How to Make Tiered Planters

Updated November 22, 2016

Placing a raised planter as an addition in your landscaping or on a patio can provide a pleasing, attractive look as well as easier access to your plants. Building up a series of planters to create a tiered planter can change the look of your ordinary planter without sacrificing growing space. Once constructed, your tiered planters can be set against a wall, in a corner by a fence or placed on the ground to act as a standalone raised garden.

Measure and cut the 2-by-12 inch boards into four boards measuring 4 feet long, four boards 3 feet long and four boards all cut to 2 feet long.

Arrange each set of four equal length boards into three different sized squares. Insert three evenly spaced screws into each corner of the square boxes to hold the frame together.

Place a sheet of 4-foot square plywood over the top of the 4-foot square if you plan to set the tiered planter on a deck or patio. Screw through the plywood and into the frame every 6 inches around the edge to attach. Drill 10 evenly spaced holes into the plywood with a ½-inch drill bit for drainage.

Flip the 4-foot frame over if plywood was added. Place the frame in the location where you want to grow your plants for the amount of light you need. Fill the 4-foot frame with garden or potting soil to the top rim of the frame.

Set the 3-foot frame over one corner of the 4-foot frame and align the two sides that touch, letting the 4-foot frame extend out from the 3-foot frame by a foot. Fill the 3-foot square with soil to the top.

Rest the 2-foot frame on the 3-foot frame so it is aligned on the same corner the 3 and 4-foot frames already share. Fill this last square with soil to complete the tiered planter.


Cedar wood is a naturally rot-resistant wood. For a more stylistic look, set the 3-foot frame over the 4-foot frame on the diagonal so the corners of the 3-foot square sit on the middle of each side of the 4-foot frame. Then place the 2-foot frame diagonal in relation to the 3-foot frame.

Things You'll Need

  • 3 boards, 2 by 12 inches, 12 feet long
  • Tape measure
  • Hand saw
  • Galvanised screws
  • Electric drill
  • 1 piece ¾-inch plywood, 4-foot square
  • ½-inch drill bit
  • Garden or potting soil, 28 cubic feet
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