Did anyone else have to create a topography map in school growing up? I remember cutting cardboard with an X-acto knife into dozens of oblong shapes and gluing them together. I can’t remember what made me think of it the other day, but I started to think about how topography maps are really cool to look at. The thought process progressed and the next thing I know I am gathering plywood scraps and cutting out oblong shapes to glue together.
I think the view from the top is my favorite!
My first idea was to make a vase and I made this before the planter. Since both the planter and the vase are basically made the same way, I have just one tutorial.
Bud Vase (I like the test tube style) or Succulent Plant
#1. Start by drawing the smallest shape first. Just freehand it.
#2. Cut out the first shape with a jig saw and then trace it. Once it is traced draw a shape slightly larger around it. This will be the line you follow to make the next cut.
#3. Continue doing that until you have a stack high enough for your bud vase to fit inside or deep enough for a small succulent.
#4. Sand them smooth.
#5. Start from the bottom and glue them together. Avoid getting glue in the center since you will be drilling a hole for the vase. Every few layers nail them together.
*If you are making a planter, you will need a hole at least 2-3 inches wide which is wider than a paddle bit. Drill a hole large enough for the blade of a jig saw to fit through and then use the jig saw to cut a circle in the center. Don’t cut a circle in the last one since that will be the bottom but do drill a hole for drainage.
After the holes are cut for the planter, you can glue and nail them together.
#6. Once the glue has had a chance to dry, drill a hole deep enough that your bud vase will fit down inside.
My bud vase fit right down in. But if you want, it would also look good to have a little of the glass bud vase peek out.
I decided not to stain the vase. I added some wipe on poly and called it good.
I decided to stain the planter in Early American from Minwax. Since the plywood is very porous, I added the wood conditioner before staining.
I think I might make a larger version out of solid wood. What do you think? Would it look good larger and on a patio?
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