Passion of Adam Borzy

How to Make a Wooden Planter Box

How to Make a Wooden Planter Box 1
The box is functional, looks great and all of the joints are good and tight. Much just like the wooden beer tote I produced, if you change the dimensions, this planter box may be used for a lot of other purposes (like a casserole dish). It was a enjoyable woodworking project, and here’s how I put it together.

How to Make a Wooden Planter Box 3Materials:

  • 1 x 10″ x 6′ Oak
  • 1/4″ plywood
  • Wood filler
  • Wood stain
  • Polyurethane
  • Handles
  • Plants
  • 10×14″ baking tray
  • Rocks


  • Table saw (see review in Related Content section)
  • Compound miter saw
  • Pin nailer
  • Wood Glue
  • Sandpaper
  • Drill / driver

How to Make a Wooden Planter Box 4

Step 1: Rip the 1x to Size

I started this project by ripping the 1 x 10″ Oak board in half on my table saw. Since 1 x 10″ actually measures 3/4 x 9-1/4″, I ended up with two pieces measuring 4-5/8″ wide.

Step 2: Route a Dado

Using a 1/4″ straight bit, I routed a groove just off the cut edge (bottom) on each board. I checked the fit with my piece of plywood, and found it was suitably snug.

How to Make a Wooden Planter Box 5Step 3: Bevel Cut the Bottom

The sides of this planter all flare out, and to achieve that, I ran the boards through my table saw again with a 10° bevel.How to Make a Wooden Planter Box 6

Step 4: Cut the Plywood to Size

I’ve found in the past that making all my cuts, and then testing them out doesn’t always work. This time I cut my plywood to size (10-1/2″ x 16″) first. Next, I’ll measure the length for each side.

How to Make a Wooden Planter Box 7

When I cut the plywood, I kept the 10° bevel, even though it probably doesn’t make much difference.

How to Make a Wooden Planter Box 8

Step 5: Cut the Sides to Length

I measured the plywood and added a little extra to account for the joint before cutting the sides. Each cut was a 45° miter (+/-) and a 10° bevel (+/-). At their longest point (along the top), here are the dimensions for the sides:

  • 13-5/8″
  • 19-1/4″

Step 6: Glue and Nail Opposite Corners

I glued and pin nailed opposite corners to make it easier to fit together. If you’ve ever worked with wood glue, you know the importance of wiping away the excess before it dries, and I used a wet paper towel immediately after nailing.

Step 7: Glue and Nail Remaining Corners

I spread glue in the corners and in the dado for the plywood bottom. Fitting it all together, I pin nailed the remaining corners.

How to Make a Wooden Planter Box 13

Step 8: Add Wood Filler

Even though the joints were pretty tight, some still hairline gaps, and I used wood filler to make the joints look perfect. Unfortunately, I neglected to take a picture of the joints after the wood filler.

Step 9: Sand Smooth

Sanding all the surfaces smooth with 180 grit sandpaper. Wipe with a damp rag to remove dust and debris.

Step 10: Stain the Wood

Applied two coats to give it a nice, uniform look.

How to Make a Wooden Planter Box 14

Step 11: Add a Clear Coat

To protect the wood, apply two coats of urethane. Lightly sand in between coats so remove dried, excess urethane. If sanding, wipe clear with damp cloth (not a paper towel which will leave remnants).

Step 12: Install Handles

These are bottom of the line, Walmart cheapos, but you could certainly fancy it up with more decorative handles from your local Big Orange.

How to Make a Wooden Planter Box 15

Step 13: Put Plants on Baking Tray

Put all the plants on a baking tray to further protect the planter from dirt and water.

How to Make a Wooden Planter Box 16

Step 14: Organize Plants

I bought six different herbs for the planter: Oregano, Sage, Mint, Basil, Stevia and Thyme.

How to Make a Wooden Planter Box 17

Step 15: Place Rocks

The rocks add a good bit of weight to the planter, but it is definitely sturdy and still easy to carry.

How to Make a Wooden Planter Box 18


I think the planter looks darn good.

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