How to Build a Wooden Block Planter Box

This is a simple project that will use up lots of scrap wood around your workshop. It uses a chain linking technique that can be modified to create lots of projects, not just a hanging planter box.


  1. 1
    Set up a work table. You will need a flat work surface about three feet square, a piece of 34 inch (1.9 cm) plywood on saw horse will work fine.
  2. 2
    Draw or scribe a circle on the work surface. The planter described in the steps is about 24 inches around, but you can make it smaller or larger if you want. You may need to adjust the size of the blocks you cut (see next step) for radically different sizes.
  3. 3
    Cut blocks of wood 3/4 inches wide and thick, 4 inches long. Cedar, juniper, cypress, or other weather resistant woods are good choices, but you can use pine or other softwoods (or hardwoods, although they may split more easily). Shape them if desired, sanding and rounding the edges, depending on how finished you want the final product to be.
  4. 4
    Lay a ring of blocks around the inside of the circle you scribed on your work table. Place them inside the line, allowing about 1 12 inches (3.8 cm) of space between the ends of them. The exact spacing will probably need tweaking as your complete the circumference of this circle.
  5. 5
    Put a drop of quality wood glue (think Tight-Bond 3 or Liquid Nails) on each end of each block. You can work sections if the glue is subject to drying quickly.
  6. 6
    Place another layer of blocks on the first, staggering them to center on the joints of the first row, and keeping the edges in line. As you progress around the circle, use a finish nailer with 1 1/8 18 gauge brads to tack the ends of the second layer to the first layer.
  7. 7
    Put a drop of glue on each end of the second row of blocks, and start your third row the same way you started the second row (layer) of blocks. You will not go all the way around this time, stop the row one block back from an end point ( opposite the side you are working from works best).
  8. 8
    Run two or three more rows the same way you ran the previous ones, leaving a block out with each subsequent row. You may decide to take a break after a while, to allow the glue between blocks to set so the whole thing will be more stable.
  9. 9
    Keep adding rows, but allow each row to slide inward from the previous row about 1/3 the width of your block. Here, you will need to be careful with your glue placement at nailing, since overflowing glue or nails that miss the underlying block will have to be cleaned up later. You should begin to see the edges start to slope inward, forming the bowl of the basket.
  10. 10
    Continue running rows as described earlier until there are only three or four blocks left in the top row. Now, you will need to invert the whole assembly, so prepare some stacks of blocks to support the full round (bottom, but soon to be top of your structure.
  11. 11
    Flip the whole thing over, being careful to keep it supported, and lay it flat on your work surface. Now, all you have to do is repeat the process you started on the first side.Once each side is symmetrical you are done, let the glue cure before standing the planter box up.
  12. 12
    Stand the planter box up, line the bottom with plastic, fill it with potting soil, and add the plant of your choice.


  • Use a quality, exterior wood glue if you plan on using this unique project for outdoors plants.
  • Softwoods with minimal knots work best for this project.
  • Stain and apply an exterior sealer if you want.


  • Hand nailing this project is next to impossible, as is screwing it together. Small gauge air driven finish nails/brads work best.

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Categories: Gardening