How to Build a Decorative Pedestal

I’m back (so soon!) to share my DIY decorative pedestal. While they have been a recent home decor trend, I think pedestals are a timeless way to elevate the look of an office, living room, hallway, or entry vignette. After casually shopping for one online, I decided to make one myself. Read on for a complete tutorial, a look behind-the-scenes at the process, plus a roundup of some ready-made pedestals if you’re in more of an “add-to-cart” mood.

I initially shared my pedestal last week in my budget home office makeover, styled with a terracotta vase and flowers. It was the perfect way to fill negative space on a small wall and has offered a fun excuse to pick up grocery store florals each week. Sarah has shared a DIY pedestal makeover before, so check that out if you already have a simple pedestal that you’d like to spruce up. And if you have a pedestal but aren’t sure what to display, check out this roundup of terracotta vases , or this plaster bust DIY. If you are starting from scratch like I was, keep reading!

Supplies

I wanted to keep this DIY simple & inexpensive; the perfect project to complete over a weekend. Here’s what we used…

Step 1: Build the Base

The first step was to determine the shape, style, and size of the pedestal. I love the simplicity of this option, so I went with a similar style for mine. I measured the wall where I planned to place the pedestal, and decided on 11″ x 11″ x 42″ for the measurements.

The process started with building a base pedestal that would eventually have a top & sides added. This is where we used 3 support blocks (on the top, bottom, and center) that we wrapped in particle board. Really any type of wood could be used for this, but we had some leftover material which helped keep the cost of this project low. Some wood glue & finishing nails made for a super sturdy base that we planned to wrap in solid wood, but you could wrap it in trim like Sarah’s pedestal, or other decorative moulding or finishes- like a natural stone tile.

Step 2: Finish Trim

We wrapped the base pedestal in 1 x 12 pine boards that were mitered with the table saw for a clean aesthetic. I also left a couple inches showing on the top and bottom of the base to mimic the geometric shape of the inspiration pedestal. To assemble, we clamped, glued, and nailed the pine to the particle board base. We then glued & nailed a square piece of 2 x 12 to the top to complete the pedestal construction.

Step 3: Fill, Sand, & Paint

I then filled the mitered corners and nail holes, along with any imperfections in the wood. After sanding it smooth and caulking the corners, the pedestal was prepped for primer & paint.

For a tone-on-tone look, I painted the pedestal with my favorite high-touch enamel paint color-matched to the white wall of my office (PPG’s Delicate White).

The Finished Look

All that was left to do was move the pedestal to my office & style it! I photographed it with a terracotta vase I found at HomeGoods (similar vase here), but I’ve already played with various pieces in my vessel collection and each one looks more elevated & intentional than if it were on a counter or desktop.

Readymade Pedestals

Click directly on each pedestal below to be redirected.

marble pedestal // faceted pedestal // fluted wood pedestal // arhaus pedestal // outdoor plaster pedestal // viola marble pedestal // wood column pedestal // luca pedestal // dark marble pedestal // concrete pedestal // galerie pedestal

FAQ

Is the pedestal heavy or hard to move?

No! We definitely saved some weight by using particle board for the base structure… it’s quite easy to move around and try in different places around the house.

Do you have any painting tips for a smooth finish?

I strongly believe in high-quality paint (I linked my favorite in the post!) and I did a light sand of the pedestal in between each coat. For more painting tips check out Sarah’s post, with pro painting tips.

Does the vase scuff up the pedestal or leak water?

My terracotta vase isn’t water tight, so I placed a cheap glass vase inside it to hold any florals. It also acts as a sort of floral frog to assist in the arranging! To avoid any scuffs, I look for vases and vessels that have protective pads on the bottom (or add them myself)!

I hope you enjoyed this project tutorial, and I hope you’ll let me know if you try it! What do you think? Would you style a pedestal in your home?

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6 Comments

  1. Good morning, Jordan! What a fantastic project! Like yourself, I’ve poked around the internet for an interesting pedestal to grace an awkward, empty space. Alas, I’ve resisted the add-to-cart urge, lest my wallet become an awkward, empty space. 😬 You certainly solved the dilemma beautifully. Your pedestal is a dead ringer for the inspiration piece at (what I imagine is) a fraction of the cost. I understand why you were smitten; that simple stepped-back detail at the top and bottom is perfection. Following your crystal-clear tutorial, I’m imagining countless columnar constructions. Tiled. Fluted. Moulded. Plastered! Endless possibilities. I’m not currently in my DIY era, but you’ve definitely piqued my interest. Thanks for sharing your fun and inspiring work! Cheers to a magnificent midweek and happy May!💜

    1. Jordan Thomson says:

      Thank you, Peggi! My pedestal was definitely a fraction of the cost of the inspiration…especially since we used wood & paint that we already had. I’ve noticed so many more corners of my home that could use a pedestal and may have to use one of your ideas…a fluted pedestal would be so pretty & I always love a good plaster project! Thanks so much for your kind words and happy May Day!!

  2. Good morning Jordan! What a lovely tutorial! I too have searched pedestals; although I’ve found some dreamy options, sticker shock has stopped me from pulling the trigger. Yours is a dead ringer to the inspiration pedestal; kudos to you, your know-how, and your diy skills! I adore the simple, modern lines and the step back detail. You have the wheels turning this morning on some of the options I’ve found in the past. This looks easy and simple enough! By the way, placing a cheap vase inside your vessel is smart- I’d never have thought of that, but now that you’ve shared the tip, I’ll be keeping that in mind for my own vessels. It looks beautiful in your office, and the styling options are endless. Fantastic diy share friend! I hope May is off to a lovely start for you. We’re rained in again. Womp womp womp. Cheers to midweek!

    1. Happy May!
      Your pedestal is beautiful Jordan! And it’s definitely giving me graceful gallery vibes. What a fantastic tutorial, and a great DIY 👍 it’s the perfect location and fresh flowers are always in style. Love it!
      Your office looks so inviting and all the details are elegant and refined. So lovely!
      I’ll let you know if I tackle this project as I’m on garden detail at the moment. Have a wonderful day and thanks for sharing 😍

      1. Jordan Thomson says:

        Happy May, Colleen! Thank you so much! I’ve been very happy to have my work space complete & it has been very helpful in my own yard planning lately. I hope your week is going well and that you get to enjoy your hard work in the garden!

    2. Jordan Thomson says:

      Thank you very much, Lauren! The cost of ready-made pedestals has also shocked me at times, so I’m glad I could figure out a DIY option to share. I’m sorry it’s raining for you, but I hope the rain brings a green summer! We’ve also had a slow start to spring – hoping for some warmer weather this weekend. Happy May and have a wonderful rest of your week!