How to Make Wood Planters


An easy wood planter can be built by an inexperienced gardener, who has minimal carpentry skills. The first thing to be aware of is that a board that is called a 1-by-8 by the lumberyard clerk, actually measures ¾-inch-by-8 inches. The measurement used, by lumberyard clerks, is the one before a planer has shaved off the flat sides of the board to make them even.

Step 1

Measure, mark and cut three pieces of wood, each 18 inches long. These pieces are the front, back and bottom of the wood planter.

Step 2

Measure, mark and cut two pieces of wood, each 7¼ inches long. These pieces are the two sides of the wood planter.

Step 3

Place one of the 18-inch boards down on your work area. This is the bottom of the planter. Spread wood glue on both outside long edges. Butt another 18-inch board against the first board. The two boards together will make a 90-degree angle. Place the last 18-inch board on the opposite side, in the same manner. This makes a three-sided box.

Step 4

Spread glue on three sides of each of the two shorter boards. Leave one of the 8-inch sides free of glue. Place one of the smaller pieces of wood at each end of the box, tucked to the inside of the three sides that were glued. Leave the box to dry overnight.

Step 5

Screw horizontally along the bottom outside boards, with your screws, drill and screwdriver attachment. Put a screw in about 4 to 5 inches. The screw should go through the outside of the wood and catch into the edges of the bottom wood piece.

Step 6

Put screws in, vertically, along the short end of the front and back boards. The screws will start on the outside of these longer boards, with the screw working into the edges of the shorter side boards.

Step 7

Turn the planter upside-down. Place screws along the short end of the bottom board, catching in the bottom edges of the short, side boards.

Step 8

Drill holes across the bottom board of the planter, at random, with your drill and a round drill bit attachment. These are called drainage holes, which allow excess water to drain from the plants.

Step 9

Seal the wood planter with an exterior product. Use a clear sealer, stain or paint. Brush it on the inside and outside of the box.

Things You'll Need

  • 1 piece of lumber (1-by-8)
  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
  • Saw
  • Wood glue
  • 1½ inch screws
  • Drill and attachments
  • Sealer or exterior paint
  • Paintbrush


  • Woodworkers Workshop: Planter Boxes
  • Build Easy: Making a Simple Planter Box
  • Oklahoma State Education: Easy Things to Make
Keywords: planter box, wood planter, build a planter

About this Author

Karen Ellis has been a full-time writer since 2006. She is an expert crafter, with more than 30 years of experience in knitting, chrocheting, quilting, sewing, scrapbooking and other arts. She is an expert gardener, with lifelong experience. Ellis has taken many classes in these subjects and taught classes, as well.