Do it Yourself Brick Planter

Written by dawn gibbs
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Brick planters are durable outdoor raised beds for plants. You can easily create your own planter in any size or shape you want. Brick will withstand the elements and provide proper drainage, and it comes in a variety of colours, so you can customise the look of the planter. When building your own planter, it is important to start with a level foundation and to take steps to protect the brick from absorbing water in the winter.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Measuring tape
  • Bricks
  • Broom
  • Shovel
  • 3/4-inch gravel
  • Bubble level
  • Brick mortar
  • Bucket
  • Trowel
  • Foam insulation boards
  • Utility knife
  • Household adhesive
  • Garden fabric
  • Potting soil

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  1. 1

    Select a location for building your planter. A flat surface in a spot that does not collect standing water is the best choice. If you have a concrete surface, such as a patio, use that. If you want to build the planter on soil, measure the height of one of your bricks and add 3 inches. This is the depth of the foundation you must dig.

  2. 2

    Prepare the surface for the installation. Sweep the concrete surface, if you are installing on one. For a dirt surface, decide the size and shape of the planter you are building. Dig out the shape according to your preferred measurements at a depth of the height of your bricks plus 3 inches. For example, if your bricks are 3 inches high, dig out the soil to 6 inches. Fill the bed with 3 inches of 3/4-inch gravel and tamp it down with a shovel.

  3. 3

    Lay your first course of brick in the shape you want the planter. Set the bricks side to side, 1/2-inch apart. Do not fill the spaces between the bricks with any mortar. These gaps will act as weep vents, or drainage holes for water. Set a bubble level on the first layer of bricks to make sure they are level.

  4. 4

    Mix the brick mortar in a bucket according to the package directions. Use a trowel to scoop mortar on top of the first course of bricks. Lay the mortar at a depth of 1/2 inch, then begin placing the second layer of bricks on top of the first. Apply a 1/2-inch layer of mortar to the sides of the bricks as you press them into the mortar on top of the first layer. Do not stack the bricks directly on top of one another, but overlap each layer by half. Continue until you lay the second course.

  5. 5

    Check the bricks to make sure they are level. Continue adding layers of bricks with 1/2-inch of mortar between each layer, and between each brick, until the planter is the height that you want. Let the mortar cure according to the package directions.

  6. 6

    Cut four pieces of foam insulation board to match the height and width of the four interior sides of the planter. Coat the back of the boards with a household adhesive and press each one into the corresponding side that matches its measurements. The insulation will keep the bricks from freezing in the winter.

  7. 7

    Line the bottom of the planter with garden fabric, so it covers the bottom of the planter and comes up the sides by at least 6 inches. The garden fabric will keep dirt from clogging the weep vents at the bottom of the planter.

  8. 8

    Fill the planter with potting soil.

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