This is a tutorial for a 4'x4' raised garden bed on casters for use on a deck or patio.  It can be done in a day for under 100 bucks.

This tutorial can be used  to build two versions of 4’x4’ raised planter beds on casters, one is 18” high and the other is 30” high.  But you can adjust your lumber lengths and do whatever size you need.


For the 18” high planter bed:


21  2x6’s 4’ long*

2    2x4’s 41” long*

4    4x4’s 24”long*

Other materials:

2 1/2” galvanized screws

4 industrial strength casters**


Drill bit for drilling pilot holes

Phillips head bit tip

Tape measure


For the 30” high planter bed:

Same as the 18” except you will need 29 of the 4’ 2x6’s and the 4x4’s need to be 36” long

*Note on the lumber: Most resources on the web will tell you to use Cedar or Redwood for outdoor projects, as they are less prone to rot.  I asked my woodworking instructor about this and he is not convinced that they are much better than Douglas Fir, so that is what I used.  Mine don’t have to last a lifetime, you can decide for yourself what to use according to your needs.

**Note on the casters: The wood and dirt are going to really add up weight-wise and you will need casters that have at least 250 lb load capability each.  These can be very pricey, but I found a great deal and exceptional customer service at SES casters.

Step 1:

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First, place 2 of the 4x4’s on the ground, 4 ft apart and place a 2x6 across them, like so:

Step 2:

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Then drill your pilot holes and screw these pieces together, making sure the sides and top are flush.

Step 3:

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Stand it up, this will be one side of your planter.

Step 4:

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Do the same with the other 4x4’s and another 2x6.  Face them toward each other 4’ apart.  The 2x6’s are going to keep the dirt away from the deck and also be the supports for the bottom of the bed.

Step 5:

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Next, take your 2 2x4’s and place them on the inside edge of the 2x6’s and 4x4’s.  Now you can see the bed taking shape.  This is the frame of your garden bed.

Step 6:

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Drill your pilot holes and screw the 2x4’s to the 2x6’s.

Step 7:

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There should be enough room for 7 2x6’s to fill in the bottom of the bed.  Be sure to space them evenly and there will be the right amount of space between them for proper drainage.  Drill pilot holes and screw all these boards to the 2x6 supports. BOOM! You’re halfway done!

Step 8:

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Now you start to make the sides.  Place one 2x6 on top of another, make sure it’s level.  Drill pilot holes and screw the top 2x6 to the 4x4’s, then remove your spacer bottom board.

Step 9:

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Do the same on the opposite side, and then the remaining 2 sides:

Step 10:

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I suggest that you attach the casters at this stage, before you start attaching the rest of the 2x6’s and this thing gets really heavy.  I also suggest getting someone to help you lift the frame up to do this and also to help bring it back down onto the casters.  Mark where your pilot holes will be and screw on the casters.

Step 11:

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Now that the wheels are on, all you have to do is attach the rest of the 2x6’s for the sides of your bed. Do this all the way around and you’re done! This is the 30” version and the 18” version.

I hope you enjoyed my Instructable! Please ask me any questions here or you can visit my blog at


benhusmann made it! (author)2014-05-27

I made this - only took a few hours and it was easy enough for my sons to help. Haven't filled it up yet but i have a feeling it's going to be great. I did add washers for the caster screws.

Few Bits (author)benhusmann2014-05-27

Looks great! Great idea adding washers on the caster screws. Thank you for posting the pic, I love to see what others have done!

msg103 made it! (author)2017-05-02

Thanks for your instructions! I took your recommendations and made changes based on my space requirements. Pretty happy with how it turned out!

Few Bits (author)msg1032017-05-02

Well done! Looks like you have quite the green thumb too!

JeremiahC27 (author)2017-01-25

Wouldn't the water and dirt go through the spaces

AllisonB56 (author)2017-01-16

could this be made smaller? i love this idea, but a 3'x3' box would be ideal. i am a bit math deficient so i'm struggling to figure out how to adjust this.

EdW56 (author)2016-07-16

This was a cool project. I'm in Singapore and used Kapur wood which is ridiculously heavy. Had to cut it myself and varnished before assembly as we get torrential rain every day. Half finished and need to add hinge top. Thank you for the detailed instruction!!!!!!!

Few Bits (author)EdW562016-07-16

You're welcome! So happy to hear that it was successful for you!

Darvmarv made it! (author)2016-05-22

Yeah, it was fun to build. It also works in metric dimensions. :-)
Hope the basil and stuff will grow. Thanks for the fantastic idea!

Few Bits (author)Darvmarv2016-05-26

That looks amazing, great work! Thank you for sharing and happy gardening!

inbinaryy (author)2016-04-20

Is it me or does the 30" version look like it has smaller space inside.

Few Bits (author)inbinaryy2016-04-20

They are the same size, you can just see more inside the bed on the shorter version photo.

NYCN (author)2016-03-16

how much space between the wood to allow proper drainage; and is the space age only for the base?

Few Bits (author)NYCN2016-04-17

I allowed about 1/8" between mine, and that was enough to allow proper drainage. I live in Southern California so there isn't that much rain.

BillyS46 (author)2016-04-15

I'm about to start this project, but was not sure what you meant by "then remove your spacer bottom board." on step 8

Few Bits (author)BillyS462016-04-15

Don't screw in the bottom board, that is just used as a spacer. That way your bottom boards will be at the same level on all 4 sides without having to measure. Hope that helps!

BillyS46 (author)Few Bits2016-04-17

Ah I get it, thanks! Any recommendations on what to line the inside or bottom with. Are there any issues with soil seeping through the tiny gaps in the bottom?

Few Bits (author)BillyS462016-04-17

I didn't line mine...there was a bit of dirt that came through when I was filling them up but it was easily hosed away. Once the dirt settled and packed it was very minimal. I suppose you could line the bottom with weed blocking fabric like this

Few Bits (author)BillyS462016-04-17

I didn't line mine...there was a bit of dirt that came through when I was filling them up but it was easily hosed away. Once the dirt settled and packed it was very minimal. I suppose you could line the bottom with weed blocking fabric like this

metqa (author)2013-04-14

Those castors are the size of a full grown human's hand! They are gonna hold up just fine. I have a suggestion about the attachment of the castors. I'm pretty sure that just the screw are enough, but I get paranoid, and I wonder if you though adding some sort of washer might give it added security that the screwheads wouldn't slip out over time. Or am I just being too paranoid?
I love the idea of a garden on wheels. You could add a pull string to it and haul it down the street to sell your "fresh from the garden" vegetables. LOL

Few Bits (author)metqa2013-04-14

HA! That's a good suggestion about the washer. Hey, it couldn't hurt, right? Thanks, metqa.

diy_bloke (author)2012-11-05

beautiful, but those seem like flimsy wheel sto carry that box filled with earth

Few Bits (author)diy_bloke2012-11-05

As I said in the notes, I ordered industrial casters from SES casters. I got the Medium Duty that have 300lb load cap each. I have moved the beds a lot (to get better sun) and they have held up just fine.

diy_bloke (author)Few Bits2012-11-06

Thanks, I must have missed that :-)

sunshiine (author)2012-07-30

Nice build! I think this would qualify for the Summer water challenge! It is a way to get more views so people can see how this is made! Too good to not get the attention it deserves! Please think about entering! So beautiful! Sunshiine

sunshiine (author)2012-07-27

I will share this with my daughter. Thanks for sharing!

tr2n (author)2012-07-11

Your planters look great.
We made similar from left over decking without castors and then made a tall,narrow,deeper version for my whirlygig as i dont have a grassy area for my washing to hang.
We used castors and put dirt in it(to give it a wee bit of weight)and planted small flowers.
multi purpose

Few Bits (author)tr2n2012-07-11

Thanks! I love that multi-pupose planter and would love to see a photo!

tr2n (author)Few Bits2012-07-13

Here is a photo of my multi-purpose planter.
I also use it for a parasol in the rare event that we get sunshine in

Few Bits (author)tr2n2012-07-13

I love it! So clever.

jessyratfink (author)2012-07-09

Such a great idea to add casters. I always wish my plant pots had casters!

Few Bits (author)jessyratfink2012-07-10

Thanks, Jessyratfink! I have another wooden planter with a blueberry bush in it that I attached casters to...makes it much easier to move them around for cleaning.

About This Instructable




Bio: Originally from Wisconsin, now living on the Best Coast. DIY is my MO. More stuff on my website, check it out!
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