Monday, December 1, 2014

DIY: 12 Inch Cedar Garden Planter Box

12 inch cedar planter box

Garden Projects are awesome.  I would go so far as to say they are my favorite.  If I could do nothing but build stuff for the garden I would forever be a happy man.

I am constantly thinking about different styles and sizes of planters to grow all sorts of different things.  Tall planters, short planters, circle and triangle, vertical or horizontal.

Gardening I consider a basic human right.  A hobby that can be done on a budget by simply buying food at the grocery store. Saving the seeds from your fresh produce eliminates the need to buy seeds.

Buy organic and further reduce the chance of unknown GMO contamination in your food supply and remember -

Never Stop building!

TIPS: The following measurements may be substituted.
1.5" = 1x2's
2.5" = 1x3's
3.5" = 1x4's
5.5" = 1x6's

Use caution working with solid lumber wider than 1x6's.  Especially soft woods such as pine.  I find they show a greater propensity to warp, twist and cup.  Gluing boards side by side, otherwise known as a glue up, will offer greater stability across the project.

DIY: 12 Inch Cedar Garden Planter Box

Cut List

4 - Side rails @ 13.5" x 1.5"
4 - Side rails @ 10.5" x 1.5"
15 -  Side & Bottom pieces @ 11" x 3.5"

Step 1

Cut the top & bottom rails to length along with the side and bottom pieces and attach with 1 1/4" screws. Remember to offset the bottom rail by 3/4" to create the seat for the bottom slats.

Step 2

Once all side panels are assembled, place sides upside down on work surface and attach with 1 1/2" screws.

Step 3

Keeping the planter box upside down on your work surface, place the bottom slats in place and attach with 1 1/2" screws.

Final Thoughts

I do not like to use glue in garden planter projects.  Outdoor projects are going to be subjected to harsh conditions.  That means that whatever species of wood I choose to use, it is going to want to bend, swell, warp and repeat.  Moist conditions will swell wood.  Dry conditions will shrink it.  It is going to want to move.  Glue is more of a static conditioner.  It holds pieces in one place not allowing for normal movement that a wood project will want to naturally do when exposed to the elements.  Using screws allows our cedar garden planter box to expand and contract, warp and sway as it needs to be able to do without prematurely over stressing the structural aspect of it.

I go into greater detail for my reasons for assembling this project the way that I did here in this sister post.

The video below shows the project video I did for a larger version of this planter.

Find me on Facebook, Google+ and Pinterest.  Also be sure to check out my YouTube channel for lots of great project videos.  If you see any of these project designs that you would like to see a video for, let me know.  If I get enough interest in one I will be sure to build and upload.

Until then,

Happy DIYing!!


  1. what kind of wood are you using?

    1. I personally used cedar but and species of wood can be used. They all have their pros and cons.

  2. What type of nails would be best to use for cedar wood?

  3. On two sides, the rails stick out. How much are they sticking out?

  4. If I were to paint the box, would I sand the parts first?


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