From Chair to Garden Planter: A How-To

21 Jun

You may have seen my chair planter make its debut in my Design Throwdown post (and if you haven’t, go vote!) So, how do you take a chair from run-down curbside find,

Before:

To lovely aqua fabulousness?

After:

Read More to find out how!
Supplies:
• Chair (any old chair will do, just make sure it’s one you won’t mind getting even more weathered)
• 1 large pot (for the seat)
• Jars/Cans (for the rungs)
• Pipe Clamps
• Screws
• Sandpaper
• Paint
• Plants
• Potting Soil

Step 1: Gather your supplies

I went crazy at the Home Depot garden center finding all the succulents I wanted to plant. I’ve wanted a garden like this for ages, and now I can finally have one!

I had quite a few mason jars leftover from my wedding last September. To make them plant-ready, I had my husband drill a hole in the bottom with a glass bit. For some reason I was paranoid that breathing in glass dust would hurt the baby.

This nicely sized pot was already at home in G-ma’s garden, and was perfect for the project. With a little cleaning and paint, it looked adorable. You can’t even see the scalloped details here, but once I painted it they showed up beautifully.

Step 2: Trace your pot outline

This is where I got a little dumb. I traced the bottom of the pot exactly, not realizing that it tapers wider up at the top. So, when tracing your own pot, I would suggest making a circle for the bottom, then the top, and split the difference between the two for your cut so you don’t have to keep making a million cuts with your jigsaw. Anyway, once you have your outline, drill a large starter hole for your saw to pop in. Then cut out your hole. As I cut mine way too small, I had to keep cutting chunks out, and the vibrations from the saw made all my seat boards split apart. So now instead of a circle, I was left with a “u”. Doh! I quickly grabbed a 2×6 and cut it to fit, then faced it with a 1×2 and added a brace at the bottom to solidify it all.

Try to not be like me, and measure properly your first time!

Step 3: Check the pot’s fit, and fill in any gaps

Since I had to fill in a large space, there were a lot of gaps around my pot. This bugged me, so I grabbed some spare weather stripping and filled in the holes.

To blend the stripping in, I smothered it with spackle then sanded it once it dried. You can hardly tell that my chair is not one whole piece! So, if you totally muck up a project, don’t give up. There are ways to fix it, and especially on something that’s supposed to look a bit shabby and sit out in your garden.

Step 4: Paint your chair

I chose to double layer my paint for a distressed look. I started with a watered down coral paint, and loosely covered the wood. I didn’t bother to paint over every exposed piece, I wanted it to look worn. After the coral dried, I followed it up with some watered down aqua, making sure that a lot of that lovely coral peeked through. The chair really pops with color!

Step 5: Add your pipe clamps

This is mostly for jars, though if you’re using cans you can utilize the clamps or just drill them directly into the spindles. I used my drill press to create a hole in the clamp, then screwed a short cabinet screw straight into the chair. They’re nice and secure.

Step 6: Plant your plants!

This one is pretty self-explanatory. Have fun picking out your spacing and arrangement!

Step 7: Attach your jars in the clamps

This is super easy. Just slide your jar into place, grab a flathead screwdriver, and go to town! Make ‘em good and tight. This is how people make those pretty shelves and ledges with mason jars attached. You can find pipe clamps in the plumbing section for pennies.

Step 8: Slide in your pot

Now that your pot is filled with lovely plants, slide it on into the hole in your chair. If you look closely, you can see where the weather stripping and filler is on my chair. But it’s not super obvious, so I’m really happy with it. The chair is sitting on our front porch, and I can’t wait to find a lovely new home for it in our new place when we move next week!

3 Responses to “From Chair to Garden Planter: A How-To”

  1. Erin June 23, 2011 at 1:58 am #

    I think I am going to have to go for the planter – it’s crazy cute!

  2. Angela June 24, 2011 at 2:30 pm #

    I have two chairs I want to use in a gardeny way. Thanks for the inspiration! You’re amazing! Would you inspire us at my blog party Simply Creative over at 365 days to Simplicity? It’s just too cool not to share! Thanks Again!

    http://365days2simplicity.blogspot.com/2011/06/simply-creative-blog-party-2.html

  3. the cape on the corner June 24, 2011 at 5:21 pm #

    whoa, especially love the ones attached to the chair. genius!

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