Finalized DIY planters in front of Agent Rylee’s home.

Winter is my favorite season (crazy, I know).

I also happen to love tall planters. You know the kind that sit outside local stores right around the Holidays, are huge, and are bursting with fresh evergreen?

I had a dilemma though, I didn’t want to spend hundreds of dollars on planters. I knew I could get some evergreen clippings from my family’s land, but planters are expensive!

So I did what most DIY enthusiasts do, turn to the internet and attempt to make my own DIY planters!

I knew what I wanted: matte black, square planters. I didn’t need them super tall, around 24 inches would do.

I read a decent amount of articles and “how to’s” and came up with what I deemed to be the best method to create a pair of DIY planters.


Step 1: gather tools and materials

Tools used:

  • Circular saw (could sub for jigsaw in a pinch, but the cut won’t be as straight)
  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
  • Power drill
  • Orbital sander (or you can sand by hand if you don’t have access to one)
Materials to buy:

Pro tip: be mindful when selecting your plywood. I used a cheap, very grainy, cut of plywood. I wanted the wood grain to be subtly visible even after painting. If you don’t want to see any wood grain, opt for a nicer cut of wood, like birch or etc. Also, make sure your boards are not warped.

Step 2: cutting

The plywood is 24″ tall and 96″ long. We will be making 7 cuts in total. The first cut should be made at 11 5/8″ inwards. After you cut your first piece, measure again to 11 5/8″, cut, repeat

Pro tip: do not pre-measure all your cut lines. The saw will eat some of your wood causing your measurements to be off. Measure, cut, then measure.

Once you are done cutting, you should have eight pieces of wood, measuring 11 5/8″ x 24″.

You’ll also want to cut your furring strips into eight pieces as well, the size of these can vary, since you’re just using them for support on the inside. I cut mine to about 16″.


Step 3: assembly

Now you’re going to screw the 16″ long furring strip pieces into the plywood pieces.

Attach 2 furring strip pieces onto one plywood piece, repeat four times. By the end of that you should have 4 plywood pieces that have furring strips attached to them, and 4 plywood pieces without. You can then begin to assemble the entire planter, using 2 pieces of plywood that have furring strips and two that don’t. The end result should looke like the photo below.

I didn’t add bottoms to mine, but plan to in the spring. If you’d like to put bottoms on yours you’ll do so after they’re assembled. Once assembled, use your 2’x2′ small plywood panel to make bottom piece for the planters. Set each planter one at a time on the plywood piece, try to line it up with 2 edges of the plywood so you have less cutting to do, and trace the shape. Cut the wood along your outline and screw your new piece to the bottom of the planter.

*Note: if you have gaps in corners of your planters from the wood being slightly warped you can fill it in with wood filler or wood putty. You can also use  this to cover any screws that are on the outside of the planter.

Step 3: sanding

YAY! Your planters are assembled!

You’ll want to take your orbital sander (or your hand) and sand the planters!

Start with the 150 grit and sand it really well. Smooth out the surfaces and go around corners and edges. My plywood was pretty rough so I spent some more time on this step. Once you have hit the planters with the 150 grit, give it a once over with the 400 to really smooth it out and make it ready for paint. Also wipe it down throughout this process.

Step 4: painting

With your planters sanded and wiped down, you can begin to paint! I chose a matte black paint, and did about 3 coats. I used the roller and a small foam brush to get in some tight corners. I also painted about halfway down on the inside of the planters.

Step 5: fill it with foliage!

After the paint dries you are all done! Congrats on your gorgeous new DIY planters (that only cost you a fraction of the price).

Tips for filling the bottom dead space of the planters:
I used 2 mid sized plant stands and they worked perfectly, you could use leftover Styrofoam  or large empty recyclable objects (think laundry soap container etc) and top with a potted plant.

Since I wasn’t opting for a potted plant in my planters at this time I stacked FloraCraft wet foam bricks on top of my plant stands. I soaked the bricks in water prior to help keep my evergreen clippings alive longer. Then I arranged all of my foliage into the bricks. Get creative here and search the internet for other inspiration.


Step 6: admire your work

Now it’s time to sit back and enjoy your gorgous planters for years to come!

If you make your own DIY planters, please tag me in your photos! I would love to see how they turned out.


Finalized DIY planters.

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