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Elevated Planter

This planter is large enough for a substantial garden bed yet small enough for a deck or patio -- place it anywhere.

Three window boxes

Project Overview

Skill Level


Estimated Time

1 weekend

Estimated Cost


Tools & Materials


  • Circular saw
  • Jigsaw
  • Straightedge
  • Cordless drill with driver bits
  • 1/4-in drill bit
  • Random-orbit sander
  • 100-grit and 150-grit sandpaper
  • Wood clamps
  • Hammer, or brad nailer and compressor
  • Caulking gun
  • Carpenter’s square
  • Ratchet and 1/2-in socket


  • 2 - 2 x 4 x 8 cedar or treated pine boards, #430665 or #46905
  • 1 x 4 x 8 treated board, #201711
  • 1 x 6 x 8 treated board, #201722
  • 10 - 1 x 2 x 8 cedar boards, #7592
  • 3 - 1 x 4 x 8 cedar boards, #7499
  • 2 - 1 x 6 x 8 cedar boards, #7502
  • 6d galvanized finish nails
  • 2-in deck screws
  • 2-1/2-in deck screws
  • Exterior wood glue
  • 10 oz. heavy-duty construction adhesive, #44906
  • 4 - 5/16-in galvanized washers
  • 4 - 5/16-in x 2-1/2-in galvanized lag screws
  • 10-ft x 25-ft black plastic sheathing, #16906
  • Olympic solid color deck stain, quart, Navajo Red

Items may be Special Order in some stores. Product costs, availability, and item numbers may vary online or by market. Paint colors may vary slightly from those shown. Availability varies by market for lumber species and sizes.

Missing anything? Shop Online


Build this project by assembling several simple frames, stacking them, and adding legs. Distressed exterior stain gives it color and protects it for years of use.

Make the Frames

Step 1

Assemble the vertical frames with exterior glue and nails

Cut all of the side boards and end boards that make up the five vertical frames. The parts for the top two frames (A, B) are made from 1 x 2s, the parts for the two middle frames (C, D) are made from 1 x 4s, and the parts for the bottom frame (E, F) are made from 1 x 6s (Project Diagram, Cutting List). Assemble the frames with 6d galvanized nails and exterior wood glue (Project Diagram, Drawing 1) -- using a brad nailer rather than hand- driving nails can speed the assembly process.

Step 2

Mark the boards when they are in place and cut them for a perfect fit

Cut the 1 x 2 side caps (G) and end caps (H) to fit the vertical frames. Glue and assemble them so the insides of the cap boards are even with the inside of the vertical frames; nail them in place.

Good to Know

Variations in thickness and width of the boards can cause the length of the cap boards to vary. Measure each one by placing it in position and marking the final length.

Step 3

Apply glue to the bottom edge of each vertical frame, except the bottom one, stack them, and clamp to hold them together (Project Diagram, Drawing 2).

Step 4

Construction adhesive binds the legs to the frames of the planter

Cut the legs (I) from cedar 2 x 4s, and sand with 150-grit sandpaper. Install the legs in the box using construction adhesive and 2-inch-long deck screws. The top of the leg is 3/4 inch down from the top edge of the planter.

Step 5

Reinforce the rail to leg connection with a lag screws

Cut the remaining 2 x 4 board into two pieces for the rails (J). Secure the rails to the legs using construction adhesive and screws (Project Diagram, Drawing 3) so the bottom edge of the rail is 11 inches up from the bottom of the leg. Reinforce the joint by drilling a 1/4-inch pilot hole 2-1/2 inches deep. Drive 5/16-inch x 2-1/2-inch galvanized lag screws with washers into the pilot holes.

Step 6

Glue the slats into the bottom of the planter

Cut 1 x 4 and 1 x 6 treated pine boards to length for the end slats (K), long slats (L), and center slat (M). Attach the slats to the rails with construction adhesive.

Step 7

Cut a piece of black plastic sheathing sized to line the interior of the planter. Staple the plastic to the interior of the planter. Use a utility knife to cut slits in the plastic between the slats at the bottom to allow water to drain.

Step 8

Apply two coats of a solid-color deck stain with a brush following the manufacturer’s instructions. When the stain has dried, you have the option of removing some of the stain to expose the wood beneath. Sand the surface with 150-grit sandpaper to give it a dull appearance, and then use a coarse-grit sandpaper (100 grit) to take the stain off in a random pattern.