Monday, June 1, 2015

DIY Fern Planters



I used to have smaller pots next to our front door that looked so cluttered. I decided that two large planters on either side of our front door would be a good solution to create a clean look. I couldn't find anything to buy that was tall enough, so I decided to make my own! 

What you will need to buy at the store:
  • (12) pressure-treated pine fence pickets (5/8 in. x 5-1/2 in. x 6 ft). After looking at wood at my local home improvement store, I decided to go with the economical route and use treated fence picket wood. It was also on sale for $1.25 a piece!  
  • (4) #1 Pressure-Treated Lumber (2 in. x 2 in. x 8 ft)
  • (7) Pressure-Treated Fill-It Strip (8ft)
  • (2) Pressure-Treated Board (1 in. x 2 in. x 8 ft)
  • (2) boxes of 1-5/8 in. White All Purpose Screws
  • Sand paper (I already had some)
  • General tools like an electric screwdriver, saw, sander, measuring tape, nail gun, ruler, jig saw
  • Paint/Stain (I actually used espresso powder to stain my planters!)
  • Spray paint primer. 
  • Paint roller or brush
  • Wood filler

The left photo is a sketch of what I wanted to do. I then made a rendering on my computer to figure out the dimensions that I wanted to use.

The rendering shows that you can layout the wood boards side by side and figure out where to cut. My recommendation would be so start with measuring out 13.5" on the top (red line in photo) and 11" on the bottom (blue line). You can then draw straight lines to connect them (yellow lines).

This is where you have to concentrate and be accurate. Draw out all the lines and then you can start to cut. 

Set your saw so that it is on the same angle as the cuts you are making.

I numbered each piece BEFORE I started cutting. This was so helpful to keep track of where every piece goes. 

Once all the sides were cut; I laid them out to make sure everything was right. This is also your opportunity to move boards around. I like to have different wood coloration an each side of the planter.

I then stacked each side in order. We are ready to get this thing assembled! 

Cut the 2"x2"x8' lumber you bought into thirds. 32" long pieces. Arrange the boards onto the lumber. 

Start by screwing one side together. I decided to use screws instead of nails because I think the planters will be more sturdy. 

One side completed.


When you have two sides screwed together, put them on their sides. You can now screw on the side panels.

Here's a close up.

Third side.

Now you can screw on the last side.


At this stage, I took the planter outside to make sure that I liked it and to add an inner shelf that will hold up my fern. The fern pot was 10" tall, so I wanted my shelf to sit 10.5" from the top of the planter.

Jigsaw a leftover piece of wood so that it will fit into the planter diagonally. 

Measure down 10.5" and use some screws that will hold up the shelf.

Not bad!

It fit! 

At this point, I was ready to give up! 98 degrees in New Orleans is not the best time to work in a hot garage. I powered through though!  

Lightly sand the sides of the planters.

Now I started to create all the side pieces that will hide all the screws. Cut out the 1"x2" boards at a 45 degree angle. These pieces will be used as decorative trim on the top of the planter.

 Cut the fill-It Strips into 2' 9" pieces.

I now spray primed all the side pieces. Let dry over night.

This was my favorite part! I have used espresso powder to stain wood in the past. I really like the color after it drys AND it's non toxic AND I didn't have to go to the store again since I forgot to buy stain :). Mix a few tablespoons of espresso into warm water.

Roll it on and let dry over night. Day 1 complete!

Day 2! Use a nail gun to attach the corner pieces onto the planter.

When everything is nailed on, use wood filler to fill in the gaps.

Let dry a few hours.

Lightly sand the wood filler so that it is smooth.

Paint and let dry.

Add your plant and DONE!




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