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Living in an apartment can make it hard to keep potted plants around. Hanging planters are a great way to have a good looking garden (or as close as you can get to a garden) while ensuring your plants get enough light without using up too much space. So, I made a simple wooden hanging planter that works well for any balcony.

Note: Many of the steps can be personalized to make the size or look fit you more. Feel free to change what you want. Just make sure your measurements fit. You may have to change other parts to accommodate the change.

Step 1: Gather Your Equipment

The materials you will need can all be found at hardware stores like Home Depot and Lowe's. People there will also most likely be able to cut the wood for you if you need.

Materials:

  • 1 - 1x6 piece of wood
  • 1 - 1x3 piece of wood
  • Stain - I used Minwax dark walnut penetrating stain.The color is your choice, but make sure it is water proof and outdoor so the wood does not warp.

Tools:

  • Saw (either hand or power)
    • A table saw or circular saw is best if using a power saw
    • Note: Power tools tend to be easier and result in smoother looking work, however, handsaws are much smaller and low maintenance
  • Paint brush
  • Hammer
  • Nails
  • Measuring tape
  • Sand paper
  • Pencil
  • Clean rag or paper towels
  • Disposable rubber gloves


Warning:Power tools are dangerous. Make sure you know how to safely use them and have taken safety precautions. If you are not confident using them, use a hand saw but remember that this can be dangerous as well. Either way, be sure to use gloves and eye protection.

Step 2: The Planter

I am going to split up the steps into "the hanger" and "the planter". Feel free to cut and stain everything at once, but I find that it helps to see exactly what you have before doing the final steps. As such we will first make the main planter. This can be personalized to the plants you want or the space you have. But I am going to give you my measurements for reference.

Note: Be sure that all of your measurements match up before you cut them. Use your best judgement but make sure it works.

To start: Measure and cut the 1x6 pieces

  • 3 - 16in pieces
  • 2 - 7in pieces


Warning: Again, be careful with the saw, work on a steady surface, wear safety equipment, and take special precautions if you are using a power tool.

Step 3: Paint the Planter

Staining the planter is important because it will be vulnerable to the elements every day. The stain will protect it. For this reason we will thoroughly stain it before putting it together to give it all around protection.

Tips: Staining will take a long time, so be patient. You will need to let it sit nearly a day before the stain completely dries. It will also stain everything so wear gloves and old clothes.

  1. Lay out papers or an old sheet
  2. Sand the pieces of wood until smooth
  3. Wipe off dust from sanding
  4. Open and mix the stain
  5. Evenly and heavily coat the stain over the wood
  6. Let sit for 10-20 minutes - the longer it soaks the better
  7. Wipe off remaining stain with a clean rag or paper towel
  8. Repeat (3x) - the stain needs to soak into the wood to work well, if it needs more coats than give it more
  9. Let remaining stain dry completely
  10. Move on to the next step when you are confident that the wood is dry and fully protected

Step 4: Assemble the Planter

I am going to give all of the pieces letters so they are easier to follow for those of you using different measurements. For those using my exact measurements:

  • A - The bottom base 16" piece
  • B - The two 16" long side pieces
  • C - The two 7" end pieces

Refer to the picture and diagram for help.

  1. Lay the A on a surface as the bottom
  2. Hammer in 3 nails to attach the two Bs into the A, creating a rectangular box without the ends or top
    1. The Bs should overlap A
  3. Attach the ends using the two C pieces
  4. Hammer in two nails per board (A and B)
  5. This should leave you with a simple open rectangular box

Note: Flipping the box on its sides to get an easier angle for the hammer is helpful, but keep track of the original orientation of the box. Trust me, little things like that can make a difference.

Step 5: The Hangers

Now we will make the hanger. This should be personalized to fit your railing and preferred hang length. My measurements are below for reference.

To start: Measure and cut the 1x3 pieces

  • 2 - 16in
  • 2 - 4.5in
  • 2 - 4in


Warning:One last time, tools are dangerous in general but this is particularly true for saws.

Step 6: Staining the Hangers

  1. Repeat the steps from "staining the planter"
  2. Make sure the stain has soaked in properly
  3. Match the shades of the stain (if you are using the same colors)

Step 7: Assembling the Hangers

I am going to use an alphabetical system to describe the process again. For reference, my measurements are below:

  • A - 17"
  • B - 4"
  • C - 4"

Now to make the hangers:

  1. Assemble the hooks
    1. You are going to create a hook shape. Look at the pictures for help.
    2. Use 2 nails to attach B to A, A should overlap B
    3. Attach the C to the bottom of B with 2 nails
    4. Repeat
  2. Attach the hooks to the planter
    1. Evenly space the two hooks on the back of the planter facing out
    2. Hammer two nails through the hangers into the planter
    3. If the nails push out hammer the excess down sideways inside the planter (it will not be noticeable)
    4. Make sure everything is secure

Note: If you are making a longer planter, you may need to add an extra hanger.If it is much larger, you may need to use a different type or size of wood, or add more nails. Just make sure that everything is secure.

Step 8: Finishing Touches

Now you might want to add a few more finishing touches to personalize your planter. Chances are you have already done something to make your planter different during this process. The size and color is most likely different and at the very least the hanger is a slightly different size. However, now you can finish the planter and really make it your own. You can paint it or add things to it, whatever you want. For instance, hardware and craft stores tend to have small carved strips of wood that you could attach around the top. Have fun with it!

<p>This is a great idea. You could set up plants anywhere that there is a fence.</p>

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