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Wednesday, December 1, 2010


This is how I went about trying to figure out where I needed to cut the legs. I used whatever I could find to get my legs to the height I needed for each level. From here I moved my work out to the driveway and put it on a jigged up plywood sheet to have some semblance of an even place to work.
I started with the middle bottom table and worked my way up from there.  Those legs I cut off all at the same level, as compared to the table on the right, so I wouldn't have to cut those legs, then went back and started putting my two other bottom layer tables on. I used a torpedo level to make sure the first table was level and leveled off of that one all the way up. It's pretty close , no more than 1/8 of a bubble off, and I'm not so sure that wasn't my plywood jigged on the driveway causing the problem.
This table had some serious bubbling going on and a slit in the top, so I chiseled and pried and took the top veneer off and replaced it with a piece of 1/4" plywood, which I glued down with Gorilla Glue,tacked in place with some brads and put some clamps and gallon jugs on to hold it in place while it dried. It didn't have to be replaced with veneer, since I would be painting it. I filled in the edges with Rock Hard after the glue had dried.

Luckily, the two legs I took off that table were the exact height I needed to replace the legs in the table on the other side. 
As I cut off legs and added tables, I would rearrange my "supports" and mark for the next table. Again, I used whatever I could find that would give me the right height.
Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain! messy garage. Right now it looks like Dorothy's tornado went through! It'll get straightened up before the snow flies. 
And, see that little black L-shaped thing? That's a Clamp-It  Assembly Square, that I bought from Rockler several years ago when when Gary and I started building toy boxes for the Grandkids. It comes in very handy and I find myself using it on almost all my woodworking projects. It's made of plastic, so it slides around real nice on your work surface without scratching.  Plus, it's smaller than a typical triangle square. Here I used it to make sure my tables were square to each other. I also use it to measure, when I need certain spaces to be the same, by placing a piece of tape on it where I need the measurement to be. Oh,  and it can be clamped on to make 90°corners, inside or outside. All in all, a handy little tool.
All I can say is clamp, clamp, clamp and level as you go. You can never have enough clamps.
You can click on this image to make it larger, but what I did here was trace around  each leg so I could line up  where my holes would be placed for the hanger bolts that would hold the tables together.
Yes, I goofed a little with my marks, but that's why you measure, measure, measure, before you make your final cuts or drill any holes. This image shows it better. X marks the spot.
Here's the holes drilled in the top of one of the tables. And yes, I drilled in the right spot.
Fortunately, I only had to buy 4 more hanger bolts, since I took the ones off the legs from the table with the stepped shelf and we had 4 extra legs, from an old couch, I believe, laying around.  They have a screw on one end and a bolt on the other end. This is what they look like.
The fastening system holding the tall table on the bottom are longer cabinet screws, some washers and two cabinets knobs, which I painted to match the main piece.
I drilled all the holes and put in all the hanger bolts before painting , and did a dry fit just  to make sure everything lined up the way it's supposed to. And it did!
I removed any drawers from the tables, filled in the holes with Rock Hard and these will be replaced after they are painted. I replaced them after painting, 'cause I wanted to make sure it was painted under, just in case it would show through the cracks.
I then marked and drilled holes on the front of each table and will put  the handles on the front. There were two tables that didn't have drawers, so I swiped some handles from some drawers my son was throwing away. As you can see, I'm not perfect, my math skills escaped me for a bit and I did not measure in the center the first time. Oh, well, that's what Rock Hard is for.
I used Rub n Buff to make all the handles pewter. You can see what I did Here
The two tables without drawers were just a little too small to fit my final table on top, so I added a piece of 3/4" oak plywood to each so they would be long enough. It gives me added space for plants to boot. I wanted to cover up the plywood, so I added trim molding which we got from an uncle when he was getting rid of excess construction materials from his projects. Never so NO to FREE! WOOHOO! 
This project was taking a long time for various reasons, so it got too cold to paint in the garage, so I had to move my work into my living room. That'll get you to start moving your butt and get things done.
Here're the first two tables primed and ready for paint. I used Zinsser BIN primer and recommend it. I didn't have to sand much at all, just where there was fingernail polish spilled on one of the tables, over the areas I filled with Rock Hard, and the plywood piece I applied to the one table. The rest I just gave a cursory once over with sandpaper. Some people have reviewed the Zinsser BIN primer and said it stinks a lot. I didn't find the smell to be near as offensive as the ammonia you have to use to clean the brushes and rollers. One tip I have is; rather than clean your brushes and rollers after every step, put them in a bag and put them in the refrigerator. I used a recycled cereal bag. For the paint, I just put a bag over my entire paint tray and brushes and rollers and that kept moist til the next day. However; this primer dries so quickly, that it needs to be chilled to keep from drying onto the tools.
 I used Dutch Boy Porch and Floor paint, in Pine, because I figured if the paint could hold up to foot traffic, it should do pretty well with plants. I used a foam roller for as much of the painting as I could, but I did have to use a cheapo brush to pounce the paint into the crevices. I couldn't see risking ruining an expensive brush on this, so I just tossed the cheapo brush when I was done. When It comes to the finish, though I use a good quality brush, so my finish is smooth and the poly goes where I want it to.
So, here's the first two tables in their final resting place. Once I have it all painted and together, I will put a brown glaze over the whole piece. I did not want to do this separately,'cause I was afraid it wouldn't match up the same.
I needed a little extra height so the screws would tighten fully, so I "glued" these washers together with paint, to make sure they would stay in position. Then I could paint the tops, bottoms and sides as one piece. It worked out rather well.
That small table was certainly a pain in the butt all the way through. First, I had to replace the top and here in this closeup, you can see the tiny detail running around the top. I used various ways to try to get this area painted, including a small brush, a foam brush, a roller and finally in some places a toothpick to spread the paint in the crevices. I wanted to try to keep as clear of detail as I could and not fill it in with paint. In the end, it turned out pretty well.
These are the next two tables I finished and added to the mix. I used some bubble wrap on the tops to place the hanger bolts on to try to prevent scratching the paint on the previous layer. This worked pretty well, but I still had a couple minuscule spots to touch up.
Finally, the last two tables done. With these two, being it was getting higher, I needed help to put them on. I did a few touch ups, where I missed some and any little dings I made while assembling it. Here is the stand with just the paint finish.
I had to be very careful with my painting now, because the plant stand was now in my dining room and there was not much room to maneuver things. I put a glaze on it using thinned down acrylic paint in Burnt Umber using a combination of techniques that worked for me, but this is where I got the most helpful tips: My Re-purposed Life.
Finally I put a coat of Minwax Polycrylic, satin finish on to further seal it from moisture.

These are some of the supplies I used. I didn't include the cheapo brushes, 'cause I had already tossed them, before I was ready to take pics, but that's my PURDY brush for the final smooth coats of the polycrylic.

Gorilla Glue            Rockler             Purdy
The plant stand has been done now for a couple of weeks, but first I needed to let the paint cure. Then, my Christmas cactus was so close to blooming that I decided to wait with the reveal 'til I had a nice floral display from it. It still has more blooms to open, but I couldn't wait anymore.


I brought in the glass block monogram from the deck to display for the winter. I replaced them with a bird feeder for the winter months. I tried to keep everything displayed, garden related, so I have my garden books and magazines, as well as some of my garden trowels in the vases at the bottom. I have a photo of my deck garden from this past summer in the rose frame and the hope is to switch that out each year with the current summer's photo. The tissue paper flowers on the right are from my granddaughter.
I think it turned out pretty well and I am pleased with it. It is a little large for the dining room, but if we ever build our dream house, we'll make sure to incorporate a large enough space to handle it.

I'm entering this in the December DIY Project Party 

Tables - $21.00
Supplies - $40.00 + lots left over
Labor - several days here and there
Not having my plants pull my ceiling down at midnight - PRICELESS!!

Linking to:

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DIY Club



handmade projects
The DIY Show Off

Beyond The Picket Fence

Catch As Catch Can
Join us Saturdays at tatertotsandjello.com for the weekend wrap up party!
Fine Craft Guild


  1. love it, love it, love it, now I want one too. I'll have to beg my husband to make me one as I am not good with wood or wood cutting tools. You did a great job, thumbs up and pat on the back!

  2. Wow, this is one heckofa plant stand! It looks fantastic. I love the drawers and how it came together. Well done.

  3. that is soooo clever and unique! way to think outside the box, tru!

  4. Your idea is unbelievably clever! I've never seen anything like it! A great use of old tables.

  5. SUCH A COOL IDEA! Great job! I love the price of it all too:)

    Jennie @ CInnaberry Suite

  6. What a creative idea! I love how you pulled it all together with the paint and the rub n buff. Love that stuff by the way! Very, very clever!!

  7. I am in love with this--lots of work but oh so worth it!! Thanks for linking up!

  8. What a transformation! Good job.
    The Bavarian Christmas linky party is now open-won’t you come and join us at http://dobermans-by-the-sea.blogspot.com/2010/11/1st-christmas-linky-party-at-dobermans.html and while you are there join the give-a-ways going on.

  9. That is so much fun! I want to make one...how unique. Thanks for entering the DIY Project Party. I am one of the DIY gals! and a new follower.
    504 Main

  10. that is amazing! Glad you found my glazing 101 helpful!
    I wish I had some rockler clamps! :)
    good luck in the monthly contest! Thanks for linking up!

  11. What a unique idea, it turned out great!

  12. Thats fantastic! What imagination! I love it!

  13. you are just so creative. This is incredible.

  14. Oh, I **** love it ****. Did you see that Dutch design team on our blog a while ago that made these cabinets from mismatched drawers... We'll yours is every bit as great.

    Thank you so much for linking it up with us at our DIY Linky party. Tomorrow we're opening up a new party and you're welcome again to come join in.

    Would you be so kind to link back to the blog? There is an easy tool to do so on each linky party page. I would so appreciate this...

    Particularly since you're a runner up to being featured soon, that would be very nice gesture on your part...

  15. Great project! It made my head hurt just trying to figure out the pieces... you truly have a gift!
    I found you a My repurposed life--CACN party

  16. Wow! Thats a great little Masterpiece you've got there...Very inventive...beautiful job! btw I wandered over from The Purdy Awesome Party over at thediyclub...Have a great day!

  17. Wow!! Just... WOW!! This looks amazing!

  18. Love your creativity on this project, those tables look awesome as a plant stand! Came over to check it out from Gail's highlight on her catch as catch can party.
    Good luck in the diy club contest!

  19. OHHHHH MMMMM GGGGG. This has got to be the most clever and creative thing I have seen in my few months in blog land! Awesome!

    You have made a follower out of me!! Saaaweeet!

    Feel free to come join my blog as well that would be peachy!
    take care you clever lady you!

  20. Wow--amazing. You did a great tutorial.

    Cheri from its so very cheri and the DIY Club.

  21. Such a great idea! I love how it turned out! Super job!


  22. I think that is the cutest up-cycled plant stand I have ever seen and I love the color you chose.

  23. Very cute plant stand! You guys did a fabulous job! Looks great! Thank you for the comment you left on my blog! I really appreciate it! Very nice meeting you!

  24. This is so cool! I would love to make a small version for my front room, sewing room. . . maybe I'll have to wait and make it when we move somewhere with more room.

  25. That is the most awesome plant stand I've ever seen!!!! If I ever built one like it, tho, my cats would comandeer it as a playhouse, and I'd STILL be in need of a place to put my plants!!

    This piece is a lovely piece of furniture that any plant owner would be proud to own. I love it!

  26. We are going to start this project in 2014. I would love to show you a photo of the finished product. You truly have inspired us!

    1. I would love to see a pic. Are you planning it for a plant stand or just artistic display?

  27. You truly have inspired us! We are going to start this project in 2014. I hope I can show you a picture of it when we complete it.


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