Completed planter box

Wood Required


Quantity Size
2 2” x 4” x 8’
1 2” x 4” x 4’
4 1” x 6” x 8’
1 2” x 2” x 8’
1 5/4” x 6” x 8’


I made my planter box out of cedar, which smells great and weathers very well. I kept mine natural to easily blend with any outdoor patio style. You could also paint or stain it to match your own personal style.

All pieces cut to length

Wood Cuts

Start with your 2” x 4” x 8’ lengths. Cut 1/8” off one end so you have a clean, straight edge. You are now ready to set up a stop block and cut all of your pieces. (A stop block acts as your guide, guaranteeing every piece will be cut exactly the same.)

Cuts Quantity
2” x 4” x 8’ 8 @ 16” (l)
4 @ 12” (l) x 1-5/8” (w)
4 @ 13-1/4” (l) x 1-5/8” (w)
1” x 6” x 8’ 12 @ 14" (l)
3 @ 14-1/2" (l)
2 @ 15 7/8” (l) x 1-1/4" (w)
2@ 13 3/8” (l) x 1-1/4" (w)
2” x 2” x 8’ 2 @ 15 7/8" (l) with 45° ends
2 @ 14-3/4” (l) with 45° ends
5/4” x 6” x 8’ 2 @ 21-1/4” (l) x 4" (w) with 45° ends
2 @ 22-5/8” (l) x 4” (w) with 45° ends
Rip cutting the legs at 45°

Planter Legs

After the basic cuts are done, it’s time to make the legs. I recommend using a table saw for this. Cut your 16” (l) pieces of your 2” x 4" at 3-1/2” (w) on a 45° angle.

Image left: Applying glue to leg miter joint. Image right: Clamping leg miter joint.

Leg Clamp

Glue and clamp the 45° angle pieces together and secure with brad nails. (You must use exterior glue.) Leave it clamped for 24 hours.

Top left: Laying parts out before assembly. Top right: Legs and side supports dry assembled. Bottom left: Setting out spacing for side boards. Bottom right: Side boards in place.


Practice makes perfect! I always like to lay out everything and pre-assemble to make sure it all works together before it’s permanently assembled.

Marking position of lower side support


Measure 14" down on all four legs to mark the leg supports.

Image left: Toenail at approximately 45°. Image right: Securing bottom side support with treated-wood screw.

Clamp your two 13-1/4" x 1-5/8" pieces to the top of the legs and at the 14" mark. On the top and bottom rail, toenail with a 3" treated-wood screw so it’s not visible.

Image left: Placing boards inside the frame. Image middle: Pinning boards in place. Image right: Securing boards in the corner

Face Panels

After completing the frame, set three 14" lengths inside the frame. Place two 14” boards vertically (as shown below) for a tight fit before screwing. Make sure the boards are flush on top before pinning and nailing to the frame. Repeat this process for the other side.

Image left: Finished sides ready for assembly. Image right: Securing inside supports.

Add the 15-7/8" lengths with the 45° edges to the bottom of the 14" lengths.

Image left: Clamping ready to attach side supports. Image middle: Drilling hole in side supports. Image right: Drilling hole in side supports.

With the two side gables complete, you can now clamp and attach the 12” (l) x 1 5/8” pieces. Repeat screwing and secure as before.

Image left: Securing the boards to the frame. Image middle: Using 3” screws to secure inside supports. Image right: Completed inside supports.

Use two screws (top and bottom) per board and four screws per side, which secures the boards to the frame.

Secure two 14-3/4" pieces with 45° ends to the frame using 3” screws as shown.

Image left: Bottom dry fitted. Image middle: Drilling drainage holes in bottom panel. Image right: Bottom installed.

Take your three 14-1/2" (l) pieces and drill nine holes for drainage. Secure the boards to the base of the unit.

Image left: Installing the bed liner. Image middle: Liner trimmed flush to top. Image right: Adjusting and dry fitting the top pieces.

Mold bed liner to the inside frame of the box and secure it with two 15-7/8” x 1-1/4" (w) and two 13-3/8” x 1-1/4" (w) pieces. Once secured, cut off excess wrap.

Pre-assemble the top trim pieces and tweak them as necessary so you get a perfect fit before securing.

Image left: Positioning end piece ready for glue. Image middle: Clamping miters in place. Image right: Securing miters with pins.

Once your top pieces are ready, they need to be glued, clamped and pinned together before securing to the top.

Image left: Pinning the top in place. Image right: Clamping and pinning the top in place.

After securing all 45° together, secure the top frame to the box by pinning.

Top left: Mixing glue and sawdust. Top right: Glue and sawdust paste. Bottom left: Filling the nail holes. Bottom right: Final sanding of the planter.

I mix cedar sawdust with exterior glue to make a paste used to fill the pin holes. After the glue has dried, sand all edges and surfaces smooth using an orbital sander.

Completed planter box

You are done. Start planting!

Text and photos by Barry Maruk

Barry Maruk is a carpenter with a creative passion for design and photography.

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