DIY: Upcycled Backyard Wood Planter Box

DIY Planter Box

Spring has sprung, and what a better way to celebrate than to add some fresh plants to your backyard? Getting in the garden is a good way to get in touch with mother nature, get sweating, and get some fresh air all at the same time. After a long cold winter, it’s time to get up and get some sunshine.

While you’re planting some fresh greens in your backyard, why not go extra green and use recycled materials to make planter boxes, or even upcycle them from other materials? Upcycling is the creative reuse of old or discarded objects to make them into new objects. Whether or not you are trying to stay on a budget or just trying to be more environmentally conscious, making an upcycled DIY planter box is sure to give your backyard a nice, handmade boost.

What are the benefits of upcycling and reusing materials?

Anytime you reuse materials instead of throwing them away, you keep them out of already stuffed landfills. Did you know upcycling products also helps reduce CO2 emissions? That’s right! Instead of increasing the demand for new products to be made, you’re reusing already made products. When the demand for new products is lower, we use fewer raw materials, so we reduce air pollution, water pollution, and greenhouse gas emissions.

Building backyard planter boxes has more benefits than just environmental ones. Learning to build things yourself is both rewarding and useful. You will learn to be handier and more creative. Creativity and building things with your hands have been shown to help aid in relieving stress. As a society, we are always in a hurry, constantly stressing, and often consuming some kind of media. When you lose yourself in creative work instead, you can enter a meditative state that helps you focus and pushes your stresses away temporarily. So it’s time to get your inner Ron Swanson on and get to wood-working!

Materials needed:

  • Saw
  • Drill
  • Screws
  • Safety goggles
  • Gloves
  • Tape measure
  • Wood box, reclaimed wood, palettes, etc. Here is where you have to use the creative side of your brain! Do you have a way to get your hands on some wood crates or wood palettes? Or do you know someone with leftover scrap wood from a project of their own? As long as you are reusing wood and materials for the project, you’ve got the right idea.


If you came into this project with wooden crates, you have an easy DIY planter box made for you. All you have to do is make sure the bottom of the crate has proper drainage so that when you water your plants, they don’t drown. Use the saw to cut slats at the bottom. Add any finishing personalizing touches you want to the planter boxes. Do you want to paint them? Distress them? Did you pick this piece of wood because it’s beautiful and stands on its own? It’s up to you – get creative!

If you’ve got to from somewhere closer to scratch, follow the below instructions for how to make DIY planter boxes out of reused 2x4s:

  1. Decide how many stacks high you want the planter to be, and how big you want them to be. Mark your dimensions and slice the 2x4s up.
  2. Line up your corner posts on a flat surface. Add a stack of 2x4s on top of the corner pieces. Use the drill and a screw on each side of the 2×4 to connect the corner pieces to the stacks. Repeat this step three times until each side of your planter box is added.
  3. If you want to add a bottom to the DIY planter box, make sure there is room for drainage. When you water the plants you put in the backyard planter box, the excess water needs to be able to run through the bottom somehow or the plants will drown. Of course, this last step is not necessary, especially if you plan to put the planters on top of soil or grass. If they can touch the earth, they will have more opportunities for worms to get up in there and help the plants grow!


There is a lot of room to do your own thing in this project; the instructions are more of an outline on how to get started. That’s another benefit of upcycling or reusing recycled materials: you and your neighbor will never have the same exact planter box. Unless, of course, you fall so in love with making your own DIY planter box that you decide to make enough for the whole neighborhood!

Of course, the work isn’t finished when the boxes are. For inspiration on how to fill your new backyard planter boxes, check out some of the color schemes and flower combos of our favorite Bouqs!

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