Pretty Front Porch: DIY Large Cedar Planter Boxes
It’s day 3 of my pretty front porch makeover. Don’t forget to check out painting the front door, my summer yarn wreaths and new welcome sign.
Today we are actually moving off the porch and down to the front walkway.
I found this plan for a planter on Ana White’s website and I thought it would be a nice addition to our front walk area.
We ended up deciding to make three boxes since we already had some plants in mind to put in them. Instead of making them all at once we finished the first one all the way through to see how it went. Then we started from the beginning to make the last two at the same time.
First we cut all legs and boards for the sides to size.
Then we sanded. Since the cedar fence boards are so rough they take a long time to sand down. I’m pretty sure the sanding was the longest step of the process. It was worth it however since it made the boards look so much nicer.
Then we just followed the rest of Ana White’s plan and we started assembling all the sides. To make sure that they were all the same height we used two squares to line up the 1×3 boards for the top and bottom.
We don’t always use glue when we build but this time around we decided to for the added strength.
Then we just centered the cedar fence boards on the top and bottom boards. We pre-drilled and screwed everything together using a 1-1/4″ exterior screw.
You can really tell the difference between the non-sand side above and the sanded side below. Here’s a pile of a bunch of the sides assembled and ready to go.
Once the sides were assembled Chris used the Kreg to drill two pocket holes on each side of the top and bottom into the ends of the 1×3 boards.
Then using the pocket holes we attached the 2×2 corner legs to half of the sides that were already built.
Once we were down half the of the sides panels now looked like this.
We lined up the leg boards so that the were flush with the top and bottom 1×3 from the front.
With half of the sides attached to the corners we then attached the remaining sides to them to create a box.
It’s a little tight attaching the last side but it’s not too bad.
Since we figured out what we were doing the first time around the last two planters went together pretty fast.
From here we deviated from the plans just a little and followed one of the brag posts instead. We decided we liked the more finished look of the planters that had a 1×3 topper on them instead of the legs just sticking out of the top. We measured the planters individually for the topper boards. The toppers were then glued and nailed in place with our nail gun.
At first we were going to miter the corners but we have a really hard time getting a good miter with our miter saw. Ultimately we thought it looked better to just use straight cuts.
Once the topper was on we measured our plants and chose were to screw in our cleats in the middle of the boxes.
Then we used some scrap wood to create rails for the bottom to support the plants and all the soil.
Here’s the boxes all ready to go. Don’t they look pretty?
Of course we were too excited at this point to not see what the plants would look like inside the pots.
I forgot to take pictures of the next step but we actually used Thompson Water Seal to seal the planters because we were worried about all the weather and water and we wanted them to last. We thought that it would be a clear seal but it actually did make the boxes a bit darker. I think we liked them better before but they don’t look bad now, just a little darker.
After the sealer dried for 48 hours we moved on to actually planting. To keep the soil from falling out of all the cracks we stapled weed block on the inside of the pots.
Once the boxes were covered with the weed block we dropped in the soil and started planting.
The boxes ended up being bigger then we expected so we bought a few little bright flowers to put in around the edges for fun and a little more color.
I love the way they turned out. They look so expensive and fancy.
Even though they look expensive they actually ended up being pretty inexpensive, especially compared to buying a box this size at a garden center.
Here’s a breakdown of our costs for all three 20″x20″ planters (soil and plants not included):
3 2×2-8′: 6.21
9 1×3-8′: 19.08
9 cedar fence pickets: 16.92
Weed Block: 9.97
Wood Glue: On Hand
Thompson Water Seal: On Hand
Disposable Paint Brushes: 2.30
That’s just $23.23 for each box!
They are a nice little addition to our walkway. Finally the front is looking a lot less bare and a lot more finished.
Has anyone else been making diy planters for your yard this summer?
It’s day 3 of my pretty front porch makeover. Don’t forget to check out painting the front door, my summer yarn wreaths and new welcome sign. Today we are actually moving off the porch …