DIY Rustic Vertical Plant Shelf

This year for our anniversary (2 months ago) we decided to forego actual gifts for one another. To be honest, we usually don’t get anything for each other anyways, instead we’ll buy something we need or want for the house (i.e. a coffee maker, artwork, etc). Since we celebrated 5 years together this year, we switched things up…. with WOOD being the theme for the 5th year, I proposed that we do some crafty DIY wood projects that I have pinned on Pinterest! D loves plants… and is always wanting to add more plants to the house, but with two kiddos, two dogs and a cat, this is a challenge. They need to be kept off the ground, and out of arms reach of little ones and critters. Thank god for Pinterest! Here’s what we created….

I love the rustic look of this plant hanger, and knew it would work perfectly for our home. I thought I would include my step by step tutorial on how I accomplished this project, and the costs involved.

The products and tools involved were:

  • 2×12 rough pine – $12 (only used 1/4 of the board though)
  • table saw – $0
  • measuring tape – $0
  • pencil – $0
  • square – $0
  • jigsaw – $0
  • drill with 3/8″ bit – $0
  • rope – $9 (with quite a bit left over)
  • clay pots x3 – $10 ($3 each + 1 bottom piece at $1)
  • plants x3 – $12 ($4 each)
  • Stain – $0
  • Poly – $0

TOTAL COST = Approx $50 (We already had the tools and stain, so that saved us big time. Plus, there was a lot of the wood left over for another project… so basically, that was even cheaper)

I RARELY get involved with power tools, because while they excite me, I get slightly nervous. Plus, hubby likes to take on the tools so he feels comfortable in his position here in the home. LOL. I kid. (sort of).. For this project, however, I wanted to do the whole thing.

Here’s what I started with…. minus the clay pots, stain, and power tools. I apologize in advance for the not so great pictures… this IS my first rodeo.. I’ll improve. 🙂IMG_4219

You can see I marked a line where I would cut out my 12×12″ square, and in the very centre of the square I marked an X where I would drill my hole to then cut out the inner circle. IMG_4221

I measured the centre of the square, and screwed a screw into the X and tied a string to the screw to then create a circle. IMG_4223IMG_4224IMG_4226  The circle DID NOT turn out well… failed attempt. lol. So I then used a pot and drew a proper diameter… this basically gave me an idea of how big the circle needed to be though.

I then marked X’s again at the corners where I would drill my hole to thread the rope through. I made these about 1″ in from the side and bottom. IMG_4228

After all the markings were in place, I went to work with the power tools and got cutting! Woooo.. this was the fun part.

……and now…

TA DA….. Finished rough pieces…. As you can clearly see, the circles are pretty rough. This ultimately wasn’t a huge deal though because once the pot is in the hole you cannot tell that the circles are pretty rough. I promise. IMG_4234

I absolutely failed miserably at taking pictures beyond this point. However the steps I then took are as follows. By the time I got around to finishing this project we were a month in and I kind of just wanted to get it over with. It wasn’t difficult by any means, but honestly I just was never able to find the time. Clearly, it was not a priority. 🙂

Staining the wood. 

I used Minwax Wood Stain in Dark Walnut and applied two coats of the stain to ensure it had good coverage. Then I applied a top coat of min wax polyurethane to give it a bit of a shine and seal the stain. The longest part of the process was waiting for the stain to dry since each coat took a solid 24 hrs. I made these in our garage in the winter… so perhaps it wouldn’t take as long in the summer.

Threading the rope. 

After the stain had dried, I thread the rope to connect each of the shelves. Tying a knot beneath each shelf at the same length.

Connecting a ring. 

We used an O ring to connect all of the ropes at the top. These can be found in the hardware aisle at most hardware stores. (Same aisle as the rope). We used garland wire to then tie it all together around the ring. I intend on covering this with something a little nicer soon, but just haven’t found the perfect solution.

Hanging the shelf. 

We used a hanging planter hook to attach the shelf to the wall. Honestly, I think this would look great coming from a ceiling, but we have speckled ceilings and if I ever wanted to take this shelf down, I did not want a sloppy hole in the ceiling. At least with a hook hanging from the wall, it can be repaired super easily! Here’s the ONE issue we had with this planter though…. it’s quite heavy when fully completed, plants and all. So, even though I used plugs with the screws of the planter, the whole thing came crashing down not 12 hours later. So that was an EPIC FAIL. We lost 1 clay pot in this incident so now we’ll have to replace that one. Thankfully the plants seemed to survive. The funny part? We actually hung this in our bedroom where I may be creating my little office space. This plant shelf came crashing down at 5AM!!!! Obviously waking my husband and I up in a massive panic. I waited until a reasonable time to get up and clean the mess. haha! Needless to say, we will be finding a much better solution to hanging this from our wall. I’m guessing much stronger anchors will probably suffice.

THAT’S IT FOLKS. Super easy and fairly painless process.

Once again, here’s the finished piece (before it came crashing down). After I hung it up, I could also see that the shelves were slightly slanted, so I actually fixed this by adjusting the knots a bit. I’m also considering painting the clay pots white.. because I’m loving white lately and these horrible beige walls will also soon guessed it.. white.


A few final notes…

  • The rough pine is ROUGH. So if you are looking for a rustic look, then this is a great option. If you want something cleaner… get a regular piece of pine, or sand the rough pine accordingly. In retrospect, I would have gotten a smoother piece of wood, because this is a tad too rough for my liking.
  • This is not kid friendly. Keep it high enough so little hands cannot play with it.
  • The watering is amazing for this, due to the clay pots having a hole at the bottom. If you over water them, they drain right down to the lower plant. I actually used a ceramic glue to seal a clay bottom to the lowest plant to catch the water that would overflow from that one. Pretty genius I must say….
  • Again.. this is quite heavy. Get proper anchors that can hold a minimum of 40-50 lbs. (it doesn’t actually weigh THAT much, but you are better off being safe than sorry). Also, get a sturdy plant hanger because you don’t want the weight of the shelf to pull down that hanger. That’s what happened to us.
  • Lastly, in the original pinterest find… the shelves were quite small. I didn’t like this as much because I thought my plant options would be limited… as well, we have 9 foot ceilings, and the space I had to fill was pretty bare. So I needed the shelves to be larger. Yes, it makes the shelf heavier.. but I also think it fills a space much nicer. Obviously, use your judgement and make adjustments depending on your own situation.

Let me know if you give this a try!!



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