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How To Tuesday: Build A Raised Planter Box

Recently we have been dabbling in growing small herbs on our kitchen windowsill, and then Joey caught the bug when he planted a pineapple and it started to take off! We had talked about starting a real garden in the backyard but didn’t know exactly what we wanted, because Regal also loves to play in the yard. Joey decided he was going to build a raised planter box, so we could move it around the yard if need be and keep the plants out of harms way (aka Regal and his racquetball). To make the planter, box it only took about 5 hours on a Sunday morning/afternoon and cost about $100 in supplies. If you decide to give this a try, don’t hesitate to ask us questions and be sure to tag us on Facebook or Instagram so we can see how it turned out!

**These supplies and measurements are based off the 4ft x 2ft x 11in box we made and it stands about waist high (30 inches).**

Supplies:

  • Tape Measure
  • Pencil
  • Circular Saw
  • Drill
  • Saw Horse
  • Nails ( 1-5/8in. )
  • Screws (1-1/4in. )
  • Wood Glue
  • Cedar Boards 1x4x8 (3 total)
  • Cedar Boards 1x6x8 (5 total)
  • Cedar Board 1x2x8 (1 total)

*We used cedar wood because it is strong, does not contain chemical like pressure treated and does not rot easily.*

Steps & Directions:

  1. Pick up the supplies from your local home improvement store.
  2. Measure and cut the 1x4x8 into eight 30 inch pieces for the legs and one piece 24 inches in length
  3. Assemble the four legs by overlapping two pieces of wood making a right angle (see pictures below for set up).  Apply wood glue along the edge of one piece and clamp them together, one on the top and one on the bottom to help the glue set.
  4. While the two pieces are clamped together, nail the center section together with two nails equal distance from the top and bottom clamps. After you remove the clamps hammer in a nail where the clamps were.
  5. Repeat steps 3&4 until all four legs are assembled.
  6. Measure and cut the 1x6x8 boards into four 4ft long pieces.  These will be used for the long side of the box.
  7. Measure and cut the 1x6x8 boards into four 2ft long pieces. These will be used for the width sides of the box.
  8. If you made the first cuts correctly, you should have leftover 1×4. Take what you have and cut them into four 4in. to 5in. pieces.  You will use these to attach the Length & Width pieces when they are stacked together on the soil facing side of the wood. (See picture below.)

  9. Once you have all the sides stacked and attached you are ready to glue and screw them to the legs.
  10. Take one side at a time and line it up with the inside of a leg.  Apply some wood glue to the leg where you will screw the side to the leg. Apply four screws the the soil facing side of the 1×6 into the leg.  When drilling in the screws be sure to go slow so you don’t split the boards or drill to far and go all the way through the leg. 
  11. Repeat step #10 until all 4 sides are secured to the legs.
  12. Your planter box should be taking shape! Now its time to get the bed ready.
  13. Take the 1x2x8 and cut it in half.   You will use these two pieces as the shelf to lay the bed boards on.
  14. Cut the 1x6x8 into eight 24in. pieces.  These will be used for the bed along with the 24in 1×4 from step #2.
  15. Flip the now assembled box upside down so the legs are in the air. You are now going to glue and nail the “shelf” for the bed boards on to the bottom side of the 4ft boards.  Apply glue to the 4ft side of the box and then nail the “shelf” on.  I used about six nails on each “shelf” to give it strength because all the weight of the soil will rest on this. Repeat for the other side.
  16. Return the planter box to the correct standing position and begin to lay the bed boards in.  You might find the 24 in. 1×4 might be a little two wide, if this is the case trim it to fit. (We had to take off about an inch) We liked the way the pieces fit together and decided to not glue or nail them in.
  17. Now you are pretty much done!
  18. We took it one step further and decided to use our JJ George Torch to lightly burn the planter and give it a weathered look.  We chose to do this instead of staining it because it was cheaper and didn’t want to risk chemicals getting into the soil (If that is even possible…).

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