Mid-Century Inspired Plant Stand DIY

Make this Mid Century inspired plant stand to show off the houseplants you haven't killed!Hi! It's Mandi from Making Nice in the Midwest. As I've learned more about not killing my houseplants, I've gained the courage to fill my home with more and more of them (so much so that I'm running out of room!). My one-and-a-half-year-old kiddo has finally learned how to "no touch" the houseplants, which has given me the guts to employ the use of a plant stand, with minimal fear of potentially having to clean up dirt from the floor. (I'm hoping we're completely past that stage! Please don't burst my bubble!) I had a specific minimal style in mind andโ€”as usualโ€”couldn't find anything in stores or online that fit within my budget, so I fell back on my usual plan of just making my own!

This project was really quick and easy, as far as furniture building goes, since I decided to use brackets in lieu of attempting any wood joinery techniques. The difficulty level and cost varies depending on whether or not you wish to make your own wooden circles. I'll talk a bit about the options below. And guess what? I've heard your cries and am working harder to include more information on the approximate cost of supplies, so you can better decide if this project is right for you.Make this Mid Century inspired plant stand to show off the houseplants you haven't killed!Supplies:

– 2 10" or 12" wooden pre-cut circles at least 1/2" thick. (Don't buy ones with beveled edges.)
– 4 3/4" or 1" square dowels (I used 3/4" x 36" long dowels and cut them down to 28".)
– white paint + primer
– wood stain
– power drill
– tape measure (not shown)
– pencil
– 8 1/2" wide L-brackets

If you are cutting your own circles you will also need:

– 1" x 12" x 2' piece of solid wood instead of the wooden circles listed above. (A piece 2x the size you need is $18 at Lowes.)
– jig saw
– sandpaper (I began with 80 grit and finished with 180 grit and used a rotary sander.)
– 10" plate for tracing, or a compass for drawing the circle

Total cost: $25 (approximately broken down according to the portion of supplies purchased):

– wood: $15 – I used half of the $18 board, leaving a 1' x 2' board for another project, and four 36" dowels at $2.49 each.
– hardware: $4.50 – Includes two packages of 4 brackets which include mounting screws.
– paint & stain: $3.50 – I used 1/4 of a $5 can of spray primer, 1/4 of a $5 can of spray paint, and less than two ounces of Minwax stain, which costs $4.77 for an 8oz can.
– sandpaper: $2 – I used one sheet of a $4 4-pack of 80 grit sandpaper and 1 sheet of a $4 4-pack of 180 grit sandpaper.

Note about the wooden circles:

The following steps will include the process of cutting your own circles. I decided to cut my own because I had difficulty finding pre-cut circles in the size I wanted that didn't have beveled edges, and since I already have a jig saw, I knew it would be easy to do. You may be able to find wooden circles at the craft store, but they might not be thick enough to handle the length of screws that come with your brackets. If you do use thinner wooden circles, keep in mind that you will need to buy shorter screws to attach the brackets. You also have the option of gluing together two of the same size wooden circles to make a thicker, nicer looking shelf on the plant stand. I found this piece of wood on Amazon that doesn't look too bad, although the edges of plywood are notoriously full of chips, so I would want to fill those up with wood filler and sand it down before painting. Who knows? You may even be able to find two inexpensive round cutting boards that would work perfectly for your shelves!Make this Mid Century inspired plant stand to show off the houseplants you haven't killed!Step One: Trace the outline of the 10" plate onto the solid wood board. I used poplar, but since you're painting this wood, the species isn't too important. Leave an evenly spaced border around the circle you trace so you can easily fit the jig saw on either side of the line while cutting.

Step Two: Cut along the lines you traced with the jig saw. Slowly but surely wins this race! If you go too quickly, you might not be able to trace the line exactly, and then you'll just end up with a wonky circle. While I cut, I hold the edge of the board firmly onto a table with my left hand while I cut with the jig saw in my right hand. Of course, as I cut, I need to move the board so that I don't end up cutting into the edge of the table.Make this Mid Century inspired plant stand to show off the houseplants you haven't killed!Step Three: Sand the edges of the wooden circles so they're nice and smooth. While you're at it, sand down the wooden dowels just to knock off any factory roughness or sharp corners that they might have.

Step Four: Prime and paint the wooden circles. I lightly sanded down the second coat of primer with 180 grit sandpaper to give it a nice smooth finish for the two coats of paint I applied next.

Step Five: Stain the square dowels. When you're purchasing the dowels at the store (I got mine from the craft store), try to find ones that have similar looking grain. They are more likely to take the stain evenly. I applied the stain with a paper towel, and after I was finished, I allowed the stain to cure completely. Only then did I throw away the dry paper towel. If you throw it away while the fumes are fresh, you risk spontaneous combustion. Never work with stain while pregnant or nursing and always wear a mask. If you are especially concerned about the fumes, you may want to look into natural wood stains.Make this Mid Century inspired plant stand to show off the houseplants you haven't killed!Step Six: Find the prettiest looking edge on your stained dowels, and mark the bracket connection points on the side opposite. Measure in 7" from the bottom of your square dowel (the bottom will have red paint on it if you purchased it from a craft store) and 2" from the top, and mark those points lightly with a pencil. Make sure these lines are very precise, or your legs will be a bit wobbly. 

Step Seven: Lay out the brackets so that their holes are centered up with the lines you marked in step six, drill pilot holes right on the line, and then insert the screws to connect the brackets. On the bottom shelves, I used longer brackets with two screws for each side, and then I used smaller brackets on the top, since they would be more visible. For the brackets with two holes, I simply lined up the bottom hole with the line I marked, and then drilled the pilot hole for the top hole after filling the bottom one with a screw. Do make sure your brackets are facing the right way on the top and bottom.Make this Mid Century inspired plant stand to show off the houseplants you haven't killed!Step Eight: Find four equidistant points on the edge of your circular shelves and mark them. Do this by measuring the circumference of the circle, dividing by four, and then marking points at that measurement with a measuring tape.

Step Nine: Drill pilot holes for the bracket connection points on the bottom of the white shelves by centering a bracket with the lines you marked in step eight and then marking where the bracket's hole is. These need to be precisely drilled and should be as perfectly centered as you can get them! Then screw each of the brackets (which by now have been attached to the legs) onto the bottom of the white shelves where you drilled the pilot holes. This was a bit awkward to do while managing all of the long legs, but it can be done with just one set of hands and minimal swearing.Make this If you've got some extra crafty woodworking skills, then I would also suggest using larger square dowels and recessing them by making equally spaced dado cuts into the edges of the wooden circles. You can use a small dowel joinery technique inside the dado to connect the dowel to the edge of the shelf to eliminate the need for the L-brackets. But if you prefer your woodworking projects to be on the simple side, just forget I mentioned anything about joinery.

When I first finished this stand, the legs were a bit wobbly because I wasn't fastidious about the screw placement. So I redid the screw holes (a couple of inches aside from the original holes) and also cut the legs down while I was at it. The image below shows what the plant stand looks like now. Perfectly straight, sturdy, and a bit shorter at 28" tall instead of 36". I love it!Make this Mid Century inspired plant stand to show off the houseplants you haven't killed!Make this Mid Century inspired plant stand to show off the houseplants you haven't killed!The top plant is a Chinese Evergreen, and the bottom is a Bay Leaf Tree.

If you'd like to have an extra set of hands for assembling your plant stand, it could be fun to split the cost of supplies with a friend and spend a nice spring afternoon (that eventually will be here, right?) making two stands, so you won't have to worry about stashing leftover supplies.

This little Arts & Crafts meets Mid Century style project was a nice, simple solution for my plant stand needs, but it would also make a great side table! You can adjust the height, width, and even the number of legs to suit your needs. You could even add another shelf in the middle for another plant. The more the merrier!

-Mandi

Credits // Author and Photography: Mandi Johnson

  • I just love the simplicity of the design you created! And I’ve been meaning to take a woodworking class of some sort, so this may just push me to finally do it! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • I love all the DIY projects I read about on here, but I they always seem a little too complicated for me. I’ve never used a jigsaw and I’d be too afraid to. I’ve never used wood stain, either! I think, for the price, for me, I’ll stick to letting other people make these and me buying from them! ๐Ÿ™‚ But it’s a great idea and I’m sure other people will have awesome plant stand that they made themselves in their houses now!

  • this is so neat! with a one and a half year old myself, i’ve been leery of adding plants to my home. right now we have 4 hanging plants cause i know he can’t reach those ๐Ÿ˜‰ i’m excited to give this stand a try!

  • I love the stand but love the run even more! Where did you score that beauty???

  • I love this idea! I have so many plants that I have to bring indoors for the winter. This would be great to make for them and even make them different heights to arrange in front of my windows. Keep the great ideas coming!

  • I’m not usually one to leave comments but I just wanted to say what a fantastic contributor Mandi is to ABM. I just can’t get enough of her DIYs – they’re always so clearly explained and well thought out. This one is a particular favourite and one that I will most certainly be trying my hand at. Thank you, Mandi, for such a great post!

  • This is so awesome. I couldn’t believe it’s a handmade project at first.
    Much love, Eva

  • I LOVE this! I think I’m going to have to make one if I can just find some circles…Or maybe it’s time to invest in a jigsaw!

  • I know what you mean, Julie! Some of these projects can be intimidating for someone who has never used any of these tools. I hope you enjoy the wide variety of projects we share, some of them being pretty simple, while others involving a few more tools or steps. If you’d like to take the time to read through the beginning of this project, you’ll see that a jigsaw is actually not necessary for this project if you buy pre-cut wooden circles. Then essentially all you’re doing is painting them and screwing the store-bought dowels onto them. It’s a great option for someone who doesn’t like extra steps.

  • I’m assuming you meant rug. ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s a Turkish rug I got on eBay, but we’re actually not sure if we have room for it in our home any more! I might be selling it on my blog soon, so keep a lookout!

  • This is adorable! It’s great that it’s a diy project and something that I think would be really tough to find in stores…especially affordable ones. Thanks for the tutorial!

  • This reminds me so much of a little wooden plant stand I picked up in a thrift store one time. Actually, I think it was originally an ashtray stand, but the hole in the top was perfect for the right sized plant pot and it had a shelf on the bottom just like yours. And…well, not to make you lose hope, but I stopped using when my oldest was about a year or so. When he started walking, he would try to use it to pull up on and it was so unstable. I can’t tell you how many time he and the plants on it came tumbling down. I shoved it in a closet for a few years and when we moved, ended up selling it at our garage sale.

  • i love anything mid century modern, so of course, i love this! always looking for new ways to display my green babies. thanks for sharing ๐Ÿ™‚
    xo jac
    thesunshinedistrict.blogspot.com

  • Love this! I’ve been looking for plant stands, but can’t find any that I love. I’ll be making one of these for sure! Thanks!!

  • I love this plant stand. I have wanted to put a plant in the corner of our dining room, but knew it needed some height. All the plant stands I’ve found so far are blandville. Love this one. Thanks for the idea!

  • I love the idea of sprucing up the house with plants. My kiddos are past the pulling down stage, but I would have to worry about the cats. This plant stand is perfect! I love the style of it and how simple it is. Well done. Pinned ๐Ÿ™‚

  • It’s so precious ! I absolutely love it !! Looks simple to make it perfectly… I want to try it as soon as i have a nice home with a little bit of space ! i’ve just put it on my pinterest ๐Ÿ™‚

  • I have plants all over my house because they are fairly inexpensive, make a bold statement, and add “life” to the space. I love them – the stand is terrific. I bought one, but if I had seen this sooner, I would have made one.

  • Pinned this immediately! The sunroom is coming right up on my home-reno list and this would look great in there!

  • The plant stand looks great! My sister has a nearly identical mid-century one from my grandparents which was actually originally an ashtray stand. It has a shallow divot on top to holf the tray.

  • I like this. Clean and simple.

    A nice trick I learned as a painter for staying safe with stains and varnish rags (or any oil-based paint cleanup for that matter) is to soak it in water before you throw it away (outside your house, always). Dip it in a bucket or run it under the sink. A house can burn to the ground because of mishandling rags so don’t neglect this step!

  • I am SOOO making this, but I have 3 little terrors, I mean doggies.
    So in order for mine to survive, I will need to weigh it down.
    After it is assembled, I am going to stand it in a mold (probably an old cake pan) and add cement.
    When it dries, I will probably paint the base to match the shelves, or speckle the shelves to match the base, who knows!
    It may take away a bit from the clean lines, but at least it will have a fighting chance!
    Thanks for the idea!

  • Hi Mandi, I just LOVE your site!! I too have been looking for plant stands that could fit in any corner of my apartment since I have limited space and I SO have been wanting to make my own. I want plants in every room of my apartment, not only to create a more calming and Nature-like effect but also, to help clean the air for me and my family. Thank you SO much for this and I am a new follower!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • I am in LOVE with this DIY. I am having a hard time finding 8 1/2″ wide L-brackets. Do you have a link to where I can get these? Thanks!