How to Make a Planter

I built another project off of Ana White’s site. The cedar planter plan was one of the easiest builds for me. I am slowly building up my carpentry skills to tackle some new end tables for my living room.  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 and they are perfect with a big fall mum in it.  Right now they aren’t fully bloomed but you can imagine it with all its red buds bursting.


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.


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


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 stained 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.


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.


Then I added some soil and a large mum plant.



I tell you there is something so empowering to me about building something from scratch.  I am kind of digging it.


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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. Linda Southworth says:

    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. They look great! I would love to build 2 of these to sit on each side of my garage door. Love the stain color!

  4. 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

  5. Back Woods Woodworking says:

    Hey, So are those 1X3’s finished Cedar or a different type of wood?

  6. 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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