A living environment full of plants increases the sense of well-being considerably. These plants need planters outside of a garden bed. Big plants on the patio need big planters, and inquisitive patio gardeners often have a lot of plants at stake. We will show you how to get decorative plant pots inexpensively by simply building them yourself.

Building a planter yourself is worthwhile

Beautiful plant containers are usually not exactly cheap – everything that is larger than a bucket costs a lot of money. What then has a size that really deserves the name planter costs even more money.

If you need a single planter for your new oleander, unless you’re a DIY enthusiast or have very specific requirements, you probably won’t bother messing around with water and cement or pulling out a saw and cordless screwdriver Design. In this case, it is worth building the planter yourself even if it is a single piece.

However, if you have read enthusiastically about the latest trend for terrace fruit, are now hesitating between different types of columnar fruit and mini fruit, aprimiras (apricots and mirabelle plums) and peaches (peaches and apricots) and the allergy-free apple for your mother-in-law, you will find a lot of planters to need. If there is still enough financial leeway to buy the new, exciting types of fruit, it is definitely worth doing it yourself.

Planter without bottom

When it comes to putting up really nice, large planters, you will only be happy with one specific type of planter anyway: a planter that allows excess water to drain freely. Drain without having to lift the planter or lift the plant completely out to empty a drain pan.

Such planters can be set up and are even particularly easy to build, you just have to plan very well where you put them up. Although you can usually be sure that any water that comes up on a terrace will run away from the house (at least if the terrace is built correctly). But this isn’t about rainwater, it’s about water that previously ran through potting soil, and that’s not clear, it’s brown. If you place your new open-bottomed planter in the middle of the patio, you may soon end up with a rather disgusting brown trail running across the patio. However, if you can arrange the space for the planter in such a way that excess water flows down into the bed right at the edge, you have saved yourself a lot of work.

You also do not need a bottom if the inner pot with the plant can be provided with a deep saucer. This is only possible with plants where excess water does not typically accumulate in large quantities and the plant pot is limited to sizes that allow the saucer to be lifted out regularly to “drain” it. In between, you can remove some of the excess water by soaking a sponge in the saucer several times and squeezing it out.

Build your own wooden planters

There are of course many building instructions for plant pots, of which we will also sketch two different ones right away. Before doing so, it should be briefly recalled what the basic principle is:

The planter of substantial size will always be used as a planter, while the plant itself is placed in a separate plastic planter. Or it should be done that way, otherwise you can never transport the plant again, at least with a concrete planter. Then you can plant them in the garden right away. A planter does not need a bottom. It simply consists of a closed square or a round wall with a sufficient diameter to accommodate the plant pot, with a corresponding height.

Both can be made from lots of scrap wood, sometimes very easily. A few ideas for quick wooden planters:

  • A “seasonal planter” made of wood is made from sticks, webbing and a stapler:
    • use squared timber, logs, reasonably straight twigs or sections of bamboo
    • The piece of wood should be as long as you want your planter to be high
  • Measure the circumference of the plant pot and place as many pieces of wood next to each other until you have reached the length
  • Lay the webbing across at a height of one third and three quarters
  • Straps are longer on the sides, overhangs are used to tie the “planter” together
  • Depending on how stiff the webbing is, leave it long for a loop, or shorter for a simple knot
  • if the webbing is straight, tack on the wood, depending on the space with several needles
  • Then set up the wooden casing to place and tie the plant pot

A simple and quick construction that has its advantages: You can use all kinds of wood, which only serve as planters when the plants are in sight. Before moving to the winter quarters, these wrappings are simply tied off and stored lying flat.

Wooden planter with bottom and wheels

But now to the right planter to build yourself. First a cube on wheels, with a floor and also suitable for indoor use. This is how it is built:

Required material:

  • four side walls
  • four corner timbers that are slightly shorter than the height of the side walls
    • so they are not visible from the outside
    • there is also space for corner timbers for attaching a floor
  • Material for the side walls z. B. Multiplex panels


  • Attach two side panels at right angles to each corner post
    • with screws or with a tacker
  • Screw construction is more stable and beneficial when you want to insert floor and castors
  • when all four sides of the construct are joined together, you have a cube that is open at the bottom and could already be used as a cachepot
  • attach another four corner pieces to the side walls below as a frame
    • You can screw a floor to them
  • You can then screw furniture rollers to this floor, which make this planter easy to move

Either a plastic plant pot with saucer can be placed in this plant pot, or perhaps a grow bag made of solid plastic tarpaulin. However, this solution is only recommended for plants that can be kept in a rather dry substrate, because excess water is difficult to dispose of here.

Planters made of wooden slats

This plant pot can also be equipped with a bottom if desired, but it does not have to be. With this plant pot, the side walls are held together by four corners that sit on the outside of the pot:


  • connect eight slats at the height that the planter should later have to form four corner slats
  • with waterproof glue and nails, but you can also screw the strips together
  • Walls here consist of boards that are fastened across or in the corners
  • start with the first wall
    • At the top and bottom edge of two corners, first screw a wall board on the inside
    • the planks thus connect two corner supports
  • Then screw in more boards between the boards at the top and bottom
  • Wall by wall until a square with side walls is formed
  • if you want a floor, you can screw it directly onto the side walls

The real joke of this construction is that you can use it to make really huge wooden planters with e.g. For example, a big bag (usually used to transport building materials) can make a whole tree thrive. You only need to design one side of this plant pot in such a way that you can remove these side walls, for example with a few screws. Then the planter can be sheltered in autumn, the big bag itself stays outside, e.g. B. to be wrapped up really thickly with insulating material for the winter. Or you can use this “bed on the terrace” for experiments. You could e.g. B. plant annual sorghum (sorghum bicolor), which grows up to two meters high in just one season. Such giant grass on the terrace is of course a real attraction.

Other ideas for wooden planters

You can easily modify both of the instructions for building wooden planters and thus give a planter a very individual look. The plant pot in particular, where the side walls are attached to the cornices from the outside, gives you some leeway. You can give a completely different look to the side panel that faces the viewing direction, cut it in a flower shape or in a cloud shape, and then screw it on like the rest of the three panels. The planter made of wooden slats can be designed with gaps, with corners made of other wood, etc.

Cast concrete planters yourself

First of all, it’s about imposing, but still easy to move planters with a floor, which are also suitable for indoor use. You need the following material for these decorative planters, which you can mass produce right away:

  • Two plastic buckets of different sizes (there should be an air space of 2 – 3 cm between them)
  • oil for greasing
  • A few pieces of wood or long corks, slightly longer than the bottom thickness of the new planter
    • Use these pieces of wood or corks to create drainage holes, but if you only want to use the bucket as a cachepot, you can also leave them out.
  • Spacer so that the small bucket sits in the middle of the large one
  • Metal skewer or strong stick for pricking the concrete to remove air pockets
  • Sand, gravel or a row of stones to weigh down
  • Ready-mixed concrete and enough water in a ready-made container to mix it.
  • Bucket or mortar tub for mixing the ready-mixed concrete.
  • Accessories for mixing – long, strong spatula or mixer attachment for the drill


  • Grease large bucket inside and small bucket outside
  • Mix concrete according to package instructions
  • Water the bottom of the planter first
  • then press in a piece of wood or a cork to drain the water if necessary
  • Make sure that the placeholder for the drain is lying on the floor
  • now immediately insert the weighted, smaller bucket and insert or hang in the spacers at the edge
  • Now pour the concrete all around into the gaps between the spacers
  • once the desired height has been reached, metal skewers or sticks are used
Tip: The more you poke around in the concrete, the more air bubbles you remove and the stronger your concrete will be.

After about two days you can remove the spacers and the inner bucket. Now the future planter will stand still for another day, then tip it upside down out of the outer bucket, as gently as possible, e.g. B. on an insulating mat.

Pour large concrete planters

However, if you want to place a family tree on or directly in front of the terrace by next spring at the latest, which will bear three or four types of apples, you won’t get very far with the bucket-sized planters. A really big plant pot is needed here. It’s definitely worth building it yourself. Such planters are sold for three to four-digit sums.

In order to pour such a large planter, you have to build a formwork. This works very well with coated chipboard. The concrete sticks just as little to the white coating as it does to an oiled bucket. So you build a square or rectangle that has the outside dimensions of your new planter on the inside. You should screw the formwork panels together, then later you only need to unscrew the screws to remove them.

You can also make the inner formwork from chipboard, which of course can then be covered from the inside, e.g. B. including an angle screwed. But you can also glue Styrofoam plates to form a block, which should be easy to remove later if you wrap it in foil (household foil or pallet foil). It would be worth trying out whether this works really well, more than destroying the styrofoam plates with the result that you need a new styrofoam core for the next planter can’t really happen.

Here you should insert a reinforcement grid before you pour the floor, the styrofoam core is weighed down here with loose, large stones, otherwise proceed as described above.

Building planters out of wood or concrete yourself is definitely worth it, especially when it comes to really large planters. The technical procedure described here is just the beginning. There are numerous ideas for transforming the finished planters into extraordinary design objects by using or adding special materials, by processing with tools and by color (solid tone or paint).

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