Cedar Planter Box

DIY Cedar Planter Box Tutorial

Plant boxes are proven to be as beneficial as in-ground gardens, even outmatching them at some points! Follow the tutorial below and learn to build a simple planter box out of cedar planks.

Starting a garden for individuals who live in urban areas might be tricky; this is where planter box comes in like a blessing for nature-lovers. Or if you already own a garden but need more greenery around your place, it’s probably a good idea to place a couple of planter boxes on your porch or indoors. These boxes are also helpful with water conservation, since the moisture is retained close to the plants’ roots. Another benefit of planting inside boxes is minimizing weed growth due to contained and raised environment.

If you have some special soil or fertilizer that’s not suitable for the garden, you can fill the plant boxes with those and prevent possible waste. Competence is unlikely in contained soil, and you’ll be able to plant various edible plants such as tomatoes, lettuce, beans, peppers or herbs like basil, thyme, rosemary and oregano inside boxes. Due to height from ground level, plant boxes will keep the plants safe from animals and you’ll have easier access for harvest.

The following planter box tutorial will help you to build the perfect container. It’s inexpensive and requires a single day of work. The wood material you’ll need must be tolerant to outdoors conditions. Cedar wood is suitable for such boxes.

How to Make a Cedar Planter Box

Cedar Planter Box

You Will Need:


  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
  • Table saw
  • Carpenter’s square
  • Power drill
  • Countersink or 3/16-inch bit
  • Clamps
  • 3/8-inch spade bit, optional

Materials Needed

  • 1-inch x 6-inch x 8-foot cedar boards (x3)
  • 1-inch x 2-inch x 6-foot cedar boards (x2)
  • 1-1/4-inch deck screws
  • 2-inch deck screws

Cut List


  • 1-inch x 6-inch x 18-1/4-inch (x6)
  • 1-inch x 6-inch x 16-5/8-inch (x9)


  • 1-inch x 2-inch x 14-inch (x4)


  • 1-inch x 2-inch x 16-1/2-inch (x2)
  • 1-inch x 2-inch x 14-3/4-inch (x3)


Follow these simple how-to instructions to assemble your cedar planter box. You should be able to complete the project in a day.

Step 1: Form the Base

Cedar Planter Box

Place two 1-inch x 2-inch x 16-1/2-inch boards parallel to each other, then lay two 1-inch x 2-inch x 14-3/4-inch boards perpendicular between the longer boards to form a square. Place three 1-inch x 6-inch x 16-5/8-inch boards flat on top of the square to form the base of the planter.

Step 2: Shape the Walls

Place two 1-inch x 6-inch x 18-1/4-inch boards on end flat against two parallel sides of the base frame. Put two 1-inch x 6-inch x 16-5/8-inch boards on edge between them against the other two parallel sides to form the first course of boards. This will form the walls of planter. Use a carpenter’s square to make sure the corners are at 90-degree angles. When the boards are in correct position, hold the boards in place by clamps.

Step 3: Drill Pilot Holes in the Braces

Measure and mark pilot holes on all four of the 1-inch x 2-inch x 14-inch braces. Start from the base of one brace, and mark two pilot holes where the brace meets each of the 6-inch wide boards on each side of the wall. (Here, the first two holes were placed about two inches apart according to the height of the base of planter, also about three inches apart for the remaining two sets of holes.) Repeat on the other side of the brace, then on the remaining braces. Drill pilot holes into the braces with a 3/16-inch bit or countersink tool.

Step 4: Attach Walls

For the first course, square one brace in one corner of planter. Attach the the wider side of the brace to the side board with 1-1/4-inch deck screws. Use 2-inch deck screws to attach the the narrower side of the brace. Repeat with remaining braces, and keep the longer sides of the braces parallel to each other as you go.

As you secure the walls together, rotate the courses so that each side of the planter has alternating 18-1/4-inch and 16-5/8-inch lengths.

Step 5: Screw in the Base Pieces

Flip the planter over gently. Adjust the bottom frame pieces in place. Use 1-1/4-inch screws to attach the bottom frame into the planter sides. Flip the planter right-side up once more, and use 1-1/4-inch screws to attach the bottom boards into the bottom frame pieces. Work along the edges while screwing the pieces.

Step 6: Attach the Bottom Brace

Cedar Planter Box

Flip the planter backsides. Place the last 14-3/4-inch base piece across the middle of the bottom, perpendicular to the baseboards. Secure it in place with 1-1/4-inch screws.

Step 7: Drill Drainage Holes

Cedar Planter Box

Just as any regular plant container, your planter box needs drainage holes to keep the plants safe and prevent water logging. If you don’t want to drill holes in the box, fill the bottom of your planter with some rocks and pebbles. Larger particles will provide some space for water to drain out of the soil, thus allowing some air circulation while keeping roots safe from possible rotting.

You can also drill drainage holes at the bottom of the baseboards using a 3/8-inch bit.

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