Fresh and colorful, your plants are a valued part of your home and yard. Each plant has its own unique character. Over time, they become friends that nourish our souls and enhance our homes. But plants deserve a better home than sitting on the ground in germination trays. Pot your plants, then elevate and show them off in a DIY planter box that you build in less than two hours.
Basics of This Easy-to-Build DIY Planter Box
This DIY planter box is inexpensive and easy to build. It is constructed from 3-1/2-inch by 32-inch knotty pine beaded wainscot, a single two-by-four, one small piece of trim, and some plywood. If you wish, this project is also a great way to use up scrap materials that may be cluttering your yard or shop.
This planter box is long and narrow and it is mounted on four legs. It is 20 inches high, 32 inches long, and 14 inches wide. An inner shelf, disguised by the planter box's sides, can hold pots or planting trays up to a weight limit of 50 pounds.
Equipment / Tools
- Speed Square
- Electric miter saw
- Circular saw
- Cordless drill and screw driving bit
- Painter's tape
- Carpenter's pencil
- Tape measure
- Cordless brad nailer
- Roofing nails
- Exterior-grade paint or stain
- 1 12-pack 3-1/2-inch by 32-inch knotty pine beaded wainscot
- 1 two-by-four, 8-foot
- 1 one-by-two, 62 inches or longer
- 3/4-inch plywood
Cut the Wood
With the electric miter saw, cut the wood for the planter box according to this cut list:
- 8 pieces of wainscot at 32 inches
- 8 pieces of wainscot at 14 inches
- 4 pieces of two-by-four, each at 20 inches
- 2 pieces of one-by-two at 31 inches each
With the circular saw, cut:
- 1 piece of 3/4-inch plywood at 10-1/2 inches by 31 inches
Dry-Fit the Long Panels
Begin by constructing the two long sides of the planter box. Lay two of the 20-inch two-by-fours parallel on a flat surface. Fit four pieces of wainscot together, tongue into groove, to create a panel. Tape the panel with painter's tape to hold it together.
Place the Panel on the Legs
Rest the panel on top of the legs. On the sides, the panel should overhang by the thickness of a piece of wainscot. On top, step back the two-by-four 1 inch as a decorative effect to hide the two-by-four.
Nail the Panels to the Legs
With the electric brad nailer, nail the panel to the legs. Use six to eight brads/nails per leg. Repeat for the other long side of the planter box. Remove the painter's tape.
To save time, you can lay the materials for the second leg/panel set on top of the first, completed one. The first panel will act as a ready-made template for the second panel.
Dry-Fit the Short Panels
Push four of the short pieces of wainscot together, tongue into groove. Once they are tight, lay strips of painter's tape over the top to hold it in place. Repeat for the other short panel.
Nail the Short Panels in Place
Put one of the short panels at the end of the planter box. If needed, hold it together with a carpenter's clamp. With the cordless nailer, nail the panel into place, using about six to eight brads/nails per leg. Remove the tape. Carefully turn the planter box over and repeat on the other side.
Add Roofing Nails
With the hammer, pound in four roofing nails per leg. For a more pleasing look, mark a light pencil line to keep all of the nails in a straight line.
The roofing nails are added not just for their holding abilities but for their aesthetic effect. As such, you may choose to double the number of nails or use different types of decorative nails.
Add the Shelf Rails
Choose your desired height for the planter box's inner shelf. With the Speed Square or tape measure, mark this on each of the four legs, on the inside. With the cordless drill with a screw driving bit, add the shelf rails at these marks, two screws per rail. Repeat on the other side.
Add the Shelf
Place the shelf on top of the rails. Drill several 1/4-inch holes in the shelf to promote water drainage.
Paint or Stain the DIY Planter Box
The planter box can be painted or stained to any color. Since the box will be outside, use exterior-grade paint or a stain that includes weather protectant.