Since last week, I’ve caught up to speed on quite a few things. For instance, I live in growing zone 8; last frost is mid March; transplanting starts slightly before or after last frost, dependent on plant species; and making a planter box isn’t too hard for those lacking skill, aka me! Let me rephrase. It is difficult but manageable if you have a (more experienced) helper, but for the naturally crafty, it is fine.
Jake and I went to our local HomeDepot and bought some cedar and managed to fit all the lumber in my Yaris!
We purchased cedar fence pickets (5.5” x 5/8′ ‘x 5′), cedar squares (2”x 2” x 3′), and wood stakes (9/16” x 1 3/8” x 4’) and wood screws (3/4”, # 8 // 2 1/4”, #8).
Planter box 18” x 18” x 2′
6x cedar fence pickets (5.5” x 5/8′ ‘x 5’) @ $2.43
–cut into 2x 2ft sections 14.5 5 2
4x cedar squares (2” x 2” x 3′) @ $1.27
–cut to adjust height of planter box
1x cedar squares (2” x 2” x 4′) @ 2.27
–cut into 2x 17” sections
4x wood stakes (9/16” x 1 3/8” x 4′) @ $0.43
–cut into 2x 17” sections
Total cost: ~$25
90 degree clamp
Jake cut all the wood because I can’t cut a straight line with a circular saw! It’s actually really heavy for my petite, out-of-shape body. I did prove useful, however! While Jake was cutting the rest of the wood pieces, I started on making the sides of the planter box. I assembled 3 cedar pickets in a row and overlaid one of the cedar squares on top for an overview of the design.
Pro tip: drill pilot holes before adding screws to decrease chances of wood splitting
1. After drilling pilot holes, I screwed the first cedar stake flush to the bottom of one picket. On the opposite side of the picket, I screwed a second cedar square flush in the same manner.
2. I repeated the same process on the other side of the wood stake and screwed the third cedar picket on.
3. The middle cedar picket was centered and screwed onto the frame. Ta da!
As a novice, it took me probably 20 minutes to get this first side piece done as I kept stripping the screws and having to pull them out, but the second, third, and so forth were much faster to finish. 🙂
4. Jake dabbed on some wood glue and added the uncut cedar square to one of the side panels to form legs for the planter box. Using the 2 x 1/4” wood screws, he screwed the two pieces together at a 90 degree angle. Btw, it was really important to keep this flush to the inside of the post!!!
5. From there, he attached another side panel on with the help of a 90 degree clamp and with the strength of my arms. NOTE: this time, he screwed at an angle as to avoid the other screw!
6. After 3 sides were on, we braced the inside of the planter box with the 17” cedar square piece, approximately 18.5” from what would be the top of the planter. We added screws to attach it to the panels as well as to the cedar square legs. We only added two to opposite panels, which will provide the support for the bottom slabs of the planter box.
7. We attached all 4 panels to form a square!
All that is left to do is to adjust the legs to the desired height, add the bottom slats, line the box with landscaping fabric, soil, and plant! Jake and I are planning to build another sister box to complete the set before we plant. I’m overall happy with the way it turned out at considering my woodworking skills are close to non-existent, though I feel like I’ve leveled up with this building experience. Maybe I’ll try more complicated projects in the future.