A DIY planter box will not only help you save money, you’ll also be able to upcycle materials that would have gone to waste otherwise. Most have simple designs that you can easily recreate at home, even without sophisticated tools. In this article, we’ll show you some easy ideas of DIY planter box for beginners to help spruce up your home gardens.
What is a Planter Box?
A planter box, also known as a flower box, is a plant container that is rectangular in shape. Planter boxes are usually shallower when compared to your usual plant pots and often hold herbs or various edible plants. Contrary to a raised garden bed, these take up very little space. This is also why they are preferred by people, especially beginners. Planter boxes make home gardening possible even in urban settings.
Typical garden boxes are made out of PVC, metal, fiberglass, or even wood. It all depends on your needs and aesthetic. It should also be considered a part of your home landscaping because these can easily add beauty and value to any property. When planted with flowers, it can add a sprinkle of color to an otherwise drab façade.
How to Build a DIY Planter Box
Planter boxes are really quite simple in design. Even if you are a beginner at woodworking, you should be able to accomplish this project as well. Here’s a simple guide you can use.
- Treated lumber (best for outdoor use)
- Vinyl or weed barrier
- Wooden or metal stakes
- Lattice sheet (if you’re making a DIY planter box with trellis)
- Exterior screws and drill
- Start by getting your wood cut to the proper size. For beginners who may not have the right tools at home, you can get this done at the store. Most establishments will do this for free or for a small fee.
- When deciding the size of your DIY planter box, make sure that it isn’t too deep. This is especially true for the smaller ones, which are meant to only hold herbs. The deeper the planter, the more soil you’ll need and the higher the risk for root rot because of overwatering.
Assembling the Garden Boxes:
- Once you have your wood cut to size, you’ll need to put the basic rectangle shape together. Not all planter boxes are rectangular, but this is the most common. To do this, apply a bit of wood glue to the ends of your wood panels. Let it get tacky before sticking the pieces together.
- Next, screw each piece together. Make sure the screws you’re using are weatherproof so they don’t end up rusting too soon. Don’t worry too much about making the edges flush against each other. Just as long as there are no huge gaps, small imperfections are fine.
- Repeat the same for the bottom panel. Once the box has been assembled, drill in drainage holes all over the bottom of your box. This will help keep your plants healthy, especially if you’re using wood since it absorbs water.
- You can also add support legs to your DIY planter box. This is perfect if you’re keeping it on the porch and is more for decorative purposes. You can purchase pegs from the store or cut your wood pieces to fit.
Raised Garden Beds:
- If you’re putting your garden box directly on the ground, you can skip the bottom panel and just add a weed barrier. This is your basic raised garden bed.
DIY Planter Box with Trellis:
- You can add your lattice sheet if the plants you’ll be putting in the planter box require some support. This is true for tomatoes, cucumbers, and other vining species.
- Want a DIY trellis? All you’ll need are four to five equal length poles and some jute string. Line up the poles and make sure they are planted firmly in the ground. Once done, recreate the lattice pattern using a jute string. Make sure the string is attached tightly and is taut enough to carry the plant’s weight. Thicker jute string is best for this purpose. You can also use wire.
Different DIY Planter Box Plans
The most common planter box you’ll find in stores are the typical PVC ones. These would do the job, but aren’t always as nice to look at. One of the best things about making one yourself is that you’ll be able to customize it according to your needs. Did you know that you can plant some of the usual raised garden veggies in a DIY planter box? You just need to tweak it a little. With that in mind, here are some DIY planter box designs you can try.
Self-Watering DIY Plant Box
One of the most difficult things about growing plants is making sure they are watered enough. This is especially true for people who are quite busy and are not at home as often. If you relate to this issue, you’d be glad to know that there is a self-watering system you can use to resolve it.
This design by Anika’s DIY Life uses a sub-irrigation system that even beginners can do. For folks living in apartments or condos, you can keep this in your balcony and still be able to grow your own food.
DIY Planter Box Using Upcycled Pallets
Pallets are often used on truck beds to help haul around various goods. The sad thing is that they are often turned to waste once they break. If you’re looking to make a DIY wood planter, this is one of the best materials to use.
These are affordable and easily accessible. There’s plenty you can do with these, all you need is a touch of creativity. If you add a couple of dollars to coat in fresh paint, you’ll be surprised at how beautiful these old pallets can become. Even left as is, they have a cottagecore charm to them!
Cement DIY Planter Box Designs
Wood isn’t the only material you can use for your garden boxes, however. If you want a more modern look, there are many cement planter box plans to choose from. This material is just as affordable and is also quite easy to work with.
The only drawback, when compared to wood, is that you’ll have to wait a while for it to be usable. Most cement mixtures can take a day or more to dry. Nonetheless, these are still a great option to look into.
Raised Garden Box Using Tin Roofing
Like we’ve established, it’s all about getting creative. For raised garden beds, you would want side panels that are sturdy but not too expensive. Tin roofing is great for this purpose and you can complete one for a little over $50.
Because the material is already weatherproof, you need not worry about durability as well. These can be painted according to your preference. The size can be adjusted depending on your available space, too. Definitely a great alternative to using wood.
DIY Planter Box Plans Using Plastic Bottles
Upcycling materials is the best way to go when it comes to building anything new. In this case, we’ll turn to plastic soda bottles to help put together your new DIY planter box. There are many ways you can use these in your garden, after all.
In this example, the plastic bottles were tiered to create a unique look. While painting each one is optional, it does elevate the look of your chosen material. Do remember that plastic tends to deform in direct heat so keep this in shadier areas.
Raised Box Planter with Hidden Drainage
Looking for DIY planter box plans that are suited for smaller spaces? This one will surely fit the bill. The best bit is its height and the fact that there’s enough space below to keep your gardening supplies in. Because the drainage is hidden, it is also appealing to the eyes and much less messy to deal with.
These can be kept by a sunny window or a balcony. Because of its size, you should be able to grow edible plants such as lettuce and other leafy greens on it! If you’d rather keep it decorative, smaller varieties of flowers would certainly be good too.
Metal and Wood DIY Planter Box
If you’re on a budget, but still want to try building a planter box from scratch, then this might be the thing for you. It consists of dollar store finds, but we’re sure you can easily find similar materials from your local thrift stores or junk shops. The idea here is to get creative with the resources you have.
Another thing we like about this design is the fact that it’s raised from the ground. This should enable you to use them both in a backyard and small space setting. The modern design is also quite eye-catching!
Simple Planter Box Using 2×4’s
Here’s a new take on the usual planter boxes. A square planter is more space efficient, especially if you plan on keeping it indoors. For DIY beginners, this design is also great because the materials you’ll need are easy to find.
To recreate this piece, you only need basic carpentry skills. It makes for a great garden addition, but would also add aesthetic value to your indoor space. This is great if you’re looking to start gardening for self care purposes.
Bathtub Planter Box
If you’re up for something truly unusual, try upcycling old bathtubs into planters. It’s a fun take on your usual planter, but it does require quite a bit of space to pull off. This would be best for bigger gardens and yards.
That said, the biggest advantage here is that it can hold quite a number of different plants. Bathtubs can also be easily found in junkyards or, if you’re lucky, you might even find one on a random curbside. In this example, you can see just how much you can achieve with it!
Brick Garden Boxes
When it comes to DIY planter box designs, you can experiment with different materials. For this next example, they used old bricks to form the basic shape of a planter box. You can adjust the size according to your preferences, but this is definitely a must-try if you have the space.
Because this is built directly on the ground itself, we suggest using a weed barrier before adding your compost or garden soil. Not only will this make excellent plant boxes, they can also add to the overall landscape of your garden or backyard.
Raised Planter Boxes Using PVC Pipes
This next DIY planter box utilizes a material that’s quite uncommon for these types of projects. PVC pipes aren’t the easiest material to work with, but they can be turned into some unique pieces. Just take this raised planter for example.
The ingenious design is not only eye-catching, but also makes for a great indoor plant container. Our tip is to get the pipes cut by a professional. Most hardware shops also offer this service. Though you might need to pay a small fee, it is ultimately more convenient.
Planter Box Bench
Are you familiar with the concept of Hygge? It teaches us to be more relaxed and to make sure our environment is calming. While gardens require work, we can also turn it into a space for resting by adding a few practical pieces. In this case, a planter box bench that will also help you save on space!
For this particular planter box design, some advanced carpentry techniques might be required. We suggest practicing a bit more using the other DIY planter box plans before moving forward with this design.
Indoor Wood Planter Box
Plants won’t just add to the beauty of your outdoor landscaping, they have plenty of benefits when brought indoors as well. Aside from beautifying your space, plants are also known to instill a sense of calm in a home. This is certainly a must-have for anyone.
This DIY planter tutorial will help you bring more of nature into your home. The design is fairly simple so it should be doable for any beginner as well. Just make sure you choose the best indoor plants for your space after!
Milk Crate DIY Planter Box
Here’s another great upcycling idea! Plastic milk crates tend to be thrown away after a few uses. However, they can be given new life and more use in your garden. Setting them up is also quite easy to do and you don’t need to purchase a lot of new materials.
Given their depth and size, these would make great planters for leafy veggies that require a bit more space than herbs. You can also keep these in your balcony – just be wary of water spills considering it has a lot more holes than your usual planter boxes.
Hanging Indoor Planter Box
In this example, we’re shown another fun way of bringing more greenery into your home. Planter box plans such as this one tend to work best with vining plants since they require some height to really thrive. If you have high ceilings, this would certainly make for an attractive centerpiece to your home as well.
The best bit is that this is an easy DIY planter box for beginners. You can even choose to reuse materials you already have in your home. If you’re not a fan of vining plants, try using ferns or other leafy species to create more fullness in your planter.
Tiered Planter Box
This one utilizes even the smallest amount of space available by stacking planter boxes. By using DIY planter box designs such as this one, you’ll be able to grow as much as you want. Note that you can easily mix different edible plants in one box, such as herbs and lettuce.
While raised garden beds are most ideal for food growing, don’t underestimate the potential yield something like a tiered plant box can provide. Just make sure you don’t forget to add drainage holes and place it where it can get the most sun in your home.
Egg Tray DIY Planter Boxes
Don’t throw out your egg trays just yet! If you’re fond of growing succulents, you’ll find this next DIY interesting. Using some cement, you can create a mold out of your egg trays and turn it into a unique planter box. Given the shallow depth and small space available for each egg slot, this is best fit for growing seedlings or succulents.
The tutorial is easy enough to follow. Any materials you need are all affordable as well, so this is a must-try for beginners. Do remember to dry the cement properly before you begin planting!
PVC Pipe Hanging Planter
PVC pipes take the spotlight again when it comes to this next planter box. You’ll only need a few materials to pull this off, but the result is quite pleasing to the eye. To piece together the basic structure, you’ll need to drill through the pipes. This requires a bit of dexterity if you want to avoid breaking them by using too much pressure.
While the example shows hanging planters, note that you can also use similar DIY planter box plans to create floor planters as well. Depending on how you cut the pipes, you can make this design in a square or rectangular shape.
Planter Boxes With Wheels
A lot of people opt to use raised planter boxes or raised garden beds because these designs are easier on the back. This is especially true if you spend a lot of time gardening. All that bending over will certainly take its toll.
The same goes if you keep lifting heavy garden boxes to find the best spot for them. Avoid unnecessary back strain by creating planter boxes with wheels. You can even add a handle if you think that would make things even more convenient for you.
Floating Planter Wall and Planter Box
This next project is a fairly advanced one. However, the results will certainly improve your landscape and boost the privacy of your property as well. It isn’t unusual for some people to use this kind of fence around their home, but this next design takes things up a notch.
The addition of the planter box adds a bit more height and refinement to the traditional bush fence. Another advantage of using this is that you can keep other things on the shelves as well.
DIY Tall Garden Planters
If you want to keep dwarf fruiting plants or add an accent planter to your porch, give this next tutorial a try. Tall planters serve a more decorative purpose and can really draw in the eye if done right. They can be used to add a bit more color to the entrance of your home, without taking up too much space.
These can also be used for indoor plants, so the effort you’ll be putting into making them will be worth it. You can even reuse old trash bins or buckets for this purpose.
Repurposed Drawer DIY Planter Box
So far, we’ve seen DIY planter box ideas for beginners that were made from scratch. This time, you’ll learn how to repurpose home furniture for garden use. Does this sound impossible? Not quite!
If you have old drawers that are simply no longer fit for home use, don’t throw these away. There are many ways you can upcycle them to grow plants in. This example from Hallmark channel might seem complicated, but it should give you a good idea on what you can do with it!
DIY Outdoor Planter Box Shelf
This next design can be used in a number of different settings. Given its petite size, these would also be good for indoor planting. You can easily grow seedlings in this planter box before taking them outdoors to your raised garden beds.
Tiered DIY planter box plans are very space-efficient. If you don’t have a lot of available floor area in your home, opt for these types of designs. You’ll be able to grow a lot, without cramping up your home.
Slim DIY Planter Boxes
This design takes advantage of the lengthwise area of any space, while also providing ample room to grow a lot of plants. The best bit is they can be placed just about anywhere. You can have these lined-up along your fence, the length of your balcony, and even by your windowsill.
If you’re up to it, why not add wheels to the overall structure? That will make it much easier to move this around, especially if you plan on keeping it indoors.
Hanging Box Planters for Your Fence
Traditionally, smaller planter boxes were often installed under windows. However, this next design shows just how versatile it can be. If you don’t have a lot of open ground to plant in, take advantage of the vertical space provided by your fences.
One thing to remember, of course, is to choose an area that gets ample sun. Make sure that your fences are also sturdy enough to carry the extra weight of the DIY planter box.
Basic Tools and Materials Needed to Make a Planter Box
It is no secret that gardens are cultivated through labors of love. There’s also a lot of satisfaction that comes with getting to use your own DIY planter box designs. However, growing in planter boxes can be very different from working with a raised garden. To help you maintain your DIY planter box, here are the tools and materials you’ll need.
Wood planter boxes tend to soak up moisture so they can eventually decay. Make sure you line your wood boxes with plastic to provide extra protection. Drainage holes are also a must.
Choosing the Right Soil
For planter boxes, opt for well-draining potting soil. You can also go for a soil mixed with organic matter and humus. Since the plants aren’t directly grown in the ground, your garden boxes will need extra fertilization and a layer of compost.
Keep Pests Away
While planter boxes tend to be easier to defend against pests, it doesn’t mean that they are immune. To protect your crops from insects, drape floating row covers over the box early during the growing season.
Start Your DIY Planter Box Today!
If you’re intimidated by the idea, don’t let that discourage you. Practice using a few small wood pieces first. Once you have the basic design down, you would be able to transition to bigger projects quite easily.