I finally built my DIY tiered plant stand with room for hanging plants, and it’s the perfect way to maximize space in your home for houseplants! It’s an impressive-looking but simple build with grow lights incorporated as well.
DIY tiered plant stand with room for hanging plants
After all of life’s craziness during quarantine and being swamped with working full-time while also caring for a toddler out of daycare…I was craving a good project. It seems like you’d have more time to work on projects when you’re stuck at home, but we were just so exhausted—mentally and physically all the time—that I didn’t tackle any big woodworking projects.
A few weeks ago I decided I was ready to finally tackle my first big woodworking project in a while! And it’s good timing, too. The end of growing season means I’ll need to bring some plants inside for the winter, and I need more space. So why not build a DIY tiered plant stand?
I had been dreaming this one up in my head for a while but just didn’t have the mental bandwidth or time to follow through on the actual build. So when I started working on this, I had a rough idea of what I wanted to build, but I wasn’t totally sure. And I definitely wasn’t working from plans.
But I think my plant stand turned out great, don’t you? Not only was I able to incorporate tiered shelving for plants, I installed a dowel to be a hanging rod for plants and a grow light. It’s perfect.
Here’s what I used:
Lumber & Misc:
- Poplar; for measurements, download the build plans at the link below. It will give you access to all of my free build plans, not just this one.
- 1 1/4″ pocket hole screws
- Measuring tape and pencil
- Safety gear
- Assorted bar clamps
- Hanging and bar grow lights
Here’s how I made my DIY tiered plant stand with room for hanging plants!
Step 1: Measure and cut pieces, drill pocket holes
So at first my plan was to do two storage levels: one for a little containers that we’re beginning to collect stickers in, and one for a fabric storage cube to match the desk. Once I got this together with clamps to eyeball it, I decided to run with it. So I drilled pocket holes (placement in a bit) and assembled everything.
However, once I got it assembled and brought it upstairs, I realized that it would be too high for Ramona’s current height. I measured, but I kind of suck at visualizing things and understanding how everything is going to go together. Alas, I wasn’t about to lose this project, so I decided to run with just one storage spot. Let’s pick up there.
Step 1: Cut pieces and assemble each side
The pocket holes are on the horizontal pieces, and they help hold the entire thing together. First I attached the back piece to the middle piece using the horizontal pieces. Then I attached the middle piece to the front piece.
Once all of that was securely attached, I wedged the bottom two horizontal supports in and attached those using pocket hole screws as well. You’ll repeat this two times to make each side. Make sure the pocket holes are facing in.
Step 2: Finish the main structure
Next I attached the two sides to one another using the cross pieces. I did two on the bottom for the widest part of the stand. Then another about halfway up the back and a 1″ dowel along the top for hanging plants.
I absolutely could not have done this project without either a second set of hands or long bar clamps. I didn’t have a second set of hands, so bar clamps it was! It was extremely helpful to have them, especially while I was attaching the two sides together.
Step 3: Add slatted tops
I cut all of the pieces for the top two shelves first. To be totally honest, I wasn’t initially planning to do a different direction for the bottom shelf. However, the depth was slightly shorter than the width of the stand, so I was able to use a bunch of scrap pieces if I changed the direction from horizontal to vertical on the bottom shelf. So I did.
But before I attached them, I spent a crazy amount of time trying to decide if I should stain the slats or not. I thought the contrast would look nice, but I’d never used a black wood stain before. I am so glad I tried it out, though, because it turned out gorgeous.
I stained the slats before I attached them to the tiered stand just because I thought it would be much easier. I didn’t want to have to worry about being super careful while I stained. I just used a nail gun to attach all of the slats and spaced them equally: 5 on the top shelf, 4 on the middle shelf, and 12 on the bottom shelf.
If you don’t have a nail gun, you can use wood glue and a hammer and nails. While this isn’t ideal and will take a bit longer, it will definitely work just fine! In fact, you might even be able to get by using just wood glue and clamps for a strong enough bond. Just know that it won’t be as strong as glue and nails.
Step 4: Protect and finish
I used my paint sprayer to spray several coats of Varathane water-based matte urethane. The sprayer was perfect for this job because of all the slats, nooks, and crannies on the piece. I did a light sanding between coats using fine-grit sandpaper, but only on the exposed surfaces—tops and sides, mostly.
And you can see the unit I’m replacing…it has a very similar look and feel! Except my new build has some more vertical height for plants 🙂 I still love this Ikea shelving unit and moved it elsewhere in the house. It served me well for a while!
And here is the final plant stand…
I added a grow light strip to the bottom of the middle shelf to help provide additional light for the middle shelf and the bottom shelf where I’ve got propagations going. I also added a single hanging grow light from the top dowel. I used the GE grow light, a black cord, and a simple light cage.
I added two hanging plants to the dowel and popped one of my favorite air plants into the middle hanging plant. The hanging grow light is on the left. The window to the right gets amazing early afternoon through early evening light…so I don’t need too much extra light on this plant stand. But an extra grow light doesn’t hurt on the opposite end of the window! And it will be especially helpful in the fall and winter for some of the needier plants.
Want care guides for some of the plants you see below? Check out my care guides for hoya carnosa, heart-leaf philodendron, ric rac cactus, rhipsalis, curly orchid cactus, snake plants, and philodendron micans!
For more plant-related woodworking projects, check out my DIY test tube propagation station, my glass jar propagation station, my simple modern plant stand, my large hairpin leg plywood planter, and my DIY hanging plant pot holder!