Chair Planter Garden Project

Learn how to turn a chair into a planter with this simple garden project.

I love chairs. Unfortunately, with my modest-size home, I don’t always have a place for them, so I dream up other uses. This classic farmhouse spindle-back chair seemed the perfect seat for a lush fern, so I created a chair planter pedestal. This garden project is surprisingly easy and a great way to showcase a favorite plant.


  • Chair
  • Plant pot
  • String and pencil
  • Drill and large drill bit
  • Jigsaw or small handsaw with fine teeth
  • Paint scraper or putty knife (optional)
  • Sandpaper, rough and fine (100-200 grit)
  • Orbital or palm sander (optional)
  • Enamel-based spray primer and spray paint

Step-By-Step Instructions:

Step 1

Determine the diameter of the hole you need. Measure the circumference of your pot based on where you’d like it to rest in the chair. Also measure the circumference of the largest part of the pot to make certain that it won’t hit the back of the chair.

Mark the center point of the chair seat. To do this, measure both the width and the depth of the seat, and mark the center of each. The point at which they intersect is the center of the seat.

Step 2

Divide the diameter of your desired hole size in half, and cut a piece of string several inches longer than that measurement. Tie a pencil to the string so that, with the string fully extended, it’s half the diameter of the desired hole. Then place the cut end of the string on your center mark and extend the pencil outward, drawing a circle.

Step 3

With your hole drawn, take a large drill bit and drill one or a series of contiguous holes just on the inside of your pencil line. The hole(s) must be large enough for your blade to fit through so you can saw. Using your cutting tool of choice, cut along the circle you’ve drawn on your chair seat.

Step 4

Depending on the condition of your chair, now’s the time to clean, scrape and sand it to prepare it for painting. For wooden chairs that haven’t been painted or painted chairs with minimal wear, just lightly sand the entire surface with a fine-grit sandpaper to provide a “tooth,” or bonding surface, for your primer.

Step 5

Time to paint! Since this chair will probably live outdoors, the hard enamel-based spray paints provide more protection than their latex cousins. Just be sure to work outside or in a well-ventilated area. Use a gray or rust primer if your final paint color will be dark. If you’re going for a bright, light or vibrant color, use a white primer.

Step 6

Once your paint is dry, drop in the plant of your choice and set it by your front door as a seasonal welcome for guests, as a focal point in your foyer or on your summer porch for cottage charm. It won’t stain your floor or deck and is the perfect height for tending.

Alison Auth
Alison Auth makes crafts with her love of wildlife in mind. She enjoys beckoning birds to her backyard and creating an oasis for butterflies with beautiful plants.