Distressed Wood Succulent Planter

I’m CRAZY about succulents.  They’re just so little and cute!  And, (supposedly) they’re virtually indestructible.  Time will tell on that one.  We wanted to create a planter for our succulents out of distressed wood.  And we wanted to do it as cheaply as possible.  So, I took inspiration from this planter found on Pinterest, and we created a succulent planter out of a 4×4 wooden beam.  Here’s how we did it… First, I cut the beam to the length that we needed for our planter.  Ours is 42″ long.  Then, I measured and marked the area of the beam that I wanted to hollow.  Now the fun part – making lots and lots of cuts across the length of the board with a circular saw!  (be careful not to cut outside of the area you want to hollow!)

Once you have lots of horizontal cuts, make some diagonal cuts across to help break up the long pieces.  Then, go to town with a chisel or flat-head screwdriver and hammer, knocking out the pieces of slivered wood.  This part is really fun!  😉  Don’t be a perfectionist here… the inside of the planter doesn’t have to look nice.  Nobody will see it, and it’ll be covered with rocks and dirt.  See what a hot mess mine was???

photo 2-11Once you have it hollowed to the depth you want, give it a light sanding.  Then, it’s time to start painting!  To achieve the distressed wood look, we first used a dry brush technique to paint the entire beam white.  Dry brushing involves using minimal paint, a chip brush, and a sloppy hand.  Imperfection is key here.  Don’t try to cover the entire beam…. be sloppy and sparse with the paint.  Here’s how the beam looked after this step.  (sorry about the crappy picture, but isn’t that the cutest dog ever???  Hi, Jack!!).

photo 5-2Let that coat of paint dry (at least 3-4 hours), and then very lightly sand it again.  Make sure to wipe off all the dust from sanding, and then smear some stain all over the beam using either a rag or old sock.  We used a dark grey stain to achieve this look, but any color stain will work.  (our other dog’s butt made a cameo in this picture – lovely).  I thought this was a bit too dark, so we touched it up with just a little more white paint to lighten it up.

Once all the paint dries, all that’s left to do is plant those adorable, little succulents!  Since this obviously doesn’t drain, I put a layer of river pebbles at the bottom to help with drainage.  This way, even though the planter doesn’t drain, the roots won’t be sitting in a puddle of water.  I used Miracle Gro cactus/succulent potting soil.  Many people recommend making your own succulent soil, but I wasn’t feeling that ambitious.  Plus, this bag of Miracle Gro was only $5.  Can’t beat it.  I got all the little succulents planted, gave them some water, and set them in a sunny location in our dining room.  If you haven’t grown succulents before, it’s important to note that these little guys don’t like a lot of water.  Only water succulents when the soil is completely dry.

The only thing left to do now is wait and see how long I can keep these adorable succulents alive!  😉

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4 thoughts on “Distressed Wood Succulent Planter

    1. Erin Post author

      Thank you! I’m not exactly sure on the type of wood. But I can tell you that it’s the typical, inexpensive type of 4×4 sold at Lowes.

      Reply
      1. JW Sayre

        I think it’s pine then. Looks beautiful. I spent a week at a timber frame workshop in the mountains of N.C. a few years back and fell in love with wood. I know, sounds like that line from Anchorman “I love lamp”, but it’s true. Looks beautiful ladies! -JW

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