How to make your own planters

Updated July 20, 2017

Planter boxes can turn a boring patio into an outdoor oasis. You can build your own planter boxes easily with a few basic tools and supplies available at your local home and garden centre. Instead of buying lumber, you can also use miscellaneous wood pieces for this project. Make sure you choose wood that is resistant to rotting, such as cedar or treated wood. If you don't have an electric mitre saw, you can use a handsaw and a mitre box. Some home improvement stores may also cut the wood for you.

Cut the 2x4's into eight 20-inch-long pieces, six 18-inch-long pieces and sixteen 17-inch-long pieces. Cut two 21 1/2-inch-long-pieces and two 24 1/2-inch-long pieces from the 2x4's with the ends cut at a 45-degree angle. Cut four 18-inch-long pieces from the 2x2's.

Lay two of the 20-inch-long 2x4's and four of the 17-inch-long 2x4's side-by-side on the ground, lining up the top edges.

Place one of the 18-inch-long 2x2's onto the 2x4's. Center it side-to-side and line it up with the top. Drive screws through the 2x2 into the 2x4's with at least one screw in each 2x4.

Place another 2x2 on the 2x4's, centre it side-to-side and line it up with the bottom edge of the shorter 2x4's. Drive screws through the 2x2 into the 2x4's with at least one screw in each 2x4.

Repeat steps two through four until you have four complete sides for your planter.

Place the edge of one planter box side up against the inside face of another planter box side. Make sure the edges are flush, and use the square to adjust the corner until it is 90 degrees. Drive four screws through the face of one side into the edge of the other side. Drive screws through the face of the other side into the 2x2's screwed onto the back of the first side.

Attach the other sides of the planter in the same manner. Make sure you arrange the sides so that two of them are placed on the inside face of the other two sides. When you are finished, you should have a rectangular box.

Lay the six 18-inch-long 2x4's into the bottom of the planter parallel to the short side so that they rest on the lower 2x2. Drive screws through the 2x4's into the 2x2's with at least one screw in each 2x4.

Arrange the mitred 2x4's into a rectangular frame on top of the box. Line the mitred edges up and centre the rectangle so that the same amount overlaps on each side. Check to make sure the corners are at a 90-degree angle. Drive screws up through the bottom of the 2x2's into the mitred 2x4's to secure them to the top of the box.


You can adjust the size of this planter box to fit different sized plants or areas.


If you use treated wood, make sure you choose screws that are rated for use with treated wood.

Things You'll Need

  • 2x4 wooden boards
  • 2x2 wooden boards
  • Mitre saw or handsaw and mitre box
  • 2 1/4 inch deck screws
  • Drill
  • Screwdriver bits
  • Square
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About the Author

Pamela Keene has written professionally since 2007 with articles published on, eHow, and other websites. She writes about a variety of topics including home projects, gardening, health, finance, travel and parenting. Keene holds a Bachelor of Science in biochemistry.