Featured in the "I Did It" section of the May 2017 issue of Better Homes & Gardens, Ashley's DIY planter elevates ordinary houseplants into statement style. Discover how to make the project and download the free template below.
Purchase a panel of void-free, ¾-inch plywood that's at least 24 inches wide and 32 inches long. Most home centers stock this material with an outer face of birch or similar-looking wood. Why void-free? Because the edges will show in the completed project, and standard plywood has voids in its plies (layers) you don't want showing. If you can't find void-free plywood, use standard plywood and fill the voids with wood putty after cutting the parts to shape in Step 4. See Step 5 for how to disguise plywood edges if that's the look you prefer.
Enlarge the teardrop and circle patterns (download below) 400 percent at a print center. Cut out the teardrop shape, following the solid lines (the dashed lines show the position of parts after assembly). Cut out the circle (platform) pattern. Trace the teardrop and platform shapes onto the plywood. Mark the placement of the screws on the circle.
Use a jigsaw equipped with a fine-tooth blade intended for making smooth cuts in plywood. If your jigsaw has an orbital setting, adjust it for no orbital action to minimize chipping along the edges. Carefully cut the teardrop and platform to shape, slightly outside the traced lines. Drill 1/8-inch pilot holes through the platform at each screw location.
Sand cut edges smooth, taking pieces back to the traced lines.
If you're using void-free plywood, you can skip this step. If you're using standard plywood, fill the voids on the edges with wood putty. If you'd like to completely disguise the plywood edges, apply paint primer to them, followed by paint (brown or black are two good choices). For the smoothest results, lightly sand between the primer and paint coats. Don't worry if you get a little primer or paint on the surface of the plywood; it will come off in the next step.
Use 100-grit sandpaper on the fronts and backs; repeat using 150-grit sandpaper. If you plan to stain the wood, do another sanding with 220-grit paper. Gently round any sharp edges during the final sanding.
Stain the teardrop and platform, if desired. Apply three coats of a water-resistant clear finish like polyurethane, letting dry between coats. After the finish dries, center the platform holes on the teardrop as shown in the drawing and at each hole drill a 1/8-inch pilot hole into the teardrop. Screw the platform to the teardrop using 1-3/4-inch deck screws.
Attach a ceiling hook, being sure to sink it into a ceiling joist for stability. Finally, tether the teardrop to the hook with a length of jute.