Final Project: Final Report Part One(Self Watering Planter)

The basis of my design was a planter that would give me the ability to add greenery to my living area, without taking up too much space.  As a result I created a basic design of a vertical shelf planter.  At the beginning of the process I was under the impression that I would possibly be moving into an apartment with rafters that I could hang things from.  As a result I decided to make the planter able to both stand and hang.  This involved using an attachable hook and rope system in conjunction with a removable shelf to make the structure look appropriate in both applications.  The images of this idea is shown in the CAD renderings and prototype below.

As I moved forward with the process I discovered that I will not be living in the apartment with the raptures and as such will not have hanging capabilities.  As a result I decided to go forward with some design changes.  Instead of the hanging/standing aspect I added a self watering system using tubing and pumps in the two blue metal troughs.  The tubing starts at the pumps and runs along the legs of the shelving.  It then crosses over the top of the planters on the bottom of the shelves, and holes are drilled so that water rains down.  I also decided to use rectangular planters, as they containment holes proved easier to cut in rectangular shapes.



The manufacturing of the shelf was a rather involved process.  The frame of the self is made of 1” by 1” steel tubing, and is welded together to angle irons that support the wooden shelves that are bolted in.  the shelves themselves were constructed from plywood and the basic rectangular shape was cut with a table saw.  I then used a sawzall to cut the holes for the pots and trough themselves.  The trough were waterproofed used a waterproofing spray and painted blue. The tubing was added at the very end and holes were drill inside using a hand drill.


I didn’t really have a strict original budget, but the breakdown of the overall costs is as follows.

  • 1’’x1’’x3’6’’ Steel tubing x4 – $30(includes cutting fee)
  • 1’’x1’’x1’ Angle Iron x8 – $20(includes cutting fee)
  • 4’x4’ plywood – $30
  • Submersible Pumps x2 – $30
  • Terracotta planters x4 – $50
  • Blue Metal Paint – $5
  • Wood Stain(Espresso) – Free(already had)  
  • Wood Finish – Free(already had)
  • Waterproofing spray – $10
  • Tubing – Free(already had)
  • Fasteners – $5                       

Total: $180

Video of My presentation:

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4 Comments. Leave new

  • Chris Mcfadden
    May 8, 2019 2:01 pm

    Really cool project and turn out great! I was a little iffy on if you were going to get the drainage and flow rates right but only time will tell. Looks like you put a LOT of work into it

  • Alexis Nibbelink
    May 6, 2019 10:42 pm

    Morgan your final project is pretty awesome. I can tell you put a lot of effort into it, especially welding the frame together. I love the overall look and the functionality of the self-watering.

  • Hi Morgan,
    This was an amazing project! You put a lot of time and effort into your design and construction and it definitely shows. The fact that you took the time to weld everything together despite the poor equipment you had access to already shows great initiative. Overall, I love the final product and you did a great job!

  • Hey Morgan, this came out really awesome! I didn’t picture it being so large! It must have taken quite a while to weld that entire frame together, but defini8tely worth the effort. I think adding some LEDs around the frame will make this project really pop.


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