I’m practically busting at the seams today! Over the past few weeks I watched this project take shape and it just kept getting cuter every day! I’m not trying to toot my own horn, OK, maybe just a little toot! Seriously though guys, I stepped back when I finished the DIY Calistoga Patio Garden Cabinet and said “NAILED IT!” This outdoor garden cabinet has easily become one of my top 5 favorite projects!
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How did this charming piece of patio furniture come to be? Geez, there are so many places where I got inspiration…. I don’t know where to start! OK, I think the biggest inspiration was this plant stand. Years ago my grandparents owned a multi-family apartment building. Often times tenants would move out and leave belongings behind. This metal plant stand was just one of the treasures left behind.
The metal plant stand has become a staple of my summertime patio decor. This summer I was planning to develop plans for a wood plant stand you could DIY for your patio. Then more inspiration struck when I was talking with my friend Linda. She wanted to deck out her deck with flowers for the summer, but she had a problem. A big, fat problem.
Her big, fat problem was a big, fat woodchuck living under her deck and ole “Chuck” wasn’t bashful about nibbling her summertime blooms down to nubs. Hmmm… could I take my idea for a wood plant stand and somehow incorporate a way to protect plants from Chuck and other plant eating animals?
Enter my next inspiration for the Calistoga patio garden cabinet… an old time pie safe. Ya know those antique cabinets that featured tin punched panels to allow pies to cool without having flies land on them? Instead of tin punched panels, I wanted to use some chicken wire, so you could see the plants, the plants could get some fresh air and rain water. Plus, the chicken wire would give the garden cabinet a farmhouse look.
Linda’s birthday was coming, last year I made her these, but this year I would knock her socks off with the Calistoga patio garden cabinet! Can I tell you guys a secret? Little did Linda know behind the scenes I was pulling strings like a puppet master. She was planning to repaint her Adirondack chairs and asked me if she should paint them the exact color I had already chosen and bought for the cabinet. I gently guided her to another color that would compliment the cabinet. By now Linda has read this and knows my dirty little secret!
Oh, one last thing. The name, Calistoga, was inspired by the Calistoga Inn located in Calistoga, California. This garden cabinet just reminded me of that place. The Calistoga patio garden cabinet is not only perfect for flowers, but what about an herb garden by your back door? Or salad greens? And I think this would look great inside too. Maybe on a porch or in a dining room filled with houseplants like ivy. And wouldn’t it look awesome with a chippy paint finish! I love that this project has so many possibilities!
Calistoga Patio Garden Cabinet Plan
1-1/4″ pocket screws
1-1/4″ exterior screws
2″ exterior screws
(2) Cabinet hinges
Exterior wood glue
Exterior paint or stain
Stanley FatMax Tape Measure
Counter sink drill bit
Random Orbit Sander
Round over bit (optional)
Step 1. Cut the Legs. Cut 8 pieces of 1×3 to 59-1/4″. On each leg Measure up 7″ and in 1-1/2″.
Connect the marks and place a crosscut jig on the line.
Cut the angle using a circular saw. Repeat for the remaining legs.
Step 2. Cut the Side Rails. Cut 8 pieces of 1×3 to 9-3/4″ and drill pocket holes on each end.
Step 3. Assemble the Sides. Cut 6 pieces of scrap to 13-3/4″. The scrap will be used to layout the locations of the rails. Place two legs on your work surface (be sure the angles face inward). Starting at the top, apply glue to the ends of a rail, clamp to the legs and attach using 1-1/4″ pocket screws.
Place a piece of scrap below the rail and attach using painter’s tape.
Apply glue to the ends of a rail, clamp to the legs and attach using 1-1/4″ pocket screws.
Repeat for the remaining two rails and repeat for the second side.
Step 4. Cut the Back Rails. Cut 4 pieces of 1×3 to 12-1/2″ and drill pocket holes on each end.
Step 5. Assemble the Back. The back is assembled just like the sides, so follow Step 3 to assemble the back.
Step 6. Cut the Front Rails. Cut 2 pieces of 1×3 to 14″ and drill pocket holes on each end.
Step 7. Assemble the Front. Place two legs on your work surface (be sure the angles face inward). Starting at the top, apply glue to the ends of a rail, clamp to the legs and attach using 1-1/4″ pocket screws. Measure 8″ up from the bottom, apply glue to the ends of a rail, clamp to the legs and attach using 1-1/4″ pocket screws.
Step 8. Prep Sides for Final Assembly. The sides are attached to the front with pocket screws. First, place the sides together.
Layout the pocket hole locations. I marked for one pocket hole at each rail and in the center of each opening.
Then drill the pocket holes.
Step 9. Prep Back for Final Assembly. Just like the sides are attached to the front with pocket screws, the back is attached to the sides with pocket screws. On the back, layout the pocket hole locations and drill pocket holes. I marked for one pocket hole at each rail and in the center of each opening.
Step 10. It’s a good idea to sand all of the parts prior to assembly. I setup my folding workbench and gave all of the parts the once over with my random orbit sander.
Step 11. Assemble the Carcass. Apply glue to a side and clamp to the front.
Attach using 1-1/4″ pocket screws. Repeat for the other side.
Apply glue to each side of the back, clamp to the sides and attach using 1-1/4″ pocket screws.
Step 12. Assemble the Door. Cut 2 pieces of 1×3 to 48-1/4″. Cut 2 pieces of 1×3 to 11″ and drill pocket holes in each end. Apply glue to the rails, clamp to the stiles and attach using 1-1/4″ pocket screws.
Optional: I used a 1/4″ roundover bit in my router to give the front of the door a little extra detail.
Step 13. Assemble the Top. Cut 2 pieces of 1×3 to 20-1/2″. Cut 2 pieces of 1×3 to 11-1/2″ and drill pocket holes in each end. Apply glue to the sides, clamp to the front/back and attach using 1-1/4″ pocket screws.
Step 14. Cut the Slat Supports. Cut 6 pieces of 1×2 to 14″. Countersink several holes in the edge of the supports. These holes will be used to attach the supports to the sides. See Step 17 for an example of the hole locations.
Step 15. Cut the Slats. Cut 15 pieces of 1×3 to 17-1/2″.
Step 16. Paint or stain the Carcass and Slats. I filled all of the pocket holes with Ready Patch, so water wouldn’t collect in the holes and potentially rot the wood. It’s easier to paint or stain all of the parts prior to final assembly. I went with Behr solid exterior stain for the cabinet. The color is “Colonial Yellow”.
The slats were stained with two shades of Behr semi transparent exterior stain. The first coat was “Russet” and the second coat was “Padre Brown”. The slats on the left have been stained only with Russet. The slats on the right have been stained with Russet and topped with a coat of Padre Brown.
Step 17. Install the Slat Supports. The slats supports set a 1/2″ above the bottom of the side rails. I used some scrap 1/2″ MDF to help with the alignment of the slat supports. Clamp the MDF so it’s flush with the bottom of the side rail.
Place the slat support on top of the MDF, clamp the slat to the side rail and attach using 2″ exterior screws.
Step 18. Attach the Back Chicken Wire. Using tin snips, cut the chicken wire to fit each of the three back openings, and attach using the staples.
Step 19. Attach the Slats and Side Chicken Wire. The slats are spaced a 1/4″ apart. I used some scrap 1/4″ pieces of MDF to help with the alignment of the slats. Starting at the front of the cabinet, put a piece of MDF on each slat support, then place a slate and attach using 1-1/4″ finish nails.
Remove the MDF and set behind the slat you just installed. Place another slat and attach using 1-1/4″.
Repeat for the remaining slats for that shelf. Do not install the slats for the other shelves yet.
It’s easier to install the chicken to the sides as you complete the installation of one shelf. Just as you did for the back chicken wire, using tin snips, cut the chicken wire to fit the two side openings, and attach using the staples. Then repeat Step 19 for the remaining shelves and side openings.
Step 20. Attach the Top Chicken Wire. Place the top on the cabinet. The top is flush with the back, overhangs the side by 3/4″ and overhangs the front by 1″. From the inside, use a pencil to mark the inside dimension of the cabinet on the top.
Using tin snips, cut a piece of chicken wire to fit within the pencil outline, and attach using the staples.
Step 21. Attach the Top. Place the top on the cabinet. The top is flush with the back, overhangs the side by 3/4″ and overhangs the front by 1″. Drill several countersink holes and attach using 1-1/4″ exterior screws. Fill the holes with Ready Patch and touch up with your cabinet color.
Step 22. Attach the Chicken Wire to the Door. The chicken wire needs to be set on the door, so it doesn’t hit the frame of the cabinet. Set your Kreg Multi-Mark to 1-1/2″ and make a light pencil line all the way around the door. Using tin snips, cut a piece of chicken wire to fit within the pencil outline, and attach using the staples.
Step 23. Attach the Door. Attach the cabinet hinges to the back of the door. The door set ups from the bottom 1-1/2″ and in from each side 1-1/2″. I used a scrap piece of 1×2 to help with the aligning the bottom of the door. Clamp the 1×2 so it’s flush with the bottom of the cabinet bottom rail.
First attach the hinges to the door. Use the Kreg multi mark set to 1-1/2″ to center the door on the cabinet, then attach the hinges to the cabinet.
Step 24. Attach the Knob. You can install the knob anywhere you like, but I centered mine top to bottom on the door.
Step 25. Attach the Magnet Catch. First install the magnet on the cabinet, then install the corresponding piece on the door.
Whoa… that’s a lot of steps! Even my electric fireplace mantel didn’t have this many steps! The good thing is each step is easy… there’s just many of them 🙂 Hope you enjoyed this garden cabinet. Like I said, this project is one of my favs!