I’ve been on a real plant kick lately. And what do you need with plants? Planters of course! I’ve been dying for some of the beautiful planters at West Elm, Schoolhouse Electric and of course, Rejuvenation. I’ve been gravitating toward planters with a strong mid-century, clean aesthetic and one of my favorites has been the Case Study planter by Modernica. I am completely infatuated, but can I really justify spending $195 on a plant stand? Not really. I decided to put my DIY skills to the test and create my own DIY Case Study Plant Stand Knockoff.
Today I’m sharing my step by step guide for how I created a DIY Case Study Plant Stand. Follow the steps below and customize a plant stand for the planter of your choice.
Finding the Perfect Pot for Your DIY Case Study Plant Stand
To achieve a similar style to the Case Study planter, a straight sided white or black pot is the perfect choice to pair with this stand. Unfortunately, one of the hardest things I’ve learned from doing some research on the Case Study plant stand, is that it’s really hard to come by the ceramic pot itself. It seems like it would be easy to source since it’s a very basic, straight-lined, white pot. Well folks, it’s a toughie. But don’t worry, you don’t need to feel limited with those options. You can easily customize this DIY Case Study plant stand to work with a lot of pot styles and sizes. I even made a few more stands to work with pots I had around the house.
Luckily, on a recent trip through Home Goods, a perfectly cylindrical white pot (approx 12” in diameter) for $24 called my name, and I knew exactly what I was going to do with it. It was becoming my coveted Case Study planter! Now that I had the pot, all I had to do was build the legs. Easy right? Not exactly, but possible with the right tools and a lot patience.
If you’re stuck on having the perfect white cylindrical pot, I’d recommend also checking out the nearest HomeGoods, Marshalls, Ross, TJ Max, or other home store for the most selection and best deals. I’ve also included a few links below to a handful of online pot options to help you get the Case Study planter look:
1 6″/8.5″/10″ Peach & Pebble White Cylinder Planter from Amazon | 2 8″ Pottery Pots Black Cylinder Planter From Amazon | 5 6.25″Scheurich Usa Textured White Planter from Amazon | 4 8″/10″ EastPine White Cylinder Planter from Etsy
DIY Case Study Plant Stand Material & Tool List
Below is the material and tool breakdown to build the DIY Case Study plant stand. Please note this project does require power tools for best results.
- 2 – ¾” Pine Dowels – I purchased 2 ¾ x 48” dowels from Home Depot. The amount of dowel needed will depend on how high you make your legs.
- 1 – 1”x2”x6’ Hemlock Board – Length needed will depend on your pot diameter.
- 1 ¼” Brad Nails
- Wood Stain – I used my go-to color, English Chestnut 233 from Minwax
- ¾” Forstner Bit
- Drill Press & Drill – I used a drill press stand with a drill that I was able to borrow. I’m guessing an actual drill press would make the job a lot easier.
- Tape Measure
- Brad Nail Gun & Air Compressor – Linked a similar set to what I have.
- Medium & Fine Grit Sandpaper
- Large C-clamps/Barclamps/Vice – Size and style depend on your workstation, but I used all three types.
- Square / Straight Edge
- Chop Saw
- Marking Pencil
- Rubber Gloves
- Rags for Staining
- Foam Brush
Creating the Cross Bars
Step 1: Determine the length of your cross bars
I started off the project by first creating the cross bars that the pot will sit on. To begin, measure the diameter of your chosen planter. This measurement will determine the length of your cross bars. My planter was 12” in diameter. To get the pot to fit snugly, but not overly tight, I added ¼” to the diameter measurement to determine the width. This made my total cross bar length 12 ¼” long. If you aren’t using a straight-sided pot, be sure to measure based on the pot’s widest point.
Step 2: Prepare your materials & tools
Clamp the drill press to your workstation
For this project I used a drill press stand that I was able to borrow. To prepare my stand, I used a c-clamp to clamp the drill press to my workstation. I also clamped in a piece of wood to the bottom of the drill press, so that once I drilled through my material, the bit would continue to drill into that piece of wood. This is done to reduce some blowout from the drill on the back edge of the wood.
Adjust the depth of your drill
I also adjusted the height of the drill on the stand. I adjusted it so that the depth was enough to go all the way through the full piece of wood. To do this, I set the piece of 1″x2″ wood on the stand (on its 1” edge) next to the bit. I then rotated the handle on the drill press completely to make sure the bit would move all the way down through the wood crossbar and into, but not completely through, the additional piece of wood I clamped to the stand.
Center align the wood to your bit
Next, I aligned my piece of 1″x2″ wood up so it was centered beneath the drill press bit. To more easily center, measure and mark the center point on your board, so you can align your bit to the mark. Once my bit and wood were aligned, I attached a small vice clamp to the edge of my workstation. This was used to hold the 1″x2″ wood steady horizontally. I also decided to clamp the wood using a bar clamp. This helped keep the wood held down tight to the work surface and prevented any wiggling while drilling. My drill did have a tendency to shift the wood, so this kept the materials in place enough for a smoother drilling.
Step 3: Attach the bit
For this project I purchased a special bit, called a Forstner bit. I chose a ¾” dowel for the legs, so I used a ¾” bit to match the circumference. This bit will create the concave shape that will wrap perfectly around the dowel legs. Forstner bits are guided by the wide outside rim of the bit, unlike most drill bits, which are guided by the tip. Because of that, they can be used in a drill press and should enable you to make holes on the edges of material. I think since I was using a drill press stand, not a standard drill press, I wasn’t having the same luck being able to drill on the edges. This would probably have worked better with an actual drill press, where everything is a single unit.
Step 4: Drill your first hole
After some trial and error, I found it easier to start mid-way into the piece of wood, rather than drilling the hole directly on the end. I would move my wood in roughly an extra 1″ or so beyond the bit. IMPORTANT: Before I drilled, I double checked my alignment, making sure the board was centered below the tip of the bit. I found that sometimes clamping can shift the wood. To align, I would measure and mark the center of the wood, so it was easier to determine bit placement. Another tip is to start the drill up and bring the bit just above where you plan to drill without touching the wood. This will give you a better visual to see if your bit is centered on your wood before you drill. When the bit is in motion, you will be able to see the full circumference of the bit.
When the alignment is set, use the drill press to drill the hole completely through the board. If all goes well, this should leave you with the concave end for one side of your cross bar. If the hole wasn’t completely centered, you may have some of the wood still attached on one side. At that point, you can try again, or use a saw to cut off the excess if it’s very minimal.
My drill left the edges pretty rough, so I also used a medium grit sandpaper to clean up the edges of the wood and smooth out any splinters. At this point you can also test to make sure the curve fits well around your doweling.
Step 5: Measure and drill your next hole
Remember when we determined the diameter you needed? This is where it comes into play. We determined the total length between the legs needed to be 12 ¼”, but you’ll also need to take into account the diameter of the drill bit. Half of the diameter of the bit will cut into your length, so you also need to add additional length to make up for that amount. My drill bit was ¾” so I added ⅜” of an inch (half the width of my bit) to my measurement. This made my total length 12 ⅝” from the concave area to my drill spot.
To mark your next drill spot, you’ll need to measure out your total length (12 ⅝” in my case) from the inside of the concave area of the hole you just made. If you do it from the end (longest point), the measurement will be off. Mark your drill placement with a pencil, realign your wood with the drill press, and drill the next hole.
Step 6: Create a second cross bar
Repeat steps 4-5 of the process above to create your second cross bar. These two bars should be the same length.
Step 7: Measure for cross bar notches
The cross bars will notch together in the center, giving them strength to hold in the plant. One bar will have the notch on the top and other will be on the bottom edge. To create these, first measure to find the center of your newly drilled cross bars and mark the wood with a pencil on both boards. Since the notches will need to be the thickness of your boards, I took an extra piece of my 1″x2″ board, marked it’s center on the 1″ end and aligned that with my center mark on the cross bars. I then traced the outside edges to make sure I had the exact width of the board.
The crossbar notches need to be half of the height of the board, so I also measured and marked the center line of the board. I then used a square to mark all my cut lines. To remember which area’s to cut, mark them X’s for a easy visual clue. If you do have any issues or flaws in the wood, try to be sure those are setup to be at the bottom when you combine the two cross bars. This will help hide any imperfections.
Step 8: Cut cross bar notches & test fit
With my lines drawn out, I used my band saw to cut out the notches in my cross bars. I like to cut the two straight lines first and then make angled cuts to chip out the remaining parts until I can run the blade smoothly along the bottom line. With the cross bars cut, be sure to test the fit. They should fit snugly together. If they aren’t fitting together you may need to make your notches slightly larger.
Creating the Plant Stand Legs
Step 9: Measure and cut Your leg lengths
To begin, I first determined my leg lengths. I wanted a similar look to the Case Study planter, so I tried to figure out a similar ratio based on my pot size. My planter is 12″ tall, so for my DIY Case Study plant stand I decided the legs would start 1.5” from the top of the planter and should extend 9.5″ beyond the bottom of the planter to the floor. With those measurements, I determined that my legs would be 20″ tall (12″-1.5″+9.5″=20″) . I measured and marked 20” on my dowel and used my chop saw to cut the 4 legs to length.
Step 10: Measure where your crossbar and dowel will connect
Now you must decide the height where you would like your cross bar to attach to your legs. This will determine how high the pot will sit off from the ground. Knowing I had 9.5 inch extended legs below the pot, I determined that the cross bar would need to sit at 8” above the floor. I did this by subtracting my total extended leg amount by the height of the cross bar (9.5″-1.5″). Once I had the measurement, I aligned the ends of my dowel and used my pencil and square to mark my dowels at 8″. This measurement can be adjusted depending on the pot you use. Shorten or lengthen to get your preferred height.
Step 11: Attach your legs to your cross bars
For ease, I used 18 gauge brad nails at 1 ¼” length to attach my cross bars to my legs. I placed the cross bar against the dowel leg at the mark I made in the previous step.
I then used my brad nail gun and put in two nails through the leg into the end of the cross bar. Continue attaching all four legs.
Step 12: Test fit and make any adjustments
Now that I had this all completed, I did a test fit with my pot (on a flat surface) to make sure everything was fitting properly. I decided to not attach the two cross bars, but you could also nail those together for added stability. This may also help if the notches end up a bit loose. My drilled holes weren’t exactly straight, so my legs were a bit wonky (all part of learning, right?), so I did do some slight trimming with my chop saw on two of the legs to make sure everything was level.
Step 13: Stain & topcoat
When the stand was all assembled I applied a pre-stain on the wood using a soft cloth. Sometimes softer woods, like the pine used on the legs, can have a tendency to look a bit splotchy when stained. This product allows softer woods to absorb your stain more evenly. To complete my DIY Case Study plant stand, I added my favorite stain, Minwax’s English Chestnut to add a rich, dark color to the wood. I applied the stain using a soft cloth. To make things easier, stain the two pieces separately. Be sure to also use rubber gloves to avoid getting the stain all over your hands. Once applied, remove any excess stain to prevent a tacky finish.
Once your stain is to your liking and dry, you can also choose to add a poly topcoat to give it a more durable finish. I like to apply polyurethane with a foam brush to make for easy cleanup. For best results, use a fine grit sandpaper between coats.
Step 14: Pop in a plant and enjoy your DIY Case Study plant stand
When everything is dry, stick your pot in, find your nearest fiddle leaf fig (I recommend this one) or snake plant and pop that baby in! It’s time to sit back and enjoy your DIY Case Study plant stand!
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