Learn how to build an outdoor planter box with these easy plans.
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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? ?
Alright, let’s start DIYing!
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)
How to Build a Planter Box
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Step 4: stain
Stain your (52) 1x2s and frame using an 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.
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.
Sand and stain your 1x3s.
Attach your 1x3s with glue and nails.
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?
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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!
Thanks Wendy! This project is great for beginners if you’re looking to learn some new skills 😉 GREAT idea with the added storage!
It would be more ideal to use fractions and not decimals for the measurements.
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
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!
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!!!