Bring the Outdoors In

With its multiple levels, you can get a lot of greenery into a conveniently small space.

From The Family Handyman

This sturdy little stand looks great on your deck or patio, and it’s a perfect place for some of your favorite plants when the weather outside gets too cold. And there’s no complicated joinery, so it will go together quickly.

What you’ll need

For tools, you’ll need a table saw and jigsaw (or band saw), a drill, a sander and hand tools. A router is handy, but not essential. You can use just about any wood you want, either a softwood or a nice hardwood, but if you plan to use the stand outdoors, be sure to use exterior glue and an appropriate finish. We made ours a deluxe indoor version from mahogany, but cedar would also be a good choice if you want a natural look. Use pine if you’re planning to paint it. Here’s how to build it:


1. For the screws that attach the arms and legs to the column. For a neater job, it helps to clamp a block to the column and then clamp the arm or leg to the block so it’s good and tight.


2. Are glued to the column to support the arms, making them offset from the legs. The blocks can simply be rubbed until the glue gets sticky, then left to dry without clamps.

Step-by-Step Instructions

1. On the table saw, cut the column (A), legs (B) and arms (E) to their final width and length.

2. Cut the curves on the arms and legs using a band saw or jigsaw, and smooth the curves with a rasp, file and sandpaper. It speeds things up to stack two parts to cut and smooth them at the same time.

3. Place each leg on the column and drill and countersink pilot holes for the screws (Photo 1). While you’re at it, mark each leg so you know where it goes, and mark around the column where the top of the legs are.

4. Smooth the edges of the legs using a file and sandpaper, except where they support the discs or go against the column. Sand them thoroughly.

5. Mark the column where the arms will go, and round over the edges of the column, stopping 1 inch from the legs, the arms and the top. Sand the column thoroughly.

6. On a flat surface, screw and glue the legs to column.

7. Screw and glue the column support block (C) to the end of the column.

8. Glue the triangular arm blocks (D), which are cut from your leftover column stock, onto the column (Photo 2). Note: The face opposite the right angle (hypotenuse) on the block must measure 1-1/2 inches. If a block keeps sliding down the column, pull it off, wipe off the excess glue and stick the block back on. Before you attach the second pair, sand or plane the edges of the first pair flush.

9. Attach the arms, following the same procedure you used for the legs. Make sure the arms wrap around the column in the same direction as the legs, or the discs will not be staggered.

10. Cut the discs, using a jigsaw or band saw. Sand or file the edges smooth, and round over the top edge. If you sand, be careful to keep the discs round, because the discs are softer on the sides where edge-grain is exposed than they are on the sides where end-grain is exposed. It’s easy to take off too much wood in some places.

11. On all the discs but one, drill two holes, one in the middle and one at 45 degrees to the wood grain. This will ensure that the arms and legs give maximum support to the discs. Drill only a center hole in one disc (the top one) and countersink all screw holes.

12. Position the discs on the arms and legs, then drill pilot holes for the screws. Mark which disc goes on which arm or leg.

13. Screw and glue the discs to the column, arms and legs.

14. Apply the finish of your choice, and you’re done!
If you want to use your plant stand in a windy location, you may want to use a sharpened dowel in place of the center screw to attach the discs. Place your pot over the spike and put a plastic “deck protector” (available at garden stores) underneath the pot to provide air space.

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Lifestyle Magazine: Bring the Outdoors In
Bring the Outdoors In
This sturdy little stand looks great on your deck or patio...
Lifestyle Magazine
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