I don't know about you, but we spend a lot of time in our backyard during the warmer months. The outdoor space was one of the reasons we bought this particular house almost two years ago (it was my husband's #1 house wish-list item). Since we spend so much time out there, I'm always trying to think of new ideas or projects that will make it cozier and more welcoming. Of course, I can never get enough plants in the space, so I thought it would be fun to come up with a way to make a living plant chandelier over one of our seating areas. Here's what I came up with:
-1/2" plywood sheet
-exterior paint (I chose Pantone Primrose Yellow)
-five 6" plastic pots (plastic makes the overall weight a lot lighter)
-three 1/2" x 2" eye bolts with washers and nuts
-one 5/16" x 4" screw eye
-6 small 3/16" quick links
-1 large 5/16" quick link
–double loop chain
First you'll need to draw your circle on your plywood board. My circle was 36" across, so I put a nail in the center of my board, tied a string to the nail, and tied a marker to the string 18" away from the nail. Keep the marker vertical, and pull the marker away from the nail until the string is tight. Place the marker tip on the wood, and keeping the string tight, go all the way around the nail until you have a big circle drawn. Use a jig saw to cut out your circle. (I put the board up off the ground on some wood planks first to give the jig saw blade enough room below.)
Once your circle is cut, repeat the process by making another circle in the middle of your big circle. We want to make the second circle 14" wide, so tie your marker 7" away from the middle nail and trace your second circle.
To get the jig saw into the middle of the circle without cutting from the outside edge, I used a drill to make a hole right inside my marker line that was big enough to get my jig saw blade into (you can also drill two holes right next to each other if you don't have a drill bit big enough).
Use scrap paper to make five circle templates that are 6" wide, and spread them out evenly on your wooden ring (these mark where your planters will sit). Use a marker to trace around each circle.
On each circle, use the drill to make a starter hole for your smaller circles, and cut out each circle with the jig saw. If you don't have someone to help you, hold the wood in place while you use the saw; you can clamp the wood to the edge of a table (just make sure the part you are cutting is hanging off the table).
Once your paint is dry, mark three spots that are 3" from the middle circle edge to hang your chain from. You'll want these three points to make a triangle with each other, so try and make them as equal distance from each other as you can. Drill a hole that is 3/16" in each spot.
Put your 1/4" eye bolt screw through the hole. Put the washer first and then the nut on the other side of the wood to keep the eye bolt in place. Unscrew your 3/16" quick link and attach it to the eye bolt. Repeat with the other two holes.
Drill a 5/16" hole on one of your top pergola beams, and screw your 5/16" screw eye into the hole. Depending on how high your pergola is, use your bolt cutter to cut three chains to your desired length (my chains are 13" long).
Attach three small quick links to the top of your three chains. Attach the bottom of each chain to the quick links already on your wooden ring, and attach the three top quick links to the larger 5/16" quick link. Open the large quick link, and attach it to the screw eye hanging from your pergola beam. Screw the large quick link closed. Place your plants into your pots, and then place them into the holes in your wooden planter ring.
I chose pots that have built-in drain trays instead of open holes at the bottom of the pots so I can water them without water dripping below onto the couch or coffee table. I'm excited to try different kinds of draping plants and flowers in the pots, but I think it would be cute to fill them with succulents as well.
So far, I love having the hanging plants in the space, and it definitely makes the area feel more lush when sitting on the couch underneath them. Hope you get to try this fun way to add a little more green to your outdoor space! xo. Laura
Credits // Author: Laura Gummerman. Photography: Laura Gummerman and Sarah Rhodes. Photos edited with Stella from the Signature Collection.