How to Make a Wood Planter Box

Written by roger golden
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Decorative wooden planter boxes can be used in many areas around the home and garden. Hang one below a window ledge, for instance, and you have the perfect herb garden. Or place several along the garden path to use for plants that are changed throughout the season. By changing the basic dimensions of the box, you can create wooden planter boxes to fit anywhere you want them, or customise them to make them more appealing to the eye.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • 1 3/4-inch plywood, 8-by-24 inches
  • 1 3/4-inch plywood, 6-by-24 inches
  • 1 3/4-inch plywood, 6-by-22 1/2 inches
  • 2 3/4-inch plywood, 6-by-4 1/2 inches
  • Wood glue
  • Small disposable brush
  • 2 Large C-clamps
  • Damp rag or sponge
  • Drill with 1/4-inch wood bit
  • 180 grit sandpaper
  • Assorted paints and brushes
  • Finished wooden shapes (optional)

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  1. 1

    Open the C-clamps to at least 6-1/2 inches. Place the 22 1/2-inch piece of wood flat on the work surface. Use the brush to apply a light coat of wood glue along each long edge.

  2. 2

    Stand the 8-inch piece up against one of the glue edges, and the remaining 6-inch piece against the other. Center both pieces so that they have a 3/4-inch overhang on each end of the bottom panel. Place a C-clamp at each end and tighten them down snugly. Wipe away any excess glue. Allow two hours drying time. Remove the C-clamps.

  3. 3

    Stand the box on one end. Apply glue to the edge of the shorter panel (the bottom). Brush glue onto the 6-inch edges of one of the two small pieces of plywood. Turn the piece at a slight angle and slip it into place as the end panel. Use C-clamps to grip the planter so that the end-piece is flush on all three sides. Flip the planter so that the other end is facing up and repeat the process. Allow at least 2 hours for the glue to dry.

  4. 4

    Turn the planter box so that the open side is down. Drill 6 weep holes into the bottom of the planter. Space the holes at least 1-inch from the outside edge in 3 pairs. Place one pair in the centre of the bottom. Drill another pair of holes 6 inches to either side of the first pair.

  5. 5

    Use sandpaper to remove any rough edges and smooth the outer shell of the planter box. Sand along with the grain of the wood to prevent gouging the surface.

  6. 6

    Paint the plain planter box in any colour you desire. Allow at least 1 hour between coats. Apply 2 or more coats for a longer-lasting finish.

  7. 7

    Add a small amount of wood glue to the back of small wood shapes, such as letters, fruits or animals. Apply the shapes directly to the face and ends of the planter box.

  8. 8

    Drill a hole at each end of the back tab of the planter. The reason this tab extends above the planter is to aid in hanging it on nails or hooks without disturbing the plants or soil.

Tips and warnings

  • Use the same basic design with different lengths, widths or depths. To create a "tilted" appearance, cut the two end-pieces with slightly angled sides.
  • Instead of filling the box with soil, place small flower pots together inside it and change the flower patterns to suit the seasons.

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