Long live France! Build a tall wooden planter

Make your own tall wooden planter yourself with these simple-to-follow building plans. A pair of tall wooden planters will look great and add great appeal around your front door or garage, and it costs a lot less to build it yourself!

Add more curb appeal through Build a trellis planterAnd Cedar monogram planteror Easy to DIY custom window boxes.

Bonjour me amis! As a DIY blogger, I am constantly looking for inspiration for my next project. Made last year This amazing planter Based on some of what I saw in Versailles. I loved them when I saw them and loved having my husband here at home.

In fact today’s hubs commented how well it held up (we had one of the hottest summers last year and one of the wettest springs this year so it had to handle the worst of all for a wood product). When I left for our vacation in June, I knew I wanted to find something cool to build for Cass and her recycled crew. Our first stop was in Paris and on our way to one of my favorite coffee shops, I saw this:

Build this tall wooden planter for $50 or less, inspired by a French luxury hotel!  That would be cool to get in.
Gorgeous tall wooden planter with metal screw head accents.  3 feet long!  Build it for $50 and of course I need 2...

Isn’t it great!!!! ??? !! This beauty is huge, these tall wooden planters measure over 3 feet tall! It really made a statement at the entrance of the uber-luxe hotel and I knew instantly this would be the perfect project for Kass! But how do you make a tall wooden planter? Well, here I am with the plans for what I call a Vive la France planter!

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How to build a long wooden planter tutorial


Approximate cost: $50

*Note: As usual, I built my plan using high-end wood to ensure they last, have good durability, and don’t rot quickly. The pegs and fur strips only cost $20. This could be a good scrap wood cutting project if you have a decent amount of cutting.

You can use a thinner/less expensive piece of wood on top or make the top out of furring strips glued together and save between $10 and $20 on the project.

Pieces list

  • (20) 5/8 x 3 1/2 x 18 inch cedar pegs
  • (20) 5/8 x 3 1/2 x 13.75 inch cedar pegs
  • (4) 1″ x 2″ x 35″ furring strips
  • (6) 1″ x 2″ x 6.25″ furring strips
  • (11) 1″ x 2″ x 13.75″ Fur Strips
  • (1) 3/4″ x 18″ x 15.25″ red oak plywood sheet

Building instructions

Step 1: Drill the pocket holes

Drill pocket holes at both ends of each 1″ x 2″ furring strips (both 16.25″ and 13.75″ length pieces).

Step 2: Build the Side Frame for the Planter

Attach (1) 1″ x 2″ x 16.25″ pieces to the bottom of (2) 1″ x 2″ x 35″ grommets using 1 1/4″ pocket screws. Repeat on the other side.

The beginning of the base

Step 3: Join the two sides together

Attach (1) one 2″ x 13.75″ piece to the bottom of (4) 1″ x 2″ x 35″ furring strips using 1/4″ pocket screws. This will create the foundation of the planter.

** If you need to weight this planter down to avoid it blowing or falling over, add a few furring strips to the base to support this future weight.

Follow the instructions on the bottom of the planter rack on this lower foundation. See Q and A below for ideas on how to position the planter with the weight on the bottom And what do you use to weigh it down?

rest of the rule

Step 4: Frame the pot rack

Repeat the above process for either 8 (for 1-gallon pots) or 12 (for 3- or 5-gallon pots) of the top 35 furring strips. This will create a frame to support the plant.

What is with you

Step 5: Attach the Fringe Strip Rack

Using a nailer, attach (5) 1″ x 2″ x 13.75″ furring strips, evenly spaced, to the plant support.

Plant support

Step 6: Add the top frame fur strips

Using the pocket screws, install the remaining (2) 1″ x 2″ x 16.25″ furring strips and (2) 1″ x 2″ x 13.75″ furring strips to the top of the (4) 35″ furring strips.

top struts

Step 7: Attach the Front and Back Panels

Using a nailer, attach the first 5/8″ x 3 1/2″ x 18″ cedar pegs to the frame. Note: It should hang down about 5/8″ on each side of the furring strip. Repeat this process until all (10) 5/8″ x 3 1/2″ x 18″ boards are connected to the furring strips. Repeat this process on the other side.

Notes: If you need to weight the planter down (depending on its final location), see my notes in Q and A below. You may want to leave half of the panels on the back or side to add weight once the planter is in place. and plank finish in place.

**It may be easiest to start with the side panels to make it easier to line the longer front and back panels, because they will line up with the side panels and you won’t need to measure each.

first plate

Step 8: Attach the Side Panels

Using a nailer, attach the first 5/8″ x 3 1/2″ x 13.75″ cedar picket to the frame. Note: It should sit between the boards on both sides. Repeat this process until all (10) 5/8″ x 3 1/2″ x 13.75″ boards are connected to the furring strips. Repeat this process on the other side.

**It may be easiest to start with these side panels to make it easier to line the longer front and back panels, since they will line up with the side panels and you won’t need to measure each one.

short side

Step 9: Drill Countersunk Holes and Fasten the Boards with Screws

Using a 3/8″ drill bit, drill holes 1 from the top and 1 from the side of each board. Drill another hole 1 from the bottom and 1 from the side of the plank. Repeat this on the other side of the plank. Continue to do this on all of the planks (there will be 160 holes total). After drilling the holes, install the outer screws.

Drill holes

Step 10: Trace the Planter onto the Top Panels

Center your desired pot (1, 3, or 5 gallons) upside down on a 3/4″ x 18″ x 15.25″ red oak decking board and trace.

** Remember, this top panel can be assembled with cedar planks to cut down some cost.

a pot

Step 11: Cutting the Hole

Using the jig saw, cut out the tracked circle.slot

Step 12: Attach the Top

Using a brad nailer, attach the top to the grapple.

topper on

Step 13: Stain the Wood

If desired, color the top black. Cover the planter completely with Thompson’s waterproofing sealant or any other stain/poly made for outdoor use. Put a potted plant in a pot and enjoy growing your new outdoor plants!


This project takes a LOT of time (160 nails!!!), so no glue needed! However, it is very easy to implement, and will be sturdy and withstand all the elements. Just think, after all those screws indoors, this planter would make a statement on your porch or patio. Think of the sidewalk curb appeal you would add to your home to be flanked by your front door or even garage doors.

Tall wooden planter FAQ

Q: Dimensions of this tall planter?

Overall, the dimensions of these tall planters are 18″ in front, 15″ in depth and 3″ in length.

Q: What can you use a tall planter for?

This project is great for year-round decor and reduces the curb appeal of your home.

These planters would be perfect for a balcony or deck. Place them in the corner of the planned space, to give the surface some luxury. This will also help make your outdoor space more defined and define edges, allowing you to divide an outdoor space beautifully.

Outside your back door, this planter would make a great culinary herb garden, herbs are beautiful and useful! Check out our other herb garden ideas here.

At Christmas time, this planter can be used for holiday decoration. Pick this post to get ideas How to style a tall planter with wintry decor.

This DIY project for tall wooden planters could be a great setting for a patio garden. The perfect place for you to grow some vegetables this summer. To make sure your plants stay watered (Vegetables can’t be forgotten or you die!) Consider a self-watering pot.

Q: Will this planter work with benches?

Placing the bench between two of these planters would make for a little private place to take a break…it makes me think of a Jane Austen novel!

If you build the frame using 2′ x 2’s, you can even screw a 4′ 2′ x 4′ from the side frame of one plant to the side frame of another planter. Then just plank the top like the sides of the planter to create a built-in bench. Just be sure to sand well to avoid splinters!

Q: What plants can you plant in a DIY tall planter?

There are many options for planting in this DIY planter.

  • This evergreen shrub will look great all year round. This could be real (or check below for some great faux options.)
  • tall evergreen topiary 4 (I have these on my front porch and love them – don’t water them!)
  • Faux boxwood balls – stay with me. I’ve also used these on my front plantings and like not to water (discover a topic?)
  • succulents for a modern design aesthetic (for those of us who don’t want watering every day. I think a string of pearls hanging down the side would be great).
  • Flowers – It blooms beautifully, with some thorns for height and some sweet potato vine for the back edge.

Q: Are wood chippers good for plants?

The short answer is yes. Because wood is a natural material, it will not harm your plants. Just make sure that if you are using salvaged material (like pallet wood for example) that you know there is a possibility that it came into contact with a chemical and avoid using it to grow edible foods.

In this particular plan, the plant is in a pot that isn’t in direct contact with the wood, so the salvaged materials will be safe to use and still grow edible plants.

Q: What is the best wood for making planters?

I recommend cedar planks as mentioned in the building plan above. Not only are these boards affordable, but they’re also insect-resistant and shouldn’t shrink as heavily as treated lumber.

Soft pine wood will degrade quickly if exposed to a lot of direct sunlight. If you are thinking of making this out of salvaged wood like pallets for example, make sure the planter is out of direct sunlight most of the day and if possible out of rain/splashes. I like to store somewhere that doesn’t get too wet in the winter, too, to extend the life of the masonry.

Depending on where you live, Cyprus, or Redwood can also be good choices for wood that is naturally insect-resistant. But keep in mind that these options can significantly increase the price.

Q: Should I put anything in the bottom of my plant pot?

Depending on the final location of this planter, weighing it down may be a necessary step to avoid it falling over.

In order to give this planter a place to lean on, you may need to add some fur strips to the bottom (just like you added for the planter rack – see steps above) Add the pegs on the front and sides, then just the top half of the back, leaving the back open at the bottom.

Put it in place then fill the bottom with rocks or bricks or whatever heavy trash is lying around (heavy is the keyword (if it fits you can even fill a 5 gallon bucket with water and seal it shut and put it to the bottom) then cover the back with planks using just screws to connect The wood can even be removed if you need to move the planter.


More planters that you can build:

Build this simple yet elegant wooden planter for $50 or less by following our detailed building plan and tutorial.  The planter measures 3 feet high and is perfect for an entryway.

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