How to Raise a Plant and Make it Love You Back
For plants with trailing habits, such as Peperomia prostrata or Senecio rowleyanus, a plant stand helps to accentuate the beauty of the long foliage strands. Of course, you can make just about anything into a plant stand, from a stack of vintage books to a side table, but if you’re like us and you’ve got that DIY spirit, this project will allow you to have something unique for your home, true to your own style. When finished, doll it up by adding painted stripes to the wooden legs, or even paint the cement to match the decor in your home.
Before you begin
The bottom of the container you choose as your mold will become the top of your plant stand, so, if you are going for a particular look, choose carefully. For example, if you want a square stand, use a square container. Cardboard containers can work if the perfect shape can’t be found in plastic, but plastic produces a smoother finish. Any notches, creases, divots, or words in your container will be visible on your finished product, so look for something smooth.
Before pouring the mixed quick-drying cement into the container, decide how thick you want the top to be. Use a marker pen to create a fill line (we recommend 1.5 – 5cm. Cement is heavy, and so it’s important that the thickness of the top should be appropriate for the thickness of the legs; don’t make a 5cm top to be supported by 3mm dowels.
Cut the legs to the desired height. Note that they will be placed about 6-12mm into the cement, so build that in if you have a specific height in mind. Many hardware and big-box stores will make cuts for you if you purchase materials from them. Otherwise, find pre-cut dowels at a craft store or cut them at home if you have the necessary equipment.
Also, before you pour, decide where in the container you want to place the legs. You’ll need to work fast once you pour because most cement mixes dry fairly fast. Place the legs near the center and equidistant from one another.
A plastic container can be reused after the drying period, so it’s easy to make multiples if you have all your materials set up before you start mixing and pouring.
You Will Need
Spray the inside of the container with cooking oil spray and set aside.
Mix and stir the cement according to the package directions. Usually, it’s a one-to-one ratio of powder to water. Each stand will require a different amount of mixture but should not require the entire bag of cement. Choose a mixing bowl similar in size to the finishing mold so it’s easy to judge how much mix to use. Stir and adjust the powder or water level until you achieve a thick, paste-like consistency.
Pour or spoon the mixture into the pre-sprayed container up to the fill line. Gently tap/bounce the container on a flat surface to release any air bubbles in the mixture. Any leftover cement can be poured into a plastic bag and thrown away.
Insert the legs into the mixture at least 6mm, but ideally further. Be careful not to push them through to the full depth of the cement. Arrange the legs so they splay outward. Try to keep them equidistant but don’t worry about being perfect. These homemade stands look best when they have some character. You may need to hold the legs in place briefly while the mixture sets.
Allow the stand to dry for 24 hours.
Invert the stand and lift off the container. The cooking spray should make for easy removal. Use sandpaper to smooth out any imperfections.
If the legs feel loose after 24 hours, use heavy-duty glue on the legs and in the holes to set them in place. Put the stand right side up so there is added pressure where the glue contacts both surfaces.
To add color to wooden legs, use masking tape wherever you don’t want paint and use a brush to add decoration. You can do the same for the cement if it’s thick enough for a decorative stripe.