Cedar planter boxes are not only great for adding some greenery to just about any outdoor space, but they also look great when done correctly. Cedar is a fantastic wood to use for this, as it looks great, is naturally weather resistant, and even smells great!
There are endless different plant box designs that you can find online, so I made one that is fairly easy to do with just basic tools and can be completed in the span of a few hours.
I’ll break down the entire process in step-by-step detail, and give detailed plans for how you can replicate the process to create your own gorgeous cedar planter boxes.
- Circular saw or table saw
- Tape measure
- Carpenter’s square
- Pencil or pen
- Wire snips
- 2” x 6” 8-foot cedar boards (5)
- 1” x 2” 8-foot cedar board (1)
- 3” deck screws
- Steel mesh (for the base)
- 2-inch x 6-inch x 48-inch (x6) (longer walls)
- 2-inch x 6-inch x 24-inch (x6) (shorter walls)
- 1-inch x 2-inch x 18-inch (x4) (supports)
How to Make Cedar Planter Boxes – Guide
Step 1: Measure and Mark Your Pieces
The first thing you’ll want to do is to measure and mark your boards for cutting them down to size.
Use a square to ensure you get nice clean and accurate cuts.
Step 2: Cut Your Pieces to Size
Next up, use your saw to carefully cut your pieces down to the lengths described in the cut list. The list is what is necessary for a single planter box, so if you want to make more simply multiply the list by however many planters you wish to make.
If you can, cut your pieces in advance of assembling them to save time. Or even better, get them cut for you at the hardware store so you don’t need to do any cutting at all.
Step 3: Assemble the End Sections
Next up, you’ll want to start by assembling the two end walls. Line up three of the shorter 2-foot pieces and ensure they are flush and lined up correctly.
Then take one of your 1” x 2” supports and line it up on its longer side with one of the edges of your end section. Fasten a screw into each one of the planks being careful not to over-tighten and risk splitting the wood.
If you want a pristine-looking planter, then consider pre-drilling your holes before fastening your screws. If you want a more rustic-looking one, then just be careful not to over-tighten, but you might split the wood a little anyway.
Repeat the process with the other edge of the shorter wall. Then repeat the entire process until you have both completed end sections.
Step 4: Stand up End Piece
Stand up one of your end sections the way it will be once assembled. They are stable as long as the ground is basically level.
Now line up your long wall sections with the edge of your assembled end wall.
You can actually line up all three segments on top of each other without them falling over. This will give you a good idea of how the final product will look and also allow you to make sure your sections are cut to the right length and aren’t warped.
Step 5: Fasten your Long Walls
With the side walls lines up, carefully fasten each board into the 1”x 2” supports. Make sure your screws actually fasten into the supports and don’t bypass them accidentally. This happened to me on a few of the screws, so I had to go back and re-do them a second time.
Complete one side, and then replicate the process again on the opposite side. At this point, your planter is nearly completed, and all that’s left to do is fasten the last end section.
Step 6: Fasten the End Section
Now, stand up your other end section and line it up with the rest of your boards. Now is a good opportunity to double-check that everything will fit together properly and no adjustments will need to be made.
Drive your screws through the ends of the boards and into the support sections behind them. Once again, be careful with this part as it’s possible to miss the support and fasten the board into nothing.
Step 7: Create Bottom Section
At this point, you can create a bottom section to create a barrier between your planter and the ground beneath it.
This will give your planter a physical protective barrier and make them easier to move as well as prevent soil from falling through the bottom of the planter. It will also help with keeping burrowing pests out, as well as weeds and grass from infiltrating your planter box.
Of course, you don’t have to do this part and can simply leave the planters with open bottoms. If you wanted to use them as a decorative pieces and put potted plants inside them then you can ignore this step.
There are a few ways to build this part of the planter, with one of the simplest is simply cutting a section of wire mesh to match the size of your planter’s bottom, and then fastening it to the bottom of your planter with a few small nails or screws.
And that’s about it! Now, all you have to do is fill up your planter boxes with some plants and enjoy!