Introduction: DIY Modern Planter Box / Made With 2x4's

Hi everyone, welcome back!

Today's project is a beautiful modern outdoor planter box made with only 2x4's. This woodworking project should be relatively easy if you are a week-end diy'er like me. Go buy some 2x4 and let's make this planter box.


[4x] 2x4x8 Construction Lumber

[1x] Box of 100 2''½ Blue-Kote Pocket Hole Screws

[1x] Plastic ( Vapour Barrier ) 36''x36''

[1x] 3'' of vinyl tubing ( Any size will do )

[1x] Small piece of geotextile ( 3''x3'' is enough )

[1x] Outdoor wood stain ( I used Boathouse color from Sico Paints )

[1x] Exterior wood glue ( Optional )

Step 1: Cutting the Material

First, we need to cut our 2x4's to the right length. It's a pretty easy part as you will need only 2 different lengths.

You will need [4x] 12'' pieces and [20x] 13.5'' pieces.

Cut 6x 13.5'' and 1x 12'' from one 2x4x8 to minimize the waste. Total length is 93'' so you have 3'' left it's good enough for what the blade will remove at each cuts. I suggest you remove 1/8 of each end of your 2x4 before you start, the cut from your miter saw will look better than the factory cut, and because of our box style joint style, the ends will be visible so you want the most perfect look.

Step 2: Rip Cut All the Pieces

Now, i use my table saw to rip cut all my pieces. I start by removing 1/4'' of one side, then i remove 1/4'' on the other size so my final width is 3''. Sometimes lumber can be less that 3''½ so adjust your cut so the final width is 3''. This will give us a nice modern looking square edge. Don't throw out the leftover, we will use them later.

Step 3: Drilling the Pocket Holes

Let's drill the pocket holes using the kreg k4 pocket holes jig. I start by making the pocket holes for the 4 pieces that will make the base, then i move to the 20 sides pieces.

Here's the plan of my pocket holes locations.

Step 4: Screwing the Base and the Sides Together

Now, let's screw all our pieces together to be ready for the final assembly. I am using Kreg blue kote pocket hole screw to assemble the pieces together, screws are 2''½ long.

I screw together the 4 pieces that will make the bottom of the planter, then i go with the 20 side pieces and i screw them together to make 4 squares pieces.

Step 5: Assembling the 5 Side Row Together

I start by assembling the 5 row that will make the sides of our planter box.

I do all the assembly upside down, because of the way i drilled the pocket holes. Also, because the way i drilled the pocket holes, no water won't be trapped in these holes if it ever go behind the plastic liner. We we also have a wood protector for the wood so we are more than careful here.

Use some clamps to remove the gap between each row. Because we are upside down, don't worry if the clamp make a mark on your pieces, it's won't be visible since it's the ''under'' of the planter.

Step 6: Screwing the Bottom Part

Now we need to screw the bottom of the planter in place. I use some shims to elevate the bottom to the right height. Simple and easy solution. Then i screw it in place using 2''½ kreg blue-kote screws.

Step 7: Adding Legs

I use some 2x4 left overs to make some legs. I cut them long enough to raise the planter 1/4'' off the ground. It will look modern, beautiful and will help protect the planter against the elements because it won't sit on the ground. Then i glue them in place, easy as that.

Step 8: Hiding the Pocket Holes

Now, because we don't fill the planter to the top, the top row will be visible. So we want to hide the 8 pocket holes of the top row using 3/8 dowels and glue. Then using my multi tool to cut them flush.

Step 9: Sanding .. Sanding .. Sanding

The fun part, or not. Sanding. This part is really important for this project since it's how we will make each 2x4 flush to each other.

Step 1 : Belt Sander using 80 grit

I start by sanding all the sides using my belt sander with a 80 grit sandpaper. I know we should always try to sand in the direction of the grain but it's a bit different for this project. Because we want all the 2x4 to sit flush to each other, sometimes we need to sand against the direction of the wood make the 2x4 flush to each other. But this step will leave some big scratch on our planter box. Step 2 will repair this.

Step 2 : Orbital Sander using 80 grit

Time to remove these scratch. Using my belt sander, i sand the 4 sides with a 80 grit until the scratch are removed.

Step 3 : Orbital Sander using 120 grit

Now we can prep for the stain, because it's an outdoor project and it's a planter box, i will stop at 120 grit. It will be enough for our outdoor wood protector stain. I sand all the 4 sides again. For the top and inside, see next step.

Step 4 : Mouse Palm Sander using 120 grit

Using my mouse palm sander, i sand the top of the planter box and the top row inside ( because only the last row will be visible ).

Step 10: Outdoor Wood Stain

Time to stain our project. I use some outdoor semi transparent wood stain from Sico Paints. This color is boathouse. I put 2 coats.

Step 11: Adding the Liner

Im adding a plastic liner ( vapour barrier ) inside the planter to protect the wood again the water. It's a bit difficult to put this liner inside so i fold it to shape it like a box before putting it in my planter box.

Step 12: Adding the Drain [ PART 1 ]

I use a 5/8 OD vinyl plastic pipe as a drain. Before i put the liner in place in the last step, i have drilled a 5/8 hole in the bottom of the planter. This will act as a drain if there is to many water in the bottom of the planter.

Step 13: Adding the Trim

To make sure no water go behind the plastic liner, and to hide that liner edge, i add a trim using the left over from when we rip cut all of our pieces at the start of this project.

Step 14: Adding the Drain [ PART 2 ]

Now that our liner and our trim is in place, we can go ahead and put this plastic pipe through the drain hole. The vinyl pipe fit tight in the hole so there is no leak around the tupe.

Then i add a small piece of geotextile on the top of the pipe so no earth will go through the drain.

Step 15: Adding the Cataractarum Palm

Final step, adding some life to this planter box. I bought 2 cataractarum plants for my deck so that why i made 2 planter boxes for them.

Step 16: Thanks for Watching

I hope you liked my instructable, don't forget to also watch the video. If you like, share and subscribe.

See you next time! :)