Creating a Stylish Slatted Plant Stand for Your Bay Window

Do you have a beautiful bay window that floods your room with natural light? If so, you know the struggle of finding furniture that fits in that awkward space. But fear not, because today I’m here to show you how to make a slatted plant stand that takes advantage of the light without taking up too much space.

The Green Thumb Conundrum

We all have that one person in our lives who seems to have an innate ability to keep indoor plants thriving. It’s both impressive and frustrating, especially when we struggle to keep a single plant alive. Personally, I’ve had my fair share of failed attempts at plant parenting. I water them, fertilize them, and place them near windows, yet they still wither away. It’s disheartening, to say the least.

But my Aunt? She’s a different story. Not only does she keep indoor plants alive, but she also has a hibiscus that blooms all winter long, even in the chilly Canadian weather. Talk about a green thumb!

However, there was one problem. She was running out of space on the small side table she had placed in front of her kitchen bay window. So, she turned to me for a solution.

The Challenge: A Perfectly Fitted Plant Stand

My Aunt had a specific set of requirements for her bay window plant stand:

  1. It had to fit snugly within the space, at the same height as the window sill and within the angled walls of her bay window.
  2. It needed slats to allow for drainage in case of spills.
  3. The depth had to be limited to 12 inches to avoid protruding too far into her living space.
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The Search for Inspiration

I scoured Pinterest for ideas, hoping to find the perfect solution. I didn’t want to reinvent the wheel if there was already a design that ticked all the boxes. Unfortunately, all I found were single plant stands or oversized layered ones that wouldn’t work for this particular space.

However, I stumbled upon a woodworking genius, Mrs. Ana White, who had building plans for a “Modern slat top outdoor bench.” It caught my eye because I believed I could modify it to create something both aesthetically pleasing and functional.

Of course, I’ll provide a link to Ana White’s original plans so you can see her project and get the detailed instructions directly from the source. She used 2″ x 4″ and 1″ x 4″ lumber for her bench, but I scaled down the dimensions to fit my Aunt’s space—38″ wide, 19 ½” tall, and 12″ deep.

Building the Slatted Plant Stand

Materials Needed:

  • (12) ¾” x ¾” x 38″ boards
  • (12) ¾” x ¾” x 18 ½” boards
  • (11) ¼” x ¾” x 19 ½” boards

Now, here’s the exciting part—I built the slatted plant stand entirely from scrap wood! Yes, you heard that right. I had some pine boards left over from a previous project, so I repurposed them for this new creation.

I began by cutting the pine boards into ¾” strips, resulting in 12 pieces that were 38″ long and another 12 pieces that measured 18 ½” in length.

To achieve the desired look, I ripped some of the boards down to ¼” wide strips. These strips were then cut into 11 pieces that were 19 ½” long. This step was crucial for achieving the desired slatted effect on the top of the plant stand.

Next, following Ana’s instructions for her slatted bench, I alternated the boards and left ¼” spaces between them on the top of the plant stand. The process was straightforward, thanks to Ana’s well-thought-out plans.

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To ensure the longevity and stability of the plant stand, I knew I had to address the issue of boards bowing over time. Even if you start with straight boards, they tend to warp with exposure to the elements. To combat this, I inserted ¼” x 2 ¼” spacers between the rows of slats. These spacers not only kept the boards straight but also added extra strength to the structure.

I didn’t want the spacers to be evenly spaced—I wanted to create a visually appealing pattern. So, I alternated the spacing on each row. After applying a bit of wood glue to the sides of each spacer, I inserted them between the slats. In the center of the plant stand, I added additional spacers that were not glued, serving as clamping points to ensure a tight fit while the glue dried.

Once everything was in place, it was time to admire the craftsmanship. From the side, the slats looked like tongue and groove, fooling even my Aunt, who thought I possessed some extraordinary woodworking talent. Little did she know that it was simply a clever arrangement of spacers.

With the glue set and the extra spacers removed, I proceeded to sand the entire plant stand. The process of transforming the rough wood into a smooth, sophisticated piece was immensely satisfying. I started with 120-grit sandpaper and then progressed to a finer 220-grit for a flawless finish.

The Final Product

Now, behold the masterpiece—a slatted plant stand that exceeded all expectations! It perfectly complemented my Aunt’s bay window, sitting flush with the window sill and leaving ample room for the heating vent. The DIY plant shelf gracefully occupied the previously unused space, measuring a mere 12 inches in depth.

Sure, it would have been nice to have a lower shelf, but it would have obstructed the airflow from the vent. However, I’m already brainstorming a solution to incorporate this desirable feature without compromising functionality.

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As for the finishing touches, I left the plant stand in its raw wood state for my Aunt to decide how she wanted to paint or stain it. I must admit, though, that painting or staining before assembling the piece would have been easier. However, you’d have to be extra careful with your glue application to avoid unsightly drips.

To assemble the plant stand, I relied solely on wood glue and 1 ¼” finish nails. There was no need for screws or any complicated joinery. The simplicity and elegance of the design spoke for itself.

Now, my Aunt has a stunning platform to display her beloved plants. In fact, she has already filled it with a myriad of greenery, far more than what you see in the photos.

Conclusion

This “one-and-done” project turned out to be a delightful surprise. Despite the meticulous process of cutting and assembling the slats, it took me a mere two hours to complete. Plus, the satisfaction of seeing the finished product outweighs any initial effort.

So, if you’re looking for a unique gift idea or want to enhance your own bay window with a touch of greenery, this slatted plant stand is worth considering. With a little bit of time, some scrap wood, and a dollop of creativity, you can create a functional and visually pleasing piece that will bring joy to any plant lover’s heart.

For more inspiration or if you prefer to purchase a ready-made plant stand, be sure to visit Ames Farm Center. They have a fantastic selection of high-quality products that cater to all your gardening needs.

Happy crafting, and may your plants flourish!