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Hanging Planter Blocks

Create a hanging home for low-maintenance air plants with basic blocks you can paint colorful colors.

Hanging blocks with air plants.

Project Overview

Skill Level


Estimated Time

1 weekend

Estimated Cost


Tools & Materials


  • Miter saw
  • Drill press (optional) or handheld drill
  • 2-1/8-in Forstner bit
  • Tape measure
  • 120-grit, 180-grit sandpaper
  • Painter’s tape
  • 1/16-inch rope


  • 3 x 3 x 36 poplar board
  • 13/16-in screw eyes
  • Cabot satin spray spar varnish
  • Valspar paint, 8-oz, Lincoln Cottage Black, #4009-2; La Fonda Teal, #5007-8B; Elizabethan Yellow, #3009-1; Radiant Red, #1009-3; and Asparagus, #6008-8C

Items may be Special Order in some stores. Product costs, availability, and item numbers may vary online or by market. Paint colors may vary slightly from those shown. Availability varies by market for lumber species and sizes.

Missing anything? Shop Online


Step 1

Using the Hanging Planter Block Drilling Guide, lay out the cut lines and hole locations on a 3 x 3 x 36 poplar board. Then clamp the board in place on a firm work surface.

Good to Know

Why drill before cutting? Working with a bit the size of the one you’ll use here creates a lot of torque that can make small blocks spin out of control as you drill. Drilling the whole board before cutting makes the job safer.

Step 2

Drilling holes in a 3 x 3 poplar board

Place a tape flag on a 2-1/8-inch Forstner bit shaft 2-1/8 inches from the tip. At each hole location, drill a 2-1/8-inch-deep hole.

Good to Know

When drilling holes this deep with a 2-1/8-inch Forstner bit, drill only a short depth before clearing the bit and removing debris from the hole. If possible, use a drill press for added safety and better results.

Step 3

At the marks, cut the board into two pieces 7 inches long, two pieces 5 inches long, and four pieces 3 inches long.

Step 4

Sand the faces and ends of each block, including the sides of the holes. Wipe clean and apply two coats of clear spray finish. Allow the spray finish to dry overnight.

Step 5

Lightly sand the blocks with 180-grit sandpaper. Use painter’s tape to mask off the area that won’t be painted. Then paint the other portion of each block the color or colors of your choice.

Good to Know

If a poplar board has a greenish tint you don’t like, don’t worry. When poplar is exposed to direct sunlight, the green areas eventually turn light brown.

Step 6

Drive two screw eyes in the top or both top and bottom of each block. To hang a block horizontally, drive two screw eyes into the face flanking the hole. Repeat for the remaining blocks and use string to hang them.

Good to Know

Air plants prefer temperatures above 45 degrees, so choose a location that’s consistently warm.

Step 7

Air plant in a planter hole.

Place an air plant in each hole of a block (no soil required), but avoid crowding them so that air can’t circulate to the plant. From late spring through mid-fall, remove the plants and mist them daily. The rest of the time, they can be misted once or twice a week. Fertilize the roots with a quarter-strength, low-nitrogen fertilizer once a month in the spring and summer using a sprayer.

Hang painted planter blocks in groups as a color accent. You can make enough to fill a wall for about $30. Share your own planter ideas with the Lowe's community.