I’ve had this project on my to-make list for quite some time, but didn’t have the perfect spot for it (plus those “steps” look pretty enticing for little boys to try to climb, not something I want them attempting! And yes, as soon as this was made, the first thing Levi said was he wanted to walk up those “steps”! 😜), and I don’t quite have the green thumb that Caitlin seems to have – I’m usually buying new plants to replace my dead ones, so I don’t need as much shelf space for my collection! But now that Caitlin has a new place, I thought this step ladder plant shelf would be helpful in giving her some more plant space!Materials:
– 1x8x10 foot pine board
– mitre box
– 1×2 pine boards – 2
– tape measure
– table saw
– belt sander or sand paper
– framing square
– wood glue
– drill & drill bits
– nail gun & compressor
– polyurethane finish (if desired)
Out of the 1×8 board, cut 3 shelves to 28.5″ long. Cut one of the 1×2 boards to two 36″ pieces. Cut the other 1×2 board into two pieces measuring 40-3/8 from the tip of the angle at one end to the tip of the angle at the other end. The angle at the top is a 60 degree angle and the angle at the bottom is a 30 degree angle. Out of the left over piece of 1×8, cut four 1” wide pieces on the table saw. Sand (or use a jointer) to clean up the cut edges. With the mitre box, cut two 17-1/4” pieces, two 12” pieces and two 6-3/4” pieces. These are your shelf supports. Cut two pieces 27” long for braces to go across the back between the lower and middle shelf supports.
Mark lines on your back legs of the shelf at 9”, 18” and 27”. Lay your back leg and front leg out flat with the 60 degree angle against the back leg near the top. Using a framing square, run the square along the back of the back leg and under the bottom of it, bring the front leg down or up until the bottom of it rests on the top edge of the framing square; make sure the 60 degree angle is tight along the edge of the back leg. Keep the legs in this position and using the framing square transfer the three lines from the back leg to the front leg, also make marks where the top and the bottom of the 60 degree angle are on the back leg. Repeat with the other set making sure that you are marking on the inside of the legs.
Drill holes in the center of the long and medium length shelf supports 3/8” from the end, countersink the hole slightly on one side. Using 1-5/8” screws, attach the two shelf supports to each end of the 27” braces you cut for the back.
Lay out one of your sets of legs with the marks up, place glue along the 60 degree angle and place against the back leg where you made your marks. Using the nail gun, nail through the front leg into the back leg. Glue the legs (place glue about 3/4” below the 9” mark). Take your lower shelf assembly and place it on the legs keeping the back flush with the back of the back leg and the top even with the 9” lines; nail in place. Repeat with the other two shelf supports. Repeat the process with the other set of legs but only attach the upper shelf support. (You will probably need assistance for this step) Stand the two sets of legs up after placing glue below the 9” and 18” line on legs without the lower and middle shelf support. Nail the lower shelf support to that leg below the 9” line and the middle support below the 18” line.
Sand shelves before installing them. Place glue along the top to the upper shelf supports and then set the shelf in place keeping the back flush with the back of the legs; nail in place. Place glue on the first 6 inches of the middle shelf support, put the shelf in place making sure the shelf sticks out past the front of the shelf support by 1”; nail in place. Place glue on the first 5-1/2 “ of the lower shelf support, put the shelf in place making sure the shelf sticks out past the front of the shelf support by 1-1/2”; nail in place. Let dry. Sand smooth where needed. (Apply finish if desired).And since we do love our plants, we’ve got a few other planter ideas you can try out – find more DIYs here.