November 2, 2017

How To Build Beautiful Wood Planters (On The Cheap!)



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I am sooooo excited to share these with you!! I've only wanted to build them for over 2 years...

DIY Porch Planters


It just seems like so many other projects and 'things' pushed them to the back burner... But not anymore!! Yay!

I am sooo happy they are finished!!

DIY Porch Planters

We built them with some very inexpensive wood from Lowes and some plywood we had on hand, which made them super cheap! 👍  Under $25 each! I have the breakdown at the end of the post.

Of course, Hubby helped with figuring out the dimensions and plans.  He's so much better at that, than I am.

First, I bought the plastic planter inserts. I purchased two black medium sized planters at Lowes for $14.98 each. This was the only picture I had of them! I had them on the porch to hold my mums while we were working on the planters. This photo gives you a better picture of the size of them.

Fall 2017 Me and Hubs

Just have to give a shout out to my hubby! I'm sooo proud of him! First of all, he always supports my hair-brained ideas and helps me with so many projects! But this guy just lost 15 lbs! Not easy to do, but eating healthier has paid off! Looking good, Babe! 😍

Back to the planters.... I didn't want the planters to be too heavy to move, and having the inserts will make it easier to change flowers with the season.

If you want to make your own planters, you will need the dimensions of the planter insert you will be using. We measured under the lip, the width of the planter was 16 inches, so the width of the side panels will be 16 1/4 inches to give room for the planter to fit in easily.

Do you remember the headboard from my daughter's room? Well, when I turned her room into a guest room, I disassembled her head board and had a huge piece of plywood to work with! Click on the headboard if you want to see how we made it.

 Build a headboard

We used that plywood for the sides of the planter. 👍   Hubby measured and cut 8 panels to 16 1/4 x 21 inches. I had to fill in a bit of the sides with wood filler.

Plywood sides of planter

Next, I sanded and primed those panels, with my very favorite primer! Zinsser Bullseye 123 Primer. Love this stuff! As you can see I also cut and attached the 1x4 borders at the top and bottom.


I purchased cheap 1x4s for the borders. They aren't the nice ones that are smooth and cut perfect. They are rough, but you can go through them and find some good ones.  They were $2.18 for an 8ft board. For that price, I can work with it! I cut them 16 1/4 inches long and attached them with wood glue and finishing nails. Using our handy dandy nail gun (this is the one we have), I had them put together in a flash!

Side Panels of Planters

We used 2x2 lumber for the legs. Those were $1.58 for each, super cheap!!  I wanted the planters to be 24 inches tall, so they were cut to 24 inches.

Cutting legs of planters

To attach the side panels to the legs we used one of my favorite tools! Kreg Jig  That little tool is small but mighty! If you click on the link, that's the mini kit that I have. It makes pocket holes super easy!

Using Kreg Jig


Hubby and I made quick work of attaching the legs to the front and back panels. Then putting all of the sides together with wood glue and screws.

Hubs helping put planters together

Yay! We have a planter! Almost done!! I had to see what they looked like! I love them!

Primed Planters almost finished

I wanted a lip to frame the top, a support on the inside to "hold" the planter and some cute trim on the side panels, plus a couple of coats of paint. Let's finish these up!

First, the frame for the top. Basically, we cut a 1x3 with a corner miter cut and fit them together.  The inside measurement needed to be 16 1/4 inches. They aren't perfect, but nothing a bit of wood filler and caulking can't fix. 😊  The planter lip will rest on this frame.

Planter top framed

Then the support for the plastic insert. I used leftover scrap for the insert support. First, I needed to measure how far the insert sits in planter.  Then, I measured 9 inches from the bottom and installed two side supports with glue and nailed in place. Lastly, I placed the center piece over them to support the insert, and nailed in place. 

Planter insert support

Now the cute part!! I wanted an X on each side panel. I used 1x2 furring strips. They are so cheap... like $.98 for an 8 foot piece! I bought a bundle of 6 of them.

Measured and cut each one to 20 inches with a matching 45 degree angle on each end, so that each side of the cross piece measured 20 inches. They fit perfectly!

Cutting 'X" trim for side panels

Then for the other part of the X. I laid the one piece I needed to cut in place, then I placed the other one on top.

Cutting 'X" trim for side panels

Marked the cuts and just cut the middle part out. Do you see the marks? Yes, it's a tiny bit of waste, but it was the easiest way for me.

Cutting 'X" trim for side panels

Then just glue and nail in place. 

Glue and nail 'X" trim for side panels

Glue and nail 'X" trim for side panels

Here you can see how the planter insert fits in perfectly!! Yay!!
Because they were going to be on the porch and be outside in all kinds of weather, I wanted to make sure that they would hold up, so I caulked every seam and hole I could find.

Porch planters completely built

Then primed the entire planter with 2 coats of Zinnser 123 Primer.  Then 2 coats of exterior white paint.

During the photo shoot, I had a little visitor...

DIY Porch Planters Finished

After the photo shoot, I thought about the legs sitting in wet rain or snow and thought it would be better if they were off the ground. I purchased plastic leg tips that you nail in the bottom of the legs.

DIY Porch Planters Finished

Love, love, love them!!! They look so nice with the mums in them!😍

DIY Porch Planters Finished


List of supplies:
Plastic planter insert - $14.98 each (2) = 29.96
4'x 8' panel of plywood - free (reused)
1 x 4  - $2.18 each (3) = $6.93
1 x 3 - $1.25 each (2) = $2.65
2 x 2 - $1.38 each (4) = $5.85
1 x 2 - $.98 each (4) =$4.16
wood glue - on hand
finishing nails - on hand
wood screws - on hand
caulking - on hand
primer - on hand
paint - on hand

Grand total of $49.55 for both planters! That means they were less than $25 each! Now that's a bargain, people! 😊

Whew! That was a long post! Thanks for reading! I am so thrilled with how these planters came out! 💕

Blessings!
Lori -thestonybrookhouse
Lori -thestonybrookhouse

I have been blogging for about 4 years and I enjoy sharing all the things that go on here at The Stonybrook House. From building to decorating, crafting and cooking, and so much more. I enjoy gardening and a healthy lifestyle. Most importantly I love The Lord Jesus my Savior and my wonderful hubby of 28 years!

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