There are already several versions of this project on instructables. My wife saw them and wanted me to make her one, so this is my version of how I put the "Flower Tower of Pots" together. This is my very first instructable, so please bear with me as I struggle through this!
Step 1: Gathering the Pots
I started out with six regular sized flower pots, one large flower pot, and one catch pan for the large pot. I would highly recommend doing some light sanding on any of the rough areas on the pots. I didn't do this and regretted it later as I wanted a glossy surface, however, some of the rough areas came out dull.
Step 2: Base Coat of White Paint
Paint all the pots high gloss white. You can see in this photo, that I should have realized the rough spots weren't going to give me a high gloss finish. So, once again, I suggest you go over those with some sandpaper prior to painting them white. Allow plenty of time for this paint to dry.
Step 3: Making the Polka Dots
I used some large 2 inch circle labels and applied them randomly all over the pots. Make certain you smooth out the label "dots" onto the surface of the pots.
Step 4: Painting Each Pot
I then painted each pot it's own unique color. I applied several coats of paint allowing the pots to dry in between each coat. I painted both the outside and the inside of the pots. Painting over the label circle dots as I went.
Step 5: The Polka Dots Come Alive
Once I applied several liberal coats of paint to the pots, I'd remove the stick on labels to reveal nice large white polka dots on each pot.
Step 6: Drilling the Hole for the Base
I took the bottom catch pan, placed it upside down, then put the large pot on top of it and centered it on the pan. Using a felt tipped permanent marker, I marked on the pan, where the original drain hole in the large pot ended up on the pan.
Using a 3/8" masonry bit, I slowly drilled a hole through the bottom, center of the catch pan. I kept the surface I was drilling wet the entire time I was drilling, applying very little pressure the entire time. I continued to clean out the hole, using fresh water. The key to keeping it from cracking is to apply very little pressure and keeping it wet.
Once this is all put together, the bottom pan will remain upside down. This is to allow space for the connecting rod and nuts, underneath the large pot.
Step 7: Painting the Base
Paint the bottom catch pan the desired color, applying several coats. Paint both sides of the pan.
Step 8: Applying the Clear Coat
I removed all the circular labels from the pots and painted all of them with several coats of glossy clear.
Because I had let the pots sit out in the heat of the day, the labels were stuck on the pots fairly well. I had to use a heat gun to heat up the labels to get them to peel off without pulling apart. If you use this method to remove the dot labels, be careful about overheating them as they will brown the white surface underneath.
Step 9: Putting Together the Support Rod
I used a 3/8 inch, by six foot section of all thread (threaded rod) to form the center shaft that will hold the whole thing together.
On the bottom I used a large flat fender washer along with two nuts to make a tight bottom piece.
I pre-painted the washers, nuts and shaft flat black during each step to hopefully slow the corrosion and deterioration of the metal parts .
Step 10: The Nuts and Washers of It All
I wanted to make certain there was a gap at the bottom of the large pot so that water could drain. I also wanted to add some stability at the bottom of the large pot for the upright rod. I found an old piece of "C" beam in my scrape metal that already had a hole in it the right size. So, using an angle grinder, I cut it down to the correct size. I also painted it flat black to hopefully keep it from rusting too fast. I painted over each connection as I went with flat black paint, trying to put off the rust as long as I can.
Step 11: Trimming Down the Rod
I ran another nut and washer down the rod from the top to about the level where I anticipated the level of dirt would be in the bottom pot. This was so I could stack the pots onto the rod to get an idea of where to cut off the excess rod coming out of the topmost pot. This nut and washer acted as a stop for the bottom most small pot.
I used an angle grinder to cut off the excess all thread rod slightly below the upper edge of the top most pot.
Step 12: Time to Plant!
We filled the pots in with potting soil, however... Because we live in Arizona where summer heat prevents any young plant from surviving, we have decided to wait until fall before we put any real plants in the planter. Kudos to my wife who found some inexpensive fake plants to finish off the project until the temperatures drop far enough for real plants to survive.
All in all, this was a fun project to put together. I did this after work in a period spanning several nights. The heat of the day prevents me from working on projects during daylight hours. That's why the bulk of these photos were taken at night. All of the photos were taken with my iPhone.
This was my first instructable, I hope you enjoy it!