Wooden planter boxes look beautiful in a garden, on the deck, or on the front porch. These planters are the perfect way to keep your well-tended flowers, herbs, or vegetables in a safe place, while also showing them off to the neighbors. If you ever wanted to know how to make wooden planter boxes, you’ve come to the right place. Our plans are simple and will teach you to make a classic and customizable planter box that you can use for years to come.

Making Your Own Wood Planter Boxes

Wooden planter boxes come in a variety of shapes and sizes, with DIY plans ranging from beginner to advanced. Our plans are for creating the most common, simple rectangular planter box that you can stand on its own in the garden or on the deck, or attach to a railing for a raised look. You can customize the size and look of your wooden planter boxes by adjusting the wood measurements and giving it a stained or painted finish to match your home décor.

Is This the Right Planter Box for My Needs?

With such a variety of planter boxes available, how can you tell what one is right for your needs? Fortunately, most differences in planter boxes relate to looks only, rather than functionality. You can find plans for rectangular, curved, square, and even tiered planter boxes. Our plans are best for beginners who want to create a simple rectangular planter box in just a few hours.

This box is one that you can customize to your needs. If you want to place it in the garden, you don’t need to add the bottom panel. However, if you’re setting it on the deck or a railing, you’ll need the bottom as a base.

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Additionally, you can have the wood for the box cut to your needs to change its size and shape, since these plans will direct you toward creating a basic, adaptable shell. Therefore, this planter box is one that can likely meet the needs of most people who want to show off their plants in a planter they made themselves.

How Can I Protect These Planter Boxes from Water and Weather?

One of the things you’ll want to be careful about when you make your planter box from wood is protecting it from the elements. Your box will be outside, standing up to heat, cold, precipitation, and wind, all of which can affect wood in different ways.

Here are a few things you can do to protect your handmade planter box from the weather:

  • Opt for pressure-treated lumber, which can extend the life of your wood over time.
  • Allow your wood to rest for up to three weeks after you assemble it to dry out the wood before sealing it with paint, stain, or a sealant to avoid locking in moisture.
  • Use a silicone caulk to seal all wood joints and any cracks in your wood after you’ve assembled it.
  • Use a thick plastic, or even a heavy-duty trash bag, to line the inside of the planter box before filling it with soil. Make sure you poke drainage holes in the bottom that align with the drainage holes you drill into your box.
  • Apply oil-based stain to the planter box with a brush, or apply an alkyd primer if you plan to paint the wood. Paint with exterior acrylic paint and finish with an acrylic sealant. Allow stain or paint to dry completely before adding plants or soil to the box.

How Can I Attach My Planter Boxes to a Deck?

This planter box can sit on its own in the garden or on a deck. However, if you live in a windy area or one where stray cats or other animals might knock over your planters, you’ll want to consider attaching them to your deck. Or, you can even connect them to wide railings to have raised planters on your porch.

All you’ll need to attach the boxes to a deck are some galvanized screws and a drill if you’re drilling into a wood deck. Drill a screw that’s at least 3-inches in length, depending on the thickness of the bottom of the planter, through the bottom and into your deck.

If you’re placing the planter boxes on a railing, it’s a good idea to get some railing brackets. These are metal brackets that go over the railing and sit so that the planter boxes have even weight distribution. You’ll use screws to attach the brackets to your planters, which can then sit atop your railings securely. The brackets are helpful when you have cement or brick rails that you can’t drill into easily. If you have wide wooden railings, you can use galvanized screws to attach the boxes.   

Instructions for Do-It-Yourself Planter Boxes

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Our wooden planter box plans will teach you how to build a wooden planter box customized to the length and width you desire to fit your space best. These plans are great for beginners, as this simple project is one you can complete on your own within a couple of hours. Additionally, you’ll only need a few basic materials for this inexpensive project. This wooden planters box is one you can make to sit on your porch or deck or attach to railings for raised planters.

Materials Needed:

  • Two pieces of wood, 1-foot in height and at least 1-inch thick, and cut to the length you’d like the planter box to be (3 or 4-feet is good for small to mid-size planter boxes)
  • Two pieces of wood, 1-foot in height and the same thickness as your other boards, cut to the width you’d like your planter box to be (1 to 2-feet is good for small to mid-size planter boxes)
  • One piece of wood for the bottom piece, the same length, and thickness as the longer boards. Calculate the width by adding the length of the shorter boards plus the thickness of the longer boards. If you have boards with 1″ thickness plus 24-inch shorter boards, you’ll need the bottom piece to be 26 inches wide.
  • Drill and drill bit
  • 2-inch galvanized screws
  • Hammer
  • Small nails
  • Nylon or vinyl screen, cut to the internal measurements of your planter box
  • Weatherproof paint or stain, or a weatherproof sealant

How to Make It:

  1. Create pilot holes with your drill and drill bit from the long boards into the shorter boards. Position the short boards so that they’re on the insides of the long boards. You should have a centered pilot hole and two other pilot holes about an inch from the top and bottom. Do this for all four sides of the planter box.
  2. Drill the screws into the pilot holes. Make sure that each screw is going through the long board and into the short board. Do this for each side until you’ve completed the frame, which should make a rectangle.
  3. Now, place the bottom board on the face you’d like the bottom of your planter to be. Use your drill to screw four screws into each of the longer sides and two into the shorter sides, taking care to space them apart evenly and not too close to the edges, which can make the wood split.
  4. Use your drill and drill bit to create a few small holes for drainage on the bottom of the planter box. This critical step helps your soil drain faster so that no sitting water pools in your planters and causes rot, mold, or disease. If you create a large planter box, you should add a few more holes.
  5. Lay down the nylon or vinyl screen flat on the bottom of your planter. Affix it in place with some screws around the edges.
  6. Use your drill to drill drainage holes through the screen that align with the ones you drilled in the bottom of your planter.
  7. If you’re going to paint or stain your planter, you should use a medium-grit sandpaper to smooth the wood, followed by a fine-grit sandpaper to create a refined surface. Dust off all residue with a towel before staining or painting.

Use three or four long galvanized screws to drill the planter box into your deck or railings, if you choose. To prepare it for planting, add a thin layer of gravel to the bottom to aid drainage before adding your soil and plants.

Conclusion: Show Off Your Garden with These Handmade Planter Boxes

We hope that our wooden planter plans help you create an incredible addition to your garden or outdoor landscape. Since they’re easily customizable, you can adapt our plans to fit your needs for space and décor. Add some legs for a raised planter box, omit the bottom panel for a seamless look in your garden, or attach the boxes to your porch.

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