Introduction: Simple Planter From Old Decking

This is a simple, smart looking planter that can be customised to any size that you wish, by altering lengths of the front/back lengths of wood. The dimensions of the planter I am making are 75x35x36cm - about 100 litres.



- Old decking (I used about 8-9 meters of it, with end dimensions of 15 x 120mm)


- Decent quantity of decking screws (or any other screw that is protected against rust, I recommend the screws to be at least 50mm long)


- Drill with suitable screwdriver attachment (not compulsory but will make it a lot easier)

- Hammer

- Measuring tape

- Pencil

- Combination square (not compulsory but does help cut straight lines)

- Timber saw

Finishing (not required but does make it look nice):

- Suitable outdoor/garden paint

- paint brush

- suitable lining for the planter if you wish to line it.

Step 1: Gather the Wood

I sourced wood from some old decking that I’ve just finished ripping up down the back of my garden. I’m sure that it will be possible to source some cheaply or, even better, for free from places like eBay and Gumtree in the UK.

Step 2: Cut the Wood to Length

Now you have gathered your wood it’s time to cut it to length! Please feel free to alter any of the dimensions to suit your needs and note that this instructable is following the dimensions I am using and is my own personal preference.

I am using:

- 6 lengths of wood 75cm long, for the front/back.
- 6 lengths of wood 35cm long, for the sides.

Using the measuring tape, measure the length of the wood, and if you have it, use the combination square to mark across the wood at 90 degree angles to get nice straight edges.

Cut your wood to the desired lengths and then we are ready for the next step!

Don’t cut the wood for the base yet as this will depend on the width of your planter. (We do this last)

Step 3: Assembling the First “ring”

Now that you have your wood cut to your desired size, it’s time to get building.

Taking one long and one short bit of wood, put the end of the short length of wood against the longer bit of wood them as shown in the first picture and put two screws through to hold them together at right angles. Repeat this once more until you have two sets of pieces of wood screwed together at right angles.

Now align the two sets as shown in the second picture so that the end of the longer lengths of wood are touching the shorter pieces and screw together with two screws and the same at opposite corner of the carcase.

Hope that you followed that ok, it’s pretty hard to describe!

Step 4: Creating the Other Two “rings”

Repeat step 3 twice.

Step 5: Fixing the 3 “rings” Together

After the 3 “rings” are complete it’s time to fix them together. Don’t worry if they are not all square, they will pull each other together when we assemble them!

Take two of the 3 rings and place them on top of each other and align one side with the ring below (as shown in the picture). The rest of the edges may not align just yet but that’s ok. Now, screw down at an angle in the side of the top “ring” in a corner, holding both rings in place, through the top ring and into the bottom one to connect both “rings”. Do the same for the other corner of the length of wood you aligned. So by now, you should have two rings connected to each other on one side. Now, on the other side, pull the rings into alignment using your hands and drew them together as you did for the other side in both corners (see pictures for help). That’s two rings now connected!

Repeat this step for the third and final ring, to make the 3 “rings” into one.

Step 6: The Wood for the Base

Almost there! Now that we have the sides complete, let’s move onto the base. Using your tape measure, measure the width of the planter on the inside (mine is 32cm) and then the length of the planter on the inside (mine is 70cm). Now measure the width of the wood you are using (mine is 12cm). Divide the length of the planter by the width of the wood. For example:

70 (length) / 12 (width of wood) = 6

This give you how many lengths of wood you will require for the base. So I will need 6 pieces of wood 32 cm long. These will not always be whole numbers, that’s just how mine turned out, if it’s a decimal (e.g 7.2) you will require that quantity plus a length of wood cut lengthwise (represented by the decimal) to give a solid bottom with no gaps. Go and cut these lengths now.

Step 7: Assembling the Base

Now that you have the parts for the base and they have been cut to the correct length and you have the correct quantity, select which side of the the planter you want to be the bottom and have it facing up. Place the bit of wood in position as shown in the first photo, and screw it into position. You may need to use a hammer if it’s a tight fit to help persuade it into place. Repeat this for the rest of the base pieces until you have a solid base.

That’s the planter finished!

Step 8: Finishing

This step is optional if your wood has been treated, most decking should be. If it’s not then you ought to use some preservative in it to prevent rotting, however, I recommend protecting the wood in both situations.

I painted mine with outdoor wood preservative to make it look nice. I also pressure washed the planter before painting to remove any dirt from the planter. You may also wish to line the planter with tarp or a suitable material if you have gaps in your base to stop the stop the compost being washed out!

Step 9: Final Words

I hope you enjoyed this instructable and you found some use in it! Your thoughts and opinions are welcome in the comments section and I would love to hear from you if you make the planter and found the instructable useful!

Thanks, Stretchy Fish

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