DIY Wooden Planter… for under $21

Our backyard is currently undergoing a facelift {reveal coming soon} and we are trying to go for the modern garden of eden look, so we added lots of flowers, trees and beautiful planters. We also purchased a bunch of Arborvitae trees (Emerald greens) which gives a backyard that luxe look. We don’t want the trees to over grow since we have a modest sized backyard. To contain its size, its best to keep it in a planter which restricts its growth as opposed to planting it into the ground.

This is where our idea came in to build beautiful wooden planters for our Arborvitae trees. They look so great and cost under $25 to make, so I am excited to share with you our Do It Yourself process and help you build your own!

HOW TO BUILD YOUR OWN PLANTER in 8 easy steps!

Materials:

  • 3 – 1x6x8 wood planks (approx $12)
  • 1 – 2x3x8 wood planks (approx $2)
  • 3 inch wood screws & 2 inch wood screws
  • nails (approx $6)
  • *Optional: stain and lacquer

Tools:

  • Miter saw or any saw of choice
  • Nail gun or hammer and nails
  • *Optional: brush, sponge, and disposable cloth

We made planters that have a raised platform, therefore they are 20″ high, and 15″ wide & deep. If you want a different size, change your measurements.

Step One:

Take your 2x3x8 planks and cut 4 pieces of 20″ inch poles and put them aside. Then take the remaining 2x3x8 plank and cut 8 pieces of 15″ inch poles and put them aside.

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Step Two:

Using 2  20″ poles  and one 15″ pole make a U. Have the 20″ poles stand up right and connect the two with one 15″ pole. The U should be placed as in photo, screw in the outer poles into the connecting pole using 3″ screws from both sides. To make it easier, make guide holes using a thinner drill bit.

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After you are done 1 U out of the 3 planks. Make one more identical U. You should be done using all 4 20″ poles at this point.

Step Three:

Taking your 2 U shapes, you need to connect them together using another 15″ pole on both sides. NOTE: When screwing into the wood planks through the wider end of the wood, use 3″ screws. When screwing in through the narrower end, use the 2″ screws. 

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Looking at the screw holes on the bottom, the top left uses a 3″ screw and  bottom right uses a 2″ screw

The end of step three should look like this….

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Step Four:

Now we are going to make a base to the planter. We are not going to make the planter floor  at the bottom of this table looking box. We want the floor raised 5 inches, so we need to make a floor base.

Take your remaining 4 – 15″ poles and fit them in between the legs on all 4 sides. Measure 5″ from the bottom (or from the top if upside down) and screw them in at the 5″ mark all the way around as shown in photos.

Step Five:

Now you should have the completed frame for your planter. In this step you will make the floor base of the planter. We made a 5″ raise (as seen in previous step), so you will need to measure the length of the base.

After you measure from end to end, cut 3 planks to size of the 1×6 wood.

In the photo below you will see, we cut out the corners to cover the base without leaving spaces and fit the base planks perfectly on the base poles on the bottom.

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Cut the corners to fit the space with a miter saw or jig saw.

Nail all 3 planks to the base on both ends until entire base is covered.

Step Six:

Flip the planter to one of  its 4 sides, and measure the width to be able to cut the 1×6 wood to cover the side from pole to pole. Cut 3 planks of 1×6 per side. Then nail 3 planks on one side (see below). Note: Don’t measure one side, and cut 12 planks of the same measurements to cover all 4 sides of the planter. The measurements change slightly from side to side, so to be accurate, measure one side at a time and cut wood and nail it in one side at a time. 

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When you cut 3 per side, nail it in on both sides. When done, flip and measure the width of the next side. Cut 3 equal planks and nail it it. Repeat this until all sides are covered. You will have the legs uncovered.

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When done, the planter should look like this.

Technically, you can stop right here as this is a perfectly good and aesthetically pleasing planter. However, Doron didn’t like the unfinished look of the top, so he made a frame using the remainder of the 1×6 wood. See step seven to continue.

Step Seven:

To make a frame on the top, you will need to have intermediate miter skills as corners get tricky. Note: The other option is to make straight cuts at the ends and have the ends sit perpendicular to each other. Here we make proper framing corners and frame the top of the planter  with 4 planks of 1×6 wood and nail the frame into the top of the planter.

Once framing is complete, planter should look like this (see below).

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Doron spray painted the legs black for a more finished look

Step Eight *Optional:

As you can see in step seven, the planters already look so great and complete. But Doron and I are perfectionists, and we take it to the next level by staining and lacquering the planters.

We used a stain called Tuscan. First mix the stain. Use a bristle or foam brush and apply the stain like paint. 20160605_152142.jpg

Once you finished applying the stain. Take a clean cotton rag or cloth and wipe the stain off the wood (wipe all surfaces). Let dry for about 3 hours (or until if feels dry).

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Last, use any lacquer of your choice (matte, satin, or glossy). We used matte lacquer and applied with a paint brush. Now leave to dry for 8 hours or overnight.

When dry, plant your favourite tree, vegetables, or flowers!

 

I hope you’ve enjoyed this post and found it helpful! Find more DIY projects in the menu above and follow me on instagram @designwithrev for more DIY and decor inspiration!

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