Monday, January 30, 2017

DIY Fence Planter

Short on space?

Fence planters are efficient ways of taking advantage of your outdoor area.  Normally unused vertical spaces can be filled with plants and flowers that look good and add a bit of "you" to your backyard.

Of course there are lots of ways to spruce up your outdoor living area.  Store bought planters can be purchased in just about any design if you have the budget for it.

You can up-cycle pallets or wooden crates for an extremely cheap version.

However, I like to go somewhere between economical and aesthetically appealing.  After all I am the one that has to look at it whether their are plants in them or not.

DIY Fence Planter


36 - 1x4s

4 - 2x4s

2 - 2x8s

NOTE: All board lengths are 8' long unless otherwise noted.

Choice of Stain

Cut List

16 Long Side Pieces - 10.5 x 36

16 End Pieces - 10 x 10.5

8 Bottom Piece - 10 x 36

16 Ledge Braces - 7 x 9

4 Vertical Supports - 3.5 x 90

Cutting Diagrams




Step 1

Lets start with the planter boxes.  The two longer sides I set at 36 inches long and 10 inches deep.
The length is arbitrary but the depth is actually by design.  It will allow you to plant just about any type of plant you want.

You can buy 1x12s is you don't want to do edge gluing.  I always do so because I find it to be more economical.  Three 1x4s edge glued together will give the width required.

Step 2

I wanted to keep this design as simple as possible to assemble.  So simple butt joints were incorporated instead of dadoes and  rabbets.

However, these butt joints will NOT hold as a final joinery for a project like this.  Once the sides have been assembled and the glue given a chance to dry I like to add dowels.

"OH NO, Dowels are complicated!", you say.

I'm offended at your accusations!!!  I don't do complicated.  I have several videos showing how to add dowels to a projects joints in a simple and easy manner.

Step 3

The bottom can be glued in place along with dowels in the same manner as the ends.

Once you have built the number of grow boxes you want for you vertical planter garden, it will be time to move on to the supports.

Step 4

The support brackets are from 2x material.  Neither the length nor the width need be precise.  You don't even need to cut the angle.

However, it may be wise to do so because you will find yourself to have  tendency to scrape your knuckles on the bottom corners.  Trust me, you will, no matter how careful you tell yourself to be.

Again you could by 2x8s for this or edge glue a couple 2x4s together to get the 7".

Step 5

You can leave the vertical supports alone if you want.  However, I set the length at what 3 or 4 planter boxes spaced at the below measurements apart would be.

The supports can simply be screwed in from the back side with 3" screws.

You will need two of these vertical pieces with the spacing shown below.

Step 6

You will need 2 more vertical supports with brackets spaced as shown below.

Step 7

If you are attaching your new garden space along a fence then now is the time to do this.  Be sure to measure and attach them at the widths listed below.

You can attach another 2x4 to the back side of your fence and then use 3.5" screws driven from one side to the other to give more structural support.

Step 8

Now you can set the boxes on top of the brackets and attach them using 3" or 3.5" screws from the bottom up.

Final Thoughts

A few coats of your choice of water resistant stain can be applied to the outside however I would refrain from applying it to the inside of the boxes.

There are many different materials that can be used in place of the wooden boxes.  I've seen old purses that were purchased from a thrift store for a few dollars each be used as planters hung from each ledge.

Old coffee cans attached with screws was another brilliant idea.  Wooden crates, you know the free standing ones you see at the store for $8 to $10 each.

Simple hanging plastic planters if you have enough of those or perhaps a combinations of each for a real up-cycled rendition to make this project your own.

I hope you find just as much inspiration building you vertical fence planter as I did putting these plans together.

Until then!


Saturday, January 14, 2017

DIY Simple Wooden Toy Boat

In our home we have several well constructed wooden toys. A favorite is this Melissa and Doug brand car carrier truck. It was given to our son as a gift several years ago and is still played with often.

It has four cars and at the time this photo was taken, only the red and green ones were accounted for. (By the way, usually there are four colorful cars that ride on this trailer lift!)

Also pictured in the background are wooden peg puzzles. They as well have years on them but are still played with frequently and even after four children all of the pieces are still accounted for.

Both puzzles and wooden toys are a must in every family with children. Putting together puzzles ignites math and other problem solving skills in young explorers and free play with wooden toys such as the car carrier that moves up and down encourages motor skills and imagination.

Not to mention that the toys are durable and outlast many plastic toys that are so often thrown away within months of buying them.

However, wooden toys when purchased in a store can run some money.

So when Joe from Joe's Basementwoodworking YouTube channel featured this toy boat project, I knew it was a home run project.  Not just because it was simple, but because it was also easy on the wallet.

DIY Simple Wooden Toy Boat:


Choice of Stain

Miter Saw

Scrap wood

Table saw

Thickness Planer (optional)

Bandsaw (optional)

Final Thoughts

An added bonus is that you can customize your boat based on what you've got available in your scrap bin. If you wanted to go the dowel route, you could further customize this project to break into pieces so your child could take it apart and put it back together again.

Don't forget to check out Joe Basementwoodworking YouTube channel to check out even more great project ideas from Joe. Don't forget to subscribe!

Until then!