Build a space-saving planter that turns succulent plants into wall art.
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The photos and instructions that follow show how to build the small planter box but include dimensions for building the large one. The only difference is that you’ll need to add more screws on each side to hold the acrylic sheet against the back of the planter.
Cut the four sides of the planter box from 1 x 4 cedar boards. For the small planter box, cut two pieces 10 inches long and two pieces 8-1/2 inches long. For the large planter, cut two pieces 18 inches long and two pieces 22-1/2 inches long.
Glue and clamp the box sides to the top and bottom with the rough sides out. (For a small planter, the shorter boards go between the two longer ones. For the large planter, the long boards fit between the shorter ones.) After the glue dries, drill 1/8-inch pilot holes 3/4 inch from the top and bottom edges and drive #8 x 1-1/2-in screws to reinforce the joints.
Cut the four frame sides from 1 x 6 cedar boards with 45-degree miters on both ends. For the small planter, cut four pieces 17-1/2 inches long. For the large planter, cut two pieces 25-1/4 inches long and two pieces 31-1/4 inches long.
For gap-free mitered corners make sure opposite sides of the frame are cut to the same length.
Apply an exterior sealer to the assembled box and the individual frame pieces (not shown for photography) and let dry overnight.
Tape together the frame pieces at the corners and measure 1 inch from the sides at the miter joints. Squeeze the frame sides together, drill 1/2-inch-deep pilot holes to avoid the front face of the frame, and screw a flat corner brace to the frame. Repeat for the remaining corners.
Mark the center of each side of the box along the bottom edge. There, drill and screw a corner brace with one leg flush with the bottom edge of the box. (Attach two braces per side for the large planter.) Then center the box on the frame. Drill 1/2-inch-deep pilot holes to avoid drilling through the front of the frame, and then screw the box to the frame.
Cut the hardware cloth to fit within the box. Staple the hardware cloth to the inside face of the frame using a staple on every other wire.
An easy way to measure the hardware cloth to be cut is to place the box over a piece of cloth, center the grid pattern, and mark where to cut the wires using a permanent marker.
Place the box on an 18-in x 24-in acrylic sheet at one corner to take advantage of the factory edges. Mark the sheet along the box edges and cut to size. (You can also ask a Lowe’s associate to cut 10-in x 10-in and 18-in x 24-in pieces in the store.)
Mark screw hole locations on the back of the plastic sheet no more than 4 inches apart and 3/8-inch from each edge. Place the sheet on a piece of scrap wood, and drill 3/16-inch holes. Then transfer the hole locations to the back edge of the box and drill 1/8-inch pilot holes at each mark.
Drive #8 x 3/4-in panhead screws to fasten the acrylic sheet in place. Use only enough pressure to hold the plastic in place or you risk cracking it.
Measure 1-1/2 inches down from the top of the box on the sides and mark the mounting screw locations for D-ring hangers. Drill 3/16-inch holes through the plastic and into the wood. Mount the hangers with #8 x 3/4-in panhead screws.
Place the planter on a sheet of plastic or drop cloth to catch the overflowing soil. Pour potting mix through the screen and into the box until filled to the underside of the screen.
Arrange succulents on top of the screen in a pattern you like. Use tin snips to cut holes in the screen slightly smaller than each succulent root ball, but retain at least two strands of wire between each planting. Where possible, make the cuts so you leave fingers of the wire around the opening. Press the succulents in place, forcing the cut ends down into the root ball.
Water succulents and allow the potting mix to dry slightly before hanging the planter on the wall. Remove the planter and water as needed periodically.
Because of the planter’s weight, either drive mounting screws into wall studs or reinforce them with toggle-style wall anchors.
Learn more about succulents.