get things together for a possible emergency.

    Reply
    • video on the hazards of flower pot heaters

      except that is a completely different & Dangerous design- so it literally has no bearing on this article or idea.

      Reply
  12. I am going to try putting this in my fireplace. Love the heat I get with a fire but then leaving the flu open for hours after defeat the purpose. I won’t have to with this

    Reply
  13. I plan to try this on my boat. Going to use existing camping stove (screwed down) to hold the pots, tea lights down in body of stove.
    When “camping/gunkhole” it would be nice to take off the chill.

    Reply
  14. This is incredible! had to try it first before replying , to my surprise it worked ! thank you so much for this post !!!!

    i hate when we are cold here and husband refuses to turn on heat till it snows 🌨❄️ you just SAVED my little ones ! Thanks !

    Reply

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