Monday, May 26, 2014

a mother's day planter with new house numbers

The kiddo and I dipped into our scrap lumber pile to put together a new planter + house numbers for his grandma for Mother's Day. Actually, it was partially a birthday present for his grandpa, too, whose birthday had been a couple of weeks earlier. They've been needing something like this for awhile as someone (they both swear it wasn't them) had run into the previous house number post quite awhile ago.

Here's the before and after:

The Mr. picked up some potting mix and we picked out a plant at the hardy plant sale (it's an ornamental grass that's drought resistant and will eventually have golden plumes on top), but otherwise, we had all of the materials on hand.

If you make a planter out of your own scrap pile (old fence boards, leftover trim, etc.) your dimensions will vary based on what you have on hand, but here's a general guide:

Decide on your dimensions and sketch it out. A sketch will help solidify your plan and guide you as you work . I decided to make this planter three boards wide and two feet high, to make maximum advantage of our leftover and recycled wood.

Making a four-sided box planter, I constructed two sides with the trim overhanging a bit to cover the ends of the other two sides. I used 1x2 lumber scraps leftover from another project screwed onto the top and bottom.

On the backs of these two pieces, I added a couple of scrap lengths of 2x2 to the edges to act as interior braces.

The other two sides were built with the trim even with the ends.

Then I screwed the four sides together using the 2x2 braces to make everything secure, and screwed bottom boards in place. Spaces between the boards make for efficient drainage.

(Grainy early-evening photo alert!)

Four short stubs of pressure-treated 2x4 (leftover from a fence project) make great rot-resistant feet (the Mr. nailed them in place from the inside), and I let the kiddo help me stain the planter. He helped me pick the stain color, too. (It's Benjamin Moore Arborcoat in redwood color).

I managed to stop him from coating the front panel, though, which left room for the house numbers.

(If you make a measurement error {like I did} when planning the sides, some lengths of cedar garden stakes can be added at this point, too, to cover the corner gaps and add a nice design element.)

Not pictured here is the layer of black plastic I stapled to the inside (with holes cut through for drainage) to protect the wood from the wet dirt. Most of the planter is made with cedar fence board scraps, but my hope is that the plastic will keep the supports from rotting right away.

We waited until we had the planter in place before filling with soil, then planted it and added about six inches of mulch to the top to keep the plant happy and the soil moist.

As with any project, there are things I'd do differently next time around (like hiding the screws by screwing from the other side, measuring better, stenciling instead of free-handing), but the good thing about building anything for the first time is that you learn little things that will help you out the next time. And you know what? No one who loves you will complain about small imperfections anyway.

Thanks for reading!

Linking up to:
My Repurposed Life

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