DIY A Cute Plant Stand For Your Patio Using A Few Inexpensive Items

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When it comes to tips for decorating your patio with container gardens, plant stands can't be beat. Varying plant heights by placing them on different stands adds much-needed dimension to your personal arboretum. The stands also keep plants off the ground, protecting your patio pavers or decking from unsightly water stains and ventilating the plant's roots. All you need to do to make this tripod-legged plant stand is screw some shelf brackets to a round wooden board. Super simple and quick!

First up, you need a board sturdy enough to support a decent-sized plant pot full of soil, so look for something at least three-quarters of an inch thick — the thicker, the stronger. Round or round-ish shaped boards like hexagons (or any of the -gons) on three legs, not four, are more stable. A 12-inch-wide, three-quarter-inch-thick circle of baltic birch plywood will set you back just $17.51 at CraftCuts. Or Hobby Lobby has round wood plaques for under $5.

Your creativity is just as unlimited when it comes to leg options. In fact, using shelf brackets in place of traditional side table legs arguably affords you even more inventiveness. The only rules you need to adhere to are that the three legs should all be the same length and style. Amazon has a set of two curved metal brackets in black for $5.39. Or channel the art nouveau era with this bird-and-branch-themed cast iron shelf bracket for $18.48 at Walmart.

The DIY plant stand how-to

While you're shopping for the board, pick up the screws for your DIY project. Silicon-coated stainless steel or bronze screws are the most durable option for outdoor use, and make sure they're wood or deck screws. They need to be just a little shorter than the thickness of the board so the sharp end doesn't poke out the top when you attach the brackets to the wood. (That's unsightly and dangerous!) Tools you'll need include a pencil or pen and a screwdriver or handheld electric drill and drill bit — make sure the head matches that of your screws.

Arrange all three brackets evenly on the backside of the wooden board. Use a pencil to draw a mark in each of the screw holes, then remove all the brackets. If you're a proud perfectionist, tape the brackets to the board and turn the entire stand right way up to check they're in the right place before making any pencil marks. Grab your screws and screwdriver or electric drill and, one at a time, line up a bracket with the marks and screw it to the board. Flip it over to check the board's stability. If it is a bit wobbly, it may be because you placed some screws deeper than others. Adjust the depth until you lose the see-saw. Now, all that's left is to decorate your planter! Whether you intend to use the stand indoors or out, you need to know about waterproofing wood.

Decorating and using your new plant stand

Look for a weatherproofing wood stain or non-toxic paint designed for exterior use. Some options include a 1-gallon tub of BEHR Premium semi-transparent waterproofing stain and sealer, $48.98 at The Home Depot, or order 1 quart of semi-gloss paint in your favorite color for $48.98 from Ecos Paints. If you want your stand to last, apply a primer before you paint the round; primer isn't necessary when staining wood. To ensure the brackets retain their original patina, tape them off to protect them and use a brush to apply the paint or stain. If you want everything the same color, spray paint the whole stand in one go — preferably outdoors for ventilation. Use a couple of coats at least and let the entire stand dry for at least 28 hours for stain or at least six hours for paint before using it.

Alternatively, let your imagination run wild using things like collage (using, for example, images cut from old magazines), wood stencils, or glitter paint. Then, apply a couple of coats of clear acrylic or oil-based varnish — Lowe's sells a 1-quart can of Minwax Helmsman clear varnish for $25.98 — to protect your artsy finish. A more subdued waterproofing option, if you prefer a rustic look or purchased a pricey board made of high-quality wood, is to rub in a protective wood oil like tung oil. Waterlox out of Cleveland, OH, has 8-ounce bottles of pure tung oil for just $21.99.