Home » DIY » How to Build a DIY Raised Planter Box

How to Build a DIY Raised Planter Box

This post may contain affiliate links, please see our policy for details.

How to build a DIY raised planter box with legs and a shelf for your front porch or back deck for flowers or vegetables. 

The warm weather is here and I’m itching to get out in the garden and plant some flowers and veggies.

Our front porch is the first place that I like to add a touch of Spring but adding flower pots has been a challenge because it’s such a tight space.

We do have a narrow wall next to the front door that was screaming for something but I couldn’t find anything to fit.

I tried an IKEA Rast in this spot the first Spring we lived here, but I really wanted some kind of raised garden bed so I could plant seasonal herbs or flowers.

DIY wood raised planter with legs on front porch with white flowers planted in it.

I searched in stores and online the past 2 years but couldn’t find the perfect style or right size. So, since I couldn’t find what I wanted, I decided to build my own.

DIY Planter Box Plans

graphic with pictures of raised planter and building planter
Click here to get our raised planter building plans.

DIY Raised Planter Box Supplies:


I’d already made a rough sketch of my planter so the next step was to figure out the dimensions.

I wanted something that fit a wall on my porch so I measured the width, length and depth and went shopping for supplies.

Luckily I found a plastic pot liner that was the right fit my chosen spot, and it’s the perfect foundation for my wood planter.

Building A DIY Raised Garden Box

What kind of wood should I use for a garden box?

Cedar and redwood are common types of wood to use for planters or anything that you build outdoors. Both types of wood stand up to the elements and can be rot resistant.

Ultimately though, I didn’t go with any of these woods. I chose good old pine for my raised planter box.

Why? Because it’s cheaper than cedar or redwood and my planter was going to be used on a covered porch, meaning it would be out of direct weather.

I think that you can still use pine if your planter box is exposed to the weather but it really needs to be finished with some kind of sealant, like varnish, lacquer or polyurethane.

Let’s Build a Raised Garden Box/Planter

Now that I have chosen my wood and I have all my supplies and measurements worked out, it was time to cut the wood.

I started with the main planter box and cut one of the 8′ pine boards into the front, back and side pieces of the box.

cutting 8' pine board on table saw for DIY wood planter

Next, I worked on the bottom shelf.

First I cut one 3″ strip off of the second 8′ pine board. Then I cut that 3″ strip so that it matched the same dimensions as the main planter box (10-9/16″ x 38-1/2″).

cutting wood on table saw for DIY wood planter

Then I cut the remnants of the second pine board into 1-7/8″ strips for the bottom shelf.

After I cut the strips, I used a jig to cut 18 lengths at 10-5/8″ with my chop saw to make the slats of the bottom shelf.

The jig made it easy to get the same length for each slat and allowed me to do it quickly.

cutting slats for DIY wood planter on chop saw

Finally, I cut the 2×2’s to length for the planter box legs. As a result, I ended up with 4 legs at 29-1/2 ” each.

It was a bit of an afterthought, but I had some wood leftover and decided to use the remainder of the 1-7/8″ strips to make the rim around the planter box.

I cut a 45 degree angle on each end so they would fit together.

Now that I cut all of my wood, it was time to put my planter together.

wood cut for DIY wood planter

I started by assembling the flower box. 

First I applied wood glue on the seams and nailed the sides together using the pneumatic nail gun.

building planter box for DIY wood planter

Next, I added the legs with a bit of wood glue and nailing each in place, recessing them 3″ into the planter box. 

attaching legs to DIY wood planter

After that, the bottom shelf was attached, in the same exact way the planter box was put together.

First the front, then the sides and back. Each piece was glued and nailed.

nailing shelf on bottom of DIY wood planter

Next, I added the supports under the pot liner.

In order to do that I put the planter and pot liner upside down and spaced the supports on top of the upside down pot liner.

Once I was satisfied with the placement of the supports, each one was nailed into place.

Speaking of lining a planter box…

Do planter boxes need to be lined?

I would say that you need a liner in a planter box, especially if it’s wood or even metal.

A liner will preserve your wood planter and keep the wet soil from rotting the wood so that you can enjoy it for years to come.

attaching wood supports for pot liner on DIY wood planter

Finishing your planter box

Once the liner supports were in place it was time to add the rim around the planter box.

First, I attached the long, side piece, with glue and nails, and then I matched up the 45 degree angles and attached the sides and the last long piece.

nailing rim to planter box on DIY wood planter

Finally, I installed the slats for the bottom shelf.

I laid them out to figure out spacing and, as luck would have it, a 3/4″ board was the perfect spacer in between each slat.

attaching slats on shelf of DIY wood planter

My DIY raised planter was complete and ready for stain.

DIY wood planter complete and ready for stain

Staining your raised planter box

In order to make it look more finished, I filled all the nail holes and seams with wood filler and sanded everything smooth.

The last step in this build was to stain it.

We have a stone house so I wanted my planter box to have a rustic look. With this in mind, I decided to go with an ebony wood stain.

I simply rubbed it on with a clean rag and wiped off the excess.

Some pretty plants and old pots finish off the rustic look.

finished DIY wood raised planter box with legs with flowers planted in it and old pots on bottom shelf
DIY raised planter box with legs on front porch of stone cottage

I can’t wait to plant my new garden planter box for each season. Maybe some herbs, or even veggies.

Definitely flowers, too!

On second thought, the veggies will be planted in our DIY raised garden beds made with scrap wood. You can never have too many veggies. 

How about you? Have you been able to plant anything yet?

We’re offering the building plans for our DIY outdoor plant stand so you can build your own. An easy and fun project.