Tall Planter Box DIY

Hey are you itching to get outside with the warming weather? Well this tall planter box tutorial is easy to follow and just in time for spring. With only a few cedar fence boards and some 1x2s you can have one too!

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This tall planter box will go perfectly on my front porch! My front porch is small so I wanted to find something that could make a statement without being too bulky. My inspiration for them came from More Like Home.

She’s got a great tutorial for them here.

I customized the plans to the size that I needed and to be able to use the materials that I had on hand.

Tall planter boxes

I had cedar fence boards that were 6ft. X ½” x 3 ½”. 


4- ½” x 3 ½” @ 6’ Cedar fence board

1- 1” x 2” @ 8’ pine boards

1- 1” x 2” @ 8’ pine boards Sliced to ¼” thick for trim

Miter saw

Table saw

Nail gun & 1” & ¾” brad nails

Palm sander

60 & 100 grit sand paper

L square

Measuring tape

Safety gear

Cut List

(A) 10- ½ x3 ½ @ 24” long (cedar fence boards)

(B) 4- 1x 2 @ 9 ¼” long (connecters)

(C) 4- 1x 2 @ 5” long (connecters)

(D) 2- ¼x 2 @ 11” long (trim)

(E) 4- ¼ x 2 @ 7 ⅞” long(trim)

(F) 2- ¼ x 2 @ 8.5” long with 1 mitered edge at 45 degrees

(G) 1- ¼ x 2 @ 11.5” long both ends mitered at 45 degrees

(H) 2- ½ x 3 ½ @ 6 ½”  long (cedar boards) (slats)

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Assembling the tall planter box

  • Decide which sides of the cedar boards (A)  will be the front and sand the front
  • Group the the front boards together front sides facing down, and group the back boards together front sides facing down. (I suggest using any cracked or bad boards together so they can go on the back of the planter.)
My connector boards are not far enough down from the top to set a pot on. I had to add extra boards for this step.
  • You are going to be setting a pot inside this planter. So measure from the top down the depth of your planter and make a mark. If you’re not sure about size yet give yourself a few extra inches. If you don’t leave enough depth here your planter will show out of the top of your box.
  • Assemble the cedar boards (make sure tops and bottoms of your boards are flush) to make the side panels using the 1×2 boards. (you will be using the connecter boards on the back sides of the panel)
    1. For the front and back panels you will place one of the connector boards (B) on your mark from step 3. Make sure you leave enough space on both sides of the connector to fit a cedar board, because the side panels will need room to fit inside the front and back panels. (like the picture above on the right)
    2.  Glue and attach panels together using 1” brad nails (B) is for the 3 boarded sides and (C) is for the 2 boarded sides.
    3. Add another connector toward the bottom of the boards
    4. Use the short connectors to attach 2 groups of 2 boards for the side panels.

Assemble the Tall Planter Box

Side panel sitting on the front panel
  • Glue the back side of the front panel and set the side panel on top of it. Nail the side panel to the front board’s connector boards.
    1. You will do this with all sides of the box until all 4 sides are connected.
  • Stand the box and nail from the front of the box up and down the edges of the side boards, to secure the side panels even more.
    1. Do the same with the back panel

Attach trim pieces (D)(E)

  • Start with the side trim (E). Make sure it’s flush with the front of the box and (I chose to raise the trim above the cedar boards a bit on both the top and bottom to compensate for uneven boards and so the planters will sit flush against the ground) Check for square then. Glue and nail using ¾” nails.
    1. Check for flush edges and squareness and attach the front trim pieces (D)

Attach the mitered pieces to the top of the tall planter box

  • Start by placing the top piece and one side piece on the top to get a good idea of where they need to sit.
    1. Keep the front piece in place (or mark a line underneath where it should line up with the front panel) glue and nail to the trim. This will be tricky because your trim piece is so thin. You could let the glue dry for a minute so the piece doesn’t move around so much. Then attach the side pieces.
  • Insert slats onto the top connector pieces (B)
    1. These slats are what you will set your planted pot on, on the inside of your planter

Apply the Finish

  • Now it’s up to you how to finish it. You could leave the bare wood but your planter will last longer if you stain and seal or paint and seal it. If you decide to paint you can fill the holes with wood filler and sand with 100 grit sand paper and then proceed with the paint and an outdoor sealer.
  • I used outdoor semi-gloss paint. I didn’t seal the outside. But wish that I had because these pots get sprayed with the hard water. I think I could scrub them down better with an outside sealer coat.

Planting The Pots

Because these planters are rectangle shaped I couldn’t find any planters that were small enough to fit and make the planter look full.

bins filled with potting soil

So I bought some small garbage bins that happened to fit perfectly! I drilled 4 holes in the bottom for drainage. Because the pots were so deep I filled the bottom 1/4 of the bin with wood scraps to save on potting soil.

I love the height the spike plants add. The sage green and white are just the right neutral colors to give these planters the look and feel I was hoping for for my front porch!

For more projects and info on how to use your tools come follow me on Instagram @lindseyjaneco
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For more inspiration you’ll love 14 miter saw projects for beginners

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