While watching a home-renovation TV show, Mandi Gubler became fascinated by a designer’s modern, curved-wood furniture and accessories. Inspired by the organic look, she hit on using plain wood dowels to create a series of plant holders. Her idea of mitering and joining dowel pieces into square bump-outs that hold pots grew into a living wall in her Santa Clara, UT, home. “The dowels’ round shape is such an easy way to add visual character to a wall,” Mandi says. The project totaled about $60, which includes eight pots, and took only three hours, leaving plenty of time for more inspirational bingeing.
WHAT SHE DID
Unfinished dowels from a home center (a few dollars each for 4-foot lengths) and visible screwheads gave Mandi the raw, modern look she wanted.
■ ¾"-diameter wood dowels
■ Solid-bottom pots with a lip (Mandi’s are IKEA Citronsyra)
■ Miter saw
■ Wood glue
■ Pin nails, finishing nails, or clamps
■ Plastic drywall anchors
■ Cabinet screws (about 1½" long)
A crooked dowel will throw off the project, Mandi says. To test, lay dowels on a flat surface and give them a nudge. Straight ones will roll; crooked ones won’t.
The inside width of each holder should match the diameter of the pot right below the lip. Play with the length of the holder pieces and the sections attached to the wall. Mandi’s rows are 38¾ inches long. One-pot rows have a 17-inch section on each side; the two-pot rows have three 10-inch sections.
Using the photo, below, as a guide for miters, cut the dowels for one holder; test to make sure it holds the pot when assembled. Repeat for the rest.
Glue pieces, stabilizing them with pin nails or finishing nails (or clamps until the glue dries).
Drill pilot holes in the same spots along each dowel. Ensure each row is level on the wall and mount. (Use drywall anchors if you’re not screwing into studs.)
Lay out the pieces for each row as you cut them to check consistency.
Precise 45-degree angles ensure proper fit.
A straight cut finishes the outside ends.
The creative mind behind the Vintage Revivals blog tackles home improvement projects with her husband, Court.
WHY I DIY
“It makes my heart happy. When I’m in creative mode, I’m 100 percent my best self. It started as a way to save money but has become such an important part of who I am as a person.”
BEST DIY SKILL
“Fearless attitude. I love learning and will tackle any type of project.”
“Impact driver. It’s basically a drill that’s small, easy to use, and versatile.”
EVERY HOME NEEDS
“Plants. Give me all the plants! They add so much life to a space and work with every single decor style. If I could live in a greenhouse, I would totally do that.”
EAGER TO TRY
“Limewashing. I’m learning about it so I can use it on a brick wall.”