How to Make a Farmhouse Planter Box to Upgrade Your Porch

Deck out your front porch this fall with a farmhouse-inspired planter box. It will totally make your neighbors jealous!

wooden planter by front door with grasses and mums
Project Overview
  • Working Time: 4 hours
  • Total Time: 4 hours
  • Skill Level: Intermediate

Bring on the colors of fall with this rustic DIY weekend project. This planter box will add an aesthetic touch and a farmhouse feel to any outdoor entryway, welcoming all of your guests with fall flair. This planter is a great fit for your ornamental grasses, mums, and sedums. Our step-by-step instructions make it possible to create this rustic planter all by yourself.

You can use pressure-treated or cedar wood for this project. If you choose pressure-treated, make sure to allow the wood to dry for a couple of weeks prior to staining. To reduce the risk of splitting the wood, drill pilot holes for all instances using the 1-5/8" deck screws. Make sure not to drill through to the opposite side. This build is pretty straightforward. Be sure to offset the placement of pocket holes on the side panel assemblies. Since you use them on all four panel assemblies, the screws will hit each other when going into the 2 x 2 legs if you do not. The inner shelf can be placed at any position inside the planter to accommodate your desired plantings.

Overall dimension: 24" x 17" x 17"

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • Tape measure
  • Miter saw
  • Drill/driver
  • Pocket jig
  • 1/8" drill bit
  • Clamps


  • 1 2" x 2" x 6' cedar board
  • 2 1" x 2" x 6' cedar board
  • 2 1" x 3" x 6' cedar board
  • 1 1" x 4" x 6' cedar board
  • 4 1" x 4" x 8' cedar board
  • 1-5/8"outdoor deck screws
  • 1-1/4" outdoor pocket screws
  • Exterior polyurethane sealer
  • 120-grit sandpaper
  • Outdoor-rated wood glue


  1. Make Cuts

    Cut your wood to the below dimensions.

    Piece Dimensions Quantity
    Inner vertical rib 3/4'' x 3-1/2'' x 22-1/2'' cedar board 16
    Horizontal rail 3/4'' x 2-1/2'' x 14'' cedar board 8
    Leg 1-1/2'' x 1-1/2'' x 24'' cedar board 4
    Shelf cleat 1-1/2'' x 1-1/2'' x 14'' cedar board 2
    Shelf planks 3/4'' x 3-1/2'' x 14'' cedar board 4
    Long X 1-1/2'' x 1-1/2'' x approximately 22-1/2'' cedar board cut to fit 1
    Short x 1-1/2'' x 1-1/2'' x approximately 10-3/4'' cedar board cut to fit 2
  2. Step_1.eps

    Cut Inner Vertical Ribs

    Drill pocket holes for 1-1/4'' pocket screws into eight of the ribs. Four of the ribs will have them at one specific set of locations. The other four will have them in another set of locations to a nail collision in the final build.

  3. Step_2.eps

    Attach Inner Vertical Ribs & Rails

    Each group will have two ribs with identical pocket hole locations and two ribs with no pocket holes. Measure the width of each group and cut two horizontal rails to length for each group.

    Set up each group with a pocket hole rib on the outside. You will use the pocket holes in Step 3.

    Attach a rail to the top and the bottom of each rib grouping with wood glue and 1-5/8" outdoor deck screws, using two screws at each contact point. For a cleaner look, drive the screws from the rib side (what will be the inside of the planter). When driving the screws, be careful not to drive the screws too far and have them poke out the other side.

  4. Step_3.eps

    Cut & Attach Legs

    Start by cutting the four legs to length. Attach two legs to the outside of two panel assemblies with identical pocket hole placements. Use wood glue and 1-1/4" pocket screws. It doesn't matter which two panels you use, as long as they have the same pocket hole locations.

  5. Step_4.eps (1)

    Attach Panels

    Attach remaining panels to the panel assemblies. To join panels, use wood glue and 1-1/4" pocket screws. Let glue dry.

  6. Step_5.eps

    Attach Long & Short X's

    For the long X, hold the 1" x 2" board diagonal across the front of the planter, mark the angles at either end, and cut so that the board fits snug from corner to corner. Attach them using wood glue and 1-5/8" outdoor deck screws, screwing from the inside.

    For the first short X, set another length of 1" x 2" board in place from an adjacent corner to where it meets the first X piece. Mark the angles at either end and cut so that the board fits snug. Repeat for the second short X. Attach both using wood glue and 1-5/8" outdoor deck screws, screwing from the inside.

  7. Step_6.eps

    Cut & Attach Shelf Cleats

    Measure the inside of the box and cut the shelf cleats to length. Determine how deep you want your inner shelf and attach the shelf cleats to the inside of the planter using wood glue and 1-5/8" outdoor deck screws. Our shelf was installed about 12 inches below the top of the box.

    Cut your shelf planks to length. Attach them to the shelf cleats using wood glue and 1-5/8" outdoor deck screws.

  8. wooden planter by front door with grasses and mums

    Sand & Seal Planter Box

    Sand the planter box and seal it with an exterior polyurethane. For a weathered look, use semi-transparent exterior stain and sealer. Give yourself a pat on the back—you did it!

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