How to Build a Wooden Planter


Planters are ideal for use on patios or under windowsills. You can plant anything in them, such as flowers, herbs, fruits or vegetables. It is rewarding and less expensive than purchasing planters from local nurseries. Building a planter box requires a good amount of materials, and some time and patience.

Step 1

Put on heavy-duty work gloves, eyewear and a dust mask before you begin working to protect yourself. You can find unfinished planter boxes at your local gardening store in a range of materials, or build and finish one yourself.

Step 2

Create the front and the back of the planter. Cut two pieces of wood that are about 30 inches long with the circular saw from the 6-foot by 1-inch by 8-inch board.

Step 3

Create the bottom of the planter. Cut one 30-inch-long piece from the 4-foot by 1-inch by 8-inch wooden board. Place the saw's bevel at a 10-degree angle, then cut the wood so it is 5 inches at the thickest point.

Step 4

Cut two different parts to be the sides of the wooden planter with the saw. They should measure about 5 to 6 inches wide and around 6 inches tall.

Step 5

Fit together the wooden planter pieces, securing them with wood glue. Before gluing them together, cut any awkward angles that are protruding.

Step 6

Create drainage holes in the bottom of the planter that are about 1/4 inch in diameter. Drill enough holes so that there will be even drainage along the entire bottom of the planter.

Step 7

Sand the edges and sides of the planter box, smoothing everything out. If you are going to paint the planter, make sure to use primer and waterproof paint. You can also stain the wooden planter.

Step 8

Decorate the planter box, if desired, with stencils, designs or embellishments like fake butterflies or jewels.

Things You'll Need

  • Work gloves
  • Protective eyewear
  • Dust mask
  • Circular saw
  • Drill/driver with bits
  • Tape measure
  • Clamps
  • 6-foot by 1-inch by 8-inch wooden board
  • 4-foot by 1-inch by 8-inch wooden board
  • Water-resistant wood glue
  • Sandpaper
  • Primer and waterproof paint
  • Wood stain or sealer
  • Stencils or designs (optional)


  • DIY Planter Box Construction
  • The Family Handyman magazine: Wood Finishing Tips
  • Wooden Window Planter Boxes
Keywords: building planter boxes, wooden plant design, container gardens

About this Author

Lauren Wise is a journalism major from Arizona State University with over forty published magazine and media articles and over 400 Web site articles. Wise owns Midnight Publishing with over eight years experience as a writer, editor, copywriter and columnist. She specializes in food and wine, music and pop culture. Her writing has appeared in magazines including Runway, A2Z, Scottsdale Luxury Living and True West.