Summer is in full swing, so why not deck your outdoor area out with more outdoor planters? DIY Specialist Natasha Dickins from Little Red Industries shares how to create your own DIY outdoor planter yourself – you’ll be having a summer drink next to your new outdoor plant in no time!
STEP BY STEP INSTRUCTIONS
DIY TOOLS & MATERIALS
- 10m of reclaimed timber boards at 80-90mm wide
- 1.8m of treated pine decking
- Measuring tape, combination square and pencil
- Circular saw and drop saw
- Drill with drill bits and a countersinking bit
- 19mm hole saw for the finger holes
- 40mm stainless steel decking screws
- Bondall Bondcrete adhesive for assembly
- Small router or trimmer (optional)
- Nail gun (optional)
- Timber filler in a colour to match and a spatula
- Monocel Stain & Varnish in Clear to finish
- Tray with mini roller to apply varnish
- Gripset Betta Bitumen Rubber to seal inside
- Paintbrush to apply bitumen
- 120 and 180-grit abrasive paper with a sanding block
- Four castors with 25mm screws
- Tools for planting, plus old flyscreen, two bags of soil, mulch and a plant
Step 1: Plan the cutting list
Set out the boards and cut the sides to 550mm by about 450mm high, depending on the width of the boards. Cut the base to be 550mm by about 300mm, cutting along the sides to remove the tongue and groove. Cut the end pieces to fit across the base and the sides, about 300mm wide, and the same height as the sides. On the side and end pieces, cut along the top to remove the tongue and reposition into the grooves of the bottom boards. Dry-fit all the boards to check for size.
Step 2: Cut the supports
Cut pieces of treated pine decking to add support inside the planter. Measure them against the dry-fit, with two for each side at 320mm long, one for each end about 280mm long and two for the base at about 260mm.
Tip: The end supports need to be long enough to cover the joins but short enough to finish below the finger holes, so check they fit before gluing up.
Step 3: Make the finger holes
It’s easier to make the holes before glueing up. On the ends, centre three 19mm-wide holes in the top boards, marking them to be about 30mm apart then use a 19mm hole saw to drill the holes.
Tip: For a neat finish, start each hole on the outside, halfway through turn the board over and complete the drilling from the other side.
Step 4: Make the drainage holes
On the base, make two to three holes in each board with the 19mm hole saw, positioning them at least 100mm from the ends to allow for the support rails.
Step 5: Glue up the boards
To glue the sides, base and ends, apply Bondcrete into the grooves, beginning with the top pieces. Position and glue the treated pine supports and secure using a nail gun or screws.
Tip: I used clamps to hold the boards together, but you could wrap masking tape tightly around them.
Step 6: Assemble the box
Glue along the edges as you assemble the box, using a nail gun to secure the sides to the base, then adding the ends. Use a countersinking bit to make the screw holes along the edges and base, then secure with decking screws.
Tip: You could skip the nail gun and simply make the countersunk holes first then assemble with glue and screws.
Step 7: Roundover and smooth
Use a small router or trimmer to round-over all edges and the finger holes. If you don’t have a trimmer with a round-over bit, use 120-grit and a sanding block to remove the sharp edges and smooth the corners. Wrap a small piece of abrasive paper around a pencil or dowel to sand inside the finger holes.
Step 8: Fill the holes and sand
Use a spatula to apply wood filler to holes, cracks or gaps and leave to dry. Sand the box all over with 120-grit abrasive paper then 180-grit for a smooth finish.
Tip: I used a black wood filler for an industrial look, but for a more subtle finish you could choose a tint more in keeping with the tone of your timber.
Step 9: Waterproof the inside
Apply a thick, even coat of Gripset Betta Bitumen Rubber, ensuring all gaps and joins, brushing around the top to create a neat line and leave to dry thoroughly before applying a second coat.
Tip: Apply the first coat with horizontal brush strokes then do the second coat by brushing vertically to ensure the surface is completely watertight.
Step 10: Add the castors
Varnish the base to ensure the timber is totally sealed then position the castors on the treated pine and attach with galvanised stitching screws.
Step 11: Seal the outside
Use a mini roller to apply at least two coats of Monocel Stain & Varnish in Clear, leaving to dry thoroughly between each. Seal along the inside where the bitumen ends to ensure maximum moisture-proofing.
Step 12: Prepare for planting
Cut up old flyscreen and fold it into two layers to place over the base and prevent soil from falling through the drainage holes, then add a bag of soil.
Step 13: Add the plant
Position the plant in the centre of the planter and add another bag of soil then add mulch to prevent the soil from drying out and water.
Outdoor Planter Reveal!
There you have it! A beautiful outdoor planter, designed to stand the test of time.
“The trick to making a unique outdoor planter like this is to use lovely reclaimed hardwood,’ says Natasha.
“I sourced this flooring from a 100-year-old house that was being renovated, although you could simply use offcuts,” Natasha says.
If you recreate this at home be sure to hashtag #bondall on Instagram and Facebook for a feature, and tag @littleredindustries and share the love for the planter.
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