DIYdiy projectskate pruitt

diy project: stair baluster plant stand

by Kate Pruitt

i am a very sad person this week…i used to have access to what i thought was an inexhaustible supply of old stair balusters. i love having them around because they work beautifully for all sorts of projects, and whenever i ran out i knew i could walk into this one salvage shop and sift through a giant bin of them. but alas, i went looking for more yesterday and they are all sold out :( if you are the collector or store owner or whatever who went to said salvage shop and bought them all…smart move. i should have cracked the piggy bank and done it a long time ago. even though my chief supplier is currently tapped out, however, i vow that this will not be the last baluster project you see from me.

this plant stand is a great project for anyone who is picky about plant presentation; the height of the stand and the plant is completely customizable, and you can finish the wood in numerous ways, or repaint it whenever suits your fancy. for heavier plants, use four legs instead of three for added sturdiness. since i only had three balusters left (sniff) i have to be content with the tripod configuration. seek out the balusters in your area, and play around with it. have fun!! –kate

CLICK HERE for the full how-to after the jump!


– 3 – 4 chair balusters/banisters (i used 3, but would recommend 4 for extra sturdiness. you can purchase these new at hardware stores, or try to find them at salvage shops for usually far cheaper)
– wooden peg plugs 1/4″ thickness (you can buy these at hardware stores too)
– super strength wood glue
– drill with 1/4″ bit
– wooden circle, any diameter between 12″ – 20″ (you can buy these pre-cut at hardware stores or craft stores)
– pencil
– saw (hand saw or chop saw would be useful)
– hammer
– paint
– tape measure and/or ruler


1. Decide what height you want your plant stand to be. Cut the bottom of the balusters level if they did not come that way. Hold all of you balusters with their bases level and use you ruler to mark the desired stand height on each baluster.

2. Cut each baluster to the marked height. Stand them up and check that they are all level and the same height.

3. Stand them up and place the wood circle in the middle to eye the height you want your plant to sit at (mine is 20″ from the ground). use your ruler to mark a dot at the desired height on each baluster. put the dot right in the middle of each baluster. make sure that the thickness of the wood at height where you connect the wood circle to the balusters is enough that you can drill in 1/2″ and not go through the entire baluster. if the baluster is too thin at the point of contact with the wood circle, the whole stand will be flimsy.

4. Drill a 1/4″ hole, about 1/2″ deep into the baluster right at the dot you’ve made. Repeat on all balusters.

5. Measure (or use math to calculate) the circumference of your wooden circle. Divide it in thirds or fourths (if you are using 3 or 4 balusters, respectively) and mark  a dot in the center of the sides at each interval.

6. Drill into the wooden circle about 1/2″ deep right at the dots you’ve marked. Now tap a peg plug not each hole in the wooden round. It should sink in about half of the peg’s length.

7. If you want to paint anything, remove the plugs from the circle and paint now. Allow everything to dry fully.

8. Use a hammer to tap the peg plugs into each baluster, and check that your stand is level and the circle is also level. now remove each baluster and remove the pegs. Put a small dap of glue into each hole (circle and baluster) and tap the peg bag into place. Repeat with all baluster legs until the stand is fully connected. Let the glue set for 30 min.


note: this plant stand is suitable for plants and pots weighing under 25 lbs. again, i recommend four legs for added sturdiness ( i only had three so i went for the tripod look, which works for light plants).

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  • Oh dear, I have to be honest: I really don’t like this one. I think it screams “arts & crafts”, and not in a good way.

  • Ooh I love these idea!

    My dad also love to search (hunt) them and he loves plants.
    I’ll tell my dad :)

  • Salvage pieces can have so many uses if you can see the potential. Balusters in particular can be used for a huge variety of projects. Thanks for this great DIY idea.

  • cute project. btw, where did you get the metal side table/magazine stand that is shown in the first picture?

  • I really like the tripod; maybe even better than I would one with four legs. I think I’m going to have to try this!

  • Habitat for Humanity’s ReStores always have lots of old balusters, table legs, etc.
    Most cities have one, and they’re a great eco-friendly source of project materials!

  • Ooooh! I saw some of these in a neighbor’s trash this morning… Guess I’ll have to get up early and RAID! Thanks for the post!

  • Hmmmm it doesn’t do anything for me. Maybe the four post version would be better, and with closer matching posts, but this just looks a bit too flimsy and rag-tag for my taste.

  • This idea is great! I like things a little more uniform so a mix of ornate balusters doesn’t really work for me, but you could do the same thing with wood dowels and it would look more modern – especially if you painted them glossy white or another bright color. Hmmm…think I might have to try it this weekend! Thanks for the post!!