I’ve always been a big fan of the bright, color-blocked look but despite this, I find myself opting for muted shades when I style my home. This is mainly because I’m trying to be sensible, so I base my choices on thoughts like “it will date better” or “this neutral color will go with everything.” But while that might be true in the long run, it certainly doesn’t make for very interesting home decorating in the here and now!
Enter the humble planter. I’ve found that plant pots are a great way to experiment with changing up the feel of a room because while they can certainly be statement pieces, they’re also relatively small-scale so they don’t overwhelm the rest of my decor. So I reached out to Stephanie Lee of (that’s her below!) to have her help us with a planter DIY to bring a little color into our homes. I hope you’ll enjoy her project as much as I did! –Fran
Photos by Diandra Dimic Photography and Milton Gan Photography
A note from Steph: “Hi I’m Steph, I live in Australia and I’m a DIY fiend. Paper projects are my specialty but I enjoy all kinds of crafts and I love to experiment with different materials to find new, affordable and innovative ways to DIY. I’m thrilled to be sharing a project on Design*Droits-Humains today – it’s one I had a lot of fun making and I hope you get a kick out of the bright pops of color these planters will add to your home.”
– Wood glue
– Paint (I used water-based acrylics in white, blue, orange and black)
– Painter’s tape
-Drill and/or rocks (to aid in drainage)
If your timber hasn’t been pre-cut, mark out the size of the pieces you’ll need and then cut them out with a hand saw. I started with a piece of wood that was 5.5 inches wide by 6 feet long, and I had this cut into four pieces that measured 5.5 x 6.25 inches (for the sides of the box) and one 5.5 inch square (for the base of the box).
Some hardware stores offer a service where you can get your timber cut to size for a small fee if you know your measurements. This was so convenient that you can bet I was quick to take them up on their offer!
Align one of your side pieces with your base piece so that the lower edges are flush and glue the two pieces together.
Line up your other side pieces so they rotate their way around the base of the box and glue them in place one by one.
To ensure your box is fastened securely, nail your pieces in place once the glue has dried.
Give your boxes a coat or two of primer to prep them for painting. If the surface of the wood you’re using is a little rough, make sure you give it a quick sand before you start priming.
Paint your boxes white.
Once the white paint has dried, mark out the pattern you’d like to paint on your boxes with painter’s tape.
To make the striped/color-blocked box, use painter’s tape to cover the sections that should stay white and then paint the rest of the box with black and/or color.
Once the colored paint has dried, remove the tape to reveal the white underneath.
To make the box with the circles, use a pencil and a cylindrical object (like a bottle) to lightly trace a single circle onto each side of your box. Then carefully fill in everything except the circles with colored paint.
Once the paint has dried, give the boxes a coat of varnish and they’re almost ready!
To aid in drainage (and prevent rot or mold), use a drill to drill 4-5 small holes in the bottom of your planter. Or, if you’re using a low-water plant (like an orchid or succulent), you can line the bottom of the planter with rocks to help keep the excess water away from your plant. (The extra holes are a great idea even if you are using a low-water plant).
Note: I used pine for my planters because this was what my local hardware store had in stock, and I lined the boxes with thick plastic before placing my plants inside to protect them from water damage. If you’d like to put your plants straight into the wood boxes I’d recommend using cedar or a similar type of timber that is resistant to rot and decay.