Instructables

My DIY Instructions for a Tipsy Plant Tower

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Picture of My DIY Instructions for a Tipsy Plant Tower
Intro:

I saw the idea for a really cute ceramic planter tower on Pinterest, but there were not detailed instructions on how to do it.  I went to Lowe's and used one of their cool craft idea sheets and the photo from Pinterest to make my own version of what I call the Tipsy Plant Tower.  This is the finished product.  I planted different herbs in each pot (draping rosemary, oregano, thyme, mint, lavender and sage, but it would be really pretty with flowers too.  This was my first attempt and will be given as a class gift for a favorite teacher who enjoys cooking (and I turned it so it doesn't show on the picture but each small pot is labeled with the name and birthdate of her five grandchildren and the bottom pot says "Mimi and Poppy's Garden Treasures."  

 I've never created an instructable file before, so bear with me.  I'll try hard not to leave anything out.
 
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Step 1: Here's what you will need:

Picture of Here's what you will need:
Five  6" standard terra-cotta pots
One 10.5" azalea pot
One 12" terra-cotta saucer (the ones that go under the plants to catch liquid)
Acrylic paints (various colors)
Paint brushes
Turkey baster with bulb removed (I pressed it in paint to make the outline of the polka dots)
Two cans of Valspar Clear Sealer Gloss for Interior/Exterior
Seven 1/2"-13 hot-dipped galvanized zinc hex nuts 
One 1/2"-13 acorn-nut
Seven 1/2x1-1/2" Zinc-plated fender washers
One Steelworks 1/2-13 x 3' threaded rod (Lowe's has them cut to this size already)
Handheld drill
Skil 6 x 1/2" Masonry Bit (around $5 if you don't have one)
parchment paper





KelHelmick1 year ago
Such a wonderful project! My wife saw yours and decided I needed to make one for her. I read through yours and got the general concept. I documented mine all the way through and just finished up posting here my version of your project. I meant all along to give you credit, and wasn't able to find yours again until I finished mine up! Thanks for the basic design idea and the hours of fun putting it together! Here's mine: http://www.instructables.com/id/The-Flower-Tower/
HelenaTroy1 year ago
beautiful effect, excellently explained, thanks so much!!
Great instructable! Here's the one I made my Mom for Mother's Day. Thanks for the idea.
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I love how you painted the pots. very nicely done.
Thank you.
I just finished painting my own pots for a smaller version.
That sounds cool. Post a pic when your done. I love to see it.
I sure will, I'm having a small problem though, the holes on the bottom of these clay pots are smaller them the pole I got for it. so I'm having to re-drill them a little bigger.
mworsley (author)  taria2 years ago
Taria, if you haven't already drilled the pot holes bigger, you can always buy a smaller threaded rod. I went with the larger one for my project, but I know Lowe's had them in smaller circumference and shorter versions too.
taria mworsley1 year ago
BTW I did make these in smaller version, all painted up like a rainbow. the smallest pot is about 2 inches I think maybe 3 at the most. It is cute.
taria mworsley1 year ago
sorry for the late response, I am finding these everywhere. Places I never even thought about looking. And no I never did get around to drilling, but I glad I found this before I did cause now I know I can find them at lowes. thanks for that.
mworsley (author)  tylerbellows2 years ago
Love it! The alternating colors on the pots are darling. Thanks for sharing!
So cooooool! Can't wait to make one!!! I posted your diy on my website, here's the link:
http://www.lescreateliers.com/Les_Createliers/Idees_Ideas/Entries/2012/6/7_Plantes_en_eboulementTipsy_planter.html
Cheers,
Marie-Eve
taria2 years ago
Im so making me a smaller version of this, I have some smaller pots right now...hmm to late to do it tonight sooo maybe tomorrow? we'll see :) now to have something to put in them..LOL
HelenaTroy2 years ago
I've seen something similar (but a lot less fancy!) in a blog on Grows on You, link attached with any luck - it shows how that person did the construction. j Hope it helps

http://www.growsonyou.com/GardenGnome/blog/1911-tipping-container-stand
mworsley (author)  HelenaTroy2 years ago
Very cool link! I did mine differently but that is a great way to do it too. I saw a finished product photo on Pinterest but the link didn't have directions so I did my own version. That website looks like it has great directions for a similar tower though. Thanks for sharing it.

I like how they used the wood blocks in the big pot to increase stability. For mine, I used the upside down saucer as a base so that I could put it on a porch instead of in the ground, and I used a threaded rod so that I could just twist the hex nuts and fender washers into place. I will try to add some more pictures of that part, but it basically is just hand tightening the hex nuts into the right place.

Have a great day!
*s* I gave them the link to your page as well, so it's a fair swop!
If you have access to RIGID plastic pots, you can use these, also. Easier to cut the needed holes and keeps the plants moister for longer. Clay pots have advantages AND disadvantages but they are certainly more "green". I am on my way to make one of these , as it is a most excellent idea! Especially for folks who are space and/or sunlight limited. ( ie very few places in the yard where one receives full sun all day) . Thank you for sharing. Namaste.
mworsley (author)  Patio Furniture2 years ago
Great idea, especially for those who might be concerned about the tower getting knocked over by kids/dogs. I would love to see how it turns out when you're done. My mom is going to try making a tiny version with little pots for her apartment window.
sdhardie2 years ago
Seriously cute! And it looks like a lot more work than it actually was, at least from appearances. Great job!
mworsley (author)  sdhardie2 years ago
Thanks! It really was simple and everyone who sees it thinks it was a ton of work. I love that!

The hardest thing for me was drilling the hole in the saucer. It wasn't actually "hard" but I was nervous about it as I am crafty but not really handy with tools typically. It turned out to be easy and I felt very handy-person cool after that. :)
suayres2 years ago
That is so seriously adorable. If my hub didn't have a "honey-do" list 3 yards long, I'd ask him to do it, but it really looks doable. So, I'll just have to try my hand at it.
Thanks for the so clever, fun idea.
mworsley (author)  suayres2 years ago
Thanks! I was nervous about putting it together since I'm crafty but not typically handy with tools, but it turned out to be really easy. I added some detailed comments on putting it together to Creamaster's comment below, and I'll try to add some more pictures as I make #2 next week. :)
Creamaster2 years ago
That's super neat. Some questions:

You don't happen to have photos of the actual construction do you? That's the actual useful information I would need as I am pretty sure I can figure out how to paint a pot, but I'm not clear on how you constructed the whole contraption. Is it stable?

Should worry that it will fall over and hurt my small child if a crow lands on it? Is it likely the metal pole will crack a pot and cause it will fall?
mworsley (author)  Creamaster2 years ago
I didn't take pictures of the construction but it really is simple. Since the metal pole I used is a "threaded rod" all you do is twist one of the lug nuts (by hand---no tools necessary) on to the threaded rod (like tightening a screw). Then you slide on a fender washer and then slide the pot down the pole. Then repeat with each additional pot.

I delivered it this morning, but will try to take a close up picture on the next one I make (for myself this time!). :) This was my first instructable attempt and I did it as an after thought so my pictures are not very helpful. Sorry for that.

However, it really looks way more complex than it is. The hardest part was just twisting the various hex nuts up and down a little to make each pot sit just right. They will sit straight up and down until you fill them with planting soil. The weight of the soil is what helps them tip. I tipped each pot to the position I wanted and then filled it with soil so that it would stay in the right position.

In terms of stability, that was one of my big concerns with the one that I saw on another website. It was done on a simple metal pole and stuck in the ground. We live in Texas and have high winds occasionally, plus I have two busy kids and an overactive big dog. I was concerned that they would knock it over and get hurt. My way to make it more stable was to use the heavy threaded rod and the upside down saucer with the large (heavy) azalea pot as the bottom pot. It definitely helps with stability and it allows you to put it on a patio or porch rather than in the ground.

While it is definitely stable enough to withstand light bumps from my kids and dog (and the neighborhood crows), a climbing toddler could definitely pull it over. I always recommend erring on the side of caution if you have a little one. My daughter (6) helped me water the plants during the two weeks that we were waiting to deliver it to her teacher, and despite bumping it, had no issues. My large lab with the wild wagging tail also bumped it numerous times and it was fine.

Hope that helps. I will try to take more pictures on future crafts just in case I put them on instructables again.

-M

tbeatty2 years ago
Would love to do this. Can you give an approximate cost of what you spent on the supplies?
mworsley (author)  tbeatty2 years ago
I spent about $45----The pots were the most expensive part of the project (and I had to buy the masonry bit for my drill as I didn't have one). I didn't have to buy paint or paint brushes since I always have acrylic paints around from various projects. I also didn't have to buy the herbs as I already had them growing in small pots. If you have to buy paints and herbs, the price will go up another $20-25 maybe?
MaryT8M2 years ago
LOVE the poka dots!
mworsley (author)  MaryT8M2 years ago
Thanks, Mary! I wasn't sure how it would look but was very pleased with the bright color and the polka dots.