How to Make a planter

If you are planning your spring projects, (I know I am dying to get outside) add this one to your list. You can always use a planter to fill with your favorite flowers. This was a very popular post originally from October 2012, (hence the mums) but perfect for spring or fall. 

The cedar planter plan off Ana White’s site was one of the easiest builds for me. I was surprised at how quickly it came together.  The planter was a lot larger than I envisioned in my head so I only made one instead of my initial thought of making two.  I really needed a substantial planter for the front of my house. 

cedar and pine flower box
I followed Ana’s plans closely except I didn’t want the top posts sticking out further than the top so I made them even.  I also added some mitered 1” x 3” to cover the top and give it a finished look.

how to make cedar planter

I laid some scrap boards at the bottom and air nailed them in place.

cedar and pine planter box

I had leftover 2×2’s from the bookshelves so the planter only cost me $11.

After I prepped it for staining by sanding it down, I put a coat of pre-wood conditioner on it so that the stain wouldn’t be streaky.  Next, I put on Minwax’s English Chestnut followed up by Rust Oleum’s Spar Varathane to seal it.

wood pre conditioner

I added some black ground covering to the inside side of the box with my air stapler so that the soil wouldn’t come out through the cracks.

cedar planter tutorial plans

Then I added some soil and a large mum plant.

planting mums in cedar planter

large mum cedar planter

I tell you there is something so empowering to me about building something from scratch. 

This Farmhouse Pallet Bed with Rolling trundle was another Ana White project I built for my son’s room. 

What’s your next building project? 



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  1. Wow, that’s beautiful! I really want to make this now. I’ve been wanting to make some planters. Love it! The color red really compliments the stain. Good job!

  2. I think you did a wonderful job! I am trying to get the courage to make a few things from Ana’s site as well. Simple…simple for starters. You inspire me to get going!

  3. I love how you finished your planter at the top and the colour of the stain you chose. did you leave the 1/8th gap on each side of each panel? I did but when I went to join them together with the pocket holes they wouldn’t fit right and buckled inward.

    Any thoughts? thanks

  4. This is beautiful. I decided to rip 2x4s for stronger legs. There is where things went wrong. I got careless and nearly cut the end of my thumb on my table saw! After 5 hours in ER I will have to wait a while until broke bone and cut heal.

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