How to Build Cedar Planters


Cedar planters have a natural, authentic look about them, starting off brown and turning a light gray as they age. This softwood is naturally resistant to rot and decay, and is easy to manage, making it suitable for outdoor projects. Mount your cedar planter on a wall or railing to decorate the spot with a burst of color, or place it against a wall of your house to enhance curb appeal. Plant tall and cascading flowers and foliage in your rectangular cedar planter for a colorful blend.

How to Build Cedar Planters

Step 1

Measure the spot where you will place your cedar planter to determine its height, length and width. Note the measurements on paper to decide the final planter size.

Step 2

Cut five boards to size with a handsaw, from which two identical boards will be the planter's front and back, two identical boards will be the sides, and the base of the planter will be equal in length to the front and as wide as the sides.

Step 3

Hold the front board on a flat surface and place a sidepiece against its short edge. Align the joint so it is flush. Hold the boards firmly together as you drill three wood screws into the joint to attach them together. The structure will resemble an L. Hold the planter's back against the other sidepiece so they too form an L before attaching them together with 1-inch galvanized wood screws.

Step 4

Place both the L-shaped structures together so the sidepiece of one is against a long side of another to form a rectangle. Align both the joints so they are flush and in level before drilling them in place with 1-inch galvanized woodscrews.

Step 5

Drill three equally spaced rows of drainage holes, 1 inch wide, in the baseboard. These holes are essential for the contained plants and prevent root rot.

Step 6

Turn your structure upside down. Place the base over the four edges, aligning it so it rests evenly. Drill it in place with three wood screws per short side, and six per long side.

Step 7

Rub medium-grit sandpaper over the planter box to remove sharp edges and make it smooth. Check the joints to make sure they are smooth, or drill wood screws for added stability. Paint your planter a desired color, or leave it looking natural. Fill it with soil and plants and place over the designated spot.

Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape
  • Notepad
  • Pencil
  • 1-inch thick cedar board
  • Handsaw
  • Drilling machine
  • 1-inch galvanized wood screws
  • Sandpaper
  • Paint
  • Potting soil
  • Plants or flowers


  • BellaOnline: How to Make a Wooden Planter Box
  • Wrcla: Building a Cedar Window Box
  • All-About-Planters: Wooden Planters
Keywords: cedar planters, building cedar planters, diy cedar planters

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.