Instructions for Making Garden Planters


Garden planters add dimension and character to your landscape. Whether you fill an old wheelbarrow with herbs or overflow a pail with petunias, planters help decorate your property. You can also make a garden planter using materials specifically designed for landscaping. Build a custom-sized box planter with materials that are already treated to withstand the elements. Few building skills are needed to build a box-style planter from landscaping material.

Step 1

Cut four 4-by-4 landscape timbers into four 2 feet sections. Each landscape timber is 8 feet long, so you will end up with 16 2-feet-long sections to build the planter box.

Step 2

Stack two 2-feet-long timbers, one on top of the other, so that the edges are flush. Hammer one 6-inch pole barn nail straight through the top timber and into the bottom timber, 3 inches from each end. Stack and nail two more timbers, one timber at a time. The four connected timbers make one side of the planter box.

Step 3

Repeat Step 2 three more times to make three more sides of the planter box.

Step 4

Stand two of the side panels perpendicular to each other at a 90-degree angle to create one corner of the planter box. The outside edge of the panels should be flush.

Step 5

Hammer four 6-inch pole barn nails straight through the solid timber where the two meet to create a corner. The nails will fit into the cut edges of the timbers that make up the second panel. Space the nails 2 inches and 6 inches from the top and the bottom edge of the planter.

Step 6

Repeat Step 5 to attach the remaining two sides together. Connect the two corner sections together with four nails along the vertical edges, the same way that you joined the side panels to each other. Your planter box now has four connected sides.

Step 7

Measure the dimensions of the base of the planter from outside edge to outside edge. Cut a 1/2-inch treated plywood board to fit these dimensions. Attach the board to the base of the planter sides with 2-inch nails.

Step 8

Drill 1/4-inch diameter drainage holes in the treated plywood. Space the holes 4 inches apart inside the planter box. Four to six holes will be sufficient.

Things You'll Need

  • 4-by-4 landscape timbers, 4
  • Measuring tape
  • Saw
  • 6-inch pole barn nails
  • Hammer
  • 1/2-inch treated plywood sheet
  • 2-inch nails
  • Drill
  • 1/4-inch diameter drill bit


  • Repair-Home: Making Your Own Planter

Who Can Help

  • HomeTips: How to Cut Wood With a Handsaw
Keywords: landscape timber planter, planter box, garden planter

About this Author

Katherine Kally is a freelance writer specializing in eco-friendly home improvement projects, practical craft ideas and cost effective decorating solutions. Kally's work has been featured on sites across the Web. She holds a Bachelor of Science in psychology from the University of South Carolina and is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.