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Porch Planter

Cedar siding gives this DIY planter great curb appeal.

Planters beside porch steps

Project Overview

Skill Level


Estimated Time

1 weekend

Estimated Cost


Tools & Materials


  • Circular saw or jigsaw
  • Straightedge
  • Cordless drill with driver bits
  • 1/8-in drill bit
  • Caulking gun
  • Utility knife
  • Painter’s tape
  • Exterior wood glue
  • Carpenter’s square
  • Staple gun and 1/4-in staples


  • See Project Diagram for materials
  • 6d galvanized finish nails
  • 4d galvanized finish nails
  • 1-1/4-in deck screws
  • 1-1/2-in deck screws
  • 2-in deck screws
  • 2-in flat corner braces
  • 2-in flat braces
  • 2 - 10-oz construction adhesive
  • 10-ft x 25-ft black plastic sheeting
  • Qt. Valspar exterior latex primer
  • Qt. Valspar Ultra exterior semigloss paint - Jekyll Club Cherokee tan #6008-2A for the siding
  • Qt. Valspar Ultra exterior semigloss paint - Satin Snow #7004-17 for the legs
  • Qt. Valspar Ultra exterior semigloss paint - Jalapeno Jelly #6005-6A for the top trim

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.

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Project Resources


This container is made from durable materials and built for efficiency. Substitute vinyl siding, synthetic stucco, or other siding materials to create planters that match your home. Cut each part to length and sand with 150-grit sandpaper as you proceed through the steps.

Build the Interior

Step 1

Position the cleat 6 inches from the top, centered on the length

Cut a 2 x 2 treated pine board for the cleats (A) (Project Diagram, Cutting List). From 3/4-inch-thick plywood, cut the front/back (B) and ends (C) to size. Place the cleats 6 inches from the top of the front and back and centered on the length. Drill 1/8-inch pilot holes and drive screws to attach the cleats (Project Diagram, Drawing 1).

Step 2

drill pilot holes and use screws to build the interior box

Drill 1/8-inch pilot holes and drive exterior deck screws to attach the front and back to the ends.

Step 3

use a spacer to evenly space the slats inside the planter

Cut a scrap board 3/8-inch thick and use it as a spacer between the slats. Cut the slats (D) from the remaining plywood and evenly space them inside the box. Drill and screw them to the cleats.

Add the Legs and Siding

Step 1

nail togetherthe leg assemblies

From 1 x 4 cedar boards, cut the legs (E) to length. Build four leg assemblies, using two legs each, assemble with exterior wood glue and 6d galvanized nails (Project Diagram, Drawing 2).

Step 2

Attach the legs to an upside down planter

With the box sitting upside down on the workbench, attach the leg assemblies so the tops of the legs rest on your work surface and extend beyond the top/bottom of the box. When you flip it over, all the legs will extend evenly and the box will stand without rocking on uneven legs. Use no construction adhesive when attaching the leg assemblies at this time.

Step 3

Trim the siding for the planter box with a utility knife

Before attaching the siding, the material needs to be trimmed from the full 7-1/4-inch height to 5-1/2 inches. Because the top edge of the material is thin, a straightedge and a utility knife can do the job. Score the material lightly and repeat scoring several times until the material is almost cut through. Then snap off the top edge.

Step 4

mark the siding to fit the planter before cutting

Place the siding against the legs and mark the actual length of the end siding (F) and front and back siding (G) (Project Diagram, Cutting List and Drawing 2). Use a carpenter’s square to draw a cut line, and cut each piece to length.

Step 5

attach the siding to the box using construction adhesive and nails

You’ll attach the first piece of siding at the bottom on one end -- the thick edge of the siding always goes on the bottom. Apply construction adhesive in two strips, near the top and bottom edge of each siding piece. Place the siding against the plywood with the bottom edge flush with the bottom of the side, and then drive 4d nails through the bottom inch of the siding into the plywood. The construction adhesive will hold the top edge -- if you drive nails here, they will penetrate the interior of the planter.

Step 6

Cut the top end trim (H) and top front/back trim (I) to length and glue the parts together to create the top frame. Reinforce the corners (Project Diagram, Drawing 3) with a straight mending plate along the outside edges and a corner brace along the inside corner.

Finish the Planter

Step 1

protect the center part of the boards from paint with painter’s tape

Use painter’s tape on the inside face of the legs, the corners of the box, the top edge of the box, and the center portion of the bottom face of the top frame where the different parts meet (Project Diagram, Drawing 3).

Step 2

Prime all exposed surfaces and apply two coats of paint. (We choose Satin Snow for the legs, Jekyll Club Cherokee tan for the siding, and Jalapeno Jelly for the top trim to complement the house.

Step 3

When the paint is dry, remove the painter’s tape. Apply construction adhesive to the corners of the box in the unpainted areas, and reattach the legs with screws (Project Diagram, Drawing 4).

Good to Know

The bare wood provides a better bond for the adhesive. Now attach the top frame using adhesive. When the adhesive has cured, line the inside of the box with plastic sheeting and secure with 1/4-inch staples.