I've always wanted to be the kind of person who loved plants. There was the aloe plant sophomore year of college that I somehow killed (it turned orange before dying though so I like to think it was a somewhat evil plant). There was the spider plant that my college friend H.K. gave me upon the completion of my thesis that I wanted to have forever until it died in my basement apartment the following year. (That place didn't have enough sunlight for me either). But see how I find circumstances to blame the death of plants under my care? I'm such a rationalizer.
Naively, I began looking around for plant stands. I thought they wouldn't be expensive because essentially I wanted a slab of wood on four legs that didn't look like crap. I quickly realized the least I would pay would be around $40 but most of them were around $70. I'm not going to spend a lot of money on something my plant will just rest on all the time.
So I made some plant stands for the house. At first, Sean was skeptical but then saw, as is often the case, that I was right. Here's how you can make your own for less than $15.
Slabs of wood about 1 inch thick, cut 12 inches by 12 inches (I had three done to make three stands )
Pieces of 1' by 1' wood, cut as high as you want your plant stand to be (I had 4 legs cut at 12'', 4 legs cut at 16" and 4 cut at 20")
L brackets (24 total for three stands- screws should come with)
Drill (borrow one if you don't have one, makes things much easier)
*Small jar polyurethane (optional- only if you think you're going to spill water all over it on a regular basis and you never want to stain it again. This stuff is a little expensive.)
1. Let your beer chill iin the fridge while you go to the hardware store. Go to your local hardware/lumber store; if you are going to be crafty, it's best to form a relationship with them right off. Don't be intimidated by the masculine energy of it all, you're going to build something, gosh darn it, and you belong there! Bring in a sketch (or the photo above) to them so they can help you out. Be enthused and they'll be happy to help you.
2. Ask them if they have anything in the scrap pile, like some cheap pine that would work. Usually the stuff there is discounted. If they don't, pine will work.
3. Have them cut your bases and legs for you there. This is a good idea for a few reasons. 1) You probably don't have a powersaw. 2) If you did, you may not cut straight. 3) You want the wood to fit in your car. and 4) They'll do it for like $5. Why not let them do the heavy lifting?
4. Get your L brackets and your stain and pay for it all. Yikes, $50 for all that stuff? Remember you're making three stands for that price. Feel good about your handiness and thriftiness.
5. Borrow a drill from your neighbor. You'll be using it about 30 minutes. Make sure the bit that's in it looks like a Philips head and not a flathead. If your kind neighbor asks if you want bits, take them. Thank him or her.
6. Mark four places about 1-2 inches in at the corners where your legs will go with your pencil and place your four legs where they would theoretically go. Does it look right? If not move them. Mark where they will go so you won't forget.
7. Take the legs off except for one. You are going to use the L brackets on the inside and outside edges to make your legs straight and sturdy. This will make sense when you're looking at it. Start with the inside brackets because they're harder to reach. Drill the screw into the holes (one hole will be going into the leg, the other into the top of your stand).
7a. Make sure your screw doesn't go through the top of your plant stand (which is the bottom from the perspective of where you're drilling now).
7b. Don't try to make it tight with the drill. At the end, tighten it slowly with a Philips head screwdriver.
8. Test that first leg. Is it sturdy? Tighten with the screwdriver as necessary.
9. Attach the other three legs in the same fashion.
10. Return your neighbor's drill and bits. Thank them again.
11. Come home and crack your beer. Now that you are no longer using power tools, this is a safe time to have a drink.
12. Stain your plant stand, following the directions on your stain. You can usually rub stain in with a cloth, let set then wipe off the excess. You'll have to do it in a couple rounds: bottom and top and let dry a few hours in between, especially if it's humid. Remember that drinking while staining could be hazardous to whatever you are wearing.
13. This is the part where you polyurethane if you wish. I didn't but it's certainly an option.
Yes a little more work then a usual Too Cute Tuesday, but don't you feel empowered? And you made something useful that would normally cost you a whole lot more. You with power tools. It's a beautiful thing.
Image of woman with drill from www.nickhereandnow.blogspot.com.