DIY Wood Planter Box

How to make a DIY wood planter box to fill with flowers and hold a tiki torch.

It is full-on summer here and since we are pretty much just staycationing at home this year I have been focusing on finally furnishing and fixing up our pool deck area.  We have lived in this house for 4 years and done so much work inside and outside our house – you can see our 4-year exterior tour here.  But since we had so much work to do in the yard and on the front and back porch, furnishing and completely setting up our pool deck area hadn’t been a real priority.  But this summer I am making it a priority!  We had a kiddie pool up here for a few years to make it easier with a toddler to play while bigger kids played in the actual pool but now that that is gone this momma is ready to make this area pretty and functional! 

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I will do a complete post on this whole area once I finish one more project up here but today I want to show you how I made these easy DIY wood planter boxes!  I love the warmth the stained cedar wood gives and also gives us another spot to put a tiki torch to keep the bugs away. 

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For the planters, I used this DIY easy planter building plan from Ana White.  So I won’t document the entire build since she has it all detailed on her site, along with a video of the process.  But I will share the planter pots I found to go in it, total cost, and how I finished it.

This is such an easy build that doesn’t require a bunch of tools – just a saw and nail gun!  I built the first one and then timed myself on the second one – it took me 45 min from the start of cutting all the boards to sanding, to putting the last nail in.   Cedar fence pickets are quite rough so I suggest sanding them after cutting but before assembling – a good portion of my time was just in sanding!

I actually had enough wood in my wood stash (and some leftover fence pickets) to build them but I priced out the wood if I had bought at Home Depot:

  • 3 cedar fence pickets x $3.07 each = $9.21
  • 3  – 1x2x8 x $1.18 = $3.54
  • 1 – 1x3x8 = $1.68 – $1.68
  • = $14.43 – less than $15 each!

If these were going to be on a covered porch you could use pine fence pickets which are only $1.72 each at my Home Depot making your cost even cheaper. 

The finished planters are about 20 inches wide and tall from the outside measurements so this inexpensive 15-inch planter pot fit inside with just a little bit of space around it. 

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Here’s my tip for making the base inside the planter for the pot to sit on… I flipped the planter box upside down with the planter pot inside upside down as well.  Then laid my scrap boards I was making the floor base on top of the pot bottom – then I could see exactly where I needed to nail the support piece inside the box. 

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Here are both boxes finished!   The slats are cedar and the side and top trim pieces are pine which means the stain may go on a bit different but it wasn’t that noticeable once I was all finished. 

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I used Varathane Classic Penetrating stain in Golden Oak and then Varathane Satin Outdoor Spar Urethane as the sealer – Spar Urethane is a great product to use to help protect exterior wood projects. 

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Here they are stained and sealed! 

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If you follow me on Instagram you know I love to stalk the discount racks for plants so I had already purchased several really pretty annual plants on discount and was ready to fill up my pots.  I follow the thriller (a taller plant), filler (a pretty flowering plant that fills a lot of space), and a spiller (either flower or greenery that spills over the edge) method for my pots. 

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I am loving this potato vine I planted in these other pots earlier this summer – it is going crazy and I love it!  The ones in the wood planter boxes should look like this soon!

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And here are the finished wood planter boxes up by our pool!  I am just loving how this area is turning out – wish I had taken a before picture with the free furniture we made do with for a few years, non-matching umbrellas, and kiddie pool but believe me this is a huge improvement!

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I’m also loving our new outdoor rug out here – it adds so much plus allows a safe haven from the hot concrete when you get out of the pool. Smile  It’s the Catrine outdoor rug from Boutique rugs – use code FRUGAL55 to save 55% off anything on their site. 

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You can find the tutorial for that DIY flag on our shed here – I built that last summer with more fence pickets! Smile

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How are you spending your summer?  It has gotten so hot here that we are definitely spending lots of time in the pool!

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