Make these DIY planter boxes for railing or fences out of a single piece of wood.
What smells better than a lovely cedar planter? A burnt cedar planter box. The leaves are turning green, the bees are abuzzin, and all you can dream up are some bright pink flowers to brighten up your outdoor space. Grab a few annuals and a cedar fence picket and you’re ready to build yourself a wood planter box that’ll hang beautifully on your porch railings. Get your sweet tea ready because you’re about to spend a few months doing some porch swinging!
Dreaming aside–let’s make it a reality and start DIYing!
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- 1/4″ drill bit
- Miter Saw
- Table Saw (if you don’t have a table saw, you can make these planters wider or just create a rectangular box)
- Nail Gun
- Bernzomatic torch (we’ve used this baby to torch a countertop and our herb boxes)
- Optional: staple gun to install landscape fabric
What You’ll Need
How to make a planter box for railing
Step 1: Cut your wood
Cut the front and back of the hanging planter box. Each piece will be 21″ long.
Cut the side pieces. To do this, measure and mark 1.5″, then set your miter saw to 33-degrees. Line up your wood so that the saw blade is in line with the 1.5″ in the back.
Then line your angled piece up with the front of the box. Mark the excess and cut it off with a miter saw (be sure to set your saw back to 90-degrees first).
For the second side piece, lay your first side piece on top and mark where to cut. You will be doing two cuts, both at 90-degrees.
Cut the bottom piece to size (19.75″) on the miter saw. Then run the piece through the table saw so that it is 1.5″ wide.
Step 2: drill
Drill 3 drainage holes on the bottom of the planter box using a 1/4″ drill bit.
Drill 2-3 holes in the top of the back piece using the 1/4″ drill bit. These will be used to run the zip ties through to attach to the railing later.
STEP 3: sand
Quickly sand your cedar using 80 or 120-grit sandpaper. Since these are for outside, we are just trying to knock off anything that might scratch someone. They don’t need to be (and won’t be) perfectly smooth.
Step 4: Burn the Wood
Burn the cedar using your Bernzomatic torch for a beautiful finish. We don’t burn the inside of the planter box to save fuel and so that our plants touch the raw cedar instead.
step 5: Assemble your planter box
Assemble the planter box using wood glue (make sure it says “exterior” somewhere on the bottle) and nails. Start with attaching the sides, then the bottom, then the front.
Optional Step 6: add landscape fabric
You might have noticed a small gap between the front of your planter and the bottom. You can use this as extra drainage and skip right ahead to making your spring dreams a reality, or you can add landscape fabric. This will still allow for drainage, but it will prevent any soil from slipping through. We simply staple the landscape fabric using a staple gun.
step 7: hang your planter
To install the planter boxes on railing: string your zip ties through the holes you drilled in step 5. Loop them around your railing, tighten, and cut the excess. Simple as that!
There you have it! An easy planter box that you can make out of a $3 piece of wood. It doesn’t get much better than that! Now the real question is…what are you going to put in them?
If you’re looking to add some herbs to your backyard, check out our herb planter box tutorial too!