How to Build a Wood Planter


A planter box provides many advantages to a home gardener. It adds dimension to the outside of a house, enables a person to enjoy a garden even if ground soil quality is poor, and reduces the chances of pests destroying the crop. Although you can use a variety of materials to make a decorative yet functional planter, wood is widely used due to its natural look and the ability to blend in anywhere you place it.

Step 1

Decide the width, depth and height of the wood planter so you can purchase boards accordingly. Select where in your garden, patio, courtyard or on your balcony you want to place it, or measure the specific area with a tape measure. Decide whether you want a square, rectangular or an angular shape. However, do not keep it wider than 4 feet, otherwise, accessing the middle from a side may prove difficult.

Step 2

Purchase wooden boards from your local hardware store. Redwood looks classy, lasts a very long time and is naturally resistant to insects, while other woods such as cedar and pine are cheaper but decay sooner. Your final decision should depend on your budget and how long you want the planter to last.

Step 3

Cut the wood to size yourself with a circular saw, using the measurements you took as a guide, or have it professionally cut. You should have five lengths of wood--two long sides, two short ends and a base as wide as a short end but equal in length to a long side. Make sure both the long sides are equal to one another. Similarly, both the short ends should have the same measurements as well.

Step 4

Stand a long side on an even surface, and hold a short end against its corner. Make sure both boards are flush against one another. Drill 2-inch galvanized wood screws to join them both together, one at the top and the other near the bottom edge. Hold this L-shaped structure to check if it is secure. Drill another hole in the middle if you feel the need for added stability.

Step 5

Repeat the same procedure with the second long side and short end so you have another L-shaped structure in front of you. Hold both the structures together so the short end of one structure is flush against the long side of the other. Join them to one another by drilling screws in the corners of each. Your planter will now resemble a box without a base.

Step 6

Turn the planter upside down so the base faces you. Carefully place the board for the base over it, and drill two screws into each short end, and three to four screws into each long side. Drill 1/2-inch drainage holes in the base, spaced 4 to 6 inches apart.

Step 7

Sand the planter and apply a coat or two of paint to it so it can withstand nature's elements.

Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure
  • Protective eyeglasses
  • Circular saw
  • 2 equal long side boards
  • 2 equal short ends
  • Drill
  • 2-inch galvanized wood screws
  • 1 base
  • Medium-grit sandpaper
  • Paintbrush
  • Exterior paint


  • How to Make a Wooden Planter Box
  • Window Boxes

Who Can Help

  • How to Build a Window Box
Keywords: wood planter, container gardening, wooden planter

About this Author

Tanya Khan is a freelance author and consultant, having written hundreds of thousands of words for various online and print sources. She has an MBA in Marketing but her passion lies in giving her words wings.