Introduction: Rustic Pyramid Planter

About: Growing up in a rural area in the East of England I've always been interested in nature and trees and eventually found myself building things from the wood I could find. This has led me to follow my passion of…

My very first Instructable was a rustic pallet wood planter which was a fairly simple build, I did however make two other more complicated planters at the same time which I never did a tutorial for. The reason I never made that tutorial was that the planters contained compound angles which I kept cutting last time until I got them right (or close enough). So this time round I'm making it as an Instructable with a better attempt at the compound angles (attempt being the operative word) and a little plan to try and help you with marking and cutting compound angles. The material list in this Instructable is for 2 planters.

Theres a video up on YouTube of the build and installation of the planters and as always, more detailed instructions below.

Thanks for checking it out and I hope you enjoy it!

Step 1: Tools and Materials


- Pencil and rule

- Combination square

- Rip saw or table saw

- Crosscut saw or table saw

- Hammer

- Big Mallet/Sledgehammer/Post Rammer to hit the logs into the ground

- Brace/Drill and 3mm bit

- Screwdriver/Drill


- 8 lengths of wood 30cm X 4cm X 4cm (11 13/16" X 1 9/16" X 1 9/16")

- 2 Pieces of wood 15cm X 15cm X 1.5cm (5 15/16" X 5 15/16" X 9/16")

- 6 lengths of pallet wood 100cm X 6cm X 1.5cm (39 3/8" X 2 3/8" X 9/16")

- 1 log around 6cm in diameter and 80cm long (2 3/8" in diameter and 31 1/2" long)

- 1 log around 6cm in diameter and 110cm long (2 3/8" in diameter and 43 5/16" long)

- 2 branches around 3cm in diameter and 160cm long (13/16" in diameter and 63" long)

- 100 X 4cm ring shank nails (1 9/16")

- 40 X 5cm screws (2")

- Some plastic/ landscape material for inside the planters

- Compost

- Plants

Step 2: Making the First Cuts

Making most of the planters from pallet wood I had to rip down a couple of thick pieces to make the sizes I wanted. I used the combination square to find the width of the planks and then transferred that measurement down the length of each plank. I ripped down the length of each piece (with a crosscut saw, I don't have a rip saw!) and then marked out 8 X 30cm lengths which I then cut. These pieces would be the main structure of the planters and would have the compound angles transferred onto them.

Step 3: Marking and Cutting the Compound Angles

I had a rather difficult time thinking of a way to describe how to cut a compound angle and so I made some illustrations which I hope will put the idea forward clearly. A compound angle is a cut which is made with two different angles, as seen in the illustration. I decided to set my bevel gauge to 115 degrees as it was just the angle that looked the most pleasing when I made the drawings. I then marked up the pieces clearly and cut them, which was rather difficult with a hand saw! They turned out ok and since I knew they'd be hidden inside the planter I wasn't too worried about the finish.

This process is shown during the video which might help to explain it further.

Step 4: Cutting the Bottom and Attaching the Frame Pieces

I cut two 15cm X 15cm squares from a large piece of pallet wood and then traced the outlines of the frame pieces on the corners. Using a hand drill and a 3mm bit I drilled holes through the square and then screwed the frame pieces on.

Step 5: Cutting and Attaching the Sides

There were no real measurements used at this point, just marking the wood with what I already had. I took the frame of the planter and placed it over a piece of pallet wood, I then marked the sides, cut them and nailed them on. Because of the varying width of the boards I had to attach some thinner pieces to the top of each side and to avoid them splitting when nailing them on I had to make some pilot holes. Not having a drill bit small enough I just cut the head off one of the nails and used that instead.

Step 6: Cutting and Attaching the Top

This was another step where I didn't worry about taking measurements. I held a piece of pallet wood on top of the planter and marked the inside edges where the corners of the frame were. I then drew a 45 degree angle on each mark, cut them out, drilled pilot holes and screwed them onto the top. I did the same for the opposite side. Making the other pieces of trim was as easy as holding a piece of wood along the top and marking the angles of the other boards on them. I then cut those out and screwed them on.

Step 7: Attaching the Branch Trim

Holding the branch against the corner of the planter I used a ruler to mark the position of the top trim. I then cut the branch at the marked angle and then cut it at the bottom at a point which looked the most pleasing. I drilled through the branch at the top and bottom and screwed it in.

Step 8: Cutting the Logs and Driving Them In

Using the log holder I made previously I cut my 2 logs to the desired lengths and then made a point on the bottom, for this you can use a saw, axe or chisel. I then got my Big Pallet Mallet which you can find here and hit the logs into the ground, making sure the tops were level. I wanted to have a staggered look with the higher planter coming over the top of the lower planter, so it was important to keep checking the position of the logs as I drove them in.

Step 9: Attaching the Planters to the Logs

Positioning the planters on the logs by eye is easy enough, you can then draw around the log on the underside of the planter. I drilled 3 holes through the bottom with the 3mm bit, positioned the planters back onto the logs and screwed them in.

Step 10: Filling Up the Planters

I used some landscaping material to line the planters and stapled it to the inside. I then filled them with compost and a selection of plants in the garden. Putting some stones or shingle on top can help to suppress weeds and also gives it a nice clean look.

I hope you enjoyed that Instructable and it was of use to the keen gardeners and DIYers out there. If you'd like to follow my future builds and support me on my way then please head over to my YouTube channel and like my Facebook page.

Thank you for checking this out and I hope to see you soon!

Gardening Contest 2017

Second Prize in the
Gardening Contest 2017