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Are you suffering from Cabin Fever? Anxious to get out and do some gardening but can’t due to weather conditions? Have some logs hanging around that you don’t know what to do with?? Well, don’t fret. I have the perfect remedy for you. I had been suffering from all of the above and it dawned on me that I could make some planters!!!! Well, first let me tell you I am DEATHLY afraid of using an electric saw, although I do carpentry and am used to power tools I always know when to say “NO” to something unfamiliar and in my case it’s a power saw…LOL!! Fortunately for me though, 4 of the logs I had were from Spanish Elder Trees and as most of us who are familiar with these know, they are soft wood.
In order to work with them you will be needing the following tools:
An Auger bit 1 –1 ½ inches wide
A 1- inch drill bit
A 1- inch chisel
Eye Protective gear

Chose what kind of planter you’d like. Then mark the log with a 1-inch margin all the way around with a pencil. With the drill use the drill bit to drill a few holes on the inside of the mark all the way around where you want to remove the wood.. Keep in mind only to drill how deep you want it.


Once you’ve drilled several holes (as many as you can fit within the marked circle) You take your chisel and with the hammer try and break away as much of the wood as possible.


It’s a long process but worth it. When you’ve finished with the chiseling switch over to the Auger bit on the drill and softly go over the rough pieces that were left behind. This will smooth it out some. The inside is in a bowl shape about a foot deep. There is enough room to allow for a good rooting system on the plants.


After this is done, I take the chisel again and make dents on the bottom where I would like to make the drainage holes. Switch over to the 1-inch bit and drill straight down as far as it will go. Then I flip it and paying attention to where I drilled the holes I try and match up the holes from the bottom up. I missed a couple of time but you can’t see it because it’s on the bottom…LOL!!! Flip it again and angle some holes to go through from the hollowed out bottom towards the sides. I made 3 holes that way.


Here is a couple of pictures from 2 different planters I made.. Allow 2 weeks in the sun to completely dry out and then you can stain them or waterproof them. I like mine natural.



Glad you liked them. Thank-you for the welcome!! With Winter just around the corner got to do something to keep busy!! Besides, they come in handy. I have others that I've made from palettes that I take apart. These were from my sisters trees which they got ride of. Still have 5 to go, but they,ll be wider as these in the picture were from a Spanish Elder. They'll also be harder to make as I will NOT use a circular saw or an electric saw as I'm clumsy enough and I LOVE my fingers and body parts too much to chop them off....LOL!!! Anyway glad you like them!!!!
Nice pics to go with the explanation. Thanks for all the work you put into to posting this!

No problem on posting it. I figure with winter around the corner one needs some planters inside the house. Also, with Spring not so far away (just feels like it is...Lol!!!) You'll have more room to plant.
I love these planters.
I have several of them most are filled with sedum, and hens and chicks
You know, my father and I were going to make Mom some stump planters one year for Christmas. It was the Christmas before he died, and he was already frail enough that I was insisting on doing the grunt work. On Black Friday, when my mother and sister were out shopping and I was hanging out with Dad, we drove out to the dump to find some likely stumps. It was a drizzly day, and I was worried about him going with me, but he insisted he wasn't missing out on the fun. I was wrestling a likely one toward the car when he called and pointed to a log sticking out of the top of a mountain of leaves. It was hollow.

So, I scrambled up the slippy slidey leaves and rolled the log down. A little digging produced a second, smaller piece of the same log. We got them in the car, went home, and cut the large piece into two pieces of slightly different heights. That way we had a grouping of three stump planters of different heights. Then we tucked them behind his shop, and he was in dry clothes and back in the recliner before Mom got home.

We almost had more fun telling the story on Christmas Day then giving her the gift.
Now THAT's what I call a gift from the heart!!!! I can just imagine you two telling the story and the look on your Mom's face when you gave them to her.!!! That's one thing that she'll never forget!! Thank-you for sharing it with us.

Btw, did you stain them or paint them or anything??? Just curious. Thank-you again!!!
Yeah, it's not everyone who goes shopping for their spouse/parent at the dump.

Since the bark was still on, we presented them as is. Or, as was, since that was in 2005.
It doesn't matter where the gift comes from, just the thought that went into it. You all were lucky to have found it there and HOLLOW to boot!!! You just had to make the cuts and fix them up for planters. Now THAT's a gift worth getting. Thanks for sharing!!!!
a dead tree as a planter

I love these planters.
I have several of them most are filled with sedum, and hens and chicks

When my lovely pink dogwood tree died and fell over, I used most of it for a planter and put in lots of hens and chicks, primrose and columbine. That way it always stayed beautiful in my mind's eye. ;)

Rose White, author of
"Easy Gardens A to Z"
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