So I had a quandary: I wanted a wrought iron plant stand, but didn't want to shell out $15 for one. That's kinda pricey for something that's not even the thing you're supposed to be looking at! And since I am cheap, and don't do metal work (not yet anyways), I came up with a happy medium that's cheap and easy to do!
(Tomato cages are usually between $2.50 and $5, depending on the store, and whether they are pre-painted)
Step 1: Gather Your Materials
You will need:
- tomato cage - I ended up using the smaller one, 33 inch
- wire cutters or bolt cutters
- pliers for bending
Please ignore the wrench...not sure where I was going with that...
*optional: outdoor furniture spray paint, plus some newspaper
Step 2: Clip the Prongs
Clip the ends to 2 or 3 inches, and bend them out a bit to accommodate the pot you will be putting in.
Now that I look back, I think I should have left the prongs longer, at 5 or 6 inches instead, and bend them so that they curve out and down a bit. This looks a bit Tim-Burton-esque, don't you think?
Step 3: Form the Tent Stakes
This structure will be very top-heavy when you put a potted plant on it, so you'll want to stabilize it with some tent stakes. Just take the leftover bits of wire and bend one end into a U.
Step 4: Optional: Spray Paint
If you choose to paint it, lay down some newspaper and follow manufacturer's instructions.
My first time using spray paint, and using clearance-sale paint at that! Probably the shoddiest paint job ever, but hopefully that won't be apparent...
I also painted the tops of the hooks, since they will be showing when it's in use.
Allow plenty of time for drying. I just left mine out overnight.
Step 5: Ta-da! Not Too Shabby!
Pick a good spot for your plant stand, keeping in mind the light requirement of the plant that will be living there.
Nail in the tent stakes equidistant from each other if possible, make sure you actually catch the bottom wire. The red dots are about where I put mine, because I wanted the stand to be half-on-half-off the patio. And what do you know, I DID use the wrench after all!
Sure, it's not as fancy as the store-bought one, but not too bad for 3 bucks and 10 minutes! (5 of those was figuring out why the cheap-o-leum paint was not working...
Hope this was clear and helpful. Happy growing!
*Note: the hammering in scratched up the tops of the stakes pretty bad,
but not really noticeable in my case. If you were using one of the neon-colored cages, take care to use some padding, or maybe a rubber mallet? It might be enough just to use an actual hammer for the job...