Planter boxes are so expensive these days, so why not make your own? These beautiful diy planter boxes will be a great addition to your garden.
We fell a maple tree a couple years ago and had some ‘scrap’ wood to use up. So my handy husband did a lot of work milling the wood and cutting it to 20″ lengths for the planter boxes we wanted to build.
Our finished maple boards varied in width, but the way we built these boxes can easily be translated to the wood you want to use. The principle is the same.
These instructions are for a 20″ square planter box.
Tools we used:
- Tape measure
- Staple gun
- Nail gun
- Table Saw
Materials we used:
- Boards cut to 20″ lengths (We used scrap maple, varied widths)
- 4 bottom inside rails: 1 1/4″ x 1/4″ pine cut to 18 5/8″
- 8 outside rails: 1x2s cedar stock cut to 22 1/2″
- cedar for top frame
- 4 angled pieces for caster footers (optional)
- cedar floor boards
How to Build Planter Boxes
First we made a jig on our work space to streamline the process of making the panels. We made a straight edge by screwing in wood at a right angle and drawing a line on the work space at the 20″ mark.
Instructions for each panel:
We laid out our maple boards to the pre-measured line. Since we used our scrap maple, our boards were different widths so any pieces that overlapped the 20″ mark had to be cut with the saw to fit.
Next we put on the outer rails. The top rail is lined up with the top edge and bottom rail hangs down an inch past the bottom edge. Both are and centered so there’s an overlap on each end. Then we nailed these rails to the panel boards.
Then we flipped the panel over and set the inner rail centered on the bottom edge of the panel and stapled on. These were cut an inch and 3/8 shorter than the panel in order to fit the corners together. The inner rail is important because it helps support the floor boards.
Each panel is the same so repeat this process for all 4 panels.
Before we put the box together, we coated the inside of the panels with olive oil. Olive oil was the best, cheapest option we could come up with that won’t go rancid and won’t be harmful to whatever we plant in these boxes.
Next we nailed the panels together. The drawing below shows how we assembled the panels. By overlapping each panel in a clockwise fashion we created a perfect box.
We made a top frame with the pre-cut mitered pieces and nailed to the top of the box. And we put the bottom cedar boards in.
The last step we did was nail in the 45 degree angled pieces to each corner. We wanted to include these footers in case we want to put casters on in the future.
Here’s the finished product. I’m so happy with how they turned out! We also made a couple 4 foot long planter boxes for bell peppers and an herb garden. Our planter boxes have a happy home next to our raised garden beds. You can adapt the instructions above to make any size box you want. We hope you like our planter boxes and build some to add to your garden or patio area. Enjoy!