Even if you’ve only got the smallest of outdoor spaces, plant stands are a great way of making the most of every inch of square footage.

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Raising your plants up vertically will help you to fit more in and capture more of that all-important sun – especially if you’re surrounded by fences or have a north-facing garden.

Better still, you don’t have to spend a lot (or even anything) to give your plants some added height. When it comes to making a DIY plant stand, you just need a bit of creative thinking.

Fun fact: the home-made plant stands in the Gathered team’s own gardens and allotments are made from items that were being thrown away. Many of the ideas you’ll find below are great for reusing and recycling materials, and you can find more inspiration in our upcycling section.

We’ve found some useful (and easy) diy plant stands for you to try. We focused on projects that don't require too many tools and that use readily available items, or ones that you could easily substitute.

Read on for some useful advice, or just go straight to our list of DIY outdoor plant stand ideas!

Cast iron plant stand
If you can't afford to treat yourself to the likes of this lovely cast iron plant stand, there's plenty of ways to make your own DIY versions!

How to use an outdoor plant stand

Plant stands are really useful, but there’s a few things to bear in mind before you go ahead and put one in the garden.

Ensure your stand is stable

The most important factor is to ensure that your stand is stable. As you’re raising your plant up off the ground, it will inevitably be more exposed to wind.

If your stand is on soft ground, you may want to hammer or push the legs into the ground. If it’s on solid ground, you could try placing pots or rocks/bricks around the base of the stand to give it support and act as a barrier against winds. Remember, if you can wobble your stand with a single finger, a strong wind will have no problem tipping it over.

Select your plant pot material carefully

You also need to think about the plant and pot you’re putting on top of your stand. Terracotta pots are significantly heavier than plastic so will help weigh down your stand, but if you put a tall top-heavy plant in one it could still tip over and potentially smash your pot.

Don’t forget about drainage!

Finally, if the top of your stand is solid (made from a piece of wood, for example), then it’s worth drilling in plenty of drainage holes so that your plant isn’t sitting in water.

So let’s take a look and start getting inspired with Gathered.

tyre outdoor plant stand

Before we begin – see what you can find and stack it up!

If you need to raise up your plants, there are loads of different everyday items you can use as a plant stand with minimal effort.

Got a pair of broken rectangular speakers? An old stool or side table that’s seen better days? Piles of bricks left over from some building work?

Before shelling out for a stand, take a look around your garden or garage and have a think about what you could use as a stand. If you’re not a fan of the shabby chic look in your garden, adding a coat of colourful paint will not only help it look better but will also help protect wooden items from the weather.

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Also, keep your eyes open for friends or neighbours having a clear-out. While ‘technically’ you’re not supposed to remove items from skips/dumpsters, most people will be happy for you to do so, provided you first ask their permission.

If you still can’t find anything to use, you could always try checking out your local reclamation yards. You can often find items such as terracotta chimney pots or old farming milk churns which make really stylish plant stands.

milk churn plant stand
Milk churns make pretty plant stands! If you can't find one to upcycle, you can always buy one here!

DIY outdoor plant stand ideas to try today

1. Make a pallet tablet

Best for thrifty woodworking

pallet table plant stand

Ahhh wooden pallets – we’ve got to confess our love of this upcycling essential. You’ll often find them stacked up on industrial estates or outside houses or businesses that are having building supplies delivered, and most of the time you can take them away for free (always ask permission).

Deconstructing a pallet can be a bit tricky and time-consuming. Investing in a crowbar/claw-hammer and a decent saw will help make life easier. Once you’ve done the hard work you can use them to build outdoor plant stands in whatever shape or stand you need.

You do need to be a bit careful when working with pallets. Wear work gloves as they’re often unsanded, so there’s a risk of splintering. You also need to make sure the pallet hasn’t been treated with any nasty chemicals.

Check for pallets that have a two-letter country code followed by either HT (heat treated), KD (kiln dried) or DB (debarked). Don’t use any pallet that has been stained with a colour or that has MB marked on it (that stands for methyl-bromide).

If you’re thinking of making your first pallet table, check out this tutorial for some starter tips. You probably don’t need to sand it quite as much if it’s going outside. However, using a wood paint or stain at the end will help to protect your pallet table against the elements.


2. Make a bug house that’s also a plant stand

Best for pollinators

Bug hotel
Leave a flat roof on your bug hotel to use it as a plant stand.

Any half-decent gardener knows how important pollinators are for our plants, and with habitat loss and other human factors adding to their decline, it’s more important than ever to give them a helping hand.

But even if space is at a premium, you can still help them out by making a plant stand that doubles up as a bug hotel. As long as you have a solid and sturdy top, your plants can sit pretty while you house a wealth of wildlife underneath.

You could go all out and make an epic pallet table bug house. But even doing something as simple as drilling a few holes into the legs of a wooden plant stand will help provide a home for insects.


3. Upcycle a wire frame into a plant stand

Best for stylish upcycling

how-to-upcycle-wire-frames-into-plant-stands

Hopefully you’re feeling inspired now and wondering what else you can use to make a DIY plant stand.

Repurposing anything with a wire frame is a great structural starting point. If you’ve got an old waste paper basket or even a large metal fruit bowl, you can easily transform a wire basket into an outdoor plant stand.

You can easily turn an old lampshade into a plant stand, simply by taking off the fabric and adding on a top. If you don’t have an old or broken lampshade hiding in your attic, you can normally find them at thrift stores and charity shops.

For those of you who are keen vegetable gardeners, you can even transform tomato cages into plant stands. All you need to do is cut the cage down to size and find a pot that fits into it perfectly.

Spray painting your wire frame will help to give it a more professional finish. If you don’t have a piece of round wood to use you could try replacing it with a serving tray… Or even a lazy Susan if you want a spinning plant stand!


4. Make a bin store with a living roof

Best for small spaces that need extra storage

living roof bin store

Perhaps you live in a city and don’t even have a garden. Maybe all you’ve got is a tiny front yarn where your wheelie bins live – Well this clever make lets you hide those unsightly bins under a living roof.

It is a bit of an epic build that will take some patience and basic woodworking skills, but making a living roof bin store is a great way of regaining lost space.


5. Simple Plant Ladder

Best for different levels of planting

simple plant ladder stand

If you arrange your plant pots in rows, inevitably the ones at the back won’t get as much light as the front plants.

That’s where ladder stands are brilliant – they not only mean you can arrange your plants to obtain the most light, but it also makes watering easier as you don’t have to stretch across as much.

If you’re all about upcycling you can even make them using a small stepladder (as long as the steps aren’t too shallow). But it’s relatively simple to make a simple plant ladder from scratch with some basic tools and materials


6. Turn a tree stump into a planter

Best for homeowners

stump plant stand

Here’s one of my personal favourites… but best for all the homeowners out there. If you’ve had to chop a tree down in your garden, removing the stump is a difficult process, to put it mildly. You’re usually best off leaving them where they are.

However, with some creative drilling, you can turn a stump into a plant stand!

We know, it might sound a bit odd, but it should actually speed up the natural decomposition of the stump.


7. Make a concrete plant stand

Best for industrial chic

how-to-make-a-concrete-plant-stand

Here’s a DIY plant stand that’s also great to fit into a weekend. Concrete may not be the obvious go-to choice for a crafty project, but actually it’s surprisingly fun material to work with once you get the hang of it.

You don’t need any special tools to make a concrete plant stand, as you simply add fast-setting concrete into an oiled bucket which acts as the mould. Then just add in your legs and that’s about it


8. Build an A-frame plant stand

Best for serious plant hoarders

A-frame diy-tiered-ladder-garden

If you liked our simple plant ladder stand from earlier, but have lots of plants to display, then this A-frame plant stand might be perfect for you. It’s quite a large display stand, so you’ll want to ensure that it’s on stable ground. If you’re using it against a wall you could attach it with a basic bracket to give it extra stability.

There’s also quite a few upcycling tutorials out there on how to make a plant stand from a ladder, but these can prove tricky, particularly if your steps are positioned at an angle.


9. Make a planter out of old tyres

Best for a crafty challenge

Unless you’ve got a family member who likes to tinker with motors (or perhaps live on a farm), it’s unlikely you’ll have lots of old car tyres lying around.

But take a look on local auction sites like Facebook marketplace, Gumtree or eBay (or even ask really nicely at your local garage), and you can normally get your hands on a couple for free (or very cheaply, at least).

While they are a great upcycling material, it is worth doing a bit of research before using tyres in the garden. The most common use is to just stack them up and fill them with compost to make planters. But you can also transform them into funky outdoor plant stands too with just a few cheapo materials!


10. Super stylish wooden plant stand

Best for DIY enthusiasts

wickes wooden plant stand

This DIY plant stand tutorial from Wickes is a creative challenge that is perfect for those who enjoy a bit of woodworking.

It doesn’t need a massive amount of materials and you could potentially use some bits of scrap wood, but It does require a few different tools. You’ll need to paint/varnish it if you want to use it outside, but it’s well worth giving it a try.


11. Breeze block plant bench

Best for masonry fans

cinder-block-plant-stand

Here’s another make that is brilliant for using up any excess building supplies hanging around. Cinder blocks (or breeze blocks as we know them here in the UK) are a popular building material known for their water resistance and strength.

Just a few of these chunky bricks and a bit of wood is all you need to make this cool cinder block plant bench – another project for those who love that brutalist style.


12. Copper pipe plant stand

Best for a super-stylish effect

Copper-pipe-plant-stand

This DIY copper pipe plant stand is another project that is designed for indoor use, but would create a unique effect if used as an outdoor plant stand.

Copper doesn’t rust in the same way as other metals do – instead it forms a patina transforming it from a shiny copper penny sheen to a distinctive green colour (think of church roofs).

It’s also really simple to make and you’ll only need a few tools such as a pipe cutter (although some stores will cut to length for you).


Make these plant stand ideas eco-friendly by upcycling

Many of these outdoor plant stands can be made using repurposed and recycled materials, so it’s worth checking what you already have before starting.

Not only is upcycling good for the planet, but it’ll also save you cash too! And because you’ll be using these stands outside, you won’t feel like you’ve wasted money if the elements start to wear them down!

Make some stylish pots to use on your DIY plant stand

Once you’ve made your new plant stand, you’ll need to select the right pot to display on it.

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Get creative with Gathered and give your pots a makeover with our list of plant pot painting ideas.

Authors

Matt SpiersDigital Assistant, Gathered

Matt Spiers is a crochet artist and designer who has been overseeing Gathered's crochet articles for over 2 years. He previously worked as Digital Assistant for Simply Crochet magazine and is our in house video editing pro. What started as a hobby a decade ago led to Matt developing a passion (and then a career) with crochet. As well as still regularly writing and designing for Simply Crochet magazine, Matt is a crochet artist in his own right, having displayed and created crochet installations at festivals and fibre events across the UK. You can keep up to date with Matt at @onemancrochet on Instagram.

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