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How to Build a Wood Planter Box

By Tanya Khan ; Updated September 21, 2017

A wood planter box provides a chance for homeowners, office workers, apartment dwellers or people who lack garden space to enjoy some greenery. These can be placed on decks, patios, and entrances or even hung outside windows to provide a splash of color for those inside the building as well as people on the street. Functional yet decorative, wood planter boxes enhance the look and appeal of the surrounding area with their natural qualities. They can also be painted a bright color in order to stand out.

How to Build a Wood Planter Box

Determine the shape, size, height and depth of your planter box so it is custom made to fit a particular area. It can be square, rectangular or any angular shape; as long as it complements the area where it is placed. Do not make it wider than 4-feet or accessing the plants in the center will be difficult. You can make it as high as you want, particularly if bending too low triggers back problems.

Select good quality, pressure treated wood from your local hardware store. You can select cedar, pine, teak, Cyprus, oak, redwood or any other type of wood, but the final decision should depend on personal taste and the budge allocated to the planter box. Purchase the boards pre-cut from the store, or cut them to size using a circular saw.

You will need five identical wooden boards for a square planter box, but if your planter box is rectangular, purchase two boards of the same size for the long sides, two identical boards for the short ends, and a base piece that is as long as the sides but as wide as the short ends.

Stand one of the side boards on a flat and even surface, and hold the other side board flush against it, ensuring both are in line with one another. Drill galvanized wood screws at the top edges of the both boards to attach them together.

Repeat the procedure with the other two side boards as well.

Connect both the structures by placing them together so their sides are flush against one another. For a rectangular planter box, this will mean connecting the short end of one structure to the long side of another. Use your drilling machine and woodscrews to attach the corners together, so your final structure resembles a box that has no lid or base.

Turn your box upside down so the base-side faces up, and place the base board over it. Connect it to the box with two or three wood screws on each side. Also drill ½-inch drainage holes, spaced 6 to 8-inches apart on the base piece.

Sand the box thoroughly to remove any sharp ends or splinters. Make sure you sand the inside corners as well.


Things You Will Need

  • Wood boards, 5
  • Circular saw
  • Protective eyeglasses
  • Earplugs
  • Drilling machine
  • Galvanized woodscrews
  • Sandpaper


  • Always wear your safety eyeglasses and earplugs when using the drilling machine.
  • Apply a coat or primer and paint to the box so it can withstand natural elements longer.


About the Author


Tanya Khan is a freelance author and consultant, having written numerous articles for various online and print sources. She has a Master of Business Administration in marketing but her passion lies in writing.