DIY Garden Planter Box Tutorial

Anyone can make this DIY Garden Planter Box!


I’m so excited to share my new planter box with you!  This was sooooo easy to do!  Honestly, anyone can make this planter AND you can do it in just a couple of hours!  Maybe less if you don’t have 5 and 3 year old helpers ;) 
Last year we decided that we would build a new planter box this year because we were having a hard time growing veggies in our current planter boxes.  They just weren’t deep enough!  We have clay soil so once the roots hit the clay – well, let’s just say it isn’t pretty.  A couple ideas were tossed around and we finally decided on the following design:

I am not an artist by any means but hopefully the illustration helps.  The planter box is 8ft x 4ft and is built of redwood.  You don’t HAVE to use redwood but it’s a great material to use for a planter box.  The planter box requires the following materials:
(6) 2″x8″x8′
(2) 2″x8″x12′ – cut to 4 ft lengths, resulting in (6) 2″x8″x4′
(1) 4″x4″x8′ redwood posts
Screws – 3 1/2″ exterior, self-drilling, screws

We purchased the materials at Lowes and it came to just under $170 including tax which I think is a fair price for a planter box this large.  Too big for your space??  Redwood too expensive?  This design can easily be modified to any size planter you desire and you can use lumber that works for your budget.  For example:

4 ft x 4 ft  planter would require a total of 48 linear feet of wood, 16 ft for each level
3ft x 6 ft planter would require a total of 54 linear feet of wood, 18 ft for each level
Go to your local home improvement store and price out the different lengths of lumber and do the math to make sure you aren’t wasting anything.  Make sure you get your money’s worth!  

We had the Lowes associate cut down our 12 ft board into (3) 4 ft lengths.  They are not able to cut the 4×4 post so we used a circular saw at home to do that.  We cut the 8 ft post in half, and then in half again so we had four equal lengths.

Next we began assembling the planter box. We started with a short end making sure that the pieces were squared up on both sides.  We used two screw per board, per side.  So four screws in each board.

Here is what the completed “short” side looks like with all three boards in place:


We repeated this process for the other short side and then moved the operation to the back yard.  We could tell that we weren’t going to be able to easily move the entire planter to the backyard once it was completely built. We made Reece carry everything ;)

The next step definitely requires two or more people.  It’s crucial that each corner is squared up at this point.

Holding up the two short sides, lay an 8 ft board across to create the long side of the planter.  Making sure the first one is PERFECT makes the other two boards a breeze to install.

Here is the planter with three sides completed:

Flipping it over and onto the ground was when I realized how big this planter was – soooo exciting!  This is a good view of the posts.  You can see that they are a couple of inches longer than the height of the planter.  These will go into the ground, stabilizing the planter box.  Considering the size of this planter, it will be holding about 64 cubic feet of material.  The planter isn’t going to move anywhere but it would be  a good idea for smaller boxes. 

 Next step – the final side!!

Now that the planter is done – we have to move the old one!  Empty first…thanks Reece!

We removed the old planter and put the new one in it’s place.  Our old planter was 3 ft x 6 ft so this one is much larger.  We made sure that the planter was nice and level before we started filling with soil.

A week later we finally had it filled and started planting…

Building the planter only took a couple of hours and I think it’s just GORGEOUS!  We chose not to stain, paint, or line it to eliminate those chemicals in our soil.  We are just going au natural and I will enjoy this beautiful color while it lasts.   We have been busy planting seeds and plants and I walk out everyday and enjoy my beautiful planter.  
What do you think?  Do you have planter boxes or do you garden right in the ground?

DIY Garden Planter Box Tutorial |

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  1. Thank you for sharing this tutorial, I have plans to do a veggies garden as well in our house, and did not know well where to start, this has been very helpful, I’m definitely going to try it.

  2. Looks great! Did it take alot of dirt to fill?

  3. This looks great! I would love a couple of these – might just shoot this through to Mr Cool… I am the brains, he is the brawn…

    Great post – so clear! Thanks!

    Visiting from Domessblissity…

  4. What a great project! My favorite part is that you don’t have to be so bent over in to work in your garden! This would also make growing and picking potatoes a cinch! Thanks for sharing!
    Found you on Bear Rabbit Bear
    Visiting from Well Rounded

  5. I’ve been wanting one of these! Oh, well- maybe soon! Thanks for sharing at Things I’ve Done Thursday this week.

  6. this is great! one day i would like to have a garden area, but tell me, is the bed so the soil is different, or to keep pests out-otherwise, why can’t one just plant in the regular ground? is that a no no?

  7. This turned out really great – and LOVE your little helpers! I’ve too been planning to build one of these this summer … more motivation to actually get out there and do it! :)
    xo Jessie

  8. Wow this looks so great, and the kids helping too! Getting me thinking about cleaning up our backyard and enlisting the kids in helping :) Tanya

  9. what a great tutorial!!
    thanks for linking up! I featured you post on my wrap up

    Have a great weekend!

  10. My husband is wanting to build garden boxes. What a perfect tutorial! I’m excited to find your blog.

  11. So happy you gave this tutorial. I need to make a planter and even found some wood in my travels around town hunting for junk. I’ll have to see what I can come up with thanks to your direction. Stop and see me at Quirky Vistas!

  12. I am totally digging this!!! You make it look so easy with your instructions that I now have the courage to get mine done haha..THANKS!!! I’m a new follower via Pine Creek Link Up!!!! Love your stuff!!!!


  13. That came out great! I love it!

  14. Great new box! Wow it looks so easy too:)Enjoy your planting!

  15. WOW! I am so looking forward to making mines.

    Mrs. Delightful

  16. Fantastic tutorial! We have six 8×4 ft. raised beds in our garden and I love them over the while tilled up back yard. A great tip when purchasing your lumber is to talk to the lumber or store manager. Sometimes they get lots of wood that are warped and not good to build with for general projects however they are wonderful for raised beds. That’s what worked for us. This is our second year and we just love the produce that comes from our own back yard!

  17. HI Trish-
    Oh my! This is fabulous! You take great pictures of your work, too! Very fun!

    We would LOVE for you to stop over and link up this awesome idea in our Crafty Saturday Showcase. The Showcase runs Saturday through Thursday. Then our Designers will pick their top linked up picks and feature them on Friday! Stop over and join in the fun! We have a linky for crafty bloggers and ETSY/Business Bloggers!

    Have a great weekend,

  18. super job Trish! It takes a family to grow a garden! :)

    great tutorial.

  19. Hello Trish,
    Great tutorial. Thanks for sharing.
    Smiles, Paula

  20. Thanks for sharing. I don’t have a garden or a balcony but my mom has one! I plan to do a smaller garden box for my son, he’s a quite good gardener at 2 yo… Not as me, I killed plant. He could plant some salads and his strawberries.

    I’m a new follower (GFC) via the creative me’s linky ;)

  21. This is so very fabulous! Thanks so much for atking the time to share at last week’s Pin’inspiration party. You are a feature this week C:

  22. What a great tutorial! I have been wanting to put a raised bed in our backyard, but wanted to build my own as opposed to buying one. We have lots of wild rabbits in our neighborhood and they seem to LOVE our plants. Need a way to get what I want and keep the little critters out. :)

  23. i so need one of these
    Cant wait to see what you link up later today on Serenity Saturday

    Natasha xxx

  24. I love the color. You did such a great job with giving the dimensions. It makes it so simple to replicate. Thanks so much for sharing at Whimsy Wednesdays.

  25. This tutorial was AWESOME! It looks so simple to do. This would look perfect in our backyard, I need to head to home depot as we speak! Thank you for sharing.


  26. Great tutorial! I would love for you to link up to Snips & Spice Sunday Slice this week.


  27. Planter boxes are a great way to add garden elements where you might not have the best of soil conditions. wooden boxes are attractive, but you’re limited to square or rectangular boxes, and they take some time to put together. You can build a concrete planter box, like the ones shown on Yard Crashers, and make different sizes. The blocks come in a lot of different colors, too and they are easy to move around. There are instructions and a video here: Happy Gardening!

  28. I admire the sturdiness of your planter box design. You use “real” lumber and it will last for a long time.

    I have a design that has some of the same ideas, but is built to be freestanding with legs. Anybody interested can find it at Like “Mom on Time-Out’s,” it’s sturdy.


  29. Thank you for these simple instructions! I built a 3′ x 6′ version for my small space. Looking forward to spring!

  30. Mama Ames says:

    My 13 year old daughter and I found your tutorial this morning, went to Lowe’s and bought everything, came home and built it in less than 2 hours! Your directions were EXCELLENT! It looks perfect and we can’t wait to get planting!

  31. Melissa says:

    How tall is the garden bed when built?

  32. Hi Trish,
    Can’t wait to give this a shot. Just wondering what type of wood you used? And do you know if it matters what type as far as it being healthy for the plants you are growing?
    Thank you!

  33. Very nice plan. Will give it a go this weekend with the wife.
    David A. Horton recently posted..6 Miter Saw Safety Rules To Follow

  34. Patti Hafer says:

    Thank you for this simple yet excellent idea. My Lowe’s cut my 4×4 in half for me for easy transport home but I was also in a cast at the time from surgery. He simply used a box saw and cut it in half. Guess I could have done the same. With RA and numerous back surgeries, your raised garden box has allowed me to regain my love of gardening and enjoying the outdoors. And…I don’t have to fight the rabbits!! Love it!!

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