Category Archives: Guest Blog

Modern Succulent Centerpiece Planter with City Farmhouse

By: Guest Blogger

Guest Blogger Jen of City Farmhouse is back with a simple yet elegant DIY project to bring the beauty of nature into your home. Follow along as she walks us through the steps for creating this Modern Succulent Centerpiece Planter.

Hi, there friends! Over the last few years, I have become super fond of succulents, who hasn’t right?! I love the look, colors, sizes, shapes and the fact that they are low maintenance is a bonus for me. Plus you can find them just about anywhere lately, even the grocery store! I thought it would be fun to create an all season, modern succulent centerpiece planter for my kitchen table. I have teamed up with Minwax® for this project and to give my piece a rustic finish.

In planning this piece I knew I didn’t want the soil near the wood and that I wanted a modern vibe so I decided to use plastic planters I found at Target and set them inside the top. I actually created this piece based on the dimensions of these planters, so if you find other planters to use for this project, just alter your measurements accordingly. The great part about this is that I can also pop them in and out easily if I wanted to change the plants.



  • poplar craft board – Four 3ft lengths & One 2ft length (I bought mine at Lowe’s)
  • wood glue
  • finishing nails
  • clamps
  • jig saw or 4″ drill bit adapter
  • sand paper
  • 5 plastic pots from Target that are about 4″ x 4″
  • 5 succulents
  • potting soil
  • pebbles



Cut your pieces from the above diagramMark off 5-4.25″ circles in the top length and cut them out using a jigsaw or 4″ drill bit adapterSand the openings to make them smooth.Take your bottom & 2 sides and glue & nail them, using clamps to hold in place.Once dry take your top with your circle cut outs and do the same, glue & nail.Then do the same for your ends, these will adhere to the outside of the box.After the piece is dry and secure, sand the edges smooth.Now it’s time to stain, I used Minwax® Gel Stain in “Aged Oak.” Be sure to have gloves on and use a cotton cloth to apply. The gel stain was SO easy!!!Next, I sealed it with Minwax® Paste Finishing Wax to give it a protective finish while maintaining a natural look.This Gel Stain is the best!!! It dries fast and no mess!!!


The finishing paste gives the same look on the wood but adds an extra layer of protection.



It’s time to add the planters! I selected 5 different succulents that I found at Lowe’s, all with varying hues, shapes and sizes.


Ta-da! Honestly, I wanted a no-fuss centerpiece that could stay through the seasons. I hit the nail on the head with this one, I absolutely love it!


The stain is just the right shade to balance all the wood tones and brown hues.


A little peek into my new den, aka old dining room.


My favorite part is the circle cut outs, it’s something different. I added pebbles to the planters to give it a finished look.


Modern DIY Succulent PlanterIMG_3187-681x1024

And more succulents in the open shelving:).


Be sure to check out Minwax’s new “Made With Love. Finished With Minwax.” campaign currently going on. The theme is ‘Find. Finish. Love.,’ celebrating the thrill of finding real wood pieces – sometimes in the least expected places – and the joy of making them into something we love.

Jen shares DIY projects and thrifty decorating solutions. Her design philosophy is that bringing style to your home doesn’t have to break the bank. Learn more about Jen and visit City Farmhouse. You Can also follow her on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and Pinterest.


Glass Light Shade Vase: Three Ways with Not JUST a Housewife

By: Guest Blogger

Guest blogger Stacy Risenmay of Not JUST A Housewife is back with a chic, whimsical DIY solution for displaying your summer flowers. Follow her tutorial and see how to create your own glass light shade vase.

When I finished the bathroom in the basement, we couldn’t do recessed lights because of all the pipes and such in the ceiling. I had to find light that didn’t hang down very far from the ceiling since the ceiling is lower in the basement than upstairs and I have a tall husband. I have a love affair with seeded glass (glass with bubbles) and so I ordered some seeded glass light shades online. I ended up with an extra one and it has been sitting on the window ledge for almost two years collecting dust. Every time I get in the shower, I see it sitting there and think that I should do something with it. I decided to make a vase out of it but never got around to it since I could not decide on which base idea to create. Well, this week I decided to make all three and see which one I liked best!


Ever since my first trip to Trader Joe’s a couple weeks ago, I have been wanting to go back for some more fresh flowers. A post about vases was the perfect excuse! It is probably a good thing it is an hour away or I would spend most of my money there.

 Vase 1: Hanging Vase

This first vase I decided to make round. You could make it any shape you want really. After tracing a bowl on the wood, I cut out the 9 inch circle. I then traced another circle in the center. It was 4 inches. Drill a hole large enough that your jigsaw blade can fit then use the jigsaw to cut out the center circle. Be sure to sand it all really well with a 220 grit sandpaper.


I stained it the same color as the peg board and boxes in my new office closet. I love it!


Once the stain was dry, I drilled three small holes evenly around the circle and threaded faux leather lacing through it. I knotted the ends so it wouldn’t pull back through the small holes.


I still can’t believe these giant sunflowers were only a few bucks at Trader Joe’s!



Vase 2: Gold Legs

For this one, I cut out an 8 inch by 8 inch square. I traced a 5 inch circle in the center. Just like the one above, I drilled a hole big enough for the jigsaw blade to fit. I cut out the hole and sanded the whole thing really well.

I had a 1 inch wooden dowel I was going to use for the legs so I used a 1 inch drill bit to drill holes in each corner. Measure and mark it before drilling.

I cut the dowel into 2 1/2 inch pieces for the legs. I didn’t want to too tall, but it needed to be just tall enough that the bottom of the vase wouldn’t touch the table top. Think pot bellied pig verses gangly teenage boy.


I stained it using Minwax® Wood Finish in “Early American.” The legs I spray painted gold. I added some wood glue and pushed the legs into the holes. I waited for the glue to dry before turning it over and adding the vase.


I love that you can see the legs on the top!


I ended up liking the 5 inch size hole better than the 4 inch hole.



Vase 3: Geometric!

I started out by cutting three 8 inch squares out of plywood. You can use any wood, I just chose to use scrap wood for these vases. Once I had the square cut, I measured and marked about an inch and a half from each corner, drew a line, and using the miter saw chopped off the corners. It helps to have clamps to hold the wood in pace on the base of the saw. This created the octagonal shape.

Like the hanging vase, I drilled a large hole for the saw blade to fit through. I used the jigsaw to cut out a center circle in two of the pieces.


You will end up with two pieces that have center circles and one that does not. You can either use wood glue to attach them together or a brad nailer. Putty it really well and when dry, sand it smooth.



I painted it my favorite cobalt blue!



It looks so cheery on the shelf!



Real gerbera daisies are so perfect that they look fake even in person! They are such a great cut flower.



Be sure to check out Minwax’s new “Made With Love. Finished With Minwax.” campaign currently going on. The theme is ‘Find. Finish. Love.,’ celebrating the thrill of finding real wood pieces – sometimes in the least expected places – and the joy of making them into something we love.

Stacy Risenmay is a DIY enthusiast. In her blog, Not Just a Housewife, she shares her adventures of fixing up her 1938 cottage. She believes that whether it’s big or small, everyone should love their space. Learn more about Stacy and visit: You can also follow Stacy on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram


DIY Modern Planter Box with Not JUST a Housewife

By: Guest Blogger

Guest blogger Stacy Risenmay of Not JUST A Housewife is back with a fun project for anyone with a green thumb. Follow her tutorial and see how to bring your garden indoors with this DIY modern planter box. 

Sometimes when I have a big project that is starting to feel overwhelming, I like to stop for a bit and work on a smaller project. I think I just need to FINISH something. When the project or room I am working on seems like it will never be done, it is nice to have a sense of accomplishment that something did get finished. Shane calls it project ADD, I call it keeping my sanity :)

The big project I needed a tiny break from is our upstairs bathroom. The little project I decided to do was this DIY modern planter box.  I partnered with Minwax® to bring you the tutorial. It is pretty simple and would look great indoors or outside on a porch.




3/4″ plywood

Table saw

Miter Saw

Lattice trim

Brad nailer gun


1 1/2″ screws

Wood Putty


Black paint

Minwax® Water Based Wood Sheen

Foam brush

Paper towels

1 1/2″ casters

First, you need to cut out the pieces for the box. I wanted it to be 12 inches wide by 14 inches tall. Since I was doing a basic butt joint, two sides had to be narrower to fit inside the other two sides. You could always do a 45 degree cut to have a prettier corner, but since it was going to be painted and mostly covered up, I didn’t think it mattered to take the extra time. Add the width of two boards and then subtract that from the width you want it to be when completed. For 3/4 inch boards, that is 1 1/2 inches making the inside boards 10.5 inches instead of 12. Because the bottom piece will also fit inside, it will also need to be 10.5 inches.


Because planters will be getting wet when watering the plants inside, the wood will want to warp over time. I have found that brad nails do not hold up well over time. I use screws to hold together planters. Screw together your box, sand it well, and then paint or stain it the base color.


I cut the trim on my miter saw to have 45 degree cuts on each end so when they meet up at the corner they had a nice mitered corner instead of a butt joint. Nail the trim on with a finishing brad nailer or glue it and hold it on with clamps until the glue dries.


Fill the nail holes and any gaps using a wood putty. When it is dry, sand it smooth. Make sure you sand off all putty except where the little nail hole was. Even though putty is stainable, it is only stainable to a point and your finish may look splotchy if you don’t sand off all the extra putty.


Wipe down the planter box after sanding. I ended up hosing mine down because the sawdust in all the little recessed areas was hard to wipe off.  When it is dry, it is time to stain! I chose to use this Minwax® Water Based Wood Sheen. Since it is water-based, it is easy to clean up and because it has a sheen to it, I made sure to wipe off any that got on the painted wood by running a damp cloth over the painted parts. If I had an extra foam brush (I go through them like crazy!) I would have used a damp foam brush since it would have fit so well in between the slats. I did two thin coats. The more coats you add, the more sheen your project will have. I like satin or matte finishes so I didn’t add more but you certainly could for a richer and shinier look.


I am really happy with how it turned out! It is actually going to go in one of the boy rooms I am hoping to work on this summer. That is my next big project after the bathroom renovation. One of the rooms will have a mid-century modern vibe and I think this DIY planter will fit right in with the design.


But for now it will happily reside in our family room!


 Be sure to check out Minwax’s new “Made With Love. Finished With Minwax.” campaign currently going on. The theme is ‘Find. Finish. Love.,’ celebrating the thrill of finding real wood pieces – sometimes in the least expected places – and the joy of making them into something we love.

Stacy Risenmay is a DIY enthusiast. In her blog, Not Just a Housewife, she shares her adventures of fixing up her 1938 cottage. She believes that whether it’s big or small, everyone should love their space. Learn more about Stacy and visit: You can also follow Stacy on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram

Herringbone Wood Headboard with Jenni from I SPY DIY

By: Guest Blogger

Minwax® has partnered with Jenni Radosevich of I SPY DIY. Her mantra is “spot style you love, and do-it-yourself.” See how she created this incredible herringbone headboard in no time at all.


The concept of the herringbone pattern is pretty simple, but I thought there might be some challenges turning it into a headboard. I was beyond happy when this project ended up being easier and way less time consuming than I thought; and turned out even better then I hoped! The guys at the hardware store were skeptical when I showed them the inspiration pic and told them I planned on finishing it in a day. But all the cutting/staining/gluing only took about three hours. Then, I let the glue set over night and spent around two hours the next day adding the frame and poly coats. I made the accent color using Minwax® Water-Based Wood Stain in ‘Pearl Gray”, but you can switch it up to match the decor in your bedroom. All the supplies cost $150 dollars, which is pretty darn good for a custom headboard!



What you’ll need: 
Plywood 4 x 8ft. 1/3 in. thick – for a queen bed cut to 70 in. x 48 in.
7/8in X 3in – 8FT Cedar Boards (18 boards)
7/8in X 2in -8FT Cedar Board (4 boards)
1 Quart Minwax® Water Based Wood Stain – Pearl Gray
1 Quart Minwax® Water Based Wood Stain – White Wash Pickling 
Minwax® Polycrylic™ Protective Finish 
Wood Glue (3 bottles)
2 inch wood screws
Paint brush
Miter saw
Circular saw


I did a bit of guesstimating at the hardware store and bought 18 – 8 ft. pieces of 3 in. cedar. After factoring in a few bad cuts, I had the perfect amount of wood. If you did some more math, you could probably save some money with 12 ft. pieces, but math hurts my brain…
Now time to blast your music and start cutting! Using your miter saw, cut the cedar to 18 in. pieces. After cutting each board down, I laid the pieces on the plywood backing. Place the pieces to create 90 degree angles (butt joints), that repeat to create a vertical herringbone pattern. Once I got to the ends, I cut smaller pieces making sure that all of the plywood backing was covered.



Once all of the pieces were in place, I picked out every third one, brushed it lightly with the Pearl Gray, then set it back into place. Then, I picked out some random ones to stain white. I also flipped some of the raw cedar to show the rough side, and others to show the smooth side, to get a lot of different colors and texture. Doing it this way went a lot faster then I thought, and lets you really make sure you’re getting that unplanned, yet perfect, look!


I experimented with ‘Slate’ and ‘Pearl Gray’ stain. I planned to use both, but ended up just using the ‘Pearl Gray’ and ‘White Wash Pickling’ because I did not want the headboard to look too busy. The ‘Slate’ is gorgeous though, and I can’t wait to use it on another project!


On some of the white washed pieces, I used a super thin layer on the rough side of the cedar, and I LOVE how the wood peeked through. On other pieces, I added a second coat so they would be whiter.


Once your stain is dry to the touch, you can start gluing down the pieces. My brother-in-law came up with the brilliant idea of using his nail gun to secure a zig-zag down the middle as a guideline. Then I worked my way out on both sides, making sure the pattern stayed straight and covered the plywood.


Unfortunately, I don’t have a pic of the next step because I was holding down the wood while my Bro-in-law used a circular saw to cut off all the wood that hung over the plywood; but clamped down a piece of wood along the edge and then ran the circular saw along it to make a straight cut. Next, I created the frame by measuring each side and making 45 degree miter cuts. I did this by making a 45 degree cut on one side, then lined the short end up to one corner, marked the other corner, then cut. I clamped the frame pieces to the headboard and drilled in 2 in. wood screws around the perimeter to secure the frame.


The final step was adding a Polycrylic™ Protective Finish, which was a game changer. It brought out all the beautiful colors of the cedar! Make sure to brush it on, in the direction of grain, then let dry completely.


Securing the newly completed headboard to the wall was a two woman job. We propped it on top of the bed frame to get the right height; then using a stud finder, we then drilled eight screws through the headboard and into the studs to make sure it would stay put on the wall, and voila!

Can’t wait to see your version!


For more of Jenni’s DIY projects. Check out her blog I SPY DIY and follow her on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.