Planter Box From Pallets




About: I like to design and build random things.

This is my first project on Instructables and also my first time working with pallets. These planters are meant to house two large pots in a more attractive manner. To me, working with pallets takes a good amount of work but I do like the feeling of up-cycling something that would have gone to the landfill.

Drawing File – Plan 1

Drawing File – Plan 2

Step 1: Pallets

Find free pallets from Craigslist. If not available, you can purchase them locally for very little money. When searching through the pallet stack, look for the pallets with the most usable wood. The length of the slats is ~ 3 feet. The thickness varies from ½ to ¾ thick. The width of the slats can vary from 2.5 to 6 inches.

Step 2: Deconstruction

Breaking the pallets apart takes a decent amount of work. Use a jig or circular saw to cut the ends. Pry the wood from the center support. This should give you 8 to 14 boards per pallet. Remove nails from slats.

Step 3: What's Left?

Before you start cutting, determine the best pieces to get the desired width (see drawing). I had multiple long pieces with cracks and/or damage down one side. I was able to cut the damage off and still have usable pieces.

Step 4: Cut/Sand Boards

Refer to the drawings in the intro for the length of each board. After cutting the pieces, sand them with course sandpaper to remove rough spots or major staining/paint…unless that is your desired look.

Step 5: Frame

Assemble top frame (nail & glue)

Step 6: Platform

Assemble bottom platform (nail & glue).

Step 7: Ready to Build

Ready for next step

Step 8: Side Attachment

Attach the sides to the top frame and bottom platform (nail & glue).

Step 9: Trim

Attach the side trim to the upper sides (nail & glue). Attach the top trim (nail & glue).

Step 10: Clean Up

Sand again

Step 11: Stain or Paint

Finish as desired. Version shown is finished with red oak stain and coated with an outdoor urethane.

Step 12: Finished

Finished project - project done in the winter (no plants yet)!

Step 13: Updated With Plants

Step 14: UPDATE

2 People Made This Project!


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10 Discussions


3 years ago

Lovely!! Thanks for the inspiration. I'm going to have a crack at this.

1 reply

4 years ago

Looks great! Did you fill the planters direct with soil or do they have pots inside them?

1 reply

Reply 4 years ago

Thanks. There are large pots inside the boxes.

Mixed Kreations

5 years ago

Nice planter box. You make it look so easy in your video. Thanks for sharing your plans!

2 replies

Thanks. I'm glad it looked easy but it really took more time than I would like to admit. I was SO tempted to go buy clean/straight wood from Home Depot after getting whacked in the head from a flying pallet board. Note that the second set of plans is for the person that would like to build the project from purchased wood.


5 years ago on Introduction

Me ha gustado mucho. Una explicación sencilla pero muy fácil de entender.


I liked it. A simple but very easy to understand explanation.


5 years ago

Welcome to Instructables! This is your first in a series of comments. This would be a great way to fortify my garden space.