Front Garden Tall Planters


Chelsea pointed me to a blog post by Bower Power- something that she wanted to make herself. Of course, she wanted me to show her how to use the tools necessary! The project is relatively simple, so naturally, I said “yes”!

Materials (per planter)Tall Planter, Right Side

  • (8) 5/8″x6″x6′ P.T. dog-eared picket boards
  • (1) 2″x2″x8′ P.T. lumber
  • 15″ square plastic planter (this or similar)
  • 1½” or 2″ brad nails (to fit your air nailer)
  • Outdoor-rated wood glue
  • (2) Olympic Elite Semi-Solid Exterior Stain, half-pint (sample size)

Note: for two planters, you’ll only need 15 picket boards and 1 total 2″x2″ lumber


  • Miter Saw
  • Brad Nailer
  • Table Saw


Bower (see link above) provided a cut list, but I found an easier method that ensured that each side panel was the same length. My technique was to stack four of the pickets on top of each other (you could use painter’s tape to hold the boards together, but be prepared to use a lot of that since you’ll be making multiple cuts!), and as such, each cut would result in four identically sized pieces.

  1. Measure 17″ from the straight end, and make a mark. On the other side, measure in 16 5/8″ and make another mark. Connect the two marks with a line (it should be slightly angled)
  2. Align the saw with the line, and lock it down. On my saw it was just over 3.5° – the exact number doesn’t matter, just as long as it’s consistent throughout this whole process!
  3. Make the cut on the given line.
  4. On the “long” side of the just-cut bundle, measure 16¾”. Make sure you mark the side that you’re going to cut (you will need to rotate the bundle)
  5. Make the cut. You should now have four (4) pieces that measure 16¾” on the top, and 16″ on the bottom, with angled sides that lead into the bottom like a trapezoid.
  6. Going back to the remaining length of picket boards, use the short side of the previously cut side, line it up with the angled end, and mark where the other side ends. This should result in the top of the next stack being cut to the same length as the bottom of the previous stack! Cut on that line.
  7. Repeat this measure and cut two more (should now have four total bundles).
  8. The remaining two bundles will need to be taken from two more picket boards. I found it easiest to cut the boards in half (using the same angled cut), then stacking them together so that all four angled cuts are lined up.
  9. Then, repeat the measure and cut method for the last two bundles.

Tall Planter, Left SideAt this point, I followed Bower’s method to assemble the boxes, and to rip the wide/thin trim boards for the corners. Just make sure you follow the overlap/underlap technique to ensure the boxes are square! Don’t forget to use glue as well – that’s really what holds this structure together, not the nails!

We shop at Lowe’s, so we didn’t find the Rust-Oleum’s Weathered Gray that Bower uses, but we chose Olympic Elite Tintable Semi-Solid Exterior Stain in Dark Ash. Our Lowe’s did not have quarts of this stain, so I purchased four samples and used a quart bucket to mix together all four samples before applying. It goes on a brown (wet wood?) color, but dries to a bluish tint, which Chelsea loved. We may use this color on our deck, next!

I did the cutting, Chelsea did the box assembly, and our son, Tyler, helped with stacking the boxes and nailing the corner trim pieces! It was quite the fun family project!

June 2nd, 2016

Tags: , , ,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *