Build a Box Planter


The other day, Jon spotted an old cedar-planked dog house that someone was throwing away. So he loaded it up and came home with it. Consider my husband officially on the I-aint-ashamed-of-picking-up-other-people’s-trash train. Welcome, love…and stay awhile!

After it was home, he disassembled it (and even saved the old screws so we could reuse them) and we were left with this wonderful, heaping pile of…potential.

We decided that our front porch needed some lovin. It has remained fairly untouched since we moved in a year and a half ago. Sad, I know. So we decided to try our hand at building box planters for either side of the front door.

It was my goal to avoid purchasing anything to complete the planters; to create them with only things that we have on hand. We dug in to the deep, dark depths of our scrap wood pile to create these planters and we luckily had enough scrap wood to avoid buying anything. I’ll chalk that up to a win!

We started by deciding on the dimensions for the planters, which ended up being about 1.5′w x 1′d x 1′h (not including the legs). We didn’t put deep thought in to the dimensions…it was simply what worked best with we had on hand. And who needs deep thought anyways?

I’ll contemplate that for awhile. Maybe.

With our dimensions in mind, we created 8 total panels (since we were building two) and attached them as seen below, using wood glue and the recycled screws. We used our miter saw which was immensely helpful.

Like I mentioned before, we wanted to use what we had on hand, so we used all kinds of scrap wood as the braces on the inside of the panels. We kinda went all MacGyver-crazy on these things. But hey, free is free.

Here are all of the panels assembled; 4 front and back panels, and 4 side panels.

Next, we took 2×2 scraps to create the legs and attached them to the front and back panels.

Then we attached the side panels to the legs (that were already attached to the front and back panels).

As for the bottom, we added a 1×2 scrap to the bottom of both insides of the panels so that boards could rest on top of them.

The gaps in the boards allow for proper drainage.

We also framed out the top by using the miter saw to cut four boards at 45 degree angles. Once it was assembled, we were left with these unfinished-looking corners.

So we used some left over lattice from these tables and trimmed out the edges.

We lined the insides with weed-blocker fabric that was left over from a prior gardening project and loaded it up with garden soil.

After a couple coats of white paint, we were able to grace our front porch with these free planters…

Here’s to hoping the plants remain untouched by the deer that seem to skip on eating the weeds in our yard and go straight for the store-bought plants. Who knew deer have such expensive taste!?


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  1. says

    Suzie I love it! You just gave me an idea for our balcony! What would you say to write a guest post about this for my blog? I host a guest blogger every Friday, so I’d be happy if you did.
    Love, Olga

  2. hikergirl says

    Wow, I love it Suzie. It really brightens up your front porch. Good luck with those deer not eating your new plants! :)

  3. says

    Very nice stuff. I have lost an hour on your blog already! I was looking for a photoshop tutorial on door mats… and ended up on your doormat part duex. Have traveled through quite a bit of your pages now. Thanks for good stuff. I favorited and will be back!

  4. Sonja says

    Hi! My husband did a similar stand for me after a deck project! I can’t stand not to try and repurpose good items. What I did was put a small plastic trash can inside that fit snuggly, then put some empty somewhat crushed coke cans in the bottom, then filled with dirt! I put a small banana plant in it last summer. It worked great! Also built like a gnome home site in the top so it wouldn’t look so empty. Keep posting!!!


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