This project is an expansion from my first Instructable (Pallet Planter Box) posted 2+ years ago. The pallet planters are holding up great but the finish was looking dull after a couple of years in the sun. I decided to refinish them with a darker walnut stain (vs. original red oak). At the same time, I thought it would be a good time to upgrade the planters. To provide flowers for the deck, my wife had been talking about a hanging basket column that could be placed in the ground or in pots. We found something we liked in a catalog; but to me, the price of $86 per column seemed pretty high for something so simple. So, I created this very simple project from 4x4 lumber, end caps, base plates and hangers. I made it a little more complicated by cutting down the 4x4s to match the decorative end cap dimensions but that isn’t really necessary. We are very happy with the results and the cost; it was less than $20/post to make. Now we have hanging baskets and the planters to provide seasonal flowers.
Step 1: Tools/Materials
- Table Saw
- Tape Measure
Step 2: Pallet Planter Box
This is a recycled project, see HERE for earlier planter build instructions.
Step 3: Column Build
You will be building to this drawing.
Step 4: Post
The height of the post is arbitrary. I wanted something high enough so the bottom of the baskets would not hit our deck railing. Since the post assembly sits inside the raised platform planter, 66” was calculated as an adequate length. Use a table or miter saw to cut 4x4 to length.
The 4x4s I purchased were in pretty rough shape. To clean them up, I used a table saw with the blade set to the highest setting (3.75”) and cut a ¼” from each side of the post. The final post dimensions are now 3” x 3”.
Step 5: Sand Edges
Sand the corners to break the sharp edges.
Step 6: Post End Cap
To add a decorative touch, I purchased end caps for the top of the post. They came with a screw embedded into the cap base. Note that the end cap is 3” x 3” which matches my new post dimensions. Drill a hole in the center of one of the ends to accept the end cap screw. Screw the end cap into the post.
Step 7: Base
The post base provides stability for the post inside the planter. The drawing shows a 14” square base by 3/4” thick. I didn’t have that available so I used scrap 2x12s. The base shown is 11.5” x 12” x 1.5” thick. Mount the base to bottom side of the post with 4 screws.
Step 8: Paint or Stain Post
These were stained with Walnut by Minwax and covered with two coats of outdoor polyurethane.
Step 9: Hangers
Hangers come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Think about what size baskets you will be hanging before selecting the hanger. The baskets shown here are 16” in diameter. The attachment point on the hanger is 9” from the edge which gives it ample room to swing back and forth without damaging the post.
Determine number of hangers and height. We wanted something low profile that could be placed along our deck railing so only two hangers are used. I’ve included a picture of a four hanger style if you think that would work better for your application. For height, I needed something that wouldn’t hit the top of the deck railing. Mount the hangers at the desired location with the provided screws (60” shown).
Step 10: Ready to Assemble
Since both the base and the column can be cumbersome to move, I would assemble them wherever you want to use them. We assembled everything on the deck.
Step 11: Liner
Since the planter boxes have spaces in between the boards, a plastic bag was used inside the box. It was attached with staples and a few holes were placed in the bottom for drainage.
Step 12: Add Post Assemblies to Planter Boxes
For extra stability, you can add screws from the post base to the planter box base. I didn’t feel this was necessary when considering the weight of the dirt pressing on the post base. Fill the box with dirt / planting soil.
Step 13: Add Baskets and Plants
The planter base has four liriope , a grassy lily, which will eventually get to 12” tall and fill in the planter with evergreen foliage. The 16" diameter baskets are planted with a variety of colorful petunias for our enjoyment while lounging on the deck.
Step 14: More Pictures
By summer, the petunias will get big and drape over the sides of the hanging baskets.
Step 15: Ground Option
Although I’ve shown the hanging basket post mounted inside a planter, it could just as easily be placed in the ground. I would recommend extending the post length by 3’ or adding a steel ground spike to the end of the post. Cementing or packing rocks around the post/spike would also help ensure the post stays upright.