DIY Wood Planter Box Plans


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January 23, 2020
Zoe Hunt

Learn how to build an outdoor planter box with these easy plans.

DIY planter box next to blue front door

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience (which means if you make a purchase after clicking a link, I earn a small commission, but it won’t cost you a penny more)!

In the spirit of trying to make my front porch more inviting, I decided a nice wood planter box would be the answer. Not only would it add livelihood from the plants, but the wood would add some much-needed warmth to the front porch.

I found these incredible planter boxes at World Market, and the price wasn’t awful, but I knew we could build one for less. Plus, why buy when you could DIY? ?

Want to DIY buy don\'t know where to start? Click here to grab your free guide!

Alright, let’s start DIYing!


New to DIY? Check out our post on beginner woodworking tools to determine which tools to get!

What You’ll Need

  • (2) – 2x2x8 common pine boards
  • (12) – 1x2x8 common pine boards
  • (1) – 1x3x8 common pine board
  • (1) – 14″ plastic pot (to insert into the planter, so don’t worry about picking a cute one. We got this one)
  • 2.5″ wood screws
  • wood glue
  • finishing nails
  • 80 grit sandpaper
  • something to use as spacers (I used a felt furniture pad)
  • outdoor stain (you want to make sure to grab outdoor stain so that it can withstand water – we used Valspar Semi-Transparent Exterior Stain and Sealer in Pine Bark)Not sure if pine is the right choice for you? Read this before using pine on outdoor projects.

How to Build a Planter Box

New to DIY? Download our free 5 Steps to Getting Start with DIY guide!

DIY wood planter tutorial

Step 1: cut your wood

It is always more accurate to cut your wood as you go through a project than cutting it all upfront. The following measurements serve as a guide, but yours might differ from mine.

Cut your 2x2s into:

  • (4) 23.75″ pieces for your legs
  • (6) 13 7/8″ pieces for your frame

Cut your 1x2s into:

  • (2) 13 7/8″ pieces
  • (4) – 16.5″
  • (26) 16 7/8″
  • (26) – 18 3/8″

Step 2: make your frame

Make the bottom frame using your 2x2s. Make a square by attaching 13 7/8″ pieces to the legs using wood glue and screws.

We made our bottom frame 1 screw head from the bottom of the legs so that the bottom frame would not be touching the ground. This will help with drainage and prevent the wood from rotting.

assembling 2x2s with drill and glue

Determine what height you need to place your remaining 2x2s. To figure this out, measure the height of your plastic planter and add .75″ – 1″. The top of your remaining 2x2s should be that distance from the top of the planter. You will glue and screw one into opposite sides.

wood planter inner frame

Hold your plastic planter in place and mark on the 2x2s where the feet of the planter are. Place your 16.5″ 1x2s on top of the 2x2s and test to make sure they are in the correct position to hold the feet of the planter. If so, glue and nail the 1x2s into the 2x2s.

determining planter support board placement

Using the (2) 13 7/8″ 1x2s, glue and nail them towards the top of your frame on the sides that you did not add the 2×2 supports. This will help square up your planter.

DIY wood planter box frame

STEP 3: sand

Quickly sand your (52) 1x2s that will be the outside of the planter. We just used 80-grit. If you want a smoother finish, you can sand using a higher grit sandpaper. We decided it wasn’t necessary since it will be outside.

Free download wood sizing cheatsheet

Step 4: stain

Stain your (52) 1x2s and frame using an exterior stain.

staining 1x2s using Valspar Pine Bark exterior stain

Step 5: attach your 1x2s

Once the stain is dry, it’s time to start attaching the 1x2s to the frame. I started with the two short sides so that I could line up the edges of the 1x2s with the corners of the frame. I used two felt furniture pads for the spacing (one on each side). They measured exactly 3/16″ high.

Glue and nail each 1×2 in place. Place the spacers in on the other side between each board. Attach both of the short sides and then attach the long sides.

adding slats to frame using spacers

Step 6: Make the top

Time to make the top frame out of the 1×3! Place your plastic planter in place while you measure for the 1x3s. Measuring for one piece at a time, place the 1×3 on top of the planter and mark the corners. Cut the 1×3 at a 45-degree angle.

Place the piece you just cut in place and use it as a guide when getting the other measurements.

mitered corners around planter

Sand and stain your 1x3s.

Attach your 1x3s with glue and nails.

Wooden planter tutorial

There you have it! A DIY planter box with a modern design. Now the question is, what type of plants are you going to put in it?

More Outdoor Ideas: DIY Porch Swing Plans | DIY Outdoor Sofa | DIY Fire Pit Table | DIY Porch Swing Bed | DIY Outdoor Bar Cart with Ice Storage | DIY Hammock Stand Plans

More Planter Ideas: DIY Herb Planter Boxes | $3 Cedar Hanging Planters | DIY Privacy Wall with Hanging Planters | Easy DIY Plant Stands | Large Slatted Planter Box | DIY Privacy Screen with Built-In Planter | DIY Tall Tapered Planter Box | 50+ DIY Planter Ideas

Wood planter box on front porch next to Sherwin Williams Moody Blue front door
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  1. Wendy Harms says:

    Love the look. If I had the carpenters skills I would make a couple. The only spin I’d put on it would be to make a little door in the bottom back to store things. I have limited space and that would be great to store the gardening odds and ends. Thank you for sharing your beautiful idea!

    • Zoe Hunt says:

      Thanks Wendy! This project is great for beginners if you’re looking to learn some new skills 😉 GREAT idea with the added storage!

  2. Sean says:

    It would be more ideal to use fractions and not decimals for the measurements.

  3. Lilly says:

    Hi, I was wondering where you buy your wood? I’ve tried Ace, Home Depot and Lowe’s and the wood there is more expensive than $75

    • Zoe Hunt says:

      We bought our wood a few years ago at Lowes. Prices have fluctuated a lot since then. A lumber yard might have less expensive options!

  4. Jackie says:

    These planters turned out so cute!!! They are the perfect finishing touch on your porch. This would be such a fun summer project. We are doing some kitchen cabinet refinishing next week so maybe after that this will be next on our to-do list. Thanks so much for sharing!!!

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