planning mid century planter

Step 1

My friends Tori and Ben mentioned they wanted to make a mid-century planter. I found this tutorial, which inspired our planter. We began by picking up the essential element of our project: a beautiful plant. We also needed a planter and soil. This step should be done ahead of time so you can accurately make each of the measurements.

mid century door knob

Step 2

This project requires a high amount of accuracy. If you don't make accurate measurements and cuts, this might happen. If you're not a patient or precise person, make a conscious effort to be so. Begin by measuring the diameter of your pot. In our case, it was 12". Cut two pieces of your pine to 13" each, or an inch longer than the diameter of your pot. Measure and mark half an inch from each end.

Step 3

Decide how tall you’d like the stand to be and cut four 1-inch wooden dowels to that length. We chose 18 inches.

how tall should planter stand be

Step 4

For this project, you're going to need a drill press. Get your precut pine board pieces that have the ½" marks from each end. Clamp the first ½" pine board in place and use a 1-inch Forstner bit in the drill press. (Don't forget your safety glasses!) Line it up with the ½" pencil mark and drill. This creates a groove that will fit into the dowel. Do this to each end of your pine boards. We didn't use a drill press (as you can see from the picture below), which meant the cuts weren't accurate and wouldn't align with the 18" dowels. Thankfully we had a friend who did have a drill press. He made the cuts for us. Again DON'T free hand this—use a drill press!

drill press for mid century planter

Step 5

Find and mark the center of the groove you've just created in step three. Use a ¼" drill bit to drill a hole in each end. Do this to the other piece of pine.

drill hole for planter

pine for mid century planter

Step 6

Measure 5-10 inches up on each dowel and make a mark. This will be where your plant will sit on the stand. Using the ¼" drill bit, drill a hole in each dowel at the same length.

dowel for mid century planter

Step 7

Now, find the middle of each piece of pine and pencil in a ¾" x ¾" square. Use a hand saw to cut out each notch. This is another instance that requires extreme precision. If your cuts are off, the resulting stand will be wobbly.

cut pine for planter

cutting pine for mid century planter

notch for mid century planter

Step 8

Now, it’s time to sand. Sand down the pine pieces including the grooves and notches. Then, sand the dowels. Pay attention to the areas you have drilled and cut.

sanding wood for mid century planter

dowel for mid century planter

Step 9

Now, it’s time to stain. Lay out a protective covering and stain each piece according to the manufacturer's direction. Wipe off the stain. Allow it to dry for 10 minutes, and do as many coats as you like, allowing them to dry for 10 minutes between each coat (or as recommended on the can).

stain for mid century planter

Step 10

To assemble your planter:

  • Begin with two dowels, two dowel bits, and one crossbar.
  • Apply wood glue in the hole you drilled in the 18" dowel and push one of the dowel bits into the hole.
  • Apply glue in the hole you drilled in the piece of pine.
  • Press the 18" dowel and the piece of pine together. You may need to use a hammer to get everything to fit into place. Cover the wood with a cloth to protect it if you use a hammer. Use the clamp to press these pieces together as they dry. Wipe off any excess glue.

Now, assemble the other piece. Be sure the crossbar will fit into the other (one should have a groove facing up and the other facing down.) Use a clamp to secure this piece and allow both to set for 24 hours.

glue for mid century planter

glue dowel for planter

wipe down dowelassembling mid century planter

Step 11

It's time for the final part of assembly! If you've made the precise cuts the grooves should fit snuggly into place. If they aren't as snug as you'd like you can reinforce them with corner braces. (They take away from the doweling effect but ensures stability.) Now put your plant into your new planter and enjoy!

mid century planter