How to Make Your Own Garden Planter

Written by b.t. alo
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How to Make Your Own Garden Planter
A variety of wooden garden planters (historic courtyard dwelling image by Chris Lofty from

Garden planters are used to add decorative features to a garden, keep plant species separate, or grow plants on patios or terraces. There are many varieties of garden planters available, from hanging pots to large ceramic tubs or metal containers. Wooden garden planters are made in many different styles, the simplest being a square or rectangular box. Making a rectangular garden planter out of wood is fairly simple--an easy weekend DIY project.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • 2 wood sheets, 1 inch thick, 2 feet by 1 foot
  • 2 wood sheets, 1 inch thick, 1 foot by 1 foot
  • 2 wood planks, 2 feet long by 3 inches wide
  • 3 wood planks, 1 foot long by 6 inches wide
  • Hammer
  • Nails
  • Band clamp
  • Wood glue
  • Black plastic
  • Scissors
  • Potting mix
  • Wood varnish
  • Paint brush

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  1. 1

    Position the wood sheets so that they form a rectangular box: the 1-foot square sheets for ends, and the 2-by-1-foot sheets as sides.

  2. 2

    Insert a line of wood glue between the edges of the 1-foot square sheets where they connect to the side sheets of wood. Clamp the box together tightly using a band clamp. Let the wood glue dry.

  3. 3

    Nail the box together before removing the band clamp--around six nails in each joint is enough.

  4. 4

    Lay the 2-foot planks parallel to each other, 1 foot apart. Place the remaining three planks across the 2-foot planks: one on each end and one in the middle so that there is space for drainage. Nail the three planks down, creating the base of the planter box.

  5. 5

    Turn the base upside down, so that the 2-foot long planks are on the top side, and place it over the top of the rectangular box. Nail the base into the walls of the box, then take off the band clamp and invert the whole box, so that the base is on the bottom.

  6. 6

    Varnish the box, and let it dry completely.

  7. 7

    Line the planter box with plastic, poking small holes in the bottom to allow for drainage-this helps protect the box from rot.

  8. 8

    Fill the garden planter with potting mix when it is in the desired location, and trim any plastic that is visible.

Tips and warnings

  • A coat of paint before varnishing gives added variation on the garden planter design.

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