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Copper and Cedar Planter

A cedar planter box with copper accents hides plant containers.

Copper and cedar planter.

Project Overview

Skill Level


Estimated Time

1 weekend

Estimated Cost


Tools & Materials


  • Miter saw or handsaw and miter box
  • Cordless drill with 3/8-in bit
  • Screwdriver
  • Hammer or compressor and brad nailer
  • Wood clamps
  • Hacksaw
  • Metal file
  • 120-grit sandpaper


  • See Project Diagram for lumber required
  • 1-in x 10-ft copper pipe, #139786
  • 8 – 1-in copper pipe caps, #83516
  • 8 – 1-in copper-plated split-ring hangers, #301353
  • 8 – 3/8-in 1 1/4-in hex bolts
  • 16 – 3/8-in flat washers
  • 6d galvanized finish nails
  • 2-in deck screws
  • Exterior wood glue
  • Gorilla Glue epoxy, #60023
  • Rust-Oleum oil stain, half-pint, Driftwood

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


Make a Box

Step 1

Cut cedar boards to length (Project Diagram, Cutting List and Cutting Diagram) for the sides (A), ends (B), narrow sides (C), and the narrow ends (D).

Good to Know

Cedar boards come with one rough and one smooth face. We’ll show how to make this planter with the rough faces exposed. As you sand all of the sides of the boards, the rough side should be smoothed just enough to prevent splinters. Sand parts before assembly throughout the project.

Step 2

Assemble the upper and lower frames.

Glue and nail the sides (A) to the ends (B) to make two frames (Project Diagram, Drawing 1). Repeat to assemble the narrow sides (C) and the narrow ends (D).

Step 3

install the bottom into the lower frame.

Cut the bottom (E) to fit inside the lower frame and secure with nails centered along the length of the two bottom ends (B). Reinforce the bottom by driving a screw through each end into the bottom.

Step 4

Stack the frames to form the planter

Apply glue to the top edges of the lower frame and the narrow frame, and stack all three frames to form the planter box. Clamp the frames while the glue dries. Be sure to rotate the boxes so the joints are staggered in the corners. These staggered corners make the planter stronger and provide a unique corner detail.

Step 5

Secure the top trim to the planter sides.

Cut the top trim (F) and the top end trim (G) to length. Glue and nail the trim to the top of the planter with the inside edge of the trim even with the inside face of the planter box.

Step 6

To drill consistent holes for the legs (Project Diagram, Drawing 2), make a hole-drilling jig. Cut a 1 x 4 x 8-1/2 inch long scrap and drill two 3/8-in diameter holes for each leg where shown (Project Diagram, Drawing 3).

Step 7

Use a jig to locate and drill uniform leg hole locations.

Place the jig with the edge noted against the end of the box, and the top of the jig against the top trim. Drill the holes in the planter sides using the jig as a guide and repeat for each of the remaining three corners. Align the same edge of the drilling jig against each end of the box to ensure the same hole positions.

Add the Legs

Step 1

From the copper pipe, cut four pieces 18 inches long using a hacksaw. Mix a small amount of epoxy and adhere caps to both ends of each pipe.

Step 2

Apply an exterior wood stain (Driftwood shown) to the wood and allow to dry.

Step 3

Install the bolts and washers in the planter.

Disassemble the split-ring hangers. Insert a 3/8-inch hex bolt and washer through each hole in the planter from the inside (Project Diagram, Drawing 2 and Drawing 4). Slip a washer on the outside end of the bolt and then screw the base portion of the split-ring hanger on the bolt until it is snug and aligned for the pipe leg.

Step 4

Attach a split-ring copper pipe hanger.

Insert the pipes so the top end is 1/8 inch from the top trim. You may need to adjust the rotation of the hangers to get the pipes to seat in them properly. Once aligned, add the remaining half of the split ring using the screws provided with the hanger.

Step 5

Stand the planter upright on a flat surface and check for wobbles. If the planter wobbles, loosen the legs individually and adjust the pipe placement so the planter stands firmly on all four legs.

Both the copper and cedar will weather to an aged look. Because the planter is designed to hold containers, you can swap out plants with the seasons.