Build a Ridiculously Easy Plant Stand Trough in Under 2 Hours


We finally got a good bit of snow here – enough to blanket everything in a thick layer of fresh white and to scrape up a decent snow pile in the yard for the kids to play on.  Then we got a chinook and it’s been warm and windy with the snow melting like mad then freezing into thick sheets of ice overnight, making it near impossible to do much outside without slipping into the Russian Splits involuntarily.   All this 'winter-then-not winter' weather has me inside baking cookies and organizing drawers, cupboards and book shelves.  Especially in my office which, due to the wall of book cases, has somehow become a drop off point for any and all Things With No Home.

Big Bad Gunner, who is actually the best dog ever.

Big Bad Gunner, who is actually the best dog ever.

Which is about when I decided the log-as-plant-stand should go.  I actually love interesting things used in unique ways in homes, which is what I was thinking about when I brought the stump inside last year.  Plus, bonus, I wanted the plant up and off the hardwood floor that day, and hey, the wood pile was just outside my office window.  Done and done.  Not so bonus was the mean lean the top had so that my big plant was sitting off kilter in a major way.  Every once in awhile I would tuck something underneath it to try to straighten it out but the time had come for me to do something and come up with a real solution.

Also on my mind has been creating an outdoor trough sink.  We have taps outside.  We live in the country with a pack of wild boys and hard working adults that are constantly doing everything under the sun.  We are often quickly rinsing ‘the worst of it’ off of our hands outside and drying them on our jeans.  I think I could come up with a better solution – a simple ‘sink’ stand with easy drainage and a place for a rag to hang.  The only thing is, it’s winter and we’re not doing much outside hand washing right now so any plan I had been brewing will have to wait until spring to test. 

So, here I sat with a dream of a plant stand and a dream of a trough sink, which I combined until the thing can do either.  It’s going to live until spring holding the plant in my office, then debut as a trough sink in the yard once everything melts.  If it works out I’ll build another for inside or maybe move that one back inside and build another for outside with a different finish. Who knows - my mind is a complex thing full of zig-zagging thoughts sometimes – welcome!

As always, I worked and reworked my plans until the boards are used as efficiently as possible – this one can be created with 4 boards and cost me only $15 Canadian which with the dismal Canadian dollar today is about $10 American!  I built it and painted it in an afternoon and you can, too!

2 - 1x6 boards (8' long) and 2 - 1x4 boards (8' long)

2 - 1x6 boards (8' long) and 2 - 1x4 boards (8' long)

Set your saw at 10" or make a paper template at about that angle and mark it on your boards

Set your saw at 10" or make a paper template at about that angle and mark it on your boards

Cut the ends off of the 38" 1x4 boards.  Cut as many boards as you can at once.

Cut the ends off of the 38" 1x4 boards.  Cut as many boards as you can at once.

Slide the boards down and cut the other end off - you want both ends to have the SAME angle (see on the cut ends how both left corners are lower than both right corners?)  Check twice, cut once.

Slide the boards down and cut the other end off - you want both ends to have the SAME angle (see on the cut ends how both left corners are lower than both right corners?)  Check twice, cut once.

Using 2 of the the 30" and all of the 11-3/4" 1x6s, build the trough box with the 1x6s as shown.  Use simple lap joints.  I used an air nailer but finishing nails or 1-1/4" screws would work as well.

Using 2 of the the 30" and all of the 11-3/4" 1x6s, build the trough box with the 1x6s as shown.  Use simple lap joints.  I used an air nailer but finishing nails or 1-1/4" screws would work as well.

Add the box bottom with the 28.5" 1x6s as shown..  I nailed them in from the sides and just let the middle rest on the support board below. 

Add the box bottom with the 28.5" 1x6s as shown..  I nailed them in from the sides and just let the middle rest on the support board below. 

On what will be the outside edges of the legs (with the longer corners at the bottom) mark 12" from the bottom.

On what will be the outside edges of the legs (with the longer corners at the bottom) mark 12" from the bottom.

Transfer your marks around the corner to the inside edge.

Transfer your marks around the corner to the inside edge.

Lay your boards out as shown, using the 13-3/4" 1x4 as the center brace.  Line the top edge of the brace at the 12" mark (do not do what I have shown here, with the bottom edge lined up!  I moved it before nailing - phew!)  Screw or nail.

Lay your boards out as shown, using the 13-3/4" 1x4 as the center brace.  Line the top edge of the brace at the 12" mark (do not do what I have shown here, with the bottom edge lined up!  I moved it before nailing - phew!)  Screw or nail.

Repeat for the other side, then gently flip both legs up like so.

Repeat for the other side, then gently flip both legs up like so.

Slide your trough into place.  It's going to be a bit off-kilter and not line up perfectly.  Don't despair, we will get it straightened in a moment.

Slide your trough into place.  It's going to be a bit off-kilter and not line up perfectly.  Don't despair, we will get it straightened in a moment.

Mark 6" in from each edge at the top of the trough.

Mark 6" in from each edge at the top of the trough.

Line up the legs with the outer edge on your mark and the top edges flush. Nail or screw.  If you use a nail gun, consider this just a temporary tacking, we will reinforce it later.  Flip (gently, lift the entire thing, rotate, then set back down).  Repeat on the other side.

Line up the legs with the outer edge on your mark and the top edges flush. Nail or screw.  If you use a nail gun, consider this just a temporary tacking, we will reinforce it later.  Flip (gently, lift the entire thing, rotate, then set back down).  Repeat on the other side.

Gently stand up, being careful not to put too much weight on the legs as you flip it (lift, rotate, set back down).  Lay the shelf board across the braces.  I did not want mine attached so I could have the option to set a larger plant on the floor instead.

Gently stand up, being careful not to put too much weight on the legs as you flip it (lift, rotate, set back down).  Lay the shelf board across the braces.  I did not want mine attached so I could have the option to set a larger plant on the floor instead.

If your legs are air-nailed on, you will need to reinforce them with 1-1/4" screws.  I screwed from the inside.

If your legs are air-nailed on, you will need to reinforce them with 1-1/4" screws.  I screwed from the inside.

Finish as you like - I slapped on some latex paint, then rubbed off with a rag for a weathered look.  I rummaged around the shop until I found some hardware I could 'borrow' and attached the black hinges on the corners.

Finish as you like - I slapped on some latex paint, then rubbed off with a rag for a weathered look.  I rummaged around the shop until I found some hardware I could 'borrow' and attached the black hinges on the corners.

Sun is setting, boys, time to head inside!

Sun is setting, boys, time to head inside!

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Nice work!