DIY Plant Stand Made With Hairpin Legs and an Old Shelf (So Easy!)

Running out of room for houseplants? You need this DIY plant stand to take advantage of vertical space and put your botanical skills on display.

Since this plant stand is made from a shelf, you can customize it to fit your space, hold multiple plants and add privacy to a window.

You might even have the perfect scrap board or shelf for this project already. And who can resist those hairpin legs? Here are the easy steps to make this modern plant stand.

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How to Make a Plant Stand

Check out this video for a quick overview (no sound needed), and keep reading below for details.

Materials

  • Wood shelf or board cut to your preferred size (mine is 27 x 12 x 0.75 inches)
  • Sandpaper and/or power sander
  • Wood filler or putty if needed
  • Clean rag
  • Paint and paint roller
  • Hairpin legs in your preferred length (I used these 20-inch black legs)
  • Screws and drill to attach legs

1. Sand the Shelf for Your Plant Stand

First, sand the shelf to prepare it for painting. (Note: Don’t sand if you think it contains lead paint.)

If you’re using a new, smooth board like this, it probably just needs a quick scuffing up. Then you might be able to skip ahead to the painting in step 4.

I used an old cabinet shelf left over from my kitchen remodel, so I gave it a good sanding. I also rounded the corners for a more polished, less shelf-like appearance.

Sanding shelf to get ready for painting

2. Add Wood Filler

Sometimes shelves have rough sides with little holes or scratches. Patch up your shelf with wood putty or filler if you’d like to fill in the holes.

3. Sand and Clean Up

Sand the wood filler until your shelf is smooth, and then wipe away all the dust to get ready for painting.

4. Paint the Shelf

Now it’s painting time! Use your preferred paint, or leave the shelf natural if you’d like.

Houseplant shelf painted white

I used white enamel paint with black hairpin legs for a mid-century modern look.

Enamel paint is very thick, making it difficult to get a smooth, even paint finish. I would probably opt for regular latex paint next time to make it easier.

5. Attach Hairpin Legs to Your Plant Stand

After your shelf dries, you can attach the hairpin legs to finish your DIY plant stand. I placed my hairpins 3/8 of an inch from the edge of the shelf.

Tips:

  • Hairpin legs come in many sizes. Check the heights of your plants to see how tall you want your plant stand to be. I chose 20-inch legs to give the lower plants some room to grow while keeping the upper plants within reach. Find hairpin legs here.
  • Since hairpin legs angle out, check that they won’t extend too far past your shelf or beyond the space where you’re putting the plant stand. You can move the legs inward until you get the spacing right.
  • Make sure the screws aren’t too long. I had to downsize to smaller screws so they wouldn’t poke through my 0.75-inch shelf.
  • You can place tape on your drill bit to pre-drill the holes to the correct length and help prevent the board from cracking when you screw in the legs.

If you pick long enough legs, your plant stand can even double as a mid-century modern side table. But for me, I just love seeing it covered in plants.


Styling Your Modern Plant Stand

OK, let’s fill your DIY plant stand with beautiful houseplants!

The shelf is a great spot for cascading plants. Try using varied foliage and heights, along with different planter sizes all around your plant stand for visual interest.

DIY plant stand shelf and cascading houseplants
Houseplants in modern white planters in kitchen window

Related: Best modern planters that are actually affordable

It’s fun to mix and match planter colors. Or for a more cohesive look, stick to a single planter color, like all white.

And it doesn’t hurt to throw in some cat decor and a candle wax warmer for whimsy.

Mid-century modern plant stand with white shelf and black hairpin legs
Houseplants in modern white planters in window

Related: How to keep your houseplants alive

You could also make several versions of this plant stand in different heights to create a whole gallery of plants. If you do, send me a pic!


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2 thoughts on “DIY Plant Stand Made With Hairpin Legs and an Old Shelf (So Easy!)”

  1. Awesome job on the DIY plant stand! It turned out perfect!! Your plants all look happy and healthy in that window and with the stand you can display quite a few without overcrowding them. Love It!! (I enjoyed watching the “how to” video..you make it look so easy and “doable”) (It’s another great addition to your MCM house).

    Reply
    • Thanks Judy! I was out of room for plants in the kitchen window and had to move vertically! Plus it adds a little more privacy to the window.

      I looked through the scrap wood pile in the shop and found the perfect size of shelf, so it was very easy to make. Now I want to add hairpin legs to everything!

      Reply

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