Introduction: Garden Plant Stand

Picture of Garden Plant Stand

The plant stand shown in this instructable grows edibles in a compact vertical space. We use the planter to grow herbs and edibles on the deck close at hand to the kitchen and the grill. In the containers we have mint, pineapple sage, marjoram, oregano and two other types of sage. The plants that like the most sun are placed on top. The lower levels of the plant stand are used for more shade tolerant plants; however, they still get plenty of light. For growing the plants, self-watering planters were chosen. Other planting options are a rain gutter system, individual pots, wood boxes, etc. The stand can be easily constructed from excess lumber or pallets.

Quick animination of the stand:

Step 1: Tools/Materials


  • Table or Miter Saw
  • Pocket hole jig (optional)
  • Drill/Bits
  • Tape measure


  • 2x4x8’ (x2)
  • 1x4x14"
  • 1x6x10'
  • Screws or Nails
  • Pocket Hole Screws (optional)
  • Stain or Paint (optional)

Step 2: Top Level

Picture of Top Level

You will be building to this drawing.

Step 3: Leg Assembly Components

Picture of Leg Assembly Components

Cut 2x4 and 1x4 to the lengths as shown. A table or miter saw can be used to cut the angles.

Step 4: Leg Assembly

Picture of Leg Assembly

Assemble as shown. I used deck screws to attach the side to the base. The feet can be attached with nails for screws. Make two leg assemblies.

Step 5: Shelf Boards

Picture of Shelf Boards

Cut 1x6 boards to the lengths shown.

Step 6: Attach Shelves

Picture of Attach Shelves

Attach shelves as shown. I used a pocket-hole jig to attach the upper shelves to the sides.

Step 7: Gussets

Picture of Gussets

Cut the 8 gussets as shown.

Step 8: Attach Gussets

Picture of Attach Gussets

Again, I used a pocket-hole jig for the gusset screws. Nails are another option. Note that I decided to not add the bottom gussets since I felt the stand was sturdy enough.

Step 9: Add Window Boxes

Picture of Add Window Boxes

These 24" Self-Watering Window Boxes boxes run $7.50 each. That completes the virtual build.

Step 10: Final Product

Picture of Final Product

The stand was painted with exterior paint. Stain & polyurethane is another option. Add soil and plants and you are good to go.


ConsiderAnarchy made it! (author)2015-06-22

I made this as a Mother's Day gift. It's really an amazing plant stand with a sturdy base and everything. The shelves are in no way weak and can easily support the weight of the plants. Overall, I'd give this a 10/10. This was wonderfully designed and I enjoyed every moment of making it.

mtairymd (author)ConsiderAnarchy2015-06-22

Thank you for the kind complements and I'm glad you enjoyed building it. Did you also fill it with flowers - nice touch! Yes, it's very sturdy. I was worried that it might be top heavy and fall over during storms when I was coming up with the concept. However, we had 40 MPH winds the other day and we didn't have any issues.

seamster (author)2015-04-30

This looks like an excellent project. I love the simple and sturdy construction!

(Now here's hoping my wife doesn't see this, as she would most likely add this to my to-make list . . . so many projects, so little time!)

mtairymd (author)seamster2015-04-30

Thanks. Yep, I understand the list :)

OhHeyLiana (author)2016-05-29

This seems like a very basic build especially for a beginner. But as a beginner.... what would a cut list look like for this? I seem to becoming up with math that leaves an extra 1x6x10?

mtairymd (author)OhHeyLiana2016-05-29

Good catch! Yes, you only need one 1x6x10. I just fixed the cut list shown in step 1.


wtaylor11 made it! (author)2016-04-30

I used pressure treated lumber, and 2"x 6" for the uprights and shelves. Stained and sealed with clear cedar tone deck stain. I used planters made for deck railings. If you make it out of 2"x6" you will have to add 2" to the lenght of the feet. Quick and easy build.

mtairymd (author)wtaylor112016-04-30

I was confused looking at the picture until I read your description. The deck rail planters are a good idea! Nice job.

koc77 made it! (author)2015-08-08

Thanks! It made a good mothers day gift.

mtairymd (author)koc772016-04-01

I like the bird feeder addition.

robertogallea (author)2016-02-02

Nice design, quick to realize! Thank you for the idea!

mtairymd (author)robertogallea2016-02-02

Looks good. Thank you.

JasonM15 (author)2015-05-12

Simple and awesome! I like it.

mtairymd (author)JasonM152015-05-12

Thank you!

dollarseed (author)2015-05-04

This is a really great and simple project that most can do without the need for a full out shop. Sure wish more people would go into this amount of detail to help get the younger generation involved with wood working, and making things to use. I have my own design for a 3 tier 2x4 plant stand, but unfortunately don't have the pictures of it available, you'd love that one too :) Thank you for sharing.

mtairymd (author)dollarseed2015-05-04

Thanks. I would love to see it.

dollarseed (author)mtairymd2015-05-05

Just went to visit the person I made the plant stand for, so I could get this picture to share with you :) Unfortunately, she didn't have any plants on it yet.

mtairymd (author)dollarseed2015-05-05


Ron White (author)2015-05-05

Looks great, would be nice for herbs.

bassman1950 (author)2015-05-04

There are a couple of thing s you could add for greater stability for this project.

Instead of using just nails or screws to attach the legs to the base you could add dowels or if you wanted to get fancy you could use dove tails. I realize that not every one has access to a dove tail maker. But by far this is the best type of joint to make for something like this. But of course it is up to each person to add there own touch here.

This is a great idea something I might attempt myself if I can round up the wood needed.

You might want to think about using green or pressurized wood or at least seal the wood before putting it out side.

mtairymd (author)bassman19502015-05-04

I like the dowel approach. Like you said, dove tails are probably above the basic woodworkers skillset - at least mine :). Yes, making the shelves/feet from pressurized lumber would add life to the stand.

bassman1950 (author)mtairymd2015-05-05

All you need to make dove tails is a jig and a router and of course the dove tail bit. They are not that difficult to make really.I used to think the same that dove tails making was something i could not do. But the jig is what makes the difference here. it makes them as easy as pie.One does not have to have a lot of knowledge just a little patience.

John L (author)2015-05-03

I have to confess: I really do like this project. Simplicity and elegance all rolled into one package. Mount wheels on the bottom, and they can follow the sunlight, rainfall, or general preference. Neat!

mtairymd (author)John L2015-05-03

Thank you. Wheels would be nice since it is pretty hard to move.

John L (author)mtairymd2015-05-03

I have to add one other thing. You state that you left off the gussets at the bottom of the stand. If you do add wheels, this means you will be applying more pressure to the entire structure in order to move it around. Without those gussets, the stand will not be able to hold up to the pushing back and forth. Just thought I would mention that.

praetorian216 (author)2015-05-03

Simple and beautiful piece of work. Thank you.

ktshoema (author)2015-05-03

Nice job! What did you use for the virtual model?

mtairymd (author)ktshoema2015-05-03

Thanks. Autodesk Inventor

Make_This (author)2015-04-30

Nicely done

mtairymd (author)Make_This2015-05-01

Thank you

Blokhed1 (author)2015-04-30

Very cool

mtairymd (author)Blokhed12015-05-01


About This Instructable




Bio: I like to design and build random things.
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