Bringing nature indoors with a planter box made from previously used materials is an excellent way to add a touch of greenery to your home while reducing your environmental impact. In this article, we will walk you through the process of creating your own planter box using reclaimed wood, a sustainable and cost-effective material.
Before you begin building your planter box, it is important to gather all the necessary materials. Here is a list of what you will need:
- Reclaimed wood: Pallets, old floorboards, or any other type of reclaimed wood will work well for this project.
- Plastic planter troughs or trays: These will keep your soil contained and prevent it from spilling onto the floor.
- Planer or thicknesser: This tool will help you ensure that the wood is uniform in thickness and size.
- Dowels and glue: These will be used to join the wood pieces together.
- Screwdriver or drill: You will need a screwdriver or drill to attach the legs and shelf to the planter box.
- Metal detector: This tool will help you remove any nails or screws that may be embedded in the reclaimed wood.
- Paint or stain: This will give your planter box a finished look.
- Paintbrush or roller: These will be used to apply the paint or stain.
Preparing the Wood
Once you have gathered your materials, it is time to prepare the wood. Start by taking apart the pallets or floorboards and removing any nails or screws. Use a metal detector to scan the wood for any hidden metal objects. If you find any, carefully remove them with a hammer, ply bar and pliers. Then, use a planer or thicknesser to dimension the wood pieces to the desired thickness.
Building the Planter Box
Now it is time to start building the planter box. Lay out the wood pieces on a flat surface and use dowels and glue to join the wood pieces together. Make sure that the joints are tight and secure.
The planter box featured in our tutorial video measures 103.5cm (40.75 inches) in length, 22cm (8.6 inches) in width, and 16cm (6.2 inches) in height, with the total height including legs reaching 80cm (34.5 inches).
Once the planter box is assembled, you can add the plastic planter troughs or trays. These will help to prevent the soil from spilling onto the floor, and they will also provide drainage holes.
Adding Legs and a Shelf
To add support and stability to your planter box, you can attach legs and a shelf. For the legs, we used slender 4×4 battens that we cut down the middle on a table saw. Secure the legs to the planter box with glue and screws.
For the shelf, you can use the same material as the legs. Cut the slats to the desired length and attach them to the base of the legs with glue and a brad nailer.
Once the planter box is assembled, you can add any finishing touches that you like. You can paint the planter box with a colour of your choice, or you can stain it to bring out the natural beauty of the wood.
We recommend using a paint or stain that is made from natural ingredients, such as milk paint or wood stain. These products are environmentally benign and will not harm your plants.
As you are building your planter box, you may encounter some imperfections in the wood. Don’t worry about these! Embrace the imperfections, as they will add character and uniqueness to your planter box.
Tips for Success
Here are a few tips to help you create a successful planter box:
- Use high-quality reclaimed wood that is free of nails, screws, or other debris.
- Take your time and ensure that all the joints are tight and secure.
- If you are using stain, apply a few thin coats to avoid drips and runs.
- Allow the paint or stain to dry completely before adding plants.
Enjoy Your Reclaimed Wood Planter Box
Once your planter box is finished, you can add your favourite plants and flowers. Your planter box will not only add a touch of greenery to your home, but it will also help you to reduce your environmental impact by reusing materials that have been discarded.
Creating an planter box is a rewarding and enjoyable project. By following these steps and using reclaimed wood, you can create a beautiful and sustainable piece of furniture that will bring life to your home.
About the authors
Michael Martin and Nikki Rixon started their business Reclaim Design in 2013. Subscribe to their YouTube channel for more videos filled with practical advice, tips, and inspiration to help you live a more sustainable life.