Pretty Front Porch: DIY Painted Tapered Planter Boxes

Whew! It’s day 4 of my pretty porch makeover! Check out the painted front door, yarn wreath, welcome sign and cedar planter boxes.

After building the planter boxes for the front walk we talked about wanting to put two more plants on the porch for either side of the front door. Since I was tired of all the building and sanding from the first three I thought I just wanted to buy something. Of course I couldn’t find anything I liked that was big enough for our plants but wasn’t more than I was willing to spend.

After looking at Ana White’s website again I thought I would be clever and try to come up with something on my own that was a mix of two different plans. One was the tapered cedar boxes and the other was a square planter.

So let’s just skip to the end of the story. This is what I came up with:

Tapered Planter Boxes 22

To start off with here’s the materials I bought for two planter boxes:

2  2×2-8′
5  1×6-8′   (would probably need 3 for one box)
2  1×2-8′   (for cleats and bottom, we used scraps)
Spray Paint
1 1/4″ Pocket Hole Screws
1 1/4″ Exterior Screws
Weed Block

Total: $22 each (Since we had some of it on hand)

Since it’s a tapered box I actually didn’t come up with a standard cut list so I’ll try to explain what I did.

First off I cut a 1×6 down to 13″ on the short side with a 10 degree angle on each side. (Making sure the angled ends were not parallel.)

After I cut the first one I lined the long side up against the bottom of the next board and marked the length as seen below.

Tapered Planter Boxes 1

Then just to make sure I cut the right direction and the right length I drew a line with a 10 degree angle from the mark I made using the speed square.

Tapered Planter Boxes 2

I did this one more time, using the second piece I cut to get a third even large row. You can see the stack of boards below. Since I cut them in sets of threes I numbered them so that I could ensure I kept each set together.

Next I cut a set of four legs for each planter out of the 2×2. Each board is 22″ long with 10 degree angles which are parallel to one another this time.

Tapered Planter Boxes 3

I figured out that cutting the legs such that I would be able to taper all four side like the tapered cedar box would be more work that it was worth. So for each box I cut two sides just out of straight boards. Each board was cut to 16″.

Tapered Planter Boxes 4

Next I assembled the sets of three side pieces together using pocket holes. We also drilled the pocket holes on the sides to use in the assembly of the sides to the legs.

Tapered Planter Boxes 5

Chris came up with the idea of painting the legs white and the boxes blue. Since I’m lazy I wanted to just spray paint the boxes instead of roll on the paint. To prep them we just sanded them a bit to smooth out the surface.

Tapered Planter Boxes 6

We used Rustoleum spray paints in white and wildflower blue. It took only a few coats and we were pleasantly surprised that the grain was still rough enough to be visible. It gives a great texture to the boxes and they don’t look just like a sheet of plywood.

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While I was spray painting I thought it would be fun to try and make a swatch of the spray paint for my swatch book. Since I know that paint chips have actual paint on them I thought that would be my best choice to use to stand up to the spray paint. I grabbed a swatch I wasn’t using in my pile.

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Then I just sprayed over the top. I’m pretty happy with how it worked out. Now I know in the future I can do this with other rooms or decor.

Tapered Planter Boxes 8

Once all the pieces were dried we to started to assemble the boxes similar to the cedar planters we built.

Tapered Planter Boxes 10

We used two scrap 1×4’s to hold up the panels so the legs would be flush with the back of the sides. When we did this we also had to make sure the legs were turned such that they would sit flat on the ground.

Tapered Planter Boxes 11

We also measured up from the bottom of the leg 3 1/4″ so that all the legs would be even.

Tapered Planter Boxes 12

We attached all the legs to the tapered sides first and then attached the square sides to those to create a box also just like we did with the cedar planters.

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Here they are all assembled! The one on the right shows the tapered sides and the one on the left has the square side facing forward.

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Then on the inside we cut two cleats out of 1×2 to sit on the two tapered sides.

Tapered Planter Boxes 15

Once the cleats were in we cut five slats out of 1×2’s to use as a base. Then we covered the inside of the planter with weed block to hold in all the soil.

Tapered Planter Boxes 16

Last step was to plant our boxwoods! I really do love the way the plants flank the front door.

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I was really worried that the color would be way to bright and that the white would be too much of a contrast.

Tapered Planter Boxes 18

Once they are up on the shaded deck they weren’t as bright as I first thought. They are really growing on me and I’m starting to like the color more and more.

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From the front you can really see the tapered look.

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It’s only when you’re looking straight onto the side do you notice that they aren’t tapered all the way around.

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I’m glad that we did another diy project. It’s so satisfying to improve your house with your own hands. I would rather build than shop any day.

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So that’s it; My tapered planter boxes. It’s probably a little hard to follow but they are a great little planter that can easily be scaled to any size you want. All you need to do is change the length of the legs, the straight sides and the length of the bottom tapered board.

Has anyone else been updating their front porch?

Pretty Front Porch: DIY Large Cedar Planter Boxes

It’s day 3 of my pretty front porch makeover. Don’t forget to check out painting the front door, my summer yarn wreaths and new welcome sign.

Today we are actually moving off the porch and down to the front walkway.

I found this plan for a planter on Ana White’s website and I thought it would be a nice addition to our front walk area.

Planter Boxes 24

We ended up deciding to make three boxes since we already had some plants in mind to put in them. Instead of making them all at once we finished the first one all the way through to see how it went. Then we started from the beginning to make the last two at the same time.

First we cut all legs and boards for the sides to size.

Planter Boxes 1

Then we sanded. Since the cedar fence boards are so rough they take a long time to sand down. I’m pretty sure the sanding was the longest step of the process. It was worth it however since it made the boards look so much nicer.

Planter Boxes 2

Then we just followed the rest of Ana White’s plan and we started assembling all the sides. To make sure that they were all the same height we used two squares to line up the 1×3 boards for the top and bottom.

Planter Boxes 3

We don’t always use glue when we build but this time around we decided to for the added strength.

Planter Boxes 4

Then we just centered the cedar fence boards on the top and bottom boards. We pre-drilled and screwed everything together using a 1-1/4″ exterior screw.

Planter Boxes 5

You can really tell the difference between the non-sand side above and the sanded side below. Here’s a pile of a bunch of the sides assembled and ready to go.

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Once the sides were assembled Chris used the Kreg to drill two pocket holes on each side of the top and bottom into the ends of the 1×3 boards.

Planter Boxes 7

Then using the pocket holes we attached the 2×2 corner legs to half of the sides that were already built.

Planter Boxes 9

Once we were down half the of the sides panels now looked like this.

Planter Boxes 10

We lined up the leg boards so that the were flush with the top and bottom 1×3 from the front.

Planter Boxes 8

With half of the sides attached to the corners we then attached the remaining sides to them to create a box.

Planter Boxes 11

It’s a little tight attaching the last side but it’s not too bad.

Planter Boxes 12

Since we figured out what we were doing the first time around the last two planters went together pretty fast.

Planter Boxes 13

From here we deviated from the plans just a little and followed one of the brag posts instead. We decided we liked the more finished look of the planters that had a 1×3 topper on them instead of the legs just sticking out of the top. We measured the planters individually for the topper boards. The toppers were then glued and nailed in place with our nail gun.

Planter Boxes 14

At first we were going to miter the corners but we have a really hard time getting a good miter with our miter saw. Ultimately we thought it looked better to just use straight cuts.

Once the topper was on we measured our plants and chose were to screw in our cleats in the middle of the boxes.

Planter Boxes 15

Then we used some scrap wood to create rails for the bottom to support the plants and all the soil.

Planter Boxes 16

Here’s the boxes all ready to go. Don’t they look pretty?

Planter Boxes 17

Of course we were too excited at this point to not see what the plants would look like inside the pots.

Planter Boxes 18

I forgot to take pictures of the next step but we actually used Thompson Water Seal to seal the planters because we were worried about all the weather and water and we wanted them to last. We thought that it would be a clear seal but it actually did make the boxes a bit darker. I think we liked them better before but they don’t look bad now, just a little darker.

After the sealer dried for 48 hours we moved on to actually planting. To keep the soil from falling out of all the cracks we stapled weed block on the inside of the pots.

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Once the boxes were covered with the weed block we dropped in the soil and started planting.

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The boxes ended up being bigger then we expected so we bought a few little bright flowers to put in around the edges for fun and a little more color.

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I love the way they turned out. They look so expensive and fancy.

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Even though they look expensive they actually ended up being pretty inexpensive, especially compared to buying a box this size at a garden center.

Here’s a breakdown of our costs for all three 20″x20″ planters (soil and plants not included):

3  2×2-8′: 6.21
5  1×2-8′: 6.25
9  1×3-8′: 19.08
9  cedar fence pickets: 16.92
Weed Block: 9.97
Screws: 8.97
Wood Glue: On Hand
Thompson Water Seal: On Hand
Disposable Paint Brushes: 2.30

Total: $69.70

That’s just $23.23 for each box!

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They are a nice little addition to our walkway. Finally the front is looking a lot less bare and a lot more finished.

Has anyone else been making diy planters for your yard this summer?

Malm Inspired Console Table

Last weekend while we were working on some projects I did another simple project for the master bedroom. I mentioned in my mood board as well as my summer to do list that I wanted to create a Malm inspired console table.

It was a really simple wood project. All it took was one 2×12-8′ board. The only cuts are two lengths of 28.5″ for the legs and the rest can be used for the top.

Malm Console Table 1

From there it was just a couple pocket holes to attach the legs to the top.

Malm Console Table 2

Since I didn’t add any other bracing I was hoping that the pocket hole screws would be enough to hold it all together and keep the table from wobbling back and forth.

Malm Console Table 3

Once it was together it was really sturdy. All that I did was fill the holes with putty and sanded it down as much as I had patience for.

Malm Console Table 4

Then I used a coat of primer as well as three coats of an off white paint to finish it. It didn’t come out with a perfect finish since it was just an inexpensive board but it did work pretty well.

Malm Console Table 5

For about $11 I don’t think I could have gone wrong. Now I have a little space to do some more decorating in the master.

Malm Console Table 6

For now I just “shopped my house” and threw together a few accent pieces. As usual I’m sure I’ll find some better things for this table in the future.

Malm Console Table 7

Oh hey what’s that behind me? I picked up a new duvet cover a few weeks ago from ikea. Little by little this room is starting to come together.

Malm Console Table 8

Has anyone else tried another version of this table or done something similar?

Shelving in the Sewing Room

A while back I organized all my sewing notions by putting them in canning jars. Since then they have pretty much just sat in a pile around the sewing room. After I finished the jars I started thinking about a set of shelves that would organize the jars a little better.

Sewing Notions Organization 16

To fix my problem I drew up a little plan to make shelves out of 1×3 boards. Since the 1×3’s were actually a little skinny for the jars I also added little slats on the backs of the shelves so the jars won’t fall off the back.

Sewing Room Jar Shelves 15

A few weekends  back when I was working on a some other projects I cut all the wood pieces down to size.

Sewing Room Jar Shelves 16

From the beginning I intended to put the shelves together using the nail gun. I thought to would be easier to paint everything before assembly so I set out all the pieces to start painting.

Sewing Room Jar Shelves 11

At the same time I also decided to work up a simple TV stand also for my sewing room.

Sewing Room Jar Shelves 14

I cut the tv stand out of a 1×12 board.

Sewing Room Jar Shelves 13

Since I used the kreg jig I assembled the tv stand before I painted.

Sewing Room Jar Shelves 12

Next I started in with the primer. I used the Behr primer first since I already had it on hand and it turned out to be a big mistake. The paint was really clumpy and it dripped all down the side of the wood. I ended up having to sand most of it off then prime again using the Kilz 2 primer.

Sewing Room Jar Shelves 2

That being said here’s all the pieces with the primer on.

Sewing Room Jar Shelves 1

I went back and forth on what color I wanted to paint the shelves. In the end I decided I wanted the shelves to blend into the walls so that the jars would be the focal point, not the shelves. Since I had some Zinc paint left over from painting the sewing room I decided to use that.

Sewing Room Jar Shelves 3

It took two coats to fully cover the wood but they turned out pretty good.

Sewing Room Jar Shelves 4

Once they were all painted then we used the nail gun to attach all the pieces together.

Sewing Room Jar Shelves 5

After it was all assembled I wanted to spray a finish coat for added durability. Since I already had a can of polyurethane in the garage I went with  that. In hindsight I don’t think it’s meant to be used over paint and it ended up living a sticky finish. I finally went out and bought a clear gloss spray paint to finish off the shelves and it seemed to fix the stickiness.

Sewing Room Jar Shelves 6

After more than a week of trying to paint and finish they were finally done.

Sewing Room Jar Shelves 7

Even with the glossy finish the shelves do blend into the wall  pretty well.

Sewing Room Jar Shelves 8

It’s so nice to finally have the jars off the table and displayed so that I can see what’s in each one.

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I think it looks pretty good with the rest of the things that are set up on the sewing tables.

Sewing Room Jar Shelves 10

I also set up the TV stand in the corner. It takes up a little more room than just the tv did but it gets the dvd player out of the way which is nice.

Sewing Room Jar Shelves 17

It’s even tall enough to store the remotes and some dvds under the stand.

Sewing Room Jar Shelves 18

With those few little things checked off the list I’m getting closer to feeling done with this room. Maybe it will be the first room in our house to be “finished”.

Picture Ledges

If you have never seen Ana White’s blog you should go check it out. It’s pretty much amazing. She has a lot of great woodworking patterns that are easy to follow and for all levels of skill.

If you have ever checked out her blog you will probably notice that the $10 picture ledges are one of the most popular projects. It’s not hard to understand why, with some inexpensive materials and a few tools you can make some great looking and simple to make shelves.

Since Chris and I had just inherited a Kreg Jig I had been dying to test it out. This seemed like a great project to start with.

As you may have already seen, our living and dining rooms are open and have high, vaulted ceilings.

After we starting filling the room with furniture I knew I wanted to our something on the big long wall. These ledges seemed like a great fit. They would keep everything neatly in line and I could swap things around whenever I felt like it and not have to worry about making or leaving holes in the wall. I also liked the idea of using ledges because I could display more than just pictures on the wall.

If you haven’t seen the photo here’s what the room looked like after we assembled all of out new Ikea furniture.

Unfortunately I didn’t take any photos of how I made the shelves but they are pretty simple and you can check out the picture ledge plan on Ana’s site for a lot more info and tips.

I pretty much followed the video that she has posted there. I went with the 1×4 on the back, a 1×2 for the front and a 1×6 for the bottom. I chose the larger board on the bottom because I wanted to be able to put larger items other than just pictures on the shelves.

Chris helped m hang them on the wall. We marked out were the studs were and screwed in two screws on each stud for each shelf.

Here they are all finished up. Each shelf is 4′ long. When I put them together I filled the kreg holes on the bottom with wood filler, gave them a good sanding and then painted them white. I actually went with Alabaster from Sherwin Williams, which is just a little off-white so they wouldn’t be so bright and sharp.

They are working out great. I like the way they filled the wall but don’t make it look to cluttered. So far I mostly have pictures up on them with a fell other items. I am looking to changing things out as the weather changes.

I would really recommend trying out this project, they are such a quick and simple project. A great way to try your hand at some woodworking.

Anyone else attempting to make things with wood? Has anyone else tried any more of Ana White’s patterns?