Tile Top Plant Stand Plans

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Free woodworking plans to build an inexpensive plant stand with a tile top.

I decided to add more plants to my home without first thinking about where to put them! So I came up with this simple yet attractive design for DIY plant stand that's easy to build. You can even build it with minimal tools or get the wood cut for you at the store. You can build one for as little as $8 or if you're building 3 of them the cost comes down to around $6 each depending on the wood you choose.

Dimensions


I designed the plant stand to work with a standard 12" x 12" flooring tile. The total height of the plant stand will be 30-1/4" tall with the tile top installed. This puts the top a few inches shorter of the height of my window sills. You can choose a different height to suit your needs or build plant stands at varying heights for a tiered grouping. All you'll need to change is the length of the 4 2x2 legs.

What You'll Need

Type of Lumber

For the lumber you can use cheap furring strips or higher quality S4S (surfaced 4 sides) boards. 

Furring strips look more like 2x4 studs as far as quality. They're usually meant to be used where they won't be seen so appearance isn't a priority. They have knots and other imperfections, they have some rounded corners and sometimes you'll find that they're warped and sometimes even moldy in the store. They surface is rough and will need to be sanded and you need to take precautions to prevent the wood from splitting. If you take some time to select decent looking furring strips you can save a lot of money. Sometimes it's hard to find full boards that don't have any warps or other imperfections but are otherwise very good so I usually get one or two extra boards and then cut around really bad areas. It's a lot faster than trying to sort through a whole pile for perfect pieces. Since I'm going to be painting most of my plant stands and many will be at least partially hidden behind other furniture I'm making a few out of furring strips to save money.


Above is what a plant stand made with furring strips will look like. I plan to paint it outside and my sander died so it's unsanded and unpainted for now until the weather gets warmer and I replace my sander.

Appearance grade boards are going to be nicer quality boards with more pleasing grain, sharp corners and it will be easier to find straight boards. The downside is they'll cost 3-4 times as much as furring strips and are available in different species. If you'd like to stain your plant stands or they're going to be more visible I'd recommend appearance grade boards. These plans will work with either.

Materials

  • 2 8' 2x2 boards (4 if you're making 3 stands)
  • 2 8' 1x3 boards ( 5 if you're making 3 stands)
  • 1 12"x12" flooring tile per stand
  • 12 1-1/4" Kreg pocket hole screws (coarse threads for soft woods, fine threads for hardwoods)
  • 32 1-3/8" Kreg pocket hole screws (coarse threads for soft woods, fine threads for hardwoods)
  • 24 1-1/4" finish nails
  • 4 tack on furniture glides
  • Wood Glue
  • Construction adhesive
  • Paint or stain

Tools

Cut List

You'll need to following for each plant stand:
  • (4) 29-1/4" 2x2 Legs
  • (8) 7-1/2" 1x3 Side Rails
  • (4) 10-1/4" 1x3 Bottom Shelf Slats (10-1/8" if you're using furring strips)
  • (2) 11" 1x3 Top (Long)
  • (3) 6" 1x3 Top (Short)

Cut Plan

If you're only making 1 plant stand:


If you're making 3:

Step 1

Start by creating 2 leg assemblies that each consist of 2 29-1/4" 2x2 Legs and 2 7-1/2" 1x3 Side Rails.

The 1x3's are thinner than the 2x2's which means to center the two we need to inset the 1x3's by 3/8". To do so I used these green Pergo Laminate Flooring Spacers. They have a 1/16" thick side and a 3/16" side. By stacking 6 of them together I could create a 3/8" spacer.


At least that was the plan. The furring strips were a little thinner than expected so I wound up only using 4 spacers for a 5/16" inset.

Build each leg assembly one at a time. Start by laying out 2 legs and the spacers on a flat surface like an assembly table or floor. Use a 6-1/2" block cut from scrap 1x3 to quickly set the bottom rail at the appropriate spot. The spacer block should be flush with the bottom of the legs and clamped in place with a 6" clamp. Add the 3/8" spacers in between the two legs. The side facing the floor will be the outside when assembled so arrange your wood with that in mind. Keep the best faces down and for furring strips the rounded edges down.

Once you've driven all the screws in you can remove the clamps as the screws will hold everything together. Gotta love pocket screws if nothing else for how much money you save on clamps!


Add the 2 Side Rails (after drilling 4 pocket holes on the back side of each with settings for 3/4" stock) on top of the 3/8" spacers. The bottom rail should be on top of the 6-1/2" spacer and the top rail should be flush with the tops of the legs. Make sure everything is square. See my tips on making wood square if you're having issues with squareness. 

Once you've verified everything fits together well, apply glue to the ends of the Side Rails, place a 12" clamp at the top and one towards the bottom over the bottom rail. After you apply the clamps, press down on the rails to make sure they're pressed down on top of the spacers. Check again for square and affix with 1-3/8" pocket hole screws.


Repeat the above for the other leg assembly.

Step 2

Join the leg assemblies together with 4 7-1/2" 1x3 Side Rails that each have 4 pocket holes drilled into them with settings for 3/4" thick stock. Use the same spacer set up as you did before and clamp everything in place to check for square. Then apply wood glue to the ends of the Side Rails, clamp everything back together and screw in 1-3/8" pocket hole screws.



Because the plant stand is small you can't get a regular sized drill to fit in between the legs to screw these connecting Side Rails. Even my smaller impact driver wouldn't fit. A small cordless screwdriver will work. I used my 4V Skil IXO. It had plenty of power to drive the screws.

Flip everything over and repeat the above process for the other side.

Step 3

Create the top using 2 11" 1x3 Top (Long) and 3 6" 1x3 Top (Short) pieces. Drill 4 pocket screw holes into the ends of the back side of the Top (Short) pieces. Check for square then glue, clamp and screw together using 1-1/4" pocket screws.


Remember that the bottom side is going to be on top so layout your wood to put the nicest faces down.

One thing to note. If you use a strong flooring tile it should be strong enough to support the weight of the plant on it's own but I personally like the look of having the wooden sub top and think it's a good idea to have the extra stability in case there's a defect in the tile that causes it to crack. Better safe than having a plant you've had for years spill all over your floors.

Step 4

To get 2 of the Bottom Shelf Slats to fit around the table legs you need to cut sholders in the ends as shown. You can cut these out with a table saw, jig saw or even a hand saw. If using a hand saw or jig saw, clamp the two pieces together (one on top of the other) so the cuts match.

Step 5

Now attach the 4 slats to the bottom rails using finish nails. Two nails on each end. There should be a slight gap between each slat. You can use a nail as a spacer or just eyeball it. I used a pneumatic finish nailer, if you're nailing with a hammer drill pilot holes first to prevent splitting the wood.

As you lay out the slats keep in mind that they shouldn't extend all the way to be flush with the outside of the legs. They should be set back a little bit.

Step 6

Attach the top to the base. Center it evenly over the base. There was something I read somewhere (I forget exactly) that just using your hands on the underside of the top to judge when the spacing is even gives you as accurate or more accurate fitting than using a measuring tool. I always places tops on by hand then check with a combination square to make sure everything's even.

Attach the top to the top side rails and top of the legs using 2 finish nails on each side. I used a pneumatic finish nailer, if you're nailing with a hammer drill pilot holes first to prevent splitting the wood.

Finally place the tip on top of the plant stand securing it with a few dabs of construction adhesive. I used a black granite tile and went over the edges with a black Sharpie to make them match the top.

Step 7

All that's left to do is sand and finish your plant stand. If you used furring strips, don't try to get everything perfectly smooth and flat or you'll be sanding all day. Use a good primer and paint or stain and top coat. Wear a respirator and work in a well ventilated space to avoid breathing in fumes and wood dust.

Let the plant stand dry and attach the tack on glides to the bottom of the legs using a hammer.

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