Saturday, January 14, 2012

DIY Plant bench

After selling our guest bed and rearranging some furniture, I was motivated to continue making an efficient use of our space and create a plant bench in our bedroom.  Thom's desk had taken up a large corner of the room but now that we moved his desk into the spare room, the space was left blank and ineffective.  Plus, most of our house plants stay huddled together in our living room area and I'd have to say that I've grown a small jungle.  It wasn't until Thom commented on the growing amount of foliage, that I really saw the plant-like clutter.  So I decided to create a cheap and DIY project for hosting our plants.

Half way through my Fall semester I was denounced by a professor for shooting still life on faux wood.  To solve the problem, I went to Ikea and bought a pack of two 47"x14" pine boards, some stain, brushes, and semi-gloss all totaling around $25.  I went out to the back area of my apartment complex with heavy tools, hammers and chains and beat the hell out of the boards.  Then I put a few coats of stain and gloss on them.  You might remember these boards from some of my later still life work here:

After using the boards for a few more shoots, I would just store them away in a closet.  Now that the semester is over, I find that they are just taking up space.  Turning them into plant benches was a no-brainer since they were the perfect dimensions.

The first thing I did was make a trip to Home Depot and purchase some classic white spray paint, (8) 16" table legs and (8) flat plate holders.

Next, I went outside in a well ventilated area (away from cars!) and spray painted the legs in a classic white.  I let the paint dry for 24 hours.

Next I measured where to put the plates on the back of the boards.  I measured in 2"x2".  Then I took my power drill  and screwed in the plates.  (Each Waddell package comes with at least 5 1/2" screws.  I only used three screws for each plate and saved the extras.  Make sure to check the width of your board so that you do not pierce through.  These Ikea boards measured 5/8" thick.)

 Flat plates are so easy and convenient.  After screwing in the plates, I simply twisted in the legs.  Instant table!

I'm so happy that my plants have a new home.  Waking up and seeing the plants is nice and having them in the bedroom will keep the air clean.  I added a few decorative touches, an extra blanket for cold nights, and a few small storage bins underneath to keep umbrellas, scarves and miscellaneous out of the way.  Connor(the cat) also seems to approve of the new furniture and I'll find him sun bathing or bird watching from his new perch.

As for the total cost and time?  Here's my breakdown:

Inital wooden board cost and materials:
-(2) 47"x14" Boards:  $12
-Stain, gloss and brushes:  $13

Bench Supplies and materials:
-(8) Waddell 16" Bench Legs:  $40
-(8) Waddell flat plates:  $20
-Rustoleum Classic White Spray Paint:  $4

Total cost:  $89 for two benches and only two days worth of time and effort.  Since I'm satisfied and happy with the outcome, I would have to say that this was a successful DIY project.

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