12 Free DIY Raised Planter Box Plans

raised planter boxes

The Spruce / Christopher Lee Foto

Use one of these free raised planter box plans to get all the advantages of a traditional garden with a lot less work. You'll spend less time pulling weeds, have better soil control, and have the flexibility to move the planter box around (depending on its size and type of construction). Raised planter boxes are a step up from a container garden, giving you more room for everything you want to grow.

Raised planter boxes are relatively easy to make and can be inexpensive to construct in under a day. Whether you fill the raised planter box with vegetables, flowers, or herbs, you'll enjoy the convenience of having a designated area to grow them.

  • 01 of 12

    How to Build a Planter Box

    A wooden planter box on a porch

    Chatfield Court 

    This raised planter box from Chatfield Court takes it to the next level with a counter-height box, which makes it easier by not having to bend down to take care of your little garden. It has a nice rustic look plus a lower shelf that you can use for storage or decorations. It would look great on a deck, porch, or patio.

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    Raised Planter Boxes With Sub-Irrigation

    A planter box sitting on a deck
    Home Made by Carmona

    This raised planter box plan from Home Made by Carmona gives you the advantage of a raised garden and the luxury of a self-watering system. The instructions include how to build a raised bed out of cedar and add a sub-irrigation system, so you only have to remember to water a few times a month.

  • 03 of 12

    Raised Vegetable Garden with Compost Bins

    A raised vegetable garden with hanging planters

    Lazy Guy DIY 

    This raised planter box plan from Lazy Guy DIY gives you a space for everything you need for a raised vegetable garden. There are three areas for plants along with separate areas for composting. The compost feeds the surrounding plants, giving them the nutrients needed for growth. This planter box accommodates hanging plants at the top of the structure.

  • 04 of 12

    Rolling Planter Box

    A rolling planter box being watered with a hose

    Kleinworth & Co. 

    This raised planter box from Kleinworth & Co. adds another advantage to having a raised bed garden; it's on wheels. Casters make this raised planter box easy to move for watering, a shift in light requirements, or transporting indoors or elsewhere in case of bad weather or overwintering.

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  • 05 of 12

    Raised Garden Planter Box

    An unfinished wooden planter box in a garage

    Jennifer Meyering 

    This DIY raised planter box plan from Jennifer Meyering is taller than most, putting it at about desk level. The application of stain makes the planter look good enough to sit right by your front door. When it is not in use as a planter, it can be used as a potting bench due to its height.

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    Stand Up Planter Box

    A wooden planter box on rocks

    Jon Peters 

    This plan from Jon Peters builds a fairly large planter box, measuring 60 inches by 36 inches. It's also raised 32 inches to reduce the need for bending over so much. The free plan includes a video tutorial. Instead of having a solid bottom, a wire mesh sheet is stapled into the wood bottom, and then, it's framed in with wooden boards to give it extra support. This window box's water drainage solution is a good option for plants that require adequate or fast-draining soil.

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    Tiered Planting Box for Strawberries and More

    The materials list and step-by-step instructions for this tiered planter from Hydrangea Treehouse make it clear: $30, an afternoon, and some basic woodshop skills can get you a raised planter box with levels—perfect for growing strawberries or just about anything that can grow in 5 inches of soil. The entire planter measures 34.5 inches wide and 23 inches tall. Each of the three planter boxes is 30 inches wide by 7 inches deep by 5.5 inches high.

  • 08 of 12

    Raised Planter Box With Trellis

    Self-taught carpenter Jen Woodhouse made raised planter boxes backed by a trellis. Aesthetically, the design blends in with the size and shape of her home's windows, coming close to the same measurements and giving her home's exterior added symmetry. Vining plants and vegetables appreciate the support, too!

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  • 09 of 12

    Upcycled Idea for a Planter Box

    You can cut your work down tremendously by finding existing items and transforming them into what you need them to be. For example, if you have an old chest of drawers (or can get your hands on one) that needs hauling to the dump, turn those drawers into fully functional planter boxes in minutes. Jazz up the drawer with a coat of paint—or not. This plan provided by Spaceman Spiff has a star-spangled theme; however, your options are limitless. Add legs made from pipes or caster wheels that you can source from your local hardware store (or strip them from something else that's headed to a landfill).

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    Reclaimed Wood Planter Box

    One source for free wood is shipping pallets. Pallets are often found in refuse piles near construction sites, industrial areas, and by the garbage bins of big box stores. Of course, you should always ask if the pallets are free to take before you haul them away. The most challenging part is prying the wood apart and removing the nails (many nails are used to make pallets). But, after that, you can follow this plan from Instructables DIYer Mtairymd for a nice cube-shaped painter box. If you want to make it extra special, add a center post for supporting hanging planters.

  • 11 of 12

    Window Planter Boxes

    If ground space is at a minimum, or if you live in an apartment and want to try your hand at gardening while never leaving the house, a windowsill planter box fits the bill. You can grow anything in window planter boxes from herbs, flowers, or spillers that liven up the look of your home.

  • 12 of 12

    Wooden Pallet Raised Planter

    Instead of breaking down a pallet for its wood, you can keep it intact, add some landscaping fabric into the open spaces as a backing and staple it onto the wood. The fabric contains the soil (and plants) while allowing adequate drainage after watering. Another benefit: the water from the upper levels trickles down to the lower levels, saving some water in the process. Building this unique planter can take a few hours—to a few days—it all depends on if you decide to paint or stain it. In most cases, you likely will want to cover it with a layer of outdoor decking paint since most pallets have stamps or markings that might appear unsightly.