Add farmhouse flair to your porch, patio, or deck with easy-to-assemble planters that flaunt crisp lines and classy black.
Pick from five outdoor planters to bring a hint of farmhouse style to your porch, patio, deck, or front door.
BOX HIT With cedar boards and steel tubes in the lead roles, this sophisticated plant stand, opposite and left, looks like it hails from a high-end garden retailer. Even if you’re a beginner with a limited toolbox, this project comes together with little fuss. A handsaw will do the job of a compound miter saw, and a reciprocating saw is easily rented from a tool supplier or borrowed from a handy neighbor.
STAND-UP JOB Two inexpensive 24×72-inch wood trellises from the home improvement store make this plant stand easier to construct than it looks, opposite and left. Cut 3/4-inch square dowels into 16 lengths each measuring 111/4 inches. Stain all wood surfaces with black exterior stain; set aside and let dry. Eight-inch-diameter duct caps—primed and spray-painted black—are the perfect perches for potted plants. Drill holes 3/8 inches down from the top edge of opposite sides of each cap. Lay one trellis flat on the ground; stagger caps, centering them within the square openings and securing them to the horizontal trellis rungs using 1/2-inch screws. Lay the other trellis flat on the ground, place the trellis assembly on top so it lines up, and secure the duct caps in the same manner. Stand up the assembly. Using a pin nailer, attach the dowels on each side and at each intersection.
DOWN AND AROUND When turned upside down, tomato cages become super simple plant stands, this photo. Invest in cages made from heavy-gauge wire so they can support the weight
of your planters after they’re loaded with dirt, plants, and water. Using wire cutters, remove the
legs and trim the cages to desired heights. Spray the cages with bonding primer and paint; let dry. For extra oomph, unfurl three-strand manila rope,
wrapping it around the horizontal rings as you go (see inset, below). Secure the rope ends with a knot or a little silicone glue. Small, tapered planters sit securely in tall stands,
while large, wide-base planters are best reserved
for short ones.
ALFRESCO ART A freestanding frame puts the focus on a bountiful display of succulents, this photo. Three rectangular duct elbows function as the planter boxes. See the full how-to for this project on page 72.
CURVES AND ANGLES Weather-resistant mediumdensity overlay (MDO) provides the framework for a pair of modular planters, this photo. Using a circular or table saw, cut the panel into the following: two 17-inch squares and two 32×17inch rectangles for the tall planter and four 22-inch squares for the square planter. To assemble the tall planter, center the rim of a 13-gallon dairy bucket on one of the 17-inch squares and trace. Cut a hole 3∕8-inch smaller than your traced circle using a jigsaw. Adhere the squares to the short sides of the rectangles with exterior-rated wood glue, and then drive two screws through each side, countersinking the screwheads. Fill the screw holes with patching compound; let dry. Sand the entire planter. Prime and paint the planter, lightly sanding between coats to minimize brushstrokes. Cover the bucket bottom with a layer of rocks for drainage, then add plants. Drop the bucket in the opening. To build the square planter, repeat the process for the cube planter using a 171∕2-inch-diameter metal tub and the 22-inch square MDO pieces.
TO GET STARTED, DRILL A HOLE USING A BIT THAT’S SLIGHTLY LARGER THAN YOUR JIGSAW BLADE. THEN INSERT YOUR BLADE AND BEGIN CUTTING.