Chances are you or a friend have a decked area in your garden. Practical and popular, decking boards can be made from wood or composite materials. Quick to install and easy to maintain, they’re a great way to transform a tired area of the garden and give you more space to sit and relax.
Decking boards are usually made from pressure-treated wood, cedar or redwood, all tough woods that will last for many years. If you’ve finished a decking project and have some spare deck boards, why not make your own planter box?
It’s easy to do and is a great way to save money and create a useful item for your garden. You can also buy damaged decking at hugely reduced prices from DIY stores, they’ll be happy to sell it on and it’ll be perfect for a planter.
The advantage of making your own planter box is that you can build any size you want, from a tiny planter to house herbs or a single annual to a long planter, spanning the width of a garden shed, anything is possible!
What you’ll need
- Decking boards (how many you have will determine the size of your box)
- Pressure-treated wood fence posts for inside corners
- Hand saw
- Screwdriver and galvanised screws
- Plastic or fabric liner
- Wire mesh panel
- staple gun
- Measuring tape
- Paint or stain and a brush if required
How to make a planter box from decking
1. Sketch out your plans
It’s a good idea to sketch out the planter you wish to build and work out exactly how many pieces of wood you’ll need to create it. Remember that you can use pressure-treated wood for the base.
2. Measure and cut
Mark and cut the lengths of decking to the sizes you require. You’ll need to drill pilot holes roughly 2.5 cm from the edge of each plank so that the wood won’t split when you screw the planks together.
3. Create the frame
Begin by creating the frame of your planter, take the 4 edge pieces and screw them together.
If you’re creating a planter box that’s more than one decking plank deep, you’ll need to cut 4 lengths of your pressure-treated wood to act as corner supports to screw the planks into.
TIP: Cut the corner pieces so they are around 1.5 inches shorter than the sides of the planter, that way, they’ll be hidden once the planter is filled with soil.
4. Add another layer
Add the next layer of decking boards in the same way, screwing the planks together. Keep adding the boards until you are happy with the height of your planter.
5. Make the base
To create the base of your planter, you can staple a cut to size weed membrane to the bottom of the box frame, followed by a strong wire mesh panel. This can also be stapled to the bottom of the planks. It’ll provide a strong base and you won’t need to worry about rotting wood. There’s a great video explaining how to make a planter box base here.
If you’d like to make a slightly more detailed planter, you can find some easy to follow deck board planter box plans here.