DIY Gardening Home Decor Upcycling Ways With Wood

Build a Mosaic Plant Stand

Build a Mosaic Plant Stand

by Carolyn Hasenfratz

Make a Mosaic Plant Stand

In this article I’ll show you how to make a stand to show off a special container plant. Raising a planter off of its surface can really enhance the appearance of a single specimen or help you create an attractive container plant grouping by providing elevation to some containers. Such a stand may also help protect the surface underneath by allowing air circulation under the pot so the surface can dry out between waterings. This stand is designed for both indoor and outdoor use. It is designed to let water from the plants run off, rather than catching it. This stand can also be used as a sturdy trivet indoors or outdoors.

Tools and Supplies
* indicates items that are available at Schnarr’s
8 x 8″ x 1/2″ board*
Lattice wood strips 1 1/4″ wide*
Miter saw*
Dust mask*
Pencil or pen
Hot glue gun*
Wood hot glue sticks
Tiny drill bit*
Wooden ball knobs or drawer pulls with 3/16″ holes to use as feet (Wood drawer pulls are available at Schnarr’s Webster Groves store)
Wood glue*
3/16″ drill bit*
3/16″ dowel rod*
An assortment of ceramic tiles and/or glass pieces that are about 1/4″ thick
Palette knife or putty knife*
Ceramic tile cement*
Old plastic lid
Tile grout*
Water container*
Mixing container for grout (can be an old food container)
Disposable gloves*
Bucket* of water for cleanup
Tile and grout sealer*


1. Cut an 8 x 8″ square out of 1/2″ thick plywood.

2. Cut four 8 1/4″ lengths out of a piece of 1 1/4″ wide lattice wood. Miter the corners at a 45 degree angle as you cut.

3. Put on dust mask and sand the rough edges off of your wood pieces.

4. On the inside edge of each mitered piece draw a line 1/4″ from the top.

Mitered wood strip with drawn line

5. Glue mitered pieces to the edges of the 8 x 8″ block using hot glue as the adhesive and your drawn line as a guide to help line them up. You should end up with a 1/4″ lip all the way around, creating a tray that will hold your tile pieces.

1/4 inch lip around edge

6. As a reinforcement to the glue, drill a couple of small pilot holes on each side of the tray and hammer nails in for a strong hold.

7. Choose four wooden ball knobs or wooden drawer pulls with 3/16″ holes. Place them in the corners of the bottom of your tray. Draw around the base of each with pencil to indicate where their footprint will be. Set knobs aside.

8. Switch to a 3/16″ drill bit and drill a hole in the center of each drawn circle. Try not to go all the way through the wood but if you accidentally do it’s no big problem.

9. Cut short segments (about 1″) from a 3/16″ in diameter piece of wooden dowel rod to make pegs. Insert pegs into holes in wood and thread knobs onto pegs to make sure they are not too long and that there is no gap between the knob and the bottom of the tray. When satisfied, remove, dab wood glue onto each end of each peg, and re-insert into holes. Place knobs over pegs and press in place. Let wood glue dry. I left the wood unpainted in my sample but if you want to you can paint or stain the wood and give a waterproof clear coating like spar varnish.

10. Get out your tiles and arrange in the tray to make an arrangement that is pleasing to you. For my sample I used tiles I salvaged from Leftovers, Etc. and some translucent glass blobs which were backed with colored paper. Try to leave a litte bit of space between each piece.

11. Once you have decided on an arrangement, scoop a small quantity of ceramic tile cement out of the container and place on an old plastic lid. Keep container closed so the rest of your cement doesn’t dry out. Use palette knife or putty knife to apply cement to the back of each pice and press in place. If any tile pieces are thinner than the others, you can put some extra cement on the back to build up the height. Let cement dry for the time period indicated on the container.

Tiles glued down and before grouting

12. When cement is dry you’re ready to apply grout. Grouting is very messy – I recommend you wear old clothes and protect your work surface and floor. Have plenty of clean rags on hand and a small bucket of water for cleanup. Don’t be surprised if you need a bath when you’re done!

13. Put some grout in a small plastic tray, such as one left over from a microwave dinner. Add water until it’s about the consistency of soft cream cheese – a little at a time to make sure you don’t add too much. Stir it with your putty knife as you add the water. Try to only mix up small amounts at a time so it does not start to set up before you’ve applied it.

14. Put on your disposable gloves, and use a rag to pick up a portion of tile cement. Smear it around to fill the cracks between tiles. The rags will help protect your hands from sharp pieces if there are any. The thin disposable gloves will protect your hands from being irritated, dried out or discolored by the grout, but alone they will not protect you from cuts.

After the tray is grouted, go back over it with a succession of fresh rags to remove the grout from the surface of the tiles. Dampen the rag with a little water toward the end to get them really cleaned off if needed. Be careful not to dispose of any grout in your sink – it could clog the drain. Dispose of any rags that are really soaked with grout – I put mine in the compost. If some are only slightly dirty, you may be able to re-use them by rinsing them in a bucket of water. If you do that, dump the dirty water out in the yard, don’t put it down the drain.

15. Let the grout dry, then apply tile and grout sealer. You’re done!

Finished mosaic plant stand

DIY Gardening Home Decor Upcycling

Decorate a Terra Cotta Plant Pot with Acrylic Paint and Stencils

Decorate a Terra Cotta Plant Pot with Acrylic Paint and Stencils

by Carolyn Hasenfratz

Terra cotta pots decorated with paint and stencils

Supplies and Materials
*Indicates items available at Schnarr’s

Terra cotta pot*
Acrylic paint*
Water-based varnish or sealer*
Small containers for mixing paint (can be disposable cleaned food containers)
Rags for cleanup*
Water container*
Decorative stencils
Letter and number stencils*
Palette knife for paint mixing
Palette (could be a proper artists palette or a temporary one made from freezer paper*)
Sandpaper* (optional)
Memory Essentials Get Rollin’ tool
Memory Essentials Bits and Pieces
Optional – heat tool for speeding up drying between steps if you need to
Masking tape*
Optional – disposable plastic gloves* if you want to keep paint off your hands
Drop cloth* for work surface

Painting and stenciling terra-cotta pots is a fun and inexpensive way to enhance your patio or garden decor. Younger and older crafters alike can join in. Small decorated pots can be used as party favors. Medium-sized pots might provide the base for a table centerpiece. A large pot could function as a gift basket that you can fill with items for a loved one who likes gardening. Gardeners can always use extra small items such as gloves* (they tend to wear out with regularity), seeds*, bulbs*, bug repellent*, gardener’s soap, hand lotion*, sunscreen*, lip balm* and plant tags*. You can also throw in a gift card* so they can get exactly what they want!

You can use either a brand-new terra cotta pot or a used one. I kind of like a used one for this project because I’m going for an artificially aged or distressed look and and that’s easier to achieve if the pot already features some stains from being used. A brand new pot will work also.


1. Clean and dry your pot.

2.Using your acrylic paints, mix a terra cotta color that is lighter than your pot. Good colors to use in the mix are white, brown, orange and maybe red.

3. Put some water-based varnish in a small container and mix in some of the light terra cotta color. Brush some inside your pot to see how translucent it is. I used a stiff brush that was about 1″ wide. You should be adding a light, translucent haze of color in which you can see some brush strokes. Paint the whole inside of the pot and let dry. This step achieves two objectives – it seals the inside of the pot and tests your mixture to make sure it’s right – not too opaque and not too transparent. Normally one of the benefits of a terra cotta plant pot is the porosity, but since we’re applying paint to ours we don’t want water seeping through and wearing off the design over time. Set aside the remainder of the paint/varnish mixture to use later.

4. On your palette, squeeze out some green, yellow and white paint. Use a sponge to blend these colors in random ways and lightly sponge paint onto your pot in random areas. This is to simulate lime scaling and moss or algae that would normally appear on a terra cotta pot over time as it’s in use. After this paint is dry, if you need to tone it down any you can sand it lightly or sponge a litte of your translucent light terra cotta color over it.

5. The next step is to apply a loose vertical texture to the rim of the pot to accentuate it. I used a Memory Essentials Get Rollin’ tool with rubber bands on it from the set Memory Essentials Bits and Pieces. This is one of my favorite textures of all time and I’ve used it in paper crafts, fabric surface design and all kinds of random projects over the years. If you don’t have these tools you can create a similar texture tool by wrapping rubber bands or string around a wood block. Spread some cream-colored paint on your palette and run or press your tool in it then apply to the rim to make the texture. Let dry.

6. Select a stencil or stencils for applying a design to the side of your pot. You might want to use letter or number stencils to create names, initials, words or house numbers. In my examples I used decorative stencils in garden-related designs. Temporarily tape the stencils to the side of the pot with masking tape. Put some cream-colored paint on your palete (do not thin with water) and apply paint through the stencil with a dry sponge. When you’re done, pull off stencil and either wash paint from stencil immediately or put in a container of water to wash later. If your design requires more than one color, use a clean dry sponge for each color – a moist sponge will make your paint run under the stencil and mar the design. While you’re working, if you don’t want to pause and go to the sink to wash paint from your stencils, brushes and sponges at each step, throw them in the container of water until you’re ready to do cleanup at the end. Let stenciled paint dry on pot.

7. Take a look at your pot and see if you like the appearance the way it is or if you want to make it a little more distressed. Randomly hit some areas with sandpaper if you want to “age” it a bit more. Wipe off dust with a slightly damp rag.

8. Paint outside of pot with your translucent light terra cotta / varnish mixture. Let some brush marks show, but smooth them out a bit if you think they are too prominent. Turn pot over and paint the bottom to seal it. Let dry. You’re done!

For more information on stenciling, here are some of my other articles:

Seed packet bouquet

If you want to take the idea of using a decorated pot as table decor or a party favor a little further, here is an idea you might like from my personal blog. Make a bouquet out of seed packets with free templates that I provided for download and display it in one of your decorated pots.
Make a Seed Packet Bouquet