DIY Project: Tiered Hanging Pots

When you collect as many things as I do, floor and table space can quickly become precious commodities. Having shelves full of plants is just not feasible in the studio, but I was not going to let that stop me from pursuing my dream of building a little greenhouse. If you have an interest in going vertical with your greenery, you could whip up this tiered hanging planter in a day. You just need a tiny bit of scrap wood, some rope and a few basic woodworking tools. The best part — which should have been obvious to me from the start, but being a total gardening novice, it wasn’t — is that the system makes watering a breeze. All the runoff from the previous pot drips into the plants below, so you only need to place a little dish or bucket under the bottom. Enjoy! — Kate

Read the full how-to after the jump . . .


  • scrap wood
  • jigsaw
  • terracotta pots
  • rope
  • 3/8″ boring bit
  • paintbrush and paint
  • drill
  • plants
  • metal ring


1. Measure and mark the plank of wood to create a square with at least 3/4″ to 1″ of space around the pot.

2. Trace the lip of your pot onto the face of the wood. Trace a circle within the circumference of the one you just drew but spaced 1/4″ from the outer circle, or use a circular template that is approximately 1/4″ smaller than the radius of the pot to do the same. You will end with two concentric circles, one with a radius 1/4″ smaller than the first. Repeat with all four squares.

3. Clamp the first piece of wood down to a stable surface and drill a hole into the center of the circles with the 3/8″ boring bit. This will provide a space for your jigsaw blade to enter the wood so you can begin your cut. Working slowly and in sections, use the jigsaw to cut out the shape of the inner circle. You may have to unclamp, reposition the wood and reclamp in order to get a good angle for cutting out the entire shape. Repeat with all four squares.

4. Once all the inner circles are cut out, clamp a single square down to a piece of scrap wood and use a ruler to make a dot in the four corners of the squares, 1/2″ in from each side. Use the 3/8″ boring bit and drill holes completely through the wood at each of those four corner marks. Repeat with all four squares.

5. As an optional step, you can paint the sides of your squares for a pop of color, or paint your rope a different color. I chose to paint my rope navy blue, using acrylic paints slightly watered down. Only paint the two cut edges on each square, and position the squares on the ropes so that the unpainted and painted edges will alternate when hanging.

6. Now your squares are ready to hang. I chose to space my plants 12″ apart, but this can depend on the type of plants you’re using. Cut four lengths of rope and tie them all together in a knot about 6″ from the top. Use the 6″ strands to secure the ropes to the metal ring.

7. Hang the ring in an open area and slide the first wood square onto all four strands, about 12″ from the top knot. Tie a knot directly underneath the wood square on all four ropes, place the plant into the opening and check to make sure the piece is level. If the plant is not hanging level, you can adjust the knots up or down.

8. Repeat step 6 with the remaining three squares: Slide the square onto the ropes, measure about 12″ (or you can place your potted plant inside and eyeball the distance) and secure a knot underneath on all four ropes. Always make sure to check if the pieces are hanging straight, and adjust the knots as needed. After the last square is on and the knots are tied underneath, snip off the excess rope with scissors.

You’re done! Fill the squares with your planted pots, and find a nice sunny home for your new planter.


LOVE this. Will try to do it this weekend… I have so many houseplants, this will save space.


this is great! and instead of putting a plate or bucket on the floor, you could just create one more tier to hold the plate/bucket!


Brings back memories of my old days of making macramé hangers :):)


Awesome! It’d be awesome to plant herbs in these hanging planters for the kitchen! Thanks for sharing this amazing idea with us :)

Amy Azzarito

Hi Courtney –
Kate offered some suggestions in the post. Thanks! Amy


I feel like this would be great to have maybe two or three pots to hold herbs for the kitchen, that way they wouldn’t take up counter space and look cute at the same time!


Oh I love these!!! Always on the look out for some lovely home decor ideas for our new flat. Thanks for the inspiration! x


This is a wonderful idea! Yet so simple, but so well detailed in the process of mating it come true that it makes me ask myself : how come haven’t I already tried doing this at home?

Thanks for sharing!!


You know I think this projects is pretty complicated , maybe other DS crafters are at a higher level than me, but I think this could be very difficult to pull off. Maybe to buy on Etsy, for sure…


Great idea but one question…what happens when you water the plants? lots of drips or the pots don´t have holes in??


Ann, I think the only really complicated thing is needing a jigsaw! It can be a scary idea but it’s super simple once you’re comfortable with your tools.

I love the idea of painting the rope and leaving the wonderful natural textures of the wood and terra cotta to bring their own beauty! I might simplify, though, by only cutting 2 double lengths of rope (for 4 ends, one for each hole) and folding them in half to loop through the metal ring. It would make my mind easier, not having to wonder whether my plants were going to crash down at any second. ;) Thanks for this!


Very cute, sort of 70’s vibe, especially if the rope was macrame!


I’ll be moving to a super small space in a couple of months and was dreading giving up my plants. Now I can have herbs AND the cats can hang out on the window sills. :) I think this would look especially lovely in all white. Thanks so much!


What is the thing you have anchored to the wall to hang the metal ring on? Curious because I’ve had issues with hanging plants pulling hooks and screws out of sheetrock

Patricia in Denver

As soon as I saw this I thought “Christmas Gifts”! Simple and great looking.


I want to add more greenery to my apartment, and this looks like a great way to do it! Very cool!

Amy Azzarito

Jessica, You can pin it using the “Pin It” button installed on your browser. Go to pinterest to install the button. xo amy


Its absolutely beautiful. I stay in an apt with a small balcony and always wondered how to keep my plants vertically without having to keep a rack.


show us how to make the shelf next to it too! the one with the belts :)


Great idea. I do not have a jigsaw. Love the project but need a way to make a precision cut…any advice?

Dana Caffrey

Nicely done! I will definitely do this. I live in a condo and space is not that big. This is a great idea to keep my plants intact.


another option would be threaded rod instead of rope . It would give adjustability without having to dismantle it. Just a thought. : )

Ms Ruby

I would put a another plant at the bottom on the floor in a pot that had a dish………as the water drains down it would water the plant on the floor and the dish would collect the water………..(make sure it is a plant that would thrive….ie. Coleus….)


Love the detailed instructions! Came here from pinterest and was hoping it would really have the How To. Thanks so much!


Francamente hermoso adorno. Facil (??) de hacer, con ayuda del hombre de la casa. Les felicito.

Sandra E.

Ladies, for those of us who are not familiar with tools, may I suggest signing up w Home Depot to learn many doy projects & tool use. They have duh (do-it herself classes every 3rd Thursday of each month. FREE & FUN U come away w such knowledge, confidence, satisfaction take home projects just learned & a couple of new friends along the way. :-) :-)


sooo cool!!! Simple chic and green. Just what I need for my herbs.

Aida F.

OMYGOD I LOVE this idea!! I can’t wait to get the supplies for this because I’m running out of space in my kitchen window. All my plants are there and my Spider Mom is about to give birth so this would work as a nursery for them, thank you for sharing this Kate!!

Harrison Oakes

Thank you for this wonderful idea! I can’t wait to get started and make my own with whatever materials I’ve got kicking around the house.

pat hill

I made these same shelf’s back in the 70’s. but I am allergic to jute rope now so I have use the same kind of design of rope that they would use camping and boating a nylon or cotton rope. if you use nylon melt the ends after you cut them with a match to melt them so they don’t come unraveled.


Love the idea, but will use plastic pots that have the drip dish. Other than that this is a totally fabulous idea!


Where did you get the black hook/triangular hanging piece that you hung the piece from? I love this idea!!


Beautiful creativity but I have a question how do you save the dropping water since the bottom of the container has hole.