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Mobile Patio Planter

Make a roll-away planter with just a few tools. A galvanized tub lets you change plantings with ease.

Mobile Patio Planter

Project Overview

Skill Level


Estimated Time

1 day

Estimated Cost


Tools and Materials


  • Circular saw
  • Carpenter's square
  • Cordless drill with countersink and driver bits
  • Clamps
  • Painting supplies


  • See Cutting Diagram for lumber
  • 3-in polymer-coated deck screws
  • 2 1/4-in stainless-steel trim screws
  • Qt. Olympic solid stain, Copper Verde, #23007
  • Qt. Olympic clear stain, # 17905
  • 15-gal galvanized round tub, #90007
  • 2- 2-in locking swivel casters, #169308
  • 2- 2-in swivel casters, #67046

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 these portable planters from treated and cedar boards with basic tools. The parts can all be cut using a hand-held circular saw; for faster and more accurate results, you might want to use a power-miter saw.

Make a Planter

Step 1

Cut a 4 x 4 pressure-treated board into four 13-1/2-inch-long pieces for the legs (A) (Project Diagram, Cutting Diagram and Cutting List). Add an extra 3-1/2-inches to the length of each leg if you want to build stationary planters. Apply a solid color deck stain to the treated 4 x 4s and allow the stain to dry. Cut the cedar 1 x 4s and 1 x 2s to length for the wide slats (D) and the narrow slats (E). Lightly sand the slats, focusing on the corners and edges, to remove any splinters. Wipe them clean and apply a transparent water proofer to the cedar.

Good to Know

Pressure-treated lumber may still be damp when you cut it. Instead of waiting for the wood surface to dry out before painting, apply a solid-color stain that allows the wood to dry without trapping the moisture.

Step 2

Clamp the rails and drive screws to assemble the frame.

Cut the rails (B) and cross rails (C) to length. Secure the shorter cross rails between the longer rails using 3-inch-long screws (Project Diagram, Drawing 1). A clamp will hold the parts and keep them from shifting while you drive the screws (Photo 1).

Step 3

Secure the legs with clamps and screws.

Retrieve the lags and position against the assembled base frame. Clamps again prevent the parts from shifting while driving the screws (Photo 2). If you are building the planter without casters, set the frame off the ground using a couple of 2 x 4s to create a 3-1/2-inch space under the frame for water to drain and air to circulate.

Step 4

Retrieve the wide slats and narrow slats and drill 1/8-inch pilot holes for the screws. Use a carpenter's square to carefully lay out the screw positions for a professional look.

Step 5

Add slats above the frame.

First screw the wide slats to two of the legs, leaving a 1-inch space between the end of the slat and the outside face of each leg. Then add the remaining slats using a scrap of wood to create an even 3/4-inch gap between each slat (Photo 3). Check that the slats are even on each end.

Step 6

Repeat for the remaining three sides. Flip the assembly over and add a caster centered on the bottom of each leg. Add a galvanized tub, and you are ready for the plants.