It’s Corinna again from A Designer At Home back again to share a tutorial for an easy planter stool (or small foot rest if that suits your needs) with a really cool wood burned mandala design. You don’t have to be a furniture maker or an avid DIYer to be able to make a functional piece like this. I’m certainly not! And there’s loads of ways to make this project your own and I’ll share some of those ideas during the process.
As someone who really loves plants in my home and equates them as an essential like oxygen and light, I have a lot of fun thinking of creative ways to display them and ways to make sure they’re in their prime environment. I definitely want to make sure they’re getting adequate sunlight and for my smaller plants, that’s not so much a problem because I can put them on tables or my bar cart next to a window. For my bigger plants that aren’t quite tall enough to reach the window, I put them in raised planters.
This planter stool is a great way to get those plants raised. It also makes a really cute foot stool and I had some fun in my living room with that option. I think this could also make a great step stool in a bathroom for small children. Move over ugly plastic step stool, we’ve got a nicer DIY stool option for that need.
So now that you know a little bit as to why this is a great a versatile little project, let’s dive into how to make one.
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How to Make a Wood-Burned DIY Planter Stool
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The first thing you’ll have to address is how you want to embellish your stool. I chose to use a wood burning tool and stencil to create a pretty mandala design on my stool. This was more difficult than I had initially thought, to be completely honest. Because raw wood has a lot of grooves and dips, even after sanded well, burning the curved lines turned out imperfect. I’m a fan of imperfection and I’m still proud of how it came out, but because I experienced this I wanted to pass that along.
Other Options For Embellishment:
If you’ll be going with wood burning (and I think it’s a fun technique you ought to try sometime), be sure to give yourself time to practice. I bought two of these precut wooden circles and doodled on both sides of the first and back of the second.
- Wood Burning Tool (or applicable supplies for different techniques)
- Precut Round Wood (like this, mine is 15 inches)
- 4 Tapered Furniture Legs (like these, mine are 5.5 inches)
- 4 Metal Plates (angled or flat depending on preference) (like this)
- Stain (or paint for other techniques. I used Minwax Special Walnut)
- Old Socks or painter’s rags
- Pencil & Eraser
- Stencil (this one is a mandala style, by DecoArt)
- Painter’s Tape
Once you’re ready to go, sand the wood circle as best as possible to avoid bumps in your pattern. Clear the wood of any debris to avoid catching them on fire. Many woods contain chemicals that are not save to breathe in. Work in a well ventilated area and be cognizant of smoke and dust.
Lay out the stencil on the wood and center. Tape down with painter’s tape. Using a pencil and a light hand, track the stencil’s outline onto the wood.
Remove the stencil and set aside. On a non flammable work surface in a well ventilated area, attach a thicker tipped attachment and heat the wood burning tool. The process and attachments can vary from tool to tool. Mine turns on by being plugged in.
Slowly and carefully run the wood burning tool over the design. It can be easy to rest for a moment too long and leave scorch marks and dark spots. Keep moving and aim for even colored markings.
Once the outline is complete, let your tool cool and switch to a shading tip. Heat the tool back up and use this tip to fill in any shapes you want filled in. I chose to do the bigger shapes to give them more presence since I’m using a deeper colored stain.
Go back in and erase any visible pencil marks.
On the backside, mark out a square to guide where to screw in the metal plates for the furniture legs.
Stain the wood. If your furniture legs have metal tips, use a bit of painter’s tape to keep the stain off of them to maintain their finish.
Once the stain is dry, assemble the stool by screwing the plates into the wood and then the legs into the plates. We now have a finished stool. Great for lifting up potted plants or for perching feet onto.
I hope this project gives you an idea for your next free weekend. Make this project yours by switching out any of the elements for something more your style. If you love plants like I love plants, you may also enjoy some of my other projects, a leather hanging planter and dimensional plant pots. Or you can check out my bathroom renovation posts, a global boho bathroom with teal and copper.
More ways to embellish wood:
Carve an easy sign (using one of my favorite paint techniques!)