YellaWood® Outdoor Building Project Plans

Build a Planter Box

Estimated Cost: $$$$


Total: 5 hours

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This planter box is simple and fun to build. Featuring simple joinery reinforced with waterproof glue, exterior grade screws and galvanized finish nails, this planter can be built in a few hours and will provide years of attractive use. The plan can easily be modified and you can build a bigger box to house several plants or customize it to fit a specific space in which you want to place it.

It can be located anywhere on your deck or in your yard, and is the perfect size for growing a single tomato plant or a few small patches of herbs. You can even bring it indoors during colder months and enjoy fresh-grown herbs or vegetables year round. One tip if you do decide to bring it indoors – place it on a plastic tray or boot mat to catch any water that may drip down through the weep holes, which are necessary to drain standing water from any planter.

The simplicity of this plan means you can build a set of two, three or more planter boxes in a day or weekend. You can use them as enclosures for potted plants or grow any other type of flower, vegetable, fruit or herb you like. You can have a suite of planters your family will enjoy season after season.

Before you get started, please read our info on safety, fasteners and building tips.

Before building, please consult our Terms of Use.

Download Plans

  • (2) 1 x 4 x 12' YellaWood® brand pressure treated pine
  • (1) 2 x 4 x 8' YellaWood® brand pressure treated pine (to be cut in half for legs)
  • (3) 1 x 8 x 8' YellaWood® brand pressure treated pine
  • One lb. 1 ½" exterior-grade wood screws
  • Waterproof exterior wood glue
  • 1 ½" galvanized finish nails
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  • A. (4) 1x8 x 18"
  • B. (4) 1x8 x 22 ½"
  • C. (4) 1 ½ x 1 ½ x 24"
  • D. (2) 1x2 x 18"
  • E. (3) 1x8 x 18" (2 notched, 1 ripped)
  • F. (8) 1x4 x15 ½"
  • G. (2) 1x4 x 25 ½"
  • H. (2) 1x4 x 19 ½"
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Miter saw
Miter saw
Table saw
Table saw
Jig saw
Jig saw
Nail set
Nail set
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Assembly Video

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arrow arrow arrowSteps 1-3

  1. 1

    Cut the sides (A and B), legs (C), cleats (D) and corner trim (F) according to the dimensions on the cut list.
    Due to natural variances in lumber dimensions, measure and cut parts (G) and (H) after assembly of the rest of the box. This will ensure a flush fit and neater appearance.

  2. 2

    Cut 2 x 4 to about 50", rip in half on table saw, then cut to length for legs.

  3. 3

    Cut the bottom pieces (E) and set aside for more cuts after assembly of the box.
    Keep a damp rag handy to clean up any glue drips and runs as you work.

arrow arrow arrowSteps 4-6

  1. 4

    Attach the shorter side pieces (A) to the legs with glue and screws, keeping edges flush.
    Always drill pilot holes when driving screws to avoid splitting the wood.

  2. 5

    Glue and screw cleats (D) to the inside of each side panel, keeping the bottom of the cleat roughly even with the bottom edge of the side panel.

  3. 6

    Attach longer side pieces (B) to each panel, keeping all ends flush.
    Small gaps (about 3/8” or less) are acceptable for the bottom assembly, as drainage is required anyway.

arrow arrow arrowSteps 7-9

  1. 7

    Place 2 of the bottom pieces (E) inside the box on top of the cleats and mark where to notch for the legs. Remove the pieces and cut the notches with a hand saw or jig saw. Put them back in place inside the box.
    It is not necessary to attach the bottom boards to the cleats, but you may do so if you choose.

  2. 8

    Attach corner trim pieces with glue and finish nails, keeping the tops flush with the box assembly.

  3. 9

    Measure the distance between the 2 bottom pieces, rip the third piece to that width, and put it in place. Drill ¼" - ½" diameter drainage holes in each board (about 3 per board).

arrow arrow arrowSteps 10-11

  1. 10

    Measure from outside corner to outside corner along the top of the box to get your length for top trim pieces (long point to long point of your miter cuts). Attach with glue and finish nails.

  2. 11

    Break all edges with sandpaper and make sure all nail heads are set.
    You may want to place a piece of landscape fabric in the bottom of your planter, but it is not necessary.