My wife wanted to plant some herbs outside. One day were were shopping at
the home center when she spotted a small cedar planter box. She wanted to
buy it, but when I saw the $50 price tag I said "I can build one of
those". I talked her out of it, but then I was obligated to build one
with no real plan of what I was going to make.
Making it up as I go
I didn't want to spend a lot of money on
materials, so I looked to see what I had laying around. I found four
cedar fence boards left over from an old project, and a pressure treated
The Sides: I stacked two six foot cedar fence boards together, and
cut two 24" lengths and two 11-1/2" lengths. This gave me a box that was
approximately 2 feet wide, 1 foot deep, and 1 foot tall.
Corner Boards: I ripped a 1-1/2" strip and a 2" strip from a
single fence board. Since my fence boards were slightly over 1/2" thick,
joining the two strips together gave me fairly symmetrical corners for my
Top Trim: I ripped the remaining strip from the same fence board
to 1-1/2". I used this and the leftover pieces of the corner boards as
trim for the top of the planter.
Bottom Supports: Once I had the outer sides assembled, I cut two
support runners out of my pressure treated 2x2 so they would fit inside
the box. I nailed them to the inside so they sat about a half inch below
Bottom: I cut my final fence board into pieces that would fit
inside the box nicely. Then I squared up the box and nailed them in place
on top of the support runners.
Finishing the Planter
Since the planter was made from scraps I
had laying around, I didn't want to spend money on a finish for it. I
thought about just letting it weather grey, but my wife and I both agreed
we would prefer some color. So, I just grabbed a can of deck stain I had
left over. It was a little darker than I was hoping for, but it lightened
up after it dried for a couple days.
In the interest of keeping things simple, I picked
up a large bag of garden soil from the home center. I bought two bags,
but one was all we needed to fill the planter box. While we were there my
wife picked up some herbs she could plant in it (rosemary, oregano,
etc.). They grew quite well in the box and we used fresh herbs all summer