10 Creative Planter Box Ideas Anyone Can Do

By   | Last Updated :   September 27, 2021 | Filed In :   Garden Activities & Events Ideas

Take a look around most established gardens and planter boxes are sure to feature.  From displaying flowers and herbs to being used as an extension or alternative to a vegetable garden, planter boxes are a great way to add structure and interest to your garden.

If you’d like to add a planter box to your outdoor space but aren’t sure where to start, we’ve come up with some creative planter box ideas to help inspire you.

1. DIY planter box

You can buy a huge range of planter boxes but it’s much more fun to create your own!  You can build a planter box for a deck, build a planter box around a tree or even make a planter box from concrete.

2. Reclaimed wood planter box

Old scaffold planks are perfect for making rustic garden furniture and planter boxes are no exception.  You can use scrap wood that you might have lying around or visit a timber merchant for planks.  Here’s a simple tutorial for making a scaffold plank planter.

reclaimed wood planter box

Rustle up your own planter boxes from reclaimed wood. Image credit: @bradleyjamezart

3. Playhouse planter box

If you have children and space is limited in your garden, try adding planter boxes to their playhouse or a garden shed.  We love this slimline playhouse and climbing wall with gorgeous planter boxes outside the windows.  The brightly coloured pansies really pop against the dark wood.

playhouse planter box

Add planter boxes to outdoor sheds and playhouses for extra colour. Image courtesy of @myfamilyandmeatno.3

4. Bathtub planter

If you’re looking for a large planter box for your garden, an old enamel bath filled with brightly coloured flowers is a great way to make a statement.  Try visiting antique shops or house clearance sales if you don’t already own an old bath.

bathtub planter

Fill an old bathtub with flowers for a quirky statement piece. Image credit: @junkshopantiques

5. Small planter box

Planter boxes don’t have to be large, if you’re short on space or just don’t want a big planter box taking up your garden or patio, there are some great mini versions out there.  You can also make your own and get the kids to help. Old colanders make perfectly easy planter boxes as they have ready-made drainage holes!  You can also use old wellies, plastic bottles and even old lego!

small planter box

Turn your old kitchen colander into a fun planter. Image credit: @terravestafuels

6. Chest of drawers planter box

If you have the space, and an old chest of drawers, you can create a beautiful and unusual outdoor planter box.  Make sure you paint or varnish the wood so it’s protected from the elements and you’ll need to line the drawers with plastic to stop them from rotting.  Add a layer of fine gravel for drainage and some good quality soil with a slow-release fertiliser mixed in.  Get creative with colourful, trailing plants and blooms in contrasting colours.

chest of drawers planter box

Create a statement planter box with an upcycled chest of drawers. Image credit: @curiousbaltimore

7. Patio planter box

Adding a long planter box along the edge of a patio is a great way to get plants into your garden.  Use railway sleepers to create custom-sized planter boxes and fill them with flowers, herbs, structured shrubs or vegetables, the choice is yours!  If you have the skills, making your own wooden planter box is a great weekend project.

patio planter box

Make your own or have a local carpenter install a sleeper patio planter box. Image credit: @raftersengineering

8. Raised vegetable planter box

Do you dream of growing your own vegetables but don’t have space for a kitchen garden?  A raised vegetable planter box may be the solution! As the planter’s raised off the ground, it can be placed on grass or a patio. Some come with shelves for storing pots, tools and compost for the ultimate in space-saving practicality.

raised vegetable planter box

Raised vegetable planter boxes are ideal if space is tight. Image credit: Live Outside

9. Cheap planter box

Don’t have the budget to buy a planter box?  Try upcycling old wooden crates or boxes.  You might be able to source old wine or fruit crates from wholesalers or scour the local free ads, it’s always surprising to see what people are giving away.

To make a cheap planter box, you can simply line wooden crates with plastic, or place plants in plastic pots inside.  Add a coat of protective varnish and your plants and you’ve got a perfect and completely unique planter box!

Other items that can be successfully upcycled into attractive and unusual planter boxes include old wheelbarrows, ceramic sinks, old suitcases and baskets.

cheap planter box

Upcycled suitcases make unique planter boxes. Image credit: @where_pigsfly

10. Flower planter box

If you love to have a garden full of flowers, planter boxes are the perfect way to display show-stopping blooms.  Read our flower box ideas article for more ideas and inspiration.

recycled flower box

What can I plant in a planter box?

From cascading flowers and manicured box shrubs to fragrant herbs and tasty vegetables, you can plant virtually anything in your planter box.  Some trees are happy to grow in pots, especially bay and olive.  Larger trees and shrubs will be happiest in the soil so be sure to research which larger plants are happiest in containers before you buy.

Read more: What can I plant in a flower box?

Have you created an unusual planter box? Let us know in the comments below.


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