Spring is practically here! To celebrate the arrival of my favorite season, I decided to build a planter box for flowers. I’ve also been having some bug problems so I wanted to share what I’m doing about those. Keep reading for instructions for the DIY cedar planter box.
Thank you to Aptive Environmental for sponsoring this post. All opinions are my own
Living in Florida in such a humid and warm environment, you can correctly guess that we get pests on our property. Spiders, moths, and even the occasional cockroach- yuck. And I’ve definitely noticed them more now that we’re home most of the time. To deal with these, I decided to call Aptive Environmental.
Here’s what I like about Aptive-
They offer a four-season plan, plus an initial service so my house is pest free all year long.
For the first visit, they spray and then come back one month later for the quarterly visit. It’s timed this way to break up the egg cycle and best protect my home. So smart!
The initial visit is super custom and informative- the service technician walks the house with you and gives you tips on things that you can do to discourage pests. Also, if you know of any problem areas, the Aptive service technician will happily address those areas, too.
aptive environmental initial visit
For example, we get large spider webs in the windows and bushes on this side of our house. Justin, my service technician, quickly cleaned them up and they haven’t been an issue since.
I also made sure that the service from Aptive Environmental is pet and family-friendly since I have a young son and two dogs. This is one of their main priorities and something they are very focused on!
Aptive uses environmentally, pet and family-friendly pest control solutions to treat pests. Their treatments use effective but minimal toxicity products and botanicals, which gives me peace of mind. To keep the dogs safe, at the recommendation of the service pro, we kept them in one room for a few hours so the spray could dry thoroughly before they explored. He mentioned that kids 2 and younger also need to be in another room during spraying to be extra cautious.
The foundation was treated so that pests don’t get in through the cracks.
I also told the technician about the fleas we get in our lawn. He sprayed specifically to treat them and gave me instructions to water the lawn to activate the solution. I loved how custom everything was!
He sprayed inside the house and in our garage as well. Our garage is where we get the occasional cockroach and he showed me where they potentially come in. He sprayed extra well and gave me tips on how to prevent them in the future.
The whole process was really quick- the spraying took less than 30 minutes. The technician wore a mask too- which I really appreciate.
Another aspect of working with Aptive Environmental that I like is that if between treatments I see a bug problem, I just call them and they’ll come back to treat the issue.
Aptive services homes in more than 4,735 cities across North America so if you’re interested in getting your home treated for bugs, it’s likely they have an office near you.
And guess what?! I have a special discount for you! Use code ATHOMEASHLEY for up to 75% off of Aptive Services! Click here to book your appointment.
how to make a diy cedar planter box
Let’s start with the video tutorial so you get an overview on what I did. Then, I’ll dive in with more details below:
If the video doesn’t work here, you can watch it on YouTube here. I’d be over the moon happy if you subscribed to my YouTube channel! Videos are actually released on YouTube first (usually the night before they’re published on the blog). Thank you!
A few summers ago, my family went to Paris for my little sister’s wedding. Oh travel! How I’ve missed you!
My phone is full of pictures of things that inspired me- like this beautiful green planter. I love the finials and the vertical lines. So I figured- if I can’t go to Paris, I’ll bring a little of it home with me.
Note- these supplies are to make 2 planters
- Screws #9 X 2 1/2
- Screws #10 x 4″
- 1 Cedar 2×4 Board- 12′ long
- 8 Fence Posts
- 4- 2×2 Board- 3′ long
- 8 Ball Top Pressure Treated Finials
- Brad Nails 1 1/4″ long
- 2 Buckets 5 Gallon
- Exterior paint
- Miter Saw
- Brad Nailer
- Table Saw
- Drill Bits
- Counter Sink Drill Bit
- Triangle Speed Square
- Tape Measurer
- Palm Sander
I am a visual learner, so I thought I’d put the plan up with graphics first. Then, I’ll go into step by step instructions with pictures and an explanation. This is a more complicated build, so hopefully these are helpful.
Below is the cut list for this project. Note, these quantities are for creating 2 DIY cedar planter boxes.
Cut the Cedar 2×4 into the following lengths-
- 8- 15 1/2″ long cut with 45 degree miter edges (this creates the top of the planter)
- 4- 12″ long cut straight. Use a table saw to rip the boards in to 7/8″ wide (this creates the top supports for the planter)
- 4- 12″ long cut straight. Use a table saw to rip the boards in to 1- 1/4″ wide (this creates the bottom supports for the planter)
Note, rip the 2×4 cedar on the table saw. Put it through twice at 1- 1/4″ wide and the left over board will be 7/8″.
Cut the 1×1 boards into the following length-
- 8- 17 3/4″ long. Cut straight. These are the legs for the planter.
Cut the Fence posts into the following lengths-
- 24- 16 1/2″ long. Cut straight. These are for the front of the planter
- 4- 14″ long. Cut straight. These are for the bottom of the planter
- 4- 12″ long. Cut straight. Use a table saw to rip it 1- 7/8″ wide. These are the supports for the fence facing for the top.
- 4- 12″ long. Cut straight. Use a table saw to rip it 1″ wide. These are the supports for the fence facing for the bottom.
- 4- 12″ long. Cut straight. Use a table saw to rip it 3/4″ wide. These are also the supports for the fence facing for the bottom.
Note, rip the fence post on the table saw to get the skinnier widths.
step 1- PUT TOGETHER THE TOP
Start by creating the top. To do this, place 4 of the cedar boards that were cut on with a miter edge together.
Use a drill bit to pre drill holes to prevent cracking the wood. To sink the screw heads in, use a counter sink drill bit as well.
Note, for each time we put in a screw, we followed each of the above two steps. I won’t repeat listing them through the tutorial, but they are crucial to getting a professional looking end product.
Here is what a counter sink drill bit looks like-
Use two screws per side to attach the top together. We used a 2 1/2″ and a 4″ screw to a sturdy top.
Repeat this step for each planter.
step 2- attach the legs to the support
Next, use the 2 1/2″ screws to attach the legs (the 17 3/4″ long pieces cut from the 2×2 board) to the top support (the 12″ long pieces cut from the 2×4 cedar board).
Note, use one of the 12″ wide fence posts as a spacer so the support isn’t flush with the legs. This will leave space for the facing of the planter to be flush with the legs.
Repeat this step twice for each planter.
step 3- prep the bucket & attach legs
When designing this planter, I knew I wanted a barrier between the wood and the dirt. I want the planter to last as long as possible and figured having a plastic container to hold the plant and dirt would help. Then, besides rain, the wood could stay dry.
At the store, I couldn’t find anything affordable. But I did see a plastic 5 gallon bucket. So I decided to create this planter around the bucket.
Use a drill bit to create holes in the bottom of the bucket. These are for water drainage.
Put the planter face down on a work surface. Then, put the bucket face down too. Put the legs with the support touching the planter top.
step 4- attach base support
And now it’s time to make this planter super sturdy! To do that, put two fence posts (the 14″ long pieces) on the bottom on the bucket.
Attach the base support on top of the fence posts. These get sandwiched between the bucket and the base support. Next, use the fence post piece cut to 12″ as a spacer to push back the base support towards the bucket. This will create spacing for the future facing will go on the planter.
Use screws on all four legs to attach the base support to the legs. You can see in the above picture a little better how the support piece is pushed back the width of a fence post.
At this point, the planter is ridiculously sturdy! And it’s time to make it pretty and hide that bucket.
Above is a picture of how the bottom of the planter looks. Two fence posts spaced out so that water can drain through the middle of the bucket.
You can also see on the base on the sides where there isn’t a support piece. So I placed two of the 12″ long by 1 7/8″ wide pieces of fence posts. These are what will be the base of the facing for the planter.
Use a brad nailer to attach these to the bottom of the planter with three nails per side.
Flip the planter on its top. Now we’re adding supports to the top on the sides that don’t have it for the base of the facing for the planter. First, put the 3/4″ wide piece of fence post touching the bucket.
Note, the thick cedar we used for the top and two sides of the top and bottom is expensive ($22 for one board). So to keep costs down, I cut down fence posts pieces since those are much more affordable at $1 per fence post. You could buy more of the cedar to simplify things though.
Use nails to attach the 3/4″ wide piece of fence post.
Next, put the 1″ wide 12″ long fence post on top of the last piece. This is wider to fit perfectly on the top of the ridge of the bucket and hold it in place.
Again, use nails to attach it to the top of the planter.
And now, it’s finally time to put the 16 1/2″ long fence posts onto the front of each of the 4 sides of the planter. 3 pieces are needed per side.
Use a nail gun to attach them. They should fit perfectly in the open space.
Use a drill bit to pre-drill holes in the top of the planter for the finials to screw into.
Screw the finials in. Note, this step could be skipped. These post finials are a little pricey, but they add the upscale look that makes it resemble the planters from Paris.
Here’s how they look once they’re finished, before they have plants and are painted.
Now that construction is done, it’s time for finish work! First up, use sparkling to fill all screw and nail holes. Let dry and repeat on the bigger screw holes.
To create a smooth finish, use a palm sander on all surfaces of the planter.
Use exterior paint or stain to paint the whole planter the color of your choice. I went with Ultra Pure White by Behr. The planter needed two coats of paint for full coverage.
Finally, use planter soil to plant flowers (or whatever you’d like) in the planter.
And here’s how the planters look in front of my house! I haven’t completely decided on where they will end up, but I figured I’d parade them around my house and see where they look best. Here’s two more options-
I thought they also looked on the back of my house on a white exterior wall. And they also look great on my rainbow wall of my patio-
We’ve been spending extra outside now that our yard has been sprayed for bugs- its a much more pleasant place to be!
Remember to use code ATHOMEASHLEY for up to 75% off of Aptive Services! Click here to book your appointment.
I think the planter looks especially cute next to this bench- they both have a bit of a Parisian vibe. Do you like how these turned out? I LOVE them! They were a little complicated of a build, but I love how they came out and that I now have roses in my yard.
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