17 Planter Box Plans You Can DIY This Weekend
Choose from these easy plans to construct your own decorative planter box to fill with colorful flowers, stunning vines, or scrumptious herbs to dress up your home, patio, porch, or yard.
If you want to dress up your porch, deck, or garden with some greenery, consider taking a DIY approach with outdoor planter box plans. Building elevated planter boxes offer several advantages, including space for multiple plants, the ability to garden on hard surfaces, an alternative for small-space gardening on balconies, a barrier against pests and soil-borne diseases, and easier access that requires less bending over.
A DIY planter box can also save money and allows customization to suit your style, chosen location, and selection of plants. Here are some downloadable planter box plans to consider building this weekend.
1. Trim and Tapered
These digital plans by Dell’s DIY on Etsy call for cedar fence pickets, which can be easily sourced from home improvement stores, to build a tapered cedar planter box with a board and batten finish. Plans include a box platform to hold a plastic insert used as a liner for protection of the wood planter box from rot. Easy-to-follow instructions help make this a project for all skill levels. Note that the specific dimensions are based on the insert selection, and the plans include detailed 3D drawings with color pictures and cut lists.
2. Slatted Screen
To add a little privacy to a large garden planter box, download plans for this large rectangular planter box with a slatted screen. Inner dimensions are sized to hold two large rectangular masonry buckets. The design is adaptable for a mobile planter box with the addition of lockable wheels under the columns. Downloadable plans include a materials list, cutting diagrams and drawings, and step-by-step assembly instructions.
3. Three Tiers
Three cheers for this three-tiered planter plan! Requiring surprisingly few materials (three 2x4s and seven 72-inch pine or cedar fence pickets), it makes a big impact with four boxes combined on three levels. Overall footprint is approximately 30 inches square by 16 inches tall. Simple, thorough instructions come with X-ray views detailing every step, precise measurements, and a comprehensive parts and cut list. For further assistance, watch the build video.
4. Modern Slats
If you’re looking for the clean lines of modern design in a planter, download the plans for this modern planter box. Horizontal cedar slats accent this 20.5-inch-square by 28-inch-tall box to create a simple, tidy container raised off the ground on dark feet. Plans include materials list, cut dimensions, and step-by-step assembly instructions that are easy for beginners to follow.
5. Balcony Box
This small wall planter box—measuring in at 29 inches long by 8.5 inches wide by 8.25 inches tall—is just deep enough for planting. (The ideal depth for planter boxes is around 6 inches to 8 inches.) Mounted below a window, on a balcony, or on an outdoor wall, the minimalist design of these flower planter boxes complements many architectural styles. This project is simple enough for beginning woodworkers and can be completed in a day. Adjustments can be made to the height and length measurements if a larger box is desired. Included with the plans are detailed drawings, a materials list, color-coded step-by-step instructions, cut list, and a recommended tools list.
6. Bucket List
Plans for these inexpensive DIY raised planter boxes will teach you how to build a planter box from 2×4 boards. These inexpensive planters can hold either two or four 5-gallon buckets; plans for both are included in the download. Both are raised off the ground for easy access. Instead of filling the planter with soil, the buckets hold it–and can easily be emptied for winter storage. Add a trellis for growing vertical plants.
7. Squared Steel
Corrugated steel panels in a wood frame can impart a farmhouse feel to raised planter beds. Although the plans give directions to build a box 64 inches long, 26 inches wide and 25 inches tall, they can be easily modified to create a larger box. Detailed drawings and 3D diagrams accompany step-by-step instructions, a materials list, cut lists, and recommended tools.
8. Elevated Easel
Three tiers are arranged in a space-saving easel configuration that allows this planter box to fit against a flat wall. With overall dimensions of 39 inches long by 24 inches deep by 34.5 inches tall, there’s ample room for planting–and yet, the planter requires minimal materials. The downloadable color-coded plans include detailed drawings, a 3D visual guide, materials and cut lists, as well as a recommended tools list, making it an easy project for beginners.
9. Tall Picket Planter
Go vertical for dramatic impact with these tall garden planter box plans. Ideal for placing near the front door or other narrow locations, this planter box will elevate your flowers to extreme levels. Consisting of just five 72-inch-long pickets, this 28.5-inch-tall box is 11 inches wide at the bottom, widening to just over 15 inches at the top. The cost-saving plan includes a cut list, materials list, X-ray views, and basic instructions that are easy to follow. There’s also a build video for demonstration.
10. Potato Planter
This 23-inch-square vegetable planter box is specifically designed for potatoes, but can be used for any vegetable –particularly root vegetables – or flowers. Four hinged access doors, one on each side, grant access for harvesting. A simple square potato planter box intended for organic growing, the plans are recommended for a beginner skill level and include step-by-step instructions (although some reviewers report struggling with converting centimeters to inches throughout the process).
11. Classic Cedar
Not only is cedar attractive, but it’s also one of the best types of wood to use for planter boxes because this durable wood resists decay. This long and low cedar deck planter (25 inches long by 11 inches wide by 9.5 inches tall) won’t spoil the views from your deck while flowers bloom. Constructed of five cedar fence pickets and using basic woodworking tools, the box is economical and beginner-friendly. Holes in the bottom add drainage, while the wide lip makes the box easy to work in.
12. Rustic Rhombus
Add a rustic touch with these deep square planter box plans, as the dovetail construction is reminiscent of a log cabin. Made of easily sourced 2x4s and 1x4s, this economical wood planter box is rated at a beginner skill level and can be completed in a day or less. Rely on color-coded step-by-step instructions, a 3D visual guide, and detailed drawings. Materials list and cut list are included. Dimensions of 30.25 inches long by 26 inches wide by 21.75 inches tall accommodate a variety of plants. The bottom panel is optional if additional drainage is desired.
13. Built-in Bench
Need extra seating in the garden or want to add steps up to a deck or patio? This planter-bench combo can be used as either, featuring two boxes on either end for a more built-in planter look. You can even modify the plans for two boxes on each side that are level with the steps and use them to surround an entry. Plans are suitable for beginners and experienced builders, and come with a detailed materials list and easy-to-follow instructions.
14. Large and Lifted
Raise up your gardening with these elevated planter box plans. Cedar is recommended for the sides, ends, bottom and trim of the 42-inch-long by 26-inch-wide by 26-inch-tall box, while pine 2x4s are suggested for the long legs, and pine 2x3s for bottom support. Plans for this sturdy box come with a materials list (including a complete fastener list), a cuts list, 3D illustrations, and photos of the build.
15. Secret Storage
These slim planter plans conceal two plastic flower boxes, in addition to a large hidden storage compartment beneath the plastic boxes, where you can store gardening tools. Dimensions of 52.75 inches long by 13.75 inches wide by about 33.5 inches tall provide plenty of space for both plants and storage. The long, slatted design has a modern look that can be achieved with either cedar or pressure-treated fence boards. Plans include cutting diagrams, 3D assembly diagrams, materials list, cuts list, recommended tools list, and more, and a YouTube video provides additional detailed step-by-step instructions.
16. Handsome Hexagons
Alternating layers on this inexpensive hexagonal bucket planter box exhibit a kind of honeycomb effect. Designed to hide 5-gallon buckets, this planter box is 19.5 inches tall and can conceal pots that are 14 inches in diameter or smaller. Although it’s meant to be a simple project, some reviewers complain that measurements are off, instructions are unclear, and the link to ask questions is out of order.
17. Footed Flair
This medium-sized cedar planter box adds a little detail in its leg design. 19 by 18 by 19 inches in dimension, the planter is simpler to build than it looks, thanks to the featured cut-out creating individual feet for the box. Made of just five fence pickets, this box is a beginner-friendly DIY project that can be completed in a day. Holes drilled into the bottom enable drainage.
The prices listed here are accurate as of publication on 5/26/23.