How To Make Porch Display Stands

Would You Believe for Only $1.64!

Make this seasonal porch display stand for $1.64 and do it in only minutes. Use them throughout the year on your porch or steps to display potted plants in summer, pumpkins or mums for autumn, or other decorative items for specific holidays.


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porch display stands with colorful mums


Our double shelf stand only cost $1.64 (for the wood) and it made a fun project for our grand kids. You do the cutting and have them put them together. At that price, you can make several in no time at all.


Materials and Tools

  • Pine Fence Slats (5 3/4 inches wide x 72 inches by approx 5/8 inch thick) $1.64 each at Home Depot
  • Nails (recommend 1 3/4 inches long or for screws (1 1/4 inches long). I use drywall screws. However, if you want to use your stands outdoors for extended periods of time, I recommend using deck screws.)
  • Saw (use a hand saw, jig saw, circular saw, chop saw, or sliding miter saw)
  • Hammer, screw driver, or drill driver (dependent on whether you use nails or screws)
  • Drill and 3/32 inch bit and 1/8th inch bit (optional but recommended)
  • Tape Measure
  • Square or Straight edge
  • Pencil



Construction Process

We'll show you how simple it is to make either a single shelf or double shelf stand to the dimensions we used. You can easily modify the dimensions to suit your own needs - the process is the same.

I've broken down the construction process in steps (it is easier to do than explain) but all you have to do is measure, cut, and nail or screw. It's really that easy.


Step 1

Purchase pine fence slats from Home Depot or other home supply store. Ours only cost $1.64 each (price may vary a bit by store location). Select straight boards with as few blemishes as possible.


inexpensive fence slats at Home Depot
Found these on sale for $1.20. What a deal!
We made one double shelf stand (18" tall by 17 1/4 inches long) from one fence slat. The number of stands you can make from one board is dependent on the dimensions you choose for your stands.

I've also used this wood for bird houses too.


Step 2 - Cutting

You can use either a hand saw, jig saw, circular saw, chop saw, or sliding miter saw as shown to cut these boards.


cutting board with sliding miter saw
I'm using a compound miter saw but a hand saw will do
Refer to cutting diagram below as needed.

Measure and cut the board 18 inches from the top of the board (dog eared end of board).

cutting diagram showing dimensions of porch display stand


Step 2A

Repeat Step 2 by cutting the remaining board at 18 inches.

Optional: Place the dog eared board on top of the other 18" long board and use it to mark the dog ears as shown. Cut the dog ears to match the first board.


marking board to cut dog ear
Use the dog-eared end as a template to mark the other dog ear



Step 2B

Measure and cut the remaining board 16 inches.


Step 2C

Repeat step 2B


Construction Tip: If making several porch display stands, mark and cut all of your boards first. It will make the process that much faster.




Step 3 - Mark Shelf Locations

Mark each 18 inch long board two (2) inches from the top and draw a line across them at that point. This line indicates the position for your top shelf.


cutting diagram showing dimensions of porch display stand


Measure down 12 inches from the top on each board and draw a line across them at that point. This line indicates the position for your bottom shelf.


marking location of second shelf


Measure the thickness of your boards (ours were 5/8 inch thick) to determine the location for the nails or screws.

This wood can split easily so you will want to insert your nails or screws in the center of shelf board. This location will be half the thickness of your boards plus the distance from the top of the board. In our case, we will add 5/16 inches which is half of 5/8 inches.


measuring thickness of boards


Turn the boards over and measure 2 5/16 inches down from the top and mark accordingly. Then, using that line, measure in 1 inch from each side and mark accordingly. These marks are the exact locations for your screws or nails for the top shelf.


marking pilot hole locations


By doing so, you will be able to quickly see where to place your nails or screws to attach the shelf.


Measure down 12 5/16 inches and mark accordingly. These marks are you locations for your screws or nails for the bottom shelf.


Construction Tip: If making several porch display stands, mark all of your boards before proceeding.




Step 4 - Drill pilot holes for nails or screw (optional but recommended)

Use a 3/32 for nails or an 1/8 (or less) inch bit for screws and drill holes through the locations you've marked on the boards. This will help prevent splitting the wood when nailing or screwing into the wood.


drilling pilot hole locations


Construction Tip: If making several porch display stands, drill all of your pilot holes before proceeding.




Optional: You can mark and cut the "v" out of the bottom of each side at this point as shown. To do so, make a mark 2" inches in from each side of the bottom of the side boards. Find the center of the board and mark 3" from the bottom. Connect those marks to form a "V". Cut accordingly.


marking board to cut a triangle
Marking the bottom of side board for the triangle cut



triangle cut from board
Triangle cut from bottom of boards



Construction Tip: If making several porch display stands, mark and cut the bottoms before proceeding.




Step 5 - Construct the stands

Position the shelves at the locations you've marked and use nails or screws. Remember, the lines you've drawn on the inside of your side boards indicate the top of the shelf, not the bottom.


porch display stand parts

We had two of our grandchildren help assemble the porch display stands


assembling the porch display stands


We had our granddaughter help make a mini-stand.


proud stand maker with her  porch display stand


Porch Display Stand Options

These are so easy to make in that you can modify them to fit your needs. You can make them larger, taller, shorter or even wider. Here are a few examples.


Extend Your Stand

Add another leg and shelf to make your stand longer. You could even make another leg and shelf for the other side.


extended porch display stand
Extended display stand



Make Mini Stands

We made these 8 inches tall with 10 inch shelves:

smaller porch display stands
Our mini-display stands: 8 inches tall



Make a Double Display Stand

For a mere $3.28 you can make this double porch display stand:


double porch display stand


Make two stands using the instructions above and attach them with braces you can cut from the scrap piece (see cut diagram above):


double porch display stand with braces


Painting

You can easily paint and re-paint the stands for even more appeal.

Send Us Photos

We'd love to see your porch display stands. Send us a photo and we'll share your ideas with others.


porch display stands on front porch






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