Are you looking to make a small planter for your succulents? There are many different shapes and sizes out there that you could choose from. Some planters are easy to make and some are more complex. The planter in this tutorial looks a bit intimidating to make, but it’s actually quite simple. Follow my step-by-step plans on how to build a DIY Vertical Star Planter for Succulents.
Since this project does not require any large wood pieces, I’ve built it using scrap wood that I had in my scrap pile. The overall size of this star planter is about 18” wide. You could easily adjust these plans to make the star any size you want.
Time to Complete
Download Printable Plans in PDF
Tools for this project
Note: Lumber dimensions are listed as nominal size. See lumber sizes for actual dimensions vs nominal.
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Step 1 – Cut Five Long Pieces of the Star Planter
If you’re using scrap pieces for this project, most likely your boards are random shapes and sizes. So first you’ll need to cut several pieces that are over 7” in length to 2 1/2″ in width using a table saw. Or if you’re buying wood, you could use 1×3 board, which is 2 1/2″ in width.
Each 2 ½” side piece of the star is cut to a 54-degree on one end and 18-degree on the other. When cutting the angles with a miter saw you could do it in two different ways. You could lay the board flat and bevel-cut at 54 degrees, or stand the board on its edge and miter-cut at 54 degrees; both will accomplish the same thing.
Rotate your miter saw to 54-degree. Then take five scrap pieces that are over 7″ in length and cut the left ends of each board to 54-degree. Next, rotate your miter saw to 18-degrees and cut off the right end so that the pieces are 6 ½” in length, see picture. To make the pieces exactly the same, use a clamp as a stop block. It’s much easier to cut all 54-degree ends first and then cut 18-degree ends. Otherwise, you’ll end up rotating the miter saw blade back and forth to make cuts with different angles.
Step 2 – Cut Five Short Pieces of the Star Planter
Take another five scrap pieces and similar to step 1, cut 54-degrees on one end of each board. Then rotate your blade and cut the second end to 18-degrees, but this time the boards need to be 6” in length. Again use a stop block to make the pieces identical.
Step 3 – Attach All Side Pieces Together to Make a Star
When connecting the start pieces together, it’s important to attach them in the correct order. These pieces are very similar to each other so make sure not to install a 6” board where 6 ½” board should go, and vice versa.
See the picture for the correct orientation of the boards. Attach the boards in a clockwise direction using wood glue and 1 ¼” brad nails. Repeat the process by alternating the 6” and 6 ½” boards to finish the start.
Step 4 – Trace the Star on ½” Plywood
Once the star is assembled, place it on the ½” plywood and trace it with a pencil. Number the star points on the plywood and the star so that it will be attached the same way you traced it. Then clamp the plywood to your workbench and cut out the star with a jig saw.
Step 5 – Attach ½” Plywood to the Bottom of the Star
Now attach the plywood to the star with wood glue and 1 ¼” brad nails. As mentioned earlier, make sure to attach it to the same position as it was traced. This will make the plywood fit the star perfectly.
Then take a random orbital sander and sand the sides to eliminate any rough edges.
Step 6 – Cut the Trim Board
Since this star planter is going to hang on the wall, you need to install a wire mesh screen to prevent the soil from falling out. Then the screen needs to be covered with trim so you won’t see the rough edges of the screen with staples.
The trim boards are made the same way as the side pieces, they just have different sizes. Similar to steps 1 and 2, take your scrap wood and using a table saw cut 10 pieces that are over 8” in length to 1” in width using a table saw. This will make the trim ¼” larger all the way around the star and will cover the wire mesh screen.
Cut one end of all 10 trim pieces to 54-degrees and then rotate the miter saw blade to 18-degree. Next, measure 5 pieces to 7 1/8” in length and cut the other ends to 18-degrees. Then cut the remaining 5 pieces to 6 3/8” in length. You should have 5 pieces that are 7 1/8” long with one end at 54-degrees and the other end at 18-degree. Also another 5 pieces at 6 3/8” in length with the same angles. Total of 10 trim boards.
Step 7 – Assemble the Trim Boards
Similar to step 3 attach the trim boards together with wood glue and 1 ¼” brad nails using a nail gun. These trim boards will be overlapping the side board connections to make the whole assembly stronger. So when joining the trim boards together it’s easier to go in a counter-clockwise direction. See picture or trim board orientation.
Step 8 – Stain the Star and the Trim
Before attaching the wire mesh screen it’s a good idea to stain or paint the wood. Apply a coat of pre-stain and then stain the wood to any color you want (I used Weathered Gray Stain). Once the stain dries, apply a coat of polyurethane to protect the wood and stain.
Step 9 – Cover the Inside of Star with Plastic Sheeting
To prevent the wood and plywood from rotting, due to moisture, cover the inside with plastic sheeting. You could simply use a black garbage bag and cut it open, then staple it inside to the bottom and sides of the planter. Trim off the extra plastic sheeting around the edges and staple it on top of the planter all the way around.
Step 10 – Install Wire Mesh Screen
Once the plastic sheeting is installed, take a ½” x ½” wire mesh screen and place it over the star. With a black sharpie, trace the star so you’ll know where to cut the screen. Then using cutting pliers cut the mesh screen to the shape of a star.
Now place the mesh screen over the star and staple it to the planter. If you have few areas that the wires are sticking out past the start, just trim them with pliers.
Step 11 – Attach Trim on Top of Star Planter
Place the trim over the mesh screen. Make sure it is centered over the star. Then nail it with 1 ¼” brad nails.
Step 12 – Plant the Succulents
First, fill the star planter with soil. You could get the soil from your local nursery store specifically made for succulents with the correct fertilization mixture. Or if there’s enough, use the soil from succulent’s containers.
To plant the succulents, take the plant out of the container and remove the soil from the roots. Trim off smaller roots so you’re left with a root that will fit through ½” x ½” screen opening. If you have a larger plant, you could cut some of the screen wires to make a larger opening. Fill in the star planter with any succulent plants you want. Then water it to make the soil moist. Leave the planter lying flat for several weeks so the roots start growing before hanging it on the wall. You’re done with a DIY Star Planter for Succulents.
Benefits of Having Succulent Plants in Your Home
- Succulents are resilient
- They clean your air
- Succulents are beautiful and peace-giving
Let’s talk about these in more detail.
Succulents are Resilient Plants
Succulent plants hail from water-scarce areas. One common factor with succulents is their leaf structure – their leaves hold water – like a cactus. In fact, cacti are succulents.
Succulents are the perfect plant for someone who isn’t home all the time and doesn’t have the time for full-fledged home maintenance.
This isn’t to say that succulents require no maintenance (We will go over some of the steps to proper maintenance, a bit later on). However, you get a happy medium; the joy from caring for a plant without being overburdened with daily tasks.
How Succulents Clean the Air
On top of being beautiful and easy to maintain, succulent plants pull their weight when cleaning up around the house. While Johnny sweeps the floor and Susie sprays the windows, your succulent will be cleaning up the air. That’s right, succulents are great air purifiers.
Succulents are constantly pulling toxins from the air. On top of this, they will continuously release oxygen and help keep your air from drying out. All of these qualities lead to a very refreshing feeling in your home.
Succulents Calm Anxiety and Promote Memory
Whenever we take a walk through a flower-spotted meadow or hike into a lush green forest, a certain peace comes over us. When you fill your home with succulents, you bring a little of that nature into your daily life.
Also, succulents can grow in many colors, shapes, and sizes. No matter the design of your home, there is a succulent species that will pair well with your interior theme.
Now, this isn’t just fanciful hearsay – some studies have indicated that plants on your desk will relieve stress, worry, and promote good memory.
You’ll have to try it for yourself!
How to Care for Your Succulent Plant
Succulent plants are known for their minimal maintenance. With that said, they do require some care. In this section, let’s outline some of the ways to take care of your succulent.
Here’s the list:
- Water when the soil is dry
- Don’t drown your succulent
- Give them the proper amount of sunlight
We will go over these main points.
Disclaimer: there are many types of succulents. Though their care isn’t rocket science, each succulent may have specific needs. Research your succulent for the most applicable information.
Water Your Succulents When their Soil is Dry
For most succulent plants, the best way to water them is to saturate their soil after waiting for it to dry out. Depending on your plant, the environment, and the type of soil, this could take a couple of days or even longer.
If you’re wondering when to water your succulent, just feel the soil with your finger. Is it dry? Time to water.
For watering vertical succulent plants, such as those in the star planter, the watering process is slightly different. . .
First, wait for several weeks after planting the succulents to let their root systems take a strong hold. Then, when it’s time to water (check soil or leaves for dryness), take the vertical planter off the wall and water your plants on a horizontal surface. This way, you don’t wash out your soil.
Don’t Drown Your Succulent
Because succulents are adaptable to desert climates, they don’t like swimming in a bath of soupy soil. They like the cycle of dry and then wet.
Though you may feel bad for your plant after seeing the soil has dried out, resist the urge to completely drown them in water. Simply give them enough water until the soil has completely moistened, and then repeat once the soil is completely dry.
However, some succulent plants are more tolerant of water – especially if the container has enough surface area on top for the water to dry out.
How to Give Succulents the Right Amount of Sunlight
Succulents usually like about 6 hours of passive sunlight every day. Some may need a bit more or tolerate slightly less. This would sum up the basic care for your succulents, enjoy your new addition.