If you want to add height, dimension and movement to your porch, patio or deck – you’ll want to include some plant stands to elevate and create interest in your plantings.
You could buy several different sized pots and group them, or you could take your existing planters (of any height) and build a DIY plant stand to give height.
I opted for building – and I’d been eyeballing a pin I saw that showcased “West Elm inspired plant stands”. I checked out the instructions, but found they were a bit vague – no measurements, and a cut or two that I wouldn’t say is necessarily “beginner”… so I decided to create my own.
Easy, BEGINNER and with measurements to fit a 10″ pot (or larger if the pot narrows towards the base like mine do)
First up you’ll want some scrap 2×2″ wood; you’ll need one piece at 9 3/4″ long and two other pieces at 4 1/8” long. These will form your shelf on the DIY plant stand.
Remember that 2×2’s aren’t exactly square, so when you are attaching the cross pieces to the centre, make sure that you have the boards aligned so they are level on the top (where you will rest your plant)
I used Kreg Jig pocket holes to screw the smaller cross pieces into the larger one – but with boards this short, it means you won’t be able to have hidden screw holes on the outside of your DIY plant stand.
You can attach the boards using regular wood screws and some wood glue as well – this doesn’t have to be fancy, just solid.
Now you’ll need 4 pieces of either 1×2″ wood or 2×2″ wood. I made one DIY plant stand of each so you (and I) could see the difference and decide. If you have heavy ceramic pots, or if you plan on making a really tall plant stand, I’d suggest using 2×2’s for the legs for stability and a bit more strength.
My taller plant stand is 16″ high, so these are the measurements I used for attaching the legs. Pre-drill, use wood glue and then screw your legs into your shelf using 1 1/2″ deck screws. (they won’t rust)
I counter-sunk the screws slightly so that I could dab some wood filler over top and cover them up a bit.
This is what the DIY plant stand with the 2×2 legs looks like:
Once the wood filler was dry, I gave the entire piece a thorough sanding and even did a slightly bevelled edge on the tops of the legs – just with the sander itself.
Because I want the plants, and planters to be the focal point, I decided to stain my DIY plant stands (instead of painting in a loud colour – which I was SO TEMPTED to do). A couple of coats of outdoor appropriate varnish or poly and you’re set!
Okay, I couldn’t resist adding a bit of colour to my stands – so I dipped the bottom of the legs into a paint can I had in the garage:
Those gorgeous striations are actually a happy accident; I didn’t stir the paint before dipping the legs so I got a few shades of blue in one dip!
As you can see here, you won’t want to let the legs dry on the ground, so prop them up with screws or something small so that the oozing paint doesn’t pool at the bottom and create a gloppy foot on your plant stand.
I planted lavender in the centre of my pots (which you can bring inside in the winter) with a halo of purple lobelia around the edges. Fragrant, beautiful and now comparable to high-end patio decor!
If your pots are larger than these, the easiest way to figure out how wide a shelf you need is to place a piece of wood on either side of your pot. I stood my boards upright so that I had the distance at the widest part of the pot, then measured the distance between the two boards. For your smaller pieces, take the length you just obtained, subtract 1 1/2″ and divide the remaining number in half.
If you want your DIY plant stands to be taller (remember to use 2×2’s) and increase the length of the leg pieces.
This is West Elm’s version (click image for link):
Just in case you’d prefer to pay $109 US per stand over making your own.
(Pffffttttt ha, ha, ha!)
Happy long weekend everyone!