DIY Lite: A Space-Saving Solution for Any Indoor Garden
Squeeze more greenery into any amount of square footage by maximizing vertical space with a ladder plant stand.
While houseplants look simply lovely on a window ledge, the space available there can be fairly limiting—you might fit three small- to medium-sized pots at best. A better idea? Applying the same life-changing principle behind vertical storage and stacking your favorite plants in a custom-made stand. With three tiers dedicated to greenery, this slim ladder plant stand doesn’t take up much floor space at all. Plus, it effectively corrals all that you need to grow an indoor garden! Build this seriously easy project in an afternoon, and we promise that the toughest part will be deciding which corner you’d like to stand it in.
MATERIALS AND TOOLS Available on Amazon
– 1×6 lumber (2)
– Power drill/driver with a ⅝ spade bit
– Mirror steel hooks with ½inch screws (12)
– Open, stackable metal baskets (3)
– Wood glue
– 1½inch wood screws (4)
– ⅝inch dowel
– Wood stain
– Acyclic wood varnish
– “S” hooks
– Small metal brackets (2)
Cut your wood planks (the legs) to be 5 ⅕ feet (or roughly 62.5 inches) long. Then, since the ladder plant stand will lean against the wall, you’ll need to angle the top end of each leg.
Along the 6-inch top of one leg, measure ¾ inches from the corner and make a mark; then, measure 4 inches down the leg’s side and make a second mark. Draw a straight line from point to point, and saw through it.
Trace the cut onto the second ladder leg so that it has the exact same angle, and saw to match. Sand both cuts.
Since it’s nice to keep gardening tools nearby for when you need them, we’ll thread a dowel through the top of the ladder to hang them. Prepare the tier by drilling a hole in each of the ladder legs: Lay the lumber over a piece of scrap wood and use ⅝-inch spade drill bit to make a hole at 2 inches from the top center.
For the leaning ladder’s bottom to stand flat on the floor, you’ll also need to angle the feet. Measure ¾ inches high on the same side of the leg that’s angled at the top, then trace from here to the opposite bottom corner. Cut along your line with a handsaw, and sand the rough edges.
To repeat for the second leg, it’s best to trace so that they match perfectly.
This is what your two ladder legs should look like at this point as you get them ready for the basket tiers.
Since your baskets’ size impacts the amount of space you can leave between tiers along this 5 ⅕-foot-tall ladder plant stand—and how much room your plants have to grow vertically—we recommend you choose baskets no taller than 8 inches. (Ours are 8 inches tall but feature a dip in the front that makes them appear more shallow.) This height allows you to leave at least 7 inches space between each level.
Now, you’ll draw three oblique lines on each leg—parallel to the cut bottom—starting with the one for the lowest basket. Measure 22 inches from the bottom on each side of the leg and mark; when you connect these two dots, you’ll have your oblique line. Next, measure 15 inches up on each side and repeat for the second tier. Measure another 15 inches for the top tier.
Center and screw mirror hooks to both ends of each oblique line in order to hold your baskets along the ladder plant stand.
Start assembling your ladder plant stand on the floor. Place the legs so that they face one another, and hook the three baskets up between them. Now, measure the distance between the two legs.
To strengthen the ladder frame, cut a piece from the leftover 1×6 to that length (it will probably be just a little longer than your basket is wide to accommodate for the basket’s connection on either side).
Draw one more oblique line 8 inches from the bottom on each leg. Glue the edges of your plank, and stick it between the two planks along that slightly angled guide. Finally, use your drill to put two screws through the outside of each leg and into the ladder plant stand’s bottom-most tier.
At the top of the ladder plant stand, slide the dowel through the holes you made in Step 2. Mark in pencil where it extends past the edge of the frame.
Remove the ⅝-inch dowel and cut it at your mark. Then, reinsert and use wood glue to keep it in place.
Once the glue has dried, remove the baskets in order to sand and stain the entire ladder planter stand. Apply a coat or two of stain in your choice of color (we chose a dark brown that closely matches the dark rubbed bronze of the baskets) and, after allowing adequate dry time, finish with a coat of varnish.
When the varnish is dry, stand the ladder against the wall and hang the baskets once more in the mirror hooks. A few “S” hooks looped over the dowel will create the catchall for potting tools.
Tip: To prevent the ladder plant stand from slipping down the wall, try securing its top to the wall using small metal brackets like we did with this leaning coat rack.
Once you’ve got it in position, go ahead and fill the wire tiers with your potted plants to begin building the ideal indoor jungle.
Love the look of our multicolor rope baskets? We have a tutorial for those, too, here!
Ama is a DIY addict and the creative mind behind Ohoh Blog. She likes home decor, lighting, and furniture projects that may involve painting, sewing, drilling…no matter the technique! Whatever she has on hand is inspiration to create, and fodder for her serious addiction to upcycling.