2-night Planter

You know you have a new hobby when an evening’s productivity is measured by the size of the sawdust pile you created!

red dustpan with saw dust

It might not look like much, but it was all created without power tools. I’d looked at a number of online plans before starting, but decided to go with my own supplies and design to work in the space I want them.

I’m gonna need to learn to use an electric saw before long, because it’s time consuming with the trusty mitre box. Not sure if I’ll get some arm muscles out of this, but it’s definitely therapeutic after a long work day!


These particular planter boxes are for the 2 sides of my garage. When I say these (in plural) I really only mean one. I’m starting out cautiously in case this is a massive back-fire as far as diy projects go! I have ugly plastic planters and a whole ton of 8 foot x 1″ x 3″ wood. So I decided I’d fit the plastic planters inside and make meaningful looking 18″ tall wooden boxes for plants to grow out of. Here goes:

16″ x 18″ planter for plastic insert


  • 3 1/2 – 8′ x 1″ x 3″ pcs of untreated cedar
  • 1 – 8′ x 1″ x 2″ pcs of untreated cedar
  • mitre box and saw
  • pencil
  • steel tape
  • 8-1 size wood screws 
  • 4-L brackets
  • 2-untreated cedar 2″ x 2″ fence posts

Time to get the muscles going by cutting:

  • the 8x1x3 into lengths of 15″ – you’ll need 20 in total if you want your box to look like mine
  • the fence post into 4-8″ lengths for legs, and 2-12″ pieces with 45 degree angles at the ends for mounting on the inside of the planter
  • the 1″x2″ into 12″ lengths also with 45 degrees on each end

I started by gluing the cross bar to the wood. Learning curve: you don’t need much glue or you’ll be gluing the wall to the table. This was the end of day one, which was comprised of cutting and gluing. 

sides of planter









Then onto screwing each piece into place. Upside down is sometimes easiest so all the sides are flush and even…

building a planter

I decided the planter didn’t need a solid bottom, so 2-12″ pieces of 1×2 would do just fine. Already cut, they just need to be drilled into place!

inside of planter









Finally, a top layer of 1×2 protects the cut edges facing upwards and brings the project to a tidy end.

Voila! All for $17 and the tools I already had. This definitely beats the pretty penny you could spend if you went out to buy a wooden planter this size – and what I was trying to avoid. You could of course stain the planter or paint it, I’ve decided not to. Instead I’ll make a matching one for the other side of the garage doors and start some seeds to make it look lush and purposeful throughout the summer.



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