I’ve always wanted a better solution for my front porch. My stoop is a little on the small side. Every season I want to put out containers and seasonal decor, but there is not enough room for them. So last fall I set out to plan and build custom planters. There is plenty of space on either side of my stoop for plantings, but I wanted to bring them up higher for everyone to enjoy. Here is what I came up with.
DIY Wooden Planter Boxes
I custom designed these planters to match the depth of my stoop. The height would fall just under my shutters, but they would provide plenty of space for my seasonal plantings.
I wanted to build these planters so they were durable for years to come. Pressure treated wood seemed to be the best fit, since I was not planning to grow vegetables in them. If I were planning to use these for vegetable gardening, I would have used Cedar. One word of warning; these planters are heavy. It took two people to move them in place when they were empty. I was not planning to move them, so that was OK with me. If you want a lighter version, consider these plans from Ana White.
Cut List (for one planter):
(8) 1X6 cut to 41″ (Horizontal long side boards.)
(8) 1X6 cut to 17 1/4″ (Horizontal short side boards.)
(4) 4X4 cut to 23 7/8″ (Four corners of planter)
(2) 1X6 cut to 52 1/4 (This is for a butt joint on the top cap. I mitered mine, but I don’t recommend it because they began to come apart over time.)
(2) 1X6 cut to 21 1/4″ (Short side of top cap.)
(4) 2X2 cut to 41″ (These are used to attach the top cap from inside planter and hold the bottom boards inside planter)
(4) 2X2 cut to 17 1/4″ (These are used to attach the top cap from inside planter and hold the bottom boards inside planter)
Extra (2) 1X6X8 for bottom of planter.
How to Build
Set up your Kreg Jig. For instructions on how to do this, you can watch this video. Drill pocket holes on both sides of your 1X6 side boards. Like this. Attach the boards into the 4X4’s with pocket screws. For proper spacing lay a 3/4″ thick board below the 1X6 to inset the boards a little. This gives the panels a more custom look. I also used a quarter to create the gap between the boards. The top cap pieces go together like a picture frame, again using pocket holes. Once all four sides of the box are together, attach the 2X2’s on the top inside using the 1 1/4″ screws. These will hold the top cap to the planter box. Decide how deep you want to place the bottom of the box and place the rest of your 2X2’s on the bottom inside of the planter at the same height. You will rest your bottom boards on top of the 2X2’s. Measure the inside length of the planter and cut your extra 1X6 to fit; then place them in the bottom on top of the 2X2’s. Attach the top cap from inside the planter.
I sanded all of the boards before I put the planters together. Then I let them dry out on my deck over the winter. Pressure treated lumber is usually wet and green when it is purchased. The stain I used was TWP 1503 Dark Oak. I just brushed it on and wiped it off with rags. Finally, I stapled black landscape fabric to the inside of the planters to prevent the dirt from coming out of the cracks between the boards.
Soil & Plantings
I filled the planters with Miracle Grow Garden Mix. You can purchase it here. The small evergreen is a Dwarf Alberta Spruce from Lowe’s. Other plantings include: Purple Fountain Grass, Mums, Kale, and Creeping Jenny. Here are a few more pictures.
I hope you found this post helpful. Are you ready to build your own wooden planter boxes?