Exciting news: Now that you’ve all heard me talking about the Home Depot Patio Style Challenge for well over two months, the reveal post is finally coming! TODAY! (Update: IT’S HERE!) And that means I’ll finally shut up about it!
… OK, no, it doesn’t. I mean, I have to tell you guys more about it. One post just isn’t enough! Let’s start with one of my favorite DIYs: our hanging gold frame with ombre plant pots.
One of the biggest reasons I wanted a pergola over our deck was so I could hang plants from it, and this project did not disappoint. It was one of the first things I started working on, and one of the last projects I finished. Things got a little crazy, and I’ll admit, I was a bad blogger and didn’t take enough process pictures. But I promise, you’re going to be able to recreate this sucker so easily. It’s very self-explanatory, and I’m going to throw in some pictures of the finished product to show what I’m talking about.
- Empty picture frame
- Punched metal angle
- Sawzall, tin snips, or another tool that can trim metal
- 1/4″ wood screws
- 2 screw-in ceiling hooks
- Chain (I used deco chain to hang the frame and jack chain to hang the pots)
- S-hooks (two per pot, plus two larger ones to hang the frame)
- Terra cotta pots
- Thompson’s WaterSeal spray
- Drill with masonry bit
- Spray paint (I used Rust-Oleum Specialty Metallic in Gold and Rust-Oleum Painter’s Touch in Aqua and White)
- Needle-nose pliers
- Potting soil
I started with a big picture frame that I found at Goodwill. It’s 43.5″ x 34.75″, and when I found it, the backing had already been removed and there were pieces of string stapled across the opening. Someone else was definitely using it for some kind of DIY display – it was a sign!
I removed the hanging brackets with a screwdriver and pulled out all the staples with some pliers.
I didn’t love the frame’s color, so I hit it with primer and Rust-Oleum Specialty Metallic gold spray paint. Specialty Metallic is meant for indoor use, so I coated it with Rust-Oleum Painter’s Touch in Clear Gloss, too. Make sure you spray both sides of the frame – even if you won’t see the back, you’ll want to seal the wood to protect it from the elements.
At first, Brad and I weren’t sure what to use to hang the pots from the frame. We knew that whatever it was should be able to support the weight of the pots on its own, since the frame isn’t meant to hold anything very heavy. When we saw a punched angle at Home Depot, inspiration struck.
Brad cut it down to size with a Sawzall, and then screwed it into the back of the frame with the horizontal part on top. He used washers to make sure the screws didn’t go through the holes in the punched angle.
To hang the frame from the pergola, Brad drilled pilot holes into the underside of the end beam and then screwed in brass ceiling hooks. We attached an S-hook to each end of the punch angle, then hung the frame from the ceiling hooks using deco chain.
(Note that my S-hooks are gold. I couldn’t find brass ones, so I spray-painted ’em!)
So, that concludes the frame-hanging portion of the tutorial. Next up: the pots.
If you want to paint your pots, you’ll need to waterproof them first. Otherwise, when you water your plants (or when it rains), the moisture will soak through the terra cotta and make your paint bubble and crack. Get yourself some Thompson’s WaterSeal spray and apply a couple light coats to the inside of your pots, then let them dry for 24 hours. I know that’s a really long time. Be patient! They must be completely dry both before and during the waterproofing process, so make sure to cover them if you’re spraying outside and it’s going to rain.
Next, use a masonry bit to drill two holes in each pot. Make sure the bit will create a hole slightly larger than your S-hooks. The surface of the pot and the drill bit get really hot while you’re drilling, so try to keep the area wet to cool them down. I draped our hose over a nearby chair and set it up to drip on my pot while I was drilling.
Once your holes are drilled, paint your pots with whatever design your little heart desires. If you’ve chosen a lighter color, I’d recommend using a spray primer first. I was planning to create a two-tone look like this, but while I was spraying the color on the top portion without tape (I was going to tape for the white coat), I noticed that I was accidentally creating an ombre effect.
I liked it (and didn’t feel like taping), so I flipped them over to add the white coat on the bottom, and then flipped them over again to finish off the color on top. The tapered angle of the pot helped to create a natural ombre, since the top is wider and therefore closer to the spray can.
After the spray paint was dry, I attached my small S-hooks (which I’d spray-painted gold) to the pots, using needle-nose pliers to squeeze them shut. Then, I added my plants – two ivys and three ferns.
I used a single piece of jack chain to hang each pot from the punched angle, running it up through one hole and down through another. I’d recommend experimenting with string to choose your lengths before you cut the chain – I screwed up and had to go buy more!
And that’s it!
Feel free to customize your picture frame planter with bigger pots, smaller pots, more pots, less pots, black chain, nickel chain, potted herbs, flowers … the world is your oyster. Comment if you have any questions! I have an “always respond to comments” rule, so you know I’ll get you an answer.