How to Make a Patio Planter


A simple patio planter can be built by anyone with basic carpentry skills. Paint, stain or allow the wood to naturally age to match your landscaping style. Choose cedar or redwood lumber for a natural looking patio planter, as these types of wood are rot resistant and will last longer in an outdoor setting.

Step 1

Use a pencil to mark 24 inches on the board, twice. Make the two cuts where marked. These are the front and back of the patio planter.

Step 2

Use a pencil to mark 8 inches on the remainder of the board, twice. Make the two cuts where marked. These are the two sides of the patio planter.

Step 3

Place the four pieces of wood into a box shape. Set the two longer boards on edge, parallel and the two shorter boards at each end, inside the front and back.

Step 4

Screw the pieces together using the drill and screwdriver attachment. At each end of the front and back boards use four or five screws evenly across. Drill them through the front of the boards, catching the edges of the side boards. When finished, you will have a box shape without a bottom.

Step 5

Measure around the outside of your box. It should be approximately 9 ½ inches wide and 24 inches long. However, an exact measurement is required. Although the lumber is referred to as a 1-by-8, the actual size is ¾ inches-by-8 inches. This is because the lumber industry uses the measurement before a plain is used on the front and back of the boards to even the wood.

Step 6

Use the pencil to mark the exact measurement onto a scrap piece of plywood. Cut the plywood at the marked lines.

Step 7

Place the cut plywood onto the top of the wood box. Screw in a screw about every 5 inches all the way around to connect this bottom piece to the planter box.

Step 8

Cut two pieces of wood, from the left over board, 1 inches wide and 9½ inches long. Place them at the bottom of the planter at each short end. Screw them into the bottom edges of the side boards. This will keep the bottom of the patio planter off of the patio, allowing the excess water to drain easily.

Step 9

Remove the screwdriver attachment, from the drill, and replace it with a round bit. Drill holes, randomly spaced, through the plywood. These holes will allow excess water to escape the confines of the patio planter.

Step 10

Paint or stain the patio planter, if desired.

Things You'll Need

  • Pencil
  • Tape measure
  • Lumber (1-by-8 inches)
  • Saw
  • 1 ½ inch screws
  • Drill and attachments
  • Plywood
  • Sandpaper
  • Stain or Paint (optional)


  • Woodworkers Workshop: Planter Boxes
  • Tailwins: Magical Planter Boxes
  • All About Planters: Garden Planters
Keywords: patio planter, garden planter, wood 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.