DIY Plant Stand (from a bar stool)

It’s no secret that I have a love for making over discarded furniture.  It’s even better when it’s free!  Where would you find free furniture you ask?  Well, it might be waiting right outside your door.

I’m talking about in the alley.

People leave all sorts of things in the alley, and sometimes they just need a little TLC to really sparkle and shine.

And the alley is exactly where I found my latest project.

I was walking to my car one day after work and I spotted some items in the alley on the other side of our parking lot fence.  There was a small dog or cat kennel, some scrap wood, and a bar stool.


The scene of the crime. (Photo taken with my phone, hence the bad quality)
As soon as I saw the bar stool I immediately thought “that looks like a plant stand.”  Don’t ask me why that popped into my head.  So I stuck my arms through the bars of the fence, grabbed the stool, and shimmied it up and over and into the trunk of my car.
Yeah, that’s right.  I’m one of those people.

Here is the stool that I took from the alley:

stool before

I probably thought of a plant stand because this stool seems unusually skinny and narrow.

Here is a close-up:
stool close up

Notice all those little nails?  Such a pain to take out!
To begin the transformation I removed the seat from the rest of the stool.
stool top

Then, I took off the L brackets and began removing all those stinkin’ staples and nails.  There were lots!

stool top close up
remove staples from stool
remove staples from bar stool
multiple staples

This pile is only half of all the nails and staples!
About 30 minutes, and 3 blisters, later I was ready to take off the old leather covering.  My plan was to take off the cover and re-use the original wood from the seat.
However, when I pried up the leather I found this:
molded stool



And lots of it!

There was no way I was going to even try and scrape this off.  The whole seat!

So, I had to improvise a new top for my plant stand.  Luckily we had some already cut pieces of MDF from another project we will probably never finish haven’t gotten to yet.

It fit perfectly!

mdf stool cover

Now that I had all my wood ready, it was time to paint.  I used some white paint, from Martha’s discontinued line, that I already had in the house.

martha stewart paint

All the wood got 3 good coats and were ready to go!

I wanted to give the top of the plant stand a little pizzaz so I decided to add a chevron pattern.  Gotta love chevron, right?

I’m a don’t-like-to-measure-eyeball-everything kind of girl, so for making this pattern I just used painter’s tape and eyeballed the lines.

chevron stencil using painter's tape

It’s not perfect, but I wasn’t too worried since most of it would eventually be covered by a plant.

Before I painted it grey I used a gift card to smooth down the tape to make sure no paint could seep under.  Seeping paint=not crisp lines.

chevron plant stand painters tape

Next came the grey.  I used a sample-sized pot that I had purchased when testing out colors for my topless table.

behr paint
grey chevron bar stool

Now the trick for getting crisp lines is to remove the tape when the paint is just dry to the touch.  If you wait too long you’ll end of peeling some of the paint up.

white and grey chevron seat Not bad for eye-ballin’ it, right?

Now you probably noticed that the grey paint could use another coat.  I did go back with a small craft brush and fill in the parts that needed it most.  But again, a plant would be covering it so I wasn’t too concerned.
Then came 2 coats of poly to seal the paint and protect it from any moisture that might come from the plant pots.
The last step was to attach the chevron top to the rest of the stand.
{Enter my tool man-Dave.}
He drilled long screws down through the top into the legs of the stand.

drill screw into stool

All done!

But what is a plant stand without a plant???
I wanted to go with something that was cheery and vibrant green.  I really don’t know much about plants so my only criteria was the color and a plant that only needed medium light.
dracaena plant stand
plant stand chevron diy

I went with this sunny yellow pot because I knew it would go well with the grey and because it’s such a happy color.  Oh how I long for spring to be here!!!

diy plant stand

During the day our curtains are closed since we’re at work.  So, this guy will not be getting this much light during the week.
diy chevron plant stand

yellow flower pot

Pretty cute, right?

The total cost for the plant stand was zero point zero dollars.  Total cost for the whole project was $15.00 ($5.00 for the plant and $10.00 for the pot).

So, do you have any old bar stools laying around that you could convert to a plant stand?

Have you searched the alleys around your home for diamonds in the rough?  Well, get a’lookin’ cause there are great things to be found!

By the way, if you have a lot of trees in your property and you want them to get rid, a reputable tree arborist from can help you remove them or improve the health and appearance of trees on your property including cases where the tree is dead or dying and when it’s obstructing construction or preventing other plants from growing.

diy plant stand from bar stool


Don’t forget…

be sure to spread the word about my Trade School series that will start on March 6th. I’d love for you to grab my button (right on my side bar!) and spread the word.


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