Easy ways to make wood planter boxes

Decorating the yard with plants and flowers adds colour and variety to your property. Bringing the look, smell and experience of the garden to other areas, like the deck, patio or porch, can be accomplished by building wood planter boxes. A simple planter box can be constructed from 3/4-inch-thick solid wood planks or slats. For larger, heavy duty applications, 1 1/2-inch stud material will provide the needed stability to support larger quantities of soil.

Plank Construction

Plank construction is the simplest way to make a planter box. Begin by deciding the size and shape of the planter box. Study the location where the planter box will be placed and measure out its approximate shape. Design and sketch on a piece of graph paper. The most efficient design is one that will use one board width and length for each of the four sides. Simply cut the sides to length and nail or screw them together. Applying wood glue to the joints will ensure a longer life. 2 1/2-inch-wide solid wood planks can be used to skirt the top perimeter. Cutting 45-degree mitres on all four corners of the skirt material gives the planter box a clean, finished look. The skirting can also be attached by gluing and using either nails or screws. Attach 1 1/2-inch slats to the interior bottom surface. Separate these slats to allow for water movement. Finally, line the planter box with perforated plastic before filling it with soil.

Slat Construction

Slat construction requires less lumber, with a more complex infrastructure. Begin by designing the box. Cut four corner struts out of hardwood slats to equal the intended height of the planter box. Build three to four slat frames, cutting the slats to sizes equalling that of the planter box perimeter. Glue and nail or screw these frames together and stack them on top of one another. Place the four corner struts inside the stacked frames, at each of the four corners. Nail or screw the frames to the four corner struts providing equal space between frames. Skirt the top perimeter and install the bottom slats in a similar manner as described in plank construction.

Stud Construction

Stud construction is very similar to slat construction. The only difference is in the thickness of the building material. Stud construction is best suited for planter boxes over 24 inches long and is not recommended for hanging applications.

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About the Author

JL Wilson has worked in the construction industry for nearly 20 years. During that time, he labored as a carpenter, cabinetry door and millwork foreman, installer, designer, and account manager. He has designed, built, and installed projects as simple as a single jewelry box and as complicated as integrated swimming pool/waterfall complexes. Wilson primarily writes for eHow and Answerbag.