DIY Custom Flower Box

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What You'll Need
4 X4'x 1/4" pressure-treated plywood
Electric screwdriver
Galvanized screws
1/4-inch drill bit
Nylon screen
Plastic liners
Potting soil
Ruler or tape measure

You can buy a flower box at gardening centers, but it is just as easy to build one. Creating your own flower box is not only inexpensive and fun but allows you to customize it however you like. Choose the size, shape, and the type of material to make it your own original design. The following steps will walk you through a simple flower box construction.

Step 1 - Determining the Size of the Flower Box

Before you begin building any outdoor planter, you must determine the size. First, decide where you want the box to go or, if you are planning on making multiple boxes, where they will each be placed. Next, measure the length of the area where the flower box will be resting. Now, consider how wide you want the flower box to be and how deep. Another consideration is deciding the number of plants you plan to grow in each planter. For this example, we'll be making a flower box that is 10" long, 5" deep, and 4" wide.

Step 2 - Transferring Measurements

Measuring tools on top of lumber

With your measurements done, you are ready to purchase the material to build the flower box. For informational purposes, cedar and untreated wood are both recommended as each can withstand exposure and natural elements. Pressure-treated lumber is not recommended as the chemicals within the lumber that may be harmful to the plants and vegetables. Once you buy the plywood being used for this example, transfer the measurements to the material. First, use your ruler and carefully draw out the following dimensions (we'll be using our example measurements):

  • 2 10-inch long by 5-inch wide pieces (Long Sides)
  • 1 10-inch long by 4-inch wide piece (Bottom)
  • 2 5-inch long by 4-inch wide (Short Sides)

Step 3 - Cutting and Preparing the Pieces

Now comes the more delicate part of the project. First, use a tape measure to measure each dimension then use a pencil to mark where you'll make the cut(s). Next, use your saw and begin cutting out all the pieces, then sand them down to remove any rough edges and imperfections. Now, test fit each of the pieces together to see if they are a good fit. Continue on otherwise sand the pieces again until they make a nice fit.

Step 4 - Assembling the Flower Box

Flower planter box made of wood

With the dry run completed you can now assemble the flower box. This is where the drill, drill bit, galvanized screws, and screwdriver come into play. First, lay your bottom panel down then attach the long side panels to it. Next, attach the short ends to the flower box. Finally, drill five rows of three small holes each in the bottom of the flower box, which will be used for drainage. Cut and place a piece of vinyl or nylon screen along the bottom of the planter and secure with small nails. The screen serves as a protective liner to the wood. Last, use a sander to sand down any rough edges.

Step 5 - Customizing the Flower Box

Now you can customize your flower box. First, paint the box any color you want but use exterior paint unless your flower box will be inside. Next, use stencils or a fine paintbrush to make designs on the outside of the flower box. You can also antique the box with white paint, scuffing it with sandpaper and a hammer. Do not paint, prime, or stain the inside of the planter as the minerals and chemicals in paint can damage plants.

Step 6 - Planting

If you want to keep your plants in the store containers you can simply place them in the flower box but if not, then read on. First, line the flower box with plastic planter liners that you have cut and trimmed. Next, line the bottom of the planter with gravel to support drainage then fill the planter halfway with potting soil. Now, transplant your plant from the store container to the flower box. Next, cover the roots with about an inch of potting soil. Finally, water the plants and enjoy them as they add beauty to your home.