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.
Step 1: 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)
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)
Skil 6 x 1/2" Masonry Bit (around $5 if you don't have one)
Step 2: Power Tool Time!
Each of the clay pots will already have a large hole in the bottom. The saucer does not. Following Lowe's recommendations, I soaked the saucer in water for about 10 minutes to keep it from cracking when it is drilled. I then used the handheld drill and 1/2" masonry bit to drill a hole in the center of the saucer. I put it upside down on the ground outside to drill. Be sure to come straight down in the center and don't angle or it might crack.
(I failed to take a picture before painting, but this will give you the idea).
Step 3: Painting the Pots and Saucer
Next comes the painting!
First, I laid the parchment paper out on my work space and then used the acrylic paints I had left over from other projects to paint each pot and the saucer, inside and out (because I'm anal like that). I put two coats on each one, allowing each to dry in between.
Once the second coat was dry, I used the turkey baster without the rubber bulb to create an outline for my polka dots. I just dipped the end into white paint and carefully placed it on the pots. Quickly before the outline dried, I filled in the inside of each polka dot with white paint.
After allowing the polka dots to fully dry, I used the spray on clear gloss finish. As instructed on the can, I used multiple light coats, allowing it to dry fully between each coat.
Step 4: And Now for the Assembly...
It took a little trial and error to get this right. I began by taking the 3' threaded rod and putting a hex nut about 1-1/2" up from the end. I then placed a fender washer on it. I slid the saucer onto the threaded rod to rest (concave side down) on the fender washer. Basically, since the saucer is supposed to help stabilize the tower, I wanted the rod to come down all the way to the floor, but not so far that it caused the saucer's lip to not sit flat.
Next I slid the big azalea pot onto the threaded rod to rest on top of the upside down saucer. The hole in the azalea pot was pretty big and allowed too much lean, so I next added another fender washer and hex nut to the threaded rod so that they were on the inside of the big azalea pot.
One at a time, I added a hex nut that I twisted down to the desired height (just above the lip of each lower pot) and then put a fender washer on top, followed by a 6" pot. The pots at this point stood more or less straight up and down, but since there was not a washer and hex nut on the inside of the pot, I could make them lean to one side easily. When I had placed the very top pot, I placed the acorn hex nut on the inside of that pot, but didn't tighten it down too much to avoid making the top pot stand straight up and down.
I then filled each pot one by one with planter's soil and replanted some potted herbs. Before filling and planting, I made sure that the pot was tipping in the direction I wanted. The dirt and plant help keep each pot at it's jaunty angle. The plants cover the threaded rod and hex nuts so all you see is the cute pots tipping in either direction as if about to spill their plants over.