Introduction: Oregon Planter Box

About: Someday, I would like to create something that is so commonly used, it's not even considered genius.

This instructable will teach you how to make your own personal planter and show off your state pride (unless your state looks like a square).

With upcycled, recycled or store bought parts your planter will bring life and conversation to every tabletop, desk or garden wall.

I will show you step by step how to create your own personal planter project. We will be incorporating metal craft and wood craft with some tool work. After this, your skill sets and creativity will grow just like your new plants.


-safety gear: sturdy gloves, eye protection, ear protection

-section of rain gutter material

-scrap cedar fencing/ section of wood

-state stencil of your choice

-scrap of soft metal/ copper or aluminum

-temporary adhesive spray/ tape

-hand saw or power chop saw

-angle grinder with flap disk and metal cutting disk

-router with 1/4" straight bit

-rotary tool with 1/8" cutting bit

-drill with 1/8" bit


-square and or tape measure

-riveter with rivets

-metal stamp set

-pencil/ sharpie marker

-wood finish/ stain and rag

Step 1: Gather Your Materials

I had this scrap of new gutter material from my shed project. It is now too small for its original purpose, time to upcycle.

I will be using cedar for its rot resistant properties. This is recycled from an old fence board.

Optional : A scrap of old copper tubing or aluminum will be used for your name or logo, keep recycling.

Find your state silhouette, an easy search will pull up several, or hand draw your square :). I made my dimensions about 4.5" x 6" for this print of Oregon.

Step 2: Cutting Your Materials

- Decide your planter gutter length, I am using about 11". Here in Oregon it rains just a bit, so this is pretty standard size to have at least a 4"W x 3"H gutter.

-Using a square and a marker, make a straight line here to assist in making a straight cut.

- Grab your angle grinder with a metal cutting disk. Gear up with gloves and eye protection. Keep flamable materials away from this step, now follow your line all the way around. Warning: Angle grinders are the most deceiving of power tools, lots of torque at 12,000 RPM can go bad in a hurry, be careful.

-The wood size is dependent on the gutter size height and width that you found. I have 4.5"H x 6"W, most fence boards are 6" wide by 1/2" thick. Cut your wood scrap a little long so you have some play in cutting out your silhouette. A handsaw or chop saw works just fine here. (Not shown, repeat for other half).

Step 3: Prep and Cut Your Silhouette

-Using stencil spray or tape, attach your paper outline to your board. (Repeat step for other half)

-Clamp on a sturdy surface and get your router ready. Grab listed safety gear as listed in prior step.

-I am using a 1/4" straight cut bit for this router, make sure you have enough depth of cut to clear your board thickness (all the way through). Bonus if you own a scroll saw.

- You may have to adjust your clamps or flip the board around depending on your router and board length. This will help get all the way around your silhouette.

- Touch up with sand paper or flap disk to your appeal.

Step 4: Gutter Preparation

-Using your flap disk or sander, bust off the oxidation and any unwanted paint from the gutter. This will also take off any metal burrs on the sharp edge and give it a nice swirl design for that industrial modern look. Safety gear is a must, use good leather gloves. Angle grinder warning applies here as well.

Step 5: Logo Creation and Attachment

- Find your scrap metal of choice. I am using a 2" piece of 1/4" copper tubing hammered flat. This works great, due to it's size and fit, with no cutting involved.

- Stamp or carve in your logo. I am using a standard metal stamp kit I found online.

- Drill out 1/8" holes for attachment points on your logo, transfer marks with a pen on to your planter.

-Drill marks with 1/8" drill bit again and insert rivet.

- Pop and snap, attachment complete.

Step 6: Planter Assembly

- Dry fit your silhouette so your state is oriented correctly when viewing from the side.

- Place your gutter on the inside of your Silhouette as seen above and trace the outline of your gutter. (Note how state is backwards showing the inside of the planter). Repeat for other side.

- Clamp your Silhouette down and router out a 1/4" groove following your line. Careful: Only half the depth of your board, I am at 1/4" depth on my 1/2" board. I am using a smaller rotary tool at 15,000 rpm speed.

-Use a sturdy adhesive or epoxy filling the gap.

-Line up silhouettes on sides and let dry.

-Clamping or flipping planter vertical with small weight will help with proper setting of adhesive.

Step 7: Stain and Plant

-I am staining my planter for a little extra durability and color enhancement

-Rub your stain in and wipe off until depth of color is met.

-Plant your favorite flowers, succulents, or herbs and enjoy.

Yes, that is a Western Red Cedar and a Western Sword Fern in the photo, sustainability at its finest.

Thank you for watching.

Planter Challenge

Second Prize in the
Planter Challenge