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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

Tools:

  • Table Saw
  • Drill
  • Sander
  • Tape Measure
  • Pencil

Materials:

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.

<p>Great instructable. I've made 3 so far. I am making 2 more but went with an octagon shape and used pallet boards. I plan to put up an instructable soon and will be referencing your work with the liner and post. Thanks for a great idea.</p>
<p>Thanks. I like the octagon shape. Very nice!</p>
<p>Thank you for your Instructable! Found it in time for Mother's Day. Made this one myself. Wife loved it! (Mother-in-law loved it too, now I have to make another.)</p><p>I added more aesthetic banding at the bottom, and lined it with landscaping fabric so the whole base is a planter as well. Also added a couple of spacers at the bottom to allow for drainage for the planter.</p><p>All in all, wonderful project!</p>
<p>Thank you. The bottom banding and spacers were a nice addition - looks more finished. Nice job! </p>
Thanks for the inspiration. My mom loved it! I did a few things differently, by making the planter box from 2x4s and adding the solar lamps and butterfly house on top, but the inspiration started with your instructable. Thanks again and looking forward to what you make next.
<p>Wow! I really like the lights and the butterfly house adds a nice touch of color. What a awesome gift you made for mother's day.</p><p>Thanks.</p>
<p>Thanks! Couldn't have done it without your instructable as inspiration. Keep making awesome stuff!</p>
<p>really pretty and cool!</p>
<p>Thank you</p>
<p>Awesome</p>
<p>Thanks</p>
Would love to make this for Mother's Day and I like the previous suggestion about the solar lamp. May put that to work. Great instructable!
<p>Thank you. Perfect project for mother's day.</p>
<p>Excellent Instructable, definitely going to give this one a try! Don't want to show the Mrs. yet though till I'm ready to build it lol. May substitute the post end cap with a solar powered post lamp depending on where I put it. Cost a little more but get one more function added to it. Great job again!</p>
<p>I agree, a solar light would add nice functionality to it. Please post pictures if you make one.</p>
Will do :)
<p>There is a planter at Menards that they sell now that can replace the cap on the post top. could possibly used. </p>
<p>That looks kinda small for a planter but very nice. Is that made for a 6x6 post? </p>
<p>I love this idea. Lots of great suggestions. Thank You.</p>
<p>Thank you</p>
Thank you for taking the time to make such a detailed instructable.
<p>Thank you for taking the time to read it :).</p>
<p>How do you keep water from draining out of the planter and making a mess on the deck boards underneath the planter? A few years ago I made planters and put 5 large rollers under each one, this has kept the water from making any puddles under the planters as the air can circulate and keep it dry which in turn has prevented any damage to my deck. Also, with 5 wheels on each planter bottom, they will not tip over but can be easily moved by myself and I'm a 70-yr-old woman. I made a matching Wishing Well out of an old washing machine tub and if &quot;sits&quot; on my concrete patio; the neighbors all keep an eye on it as I constantly move it to change the 'scenery' on the patio. Great tutorial!</p>
<p>Thank you and those are good points. I'm not sure if you can see it (step 2) but the planters have a raised floor. You could put a hidden pan under the planter to catch water / dirt. Weed blocker mat might also work to allow water to drain without the soil escaping. Rollers are a nice idea since these things are very heavy - even without dirt. </p>
<p>wonderful project. i will be making this.</p>
<p>Thank you. </p>

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Bio: I like to design and build random things.
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