This attractive planter can spruce up any wall. Build it in a horizontal or vertical style, and easily modify it to hold more plants. All for under $30!
My wife designed this wall planter from simple materials found at a local building supply centre. Inspiration came from an ad that showed a new plastic lattice fencing material. She thought it would be an economical way of making decorative hanging planters. We chose to make two different styles, a double vertical style and a single horizontal style. Depending on the materials you use, they can be installed inside the house, or, as in our case, outside. This simple design can also be easily expanded to hold more pots.
Frame joinery options
• Mill all the stock to final dimensions. We purchased 1″ #2 common eastern white cedar and milled it ⅞” thick for all parts except the bases (E, I), which we left 1″ thick.
• Once all the pieces have been cut to size cut the joinery for the frames. To join the stiles (A and F) to the rails (B, C and G, H) we used a Samona AD409411 reversible rail and stile router bit (samona.com). You could also use dowels, biscuits, half-lap, mortise and tenon or splined mitre joinery. The vertical planter also has a mullion (D), which is joined to the rails. Whatever joinery you use remember that the planter pots will be heavy when filled with soil, so ensure the joinery is well executed.
• Glue and clamp the frame together. Make sure you use a waterproof glue like Elmer’s Waterproof Glue (elmers.com). If there is any glue creeping out of the joinery wait for 30 minutes or so and then remove it with a sharp chisel.
• Rout a ¼” x ¼” rabbet along the inside of the frame to accept the plastic lattice. A rabbeting bit set, like the Dimar 114R4-32 (dimarcanada.com) is good value, as it has six interchangeable bearings that enable you to rout rabbets from ⅛” to ¾” deep. You’ll have to clean up the corners with a chisel.
• Measure the opening for the lattice, and cut the lattice to fit.
• Bandsaw or jigsaw a pleasing curve on the corners of the bases (E, I). Measure the diameter of the pots you’ll be using, and then cut out three holes on the bases. A circle cutter chucked in a drill press works well for circles of up to 6″ diameter; for anything larger use a jigsaw. Use a ¼” round over bit on your router table to contour both sides of the circles. We also chose to put a decorative 5⁄16″ roman ogee edge on the top edge of the base.
• Sand all the pieces to 220 grit, and then glue and screw the base to the bottom of the frame.
• We applied two coats of Cabot Clear Solution Natural Cedar Stain (available from most building supply centres), which is water repellent and mildew resistant. Once the finish is dry, install the lattice, and screw a couple of shelf hangers on the back. We hung our single horizontal style planters along our back yard fence to create a softer look, and the double vertical style planters we attached to the brick of the house for a decorative focal point above our bistro set.