As Mother’s Day approached,
I wanted to make something for my wife my 19-month-old daughter wanted me to make something for her mommy. After brainstorming for a few minutes, I she came up with an idea for a DIY wooden flower pot made from reclaimed materials. The inspiration came from a Woodworking for Mere Mortals video.
I used some of the wood remaining from a coloring book support I made for my wife a few months ago for her birthday. This wood has some amazing grain patterns, and I’ve loved working with it. I’m now glad
I my daughter can make something out of it.
The first step was to cut the boards into thin strips. Each strip is 1 1/2 inches wide, with a 12 degree angle cut on each long side. Having the Micro Jig GRR-Ripper made cutting these strips easy and safe.
I then took the strips over to the belt/disc sander to smooth out the surfaces and flatten the tops and bottoms. In the middle of the project I switched to to 120 grit sandpaper on this machine to ensure I didn’t take off too much wood from these small strips.
When it came to gluing the flower pot together, it took some work, patience, and two trips to the hardware store to make sure I had big enough pipe clamps. The best way to glue the pieces together is to place some painter’s tape (the blue stuff) on a table – sticky side up. Then place the pieces with the outside down, each piece touching the edge of the next one.
I then added glue to the long side of each piece and rolled the entire thing up like a caterpillar. A few pipe clamps go around the outside to keep everything snug while drying. Note: I didn’t have pipe clamps big enough for this pot, so I put two together. You can find clamps of all sizes in your local hardware store’s plumbing department for pretty cheap.
After the pot dried overnight, I took the clamps off. After inserting a 1/4″ roundover bit in the router table, I rounded off the inside and outside edges of the top of the pot. I then returned to the sanding station, easing down the corners of the pot so they weren’t so sharp. I didn’t want the pot to be round, so I kept it more octagonal (or tridecagonal).
I didn’t have any more of this wood available for the bottom, so I used oak reclaimed from another project. Because of time constraints, I didn’t plane it or make it narrower, so the base is a bit taller than I was hoping.
After drying overnight, I used a flush trim bit on the router table to cut away the excess from the base. Replacing the router bit with the familiar roundover bit, I added a slight roundover to the bottom of the flower pot. A final sanding ensured a smooth surface all around.
Since this pot will be holding dirt and moisture, we needed to make it waterproof on the inside. For this job, we went with epoxy to provide a hard, durable finish that will stop water from leaking or seeping in. I made sure to coat the bottom and inside walls with the epoxy, and let it all dry.
Once set, I took the project outside to apply a spray lacquer finish. This was my first time using spray lacquer, and I was impressed with it. It was easy to use, dried quickly, and left a great finish. The only downside is the cost: at $8-9 per can, spray lacquer is quite pricey. But since the Mother’s Day deadline was fast approaching (the next day!), and since I didn’t pay for any other materials on this project, I was less concerned about the cost.
The final step was to select a flower and place it in the pot. I took my daughter to a local greenhouse to find just the right plant. She smelled several of them, and pointed to a few trees and vegetable plants, before we settled on a red gebera daisy (my wife’s favorite flower). When we got home, my daughter took a nap while I did the (literally) dirty work of adding potting soil to the pot and planted the flower.
When it came time to give my wife her Mother’s Day gift, my daughter was happy to take all the credit. I’m just glad my wife enjoys her DIY wooden flower pot
I my daughter made for her.