How to Build & Make Planter Boxes for Free

Written by christina inge
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How to Build & Make Planter Boxes for Free
Building planter boxes from reclaimed wood is a great way to showcase individual plants. (Michael Blann/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

Making your own planter boxes from reclaimed materials is an ecologically sound, affordable way to add to your garden planters. Whether you're making window boxes to attach to the sides of a building or free-standing boxes to place alongside a patio or walkway, reclaimed-wood planters are a great weekend project. You can salvage wood from other projects, or reuse discarded wood from an old structure. Just make sure the wood is free of nails and hardware and doesn't have any rot or insect damage.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Reclaimed pieces of wood
  • Saw
  • Measuring tape or ruler
  • Sawhorses (optional)
  • Wood glue
  • Hammer
  • Galvanised (rust-resistant) nails
  • Paint (optional)

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  1. 1

    Measure your existing pieces of wood to make sure you have at least two pieces of identical size for the front and back of the planter, and two other identical pieces for each side. If not, choose one smaller piece for the front and cut another large piece to the same dimensions with the saw, using the sawhorses if desired. Repeat for the sides.

  2. 2

    Glue the edges of the sides, front and back together to create a box. Nail the pieces together, taking care not to split the wood. Place the nails about 1 to 2 inches apart for maximum resistance to wear. Use only galvanised nails for an outdoor project that will be exposed to moisture. Measure the final outer dimensions of the box. If a bottom for the planter box is desired, cut a piece of wood equal to the outer dimensions, and glue and nail this piece to the bottom of the planter. You may wish to create an open planter, however, since such planters are less prone to rot from excess moisture.

  3. 3

    Allow the glue to dry overnight. If desired, paint the planter box, or leave it as is.

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