Turn a wooden ladder into space-saving stand for flowers, veggies, and herbs with just a few boards and a coat of paint.
Here’s what you’ll need for this project:
• Old stepladder
• Tape measure and pencil
• Wooden batten
• Bubble level
• Electric drill and drill bits
• Wood screws
• Exterior wood paint and paintbrush
• Clear marine varnish (optional)
• Vintage wooden crates, galvanized metal tubs, terracotta pots
• Thick black plastic liner and scissors
• PVA glue or staplegun
• Multipurpose potting mix
Step 1: Measure and Cut Boards
Take your stepladder and, starting at the second rung down from the top, measure and mark a piece of batten so that it will fit across the full width of the ladder inside the frame, directly opposite the rung.
Cut the batten to size with a handsaw. Hold a bubble level against the top edge of the rung and mark this point on the opposite side of the frame.
Step 2: Attach the Support Batten
Position the batten so the top edge is level with the mark just made, then screw to either side of the frame. This provides a second supporting rung for a planting shelf.
Step 3: Create the Shelves
Measure and cut to size four to five battens to create a slatted shelf. They should extend 7 3/4 inches (20cm) beyond each rung with an extra 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 inches (3 – 4 cm) of excess wood on both sides; this excess will be cut off later for a finished look. Arrange the battens so that they are evenly spaced, then screw them in place to both rungs.
Trim the Shelves
Cut along the guidelines to remove the excess wood, then sand the cut ends smooth. Repeat steps one to five to make further planting shelves. Position the shelves on alternate rungs to allow enough growing space for plants.
Paint and Protect
Paint the shelves and ladder with an exterior wood paint and leave to dry. If preferred, paint your tiered planter with a final coat of marine varnish for extra protection against the elements. The vintage crates would also benefit from a coat of varnish.
Pot Your Plants
Add a thin drainage layer of gravel, then half-fill the crate with potting mix. Arrange your plants, fill around them with more soil mix, firm in, and water. If you are using galvanized buckets, there is no need to line them, but drill drainage holes if they don’t have any.