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DIY Toad Houses using Clay Pots

DIY Garden Crafts


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Toad house made from a clay pot covered in decorative stones.

Hello Crafty Friends! We have been gardening in our yard a lot recently and noticing so many toads. They are so good for gardens we wanted to create cute toad houses to continue attracting them. This is a fun activity for a rainy afternoon and fun for kids to help with as well.

Toads are great for gardens as they eat a lot of insects including slugs, mosquitos and more. Below you can see a cute toad I rescued while mowing our grass. 

Green gloved hands gently holds a toad.

Create a toad house using a clay pot. The clay pot can be turned on its side and set into the ground. Toads like to dig under the soil you want the floor of the house to be a couple inches of dirt deep. We chose to decorate our toad houses with decorative rocks. It was a fun activity and we love how cute houses look outside. They blend right into the surroundings. 

A toad peering out of a toad house made from a clay pot.

What makes a good toad house?

  • Located in a nice shady place or a place frequently visited by toads
  • Water source nearby
  • Water the area frequently to keep the house humid 
  • An escape hole in the back of the house/cave can help so the toads can escape from predators

DIY Toad House Using a Clay Pot

Supplies Needed:

  • Terra cotta pots and saucers
  • Natural materials to decorate the pots with like stones, pebbles and riverwalk. I purchased my stones at Target, but these on Amazon look similar. Just make sure they are small and not too large.
  • Adhesive – we used hot glue and have only had a few stones fall off. Whether hot glue will be strong enough will depend a lot on your climate and how exposed your houses are. You can use a stronger outdoor glue which may keep your rocks adhered longer but there may be a trade off as these glues tend to be toxic. To help the houses last longer, bring them in for the winter if you are in a colder climate.

How to Make the Toad House

Step One: Decorate the terra cotta pots with the stones or pebbles.

Start by decorating the terra cot pot using hot glue (or your preferred adhesive). You only need to cover one half of the pot since the other half will be dug underground. I found my stones at Target. I liked these stones because they were all around the same size but came in a variety of natural colors.

For one of our houses we used shells, but I think if I were to do this again I would just stick to the pebbles. They blend it more and have smoother edges. 

Containers of rocks, pebbles and sea glass sit. next to a stack of terra cotta pots.

Small pebbles are glued around the edge of a terra cotta pot.

Terra cotta pots covered completely in small pebbles and shells.

Step Two: Create a small water source.

You can also create a little water bowl for the toads using a terra cotta saucer (the ones that usually go under a pot to catch draining water).  We decorated the top edges of our water bowls with more stones though this isn’t necessary. The important part is providing water for the toads near their homes.

*Update: The stones around the top edge of the saucers fell off after two summers outside. The stones on the actual terra cotta pots have held much better than these. 

A saucer is decorated with pebbles around the edge.

Step Three: Place the toad house outside.

Once the toad house and water bowl are complete it is time to set them outside. Find a spot in your yard that is shaded, frequented by toads and/or near a water source. We placed a couple of ours near our rain barrels where we often see toads and in a wood chipped area in the shade we see them too. 

Dig the houses in so half of them is underground and the floor inside the house is dirt. It may help to add leaves or compost to the floor of the houses. Below you can see two places where we are trying out our toad houses. One location seems quite sunny but since it is near our downspouts and rain barrels the area is frequently damp so we see a lot of toads in this spot.

Toad houses dug into the dirt, there is a cute toad peeking out of one of the houses.

Toad house made from a clay pot covered in decorative stones.

I love how the houses blend in and look so cute in the garden. I hope our toad friends stick around :) If you are looking for more crafts for your yard or garden, check out my Garden Crafts page. I love creating cute crafts to decorate outside. 

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  1. I love it! I am going to make this tomorrow. Thanks for the inspiration! I just have a question though. I know terracotta is recommended as it stays cool(er) than other materials so they don’t get too hot in there. But does adding the rocks negate that, essentially insulating the pot? I’m curious what your thoughts are on that. Not sure where you live but we are in FL and it’s incredibly hot here. PS- I call my daughter bugaboo too! How funny! I call her “bug” for short. She knows if I use her full name I’m probably upset lol!

    1. You know I never thought of the rocks insulating the pots. I’m in the midwest and I have all my houses in places that get shade most of the day so I hope our little toads are okay! I would think if you kept yours in the shade they should be fine and have a water source nearby. You could also just decorate around the opening and leave the rest of the pot uncovered. This way it is still decorated but would possibly stay cooler inside! I hope making them goes well! And that is great you call your daughter Bugaboo too! It’s a great nickname – I love “bug” too!

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