How to make a wooden planter

How to make a wooden planter

We show you how to make a wooden planter, perfect for growing plants in small spaces.

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A wooden planter is a great way of creating a bed to grow plants and vegetables in if you are short of space.

Your wooden planter can be adapted to fit any corner, depending on your needs. And, as it’s made of pressure-treated timber it can be stained in any colour and won’t rot.

You can make a wooden planter in a day, using treated timber. Simply work out how big an area you need, cut the wood to size and follow our steps to putting the planter together. Make sure your wooden planter has drainage holes, so plants don’t become waterlogged. However, if positioning your planter in full sun, you may consider lining the inside of the planter with pieces of old compost bag, to keep the compost moist and reduce the need for regular watering.

More on garden planters and raised beds:

Follow our simple steps to creating a wooden planter, below.

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You Will Need

  • Pressure-treated timber (5cm x 5cm), in lengths: 9 x 1m, 7 x 60cm, 23 x 40cm, 1 x 45cm
  • Gravel board (15cm x 1cm, 3.45m length)
  • Saw
  • Drill
  • 3mm wood drill bit
  • Screwdriver
  • Try square
  • Pencil
  • Tape measure
  • Zinc-plated screws (75 x 7.5cm and 20 x 5cm)

Total time:

Step 1

Mark and cut all the pieces of timber to the correct lengths, cutting the ends as squarely as possible for a smooth finish. Using a 3mm drill bit, make a hole around 2.5cm from the end of every length to stop the wood splitting when you put in the screws.

How to make a wooden planter - drilling holes at the end of each end of the wood
How to make a wooden planter – drilling holes at the end of each end of the wood

Step 2

Lay out two 100cm, 60cm and 40cm lengths to form the frame. Butt one end of each length up to the next with the drilled holes on the side. Check the angles with the try square before fitting a screwdriver attachment and fixing the frame together with 7.5cm screws.

How to make a wooden planter - laying out the planter frame
How to make a wooden planter – laying out the planter frame

Step 3

Cut treated gravel board to the appropriate lengths for the planter bottom. Place the bottom boards on the frame. Don’t worry if there are gaps up to 5cm wide between the boards as the planter will be lined. Pre-drill the bottom boards, check the frame is square again, then attach the boards to the frame using 5cm screws.

How to make a wooden planter - laying out the bottom boards
How to make a wooden planter – laying out the bottom boards

Step 4

Flip the frame over onto the other side so the bottom boards sit on the ground. Lay the next course and alternate the corner joins. Check all ends are flush and fix with 7.5cm screws.

How to make a wooden planter - turning over the frame to fix in the screws
How to make a wooden planter – turning over the frame to fix in the screws

Step 5

Build up four layers in this way. Instead of a final 60cm piece, lay a 100cm length across the gap to support the raised square.

How to make a wooden planter - building up the edges of the planter
How to make a wooden planter – building up the edges of the planter

Step 6

For the perfect fit, measure the cross-bar piece when it’s in position across the frame and cut it in situ.

How to make a wooden planter - cutting the crossbar
How to make a wooden planter – cutting the crossbar

Step 7

Attach one end of the length with a 7.5cm screw from above, as shown. Fix the other by screwing into it from the outside of the frame.

How to make a wooden planter - fixing the cross-bar pieces
How to make a wooden planter – fixing the cross-bar pieces

Step 8

Lay the 45cm length across the other gap, lining it up with the adjacent side to make a rectangle (see picture). Check the angles and screw it into place.

How to make a wooden planter - fixing the cross-bar pieces
How to make a wooden planter – fixing the cross-bar pieces

Step 9

Finish this layer by placing two 40cm lengths at right angles to the 45cm piece, then cut the final length to fit the remaining gap. Continue adding courses of 40cm lengths of timber, with alternating joints, until the raised section of the planter is four layers deep.

How to make a wooden planter - fixing in the timber courses
How to make a wooden planter – fixing in the timber courses
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Protecting the wood

To protect the wood, line the planter inside with plastic, such as old plastic compost bags, fixing it with small nails. Make drainage holes before filling it with compost.

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