Pallet Wood Planter Box (+video)




Introduction: Pallet Wood Planter Box (+video)

About: Hello, I'm Niki. I like to make things and save money while I am doing it.

Hello again Instructables family ♥
I am entering this project in the 'Hand Tools Only' challenge.

When I saw this challenge, I knew I had to get all my old tools out and give this a go.

My interpretation of this challenge is to demonstrate that you can still build and create things

with cheap or minimal tooling.

I have not always had to tools that I have now, but instead of buying a $100 dinning table.

We decided to buy a drill. And instead of buying a $300 lounge,

we bought a circular saw and an impact driver.

Tools are an investment and can be used to create just about anything.

A common misconception that I hear, is that it is expensive to do DIY.

The reason I build our own furniture and make whatever I can out of pallets,

is because we don't have the money to spend on a house full of furniture.

Step 1: Tools, Materials and Consumables

  • Hand saw

a tenon saw would have been better though

  • Pallet wood palings
  • Coffee
  • Speed square and a pencil

or if you really want to bug people, a pen would work great.

  • Bench plane
  • Red Bull
  • A scribe

and while you are at it, maybe you could Sub-scribe.

  • Another Red Bull
  • F-clamp
  • Hand drill
  • Counter sink drill bit
  • Chip board screws
  • Phillips head screwdriver
  • Maybe another Red Bull

depends on how tired you are

  • Cork sanding block
  • 60 grit sand paper
  • Red Bull
  • Paint brush
  • Acrylic paint

Disclaimer: Each individual should take their own health and safety into consideration.
You should NOT exceed the daily maximum amount of caffeine.

You SHOULD wear all required safety gear (Boots included).

The amount I choose to drink and the lack of footwear is my own foolish endeavor.

Step 2: Getting the Palings

Start by marking a straight line on either end of all your palings.

I cut off eight lengths. But only ended up using six, for this planter box.

Step 3: Overall Size

Worked out a size that would fit nicely around the potted plant.

I went with 200x200x200

And two paling widths are close enough to 200 mm for me.

Step 4: Base

Mark out 200mm for the length.

Then cut along your lines.

Step 5: Measuring the Uprights

For the uprights, I subtract the depth of the base

from my ideal finishing height.

Step 6: Width of Uprights

Set the scribe at 25mm and score a line down either side.

I could hardly see it, so I darkened it with a pen.

Step 7: Cutting Lengthways

Mark out the height of the four uprights.

Clamp it to the bench, with an off-cut to protect the wood.

Then cut along the length, of all the lines.

Step 8: Problem

I ended up cutting vertically with the saw,

because the middle beam of the bench was interfering.

But if I had a tenon saw, this would have worked great.

Step 9: Cross-cut Uprights

Once they are all cut lengthways. Cut the 4 uprights off.

We now have our 2 base pieces and 4 uprights.

Step 10: Rain Rain Rain

It was raining all day and I had to stand right under the edge of the awning.

One day I will have a proper workshop.

Step 11: ​Side Panel Measurements

The sides of the planter box are 200mm overall. Divided by 5 random widths.

I went with a 45 and a 55. As well as two 25's and a 50.

These 4 paling are enough to cover the sides of the entire box.

Step 12: Cutting Sides

Time to cut the side panels to their widths.

Clamp to the bench.

Cut half way along the line, then flip it around and repeat the cut for the other side.

Step 13: Plane and Sand

Moving to the other end of the work bench.

I clamp my length side on. So I can clean up the rough sides with a plane.

Then with the 60 grit, I clean up all the ends and edges.

Step 14: ​All the Pieces

We now have our uprights, base, 25mm siding, 50mm siding, 45 and 55mm siding pieces.

Step 15: Marking Uprights

Time to work on the uprights.

I have the siding pieces stacked and laying flat.

Mark the paling gaps onto the uprights.

Then mark were I want the drill holes.

Step 16: ​Countersink Drilling

I am using a 5mm counter sink drill bit in a hand drill.

Clamp the piece to the bench. Then drill all the holes.

Step 17: Length of Sides

Mark the length of the side pieces. Number them so you remember the order.

And then cut them all to length.

Step 18: Side Preparation

For the bottom side piece, I mark the depth of the base.

And drill two holes.

I am attaching this with a Philips head screwdriver and chipboard screws.
'because they are affordable'.

Step 19: ​Attaching Sides

With the bottom side piece attached to the base,

I can then attach 2 of the uprights directly to that.

And then add on the remaining side pieces.

I do the same thing for the opposite side. Again, attaching the bottom one first.

Step 20: Perpendicular Sides

The 2 remaining sides are measured and cut longer than the already completed sides.

The reason for this is to cover up the end grain of the other sides.

The holes are marked so that the screws can go into the ends of the other palings,

without interfering with the screws in the uprights.

Step 21: Sanding and Sanding

I then give the entire thing a really good sand.

And keep sanding.

This was the most tedious task of the entire build.

And now the building part is done.

Step 22: Painting

Time to paint.

I am using the same colors that I used on the flooring,

to help bring some more continuity to the room.

Step 23: Some Tips

If you want to do a neater job of painting.

You could slide baking paper between the joins.

Or take each piece off and paint them individually.

Step 24: ​Finishing Touches

To finish it off, I paint the inside of the planter box with watered down black paint.

Instead of the eyes being drawn to the light color of the wood.

You can now focus on the beautiful colors of the box.

Step 25: Aspire To

Once I completed my 'Hand Tools Only' planter box.

I then made myself 3 other planter box's using power tools and staging the corner joins.

If all you have at the moment is a handsaw and a cheap drill,

then this Hand Tools verse Power Tools project is a nice example

of what you could aspire to with more tools in the future.

Thank you for checking this out and I will see you next time

YouTube - Nikita Maree

Hand Tools Only Challenge

Runner Up in the
Hand Tools Only Challenge

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    Penolopy Bulnick
    Penolopy Bulnick

    1 year ago

    Love the way you painted these!

    Nikita Maree
    Nikita Maree

    Reply 1 year ago

    Thank you very much. I appreciate that.


    2 years ago

    Red Bull 😂😂
    Nice project!

    Nikita Maree
    Nikita Maree

    Reply 2 years ago

    Thank you 😂 gotta get that energy from somewhere 😂


    Reply 2 years ago


    Congrats being finalist in the challenge!

    Nikita Maree
    Nikita Maree

    Reply 2 years ago

    Thank you so much.


    Question 2 years ago on Introduction

    Was this a red bull commercial? HA HA! Love the project! Thanks for sharing!

    Nikita Maree
    Nikita Maree

    Answer 2 years ago

    Haha. The amount I drink, you would think so.
    Glad you like it.