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How to Build a Planter Box From Fence Boards

By Jesse Dempsen ; Updated September 21, 2017
Planter boxes made from fence boards are an attractive addition to any garden.
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Anyone who has had to replace an old fence has wondered what to do with all the old wood. One useful idea is to construct a variety of simple planter boxes to decorate your yard or garden. Measuring, cutting and assembling the boxes takes very little time, and since you will be using recycled wood, the cost is negligible. Anyone with rudimentary knowledge of construction principles should be able to build a planter box in three hours or less.

Cut 1-by-6 fence boards, using a circular saw or table saw, to the following dimensions:

Six boards at 2-1/2 feet Four boards at 1 foot

If you're using another dimension of lumber, such as 1-by-8 or 1-by-10, you will need to adjust some of the measurements for the bottom and sides of the box.

1-by-8: cut two boards 2-1/2 feet in length and four boards 16 inches in length

Rip 1-by-1 strips of wood from a 1-by-6 and cut it into the following dimensions:

Four 12-inch pieces with the ends cut at 45-degree angles Four 28-inch pieces with the ends cut at 45-degree angles Four 8-inch pieces

If you're using 1-by-8, cut four more 10-inch pieces (without angles) instead of 8-inch pieces.

Assemble the frame of the box by attaching the 28-inch angled pieces to the 12-inch angled pieces at the corners. Tack these together with nails to build the top and bottom of the frame. Use the 8-inch pieces to attach top and bottom frames to each other.

Attach the 2-1/2-foot boards horizontally to the long sides of the frame and the 1-foot pieces to the short sides of the frame. Tack on the bottom boards to the bottom of the frame.

Sand and paint the outside of the box if desired.

Fill the planter box with dirt and plant flowers, herbs, vegetables, or greens in it.


Things You Will Need

  • Old 1-by-6 or 1-by-8 fence boards
  • Circular saw or table saw
  • Tape measure
  • 1 1/4-inch nails
  • Hammer
  • Sandpaper (optional)
  • Paint (optional)
  • Scroll saw or jig saw (optional)


  • You can embellish your planter box by cutting a design in the sides with a scroll saw or jig saw.

About the Author


Jesse Dempsen has written professionally since 2010. His work can be found on various websites. He is a certified English teacher who has taught in a variety of fields including journalism. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Western Washington University.