Introduction

metal tiles planter
Photo: Kristine Larsen
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The patterns in most old metal ceilings were stamped in a tic-tac-toe formation, but instead of Xs and Os, the same floral or geometric design was repeated in each quadrant. To sheath a wooden planter box, I used salvaged tiles in just such a grid with four 6-by 6-inch squares stacked one on top of the other and 12 across. Working from those dimensions, I cut the box’s wooden sides so the metal would fold neatly around its four corners. I left a 6-inch reveal at the top so I could tuck and nail the last layer of metal squares inside the box for a finished look. To guard against rot and insect damage, I built the planter out of ½-inch pressure-treated plywood and inserted a plastic liner. Read on for the step-by-step.
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    Tools List

    • hammer
      Hammer
    • mallet
      Rubber mallet
    • metal cutting snips
      Snips
    • mason's brush
      Wire brush
    • gloves
      Gloves
    • dual cartridge respirator
      Respirator

    Shopping List

    1. Vintage embossed metal ceiling panel
    (about $10 per square foot at salvage yards)

    2. ½-inch pressure-treated plywood

    3. Plastic planter insert

    4. 1 ½-inch finish nails

    5. Steel tacks