Easy DIY Tiered Wood Planter

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Hello there! Scott here from Saws on Skates back again to share another easy DIY project with you. I hope you’re like me… a DIYer with a green thumb. Because today we’re going to whip up a DIY tiered wood planter perfect for your lanai, porch or patio!

DIY Wood Tiered Planter an easy project perfect for a garden lover! Learn how to build this cheap wood planter for your deck or patio.

DIY Tiered Wood Planter

My friend Linda saw this planter and said “This looks easy, but do you really think someone like me with no DIY skills could make this?” I said “ABSOLUTELY!”Β  And you can do it too! This tiered wood planter is soooo easy to make. All you need are a few basic hand tools. OK, I used a nail gun in a few of the assembly pics, but you can totally use a hammer instead.

diy tiered planter

The only difficult thing about this planter is deciding how you’re going to finish it. I went with an “almost ombre” chalk paint look. I started with a cheery yellow chalk paint. Then I got two small containers and poured a tablespoon of yellow paint in each. In one container I added a tablespoon of white chalk paint and in the other container I added two tablespoons of white chalk paint. Give them a stir and now you have ombre chalk paint!

ombre painted diy tiered wood planter

How would you finish this planter? How about red, white and blue for a patriotic look? What about spraying them with a stone look spray paint to make them look like stone? What about doing a faux terracotta look? Or what about wood stain to let the wood grain show? I think I’ll have to make more of these!

DIY Wood Planter pretty with flowers

Do you ever get so excited about a project you ignore the rules you know you should follow? That’s what I did with my original planter. I goofed guys! I ignored the number one rule about working with wood. Wood absorbs moisture and then expands. These planters are definitely going to see some moisture and we need to allow for expansion of the wood. If we don’t, the wood could split or crack. Trust me… I speak from experience!

My goof was I used a bottom which did not allow for expansion. My updated design now features a narrower bottom which should allow for expansion of the wood. Assembly steps with a sketch illustrate the updated bottom design. In some of the later assembly photos you’ll notice the original bottom design. When you get to these later steps, please take your finger and place it on your screen to cover the goofed up bottom πŸ™‚ Just remember, build the containers using the sketches and you’ll be good to go! As always, if you get stuck, I’m just an email away!

DIY Tiered Wood Planter {affiliate links included for your convenience}

6″ – 1×2
28″ – 1×3
28″ – 1×4
Exterior wood glue
1-1/4″ finish nails
1-1/4 exterior screws
Wood filler
A small piece of window screen or cheese cloth

Hand saw
Miter box
Hammer or nail gun
Countersink drill bit

Step 1. Cut the Sides. Cut 2 pieces of 1×3 to 3-1/2″, cut 2 pieces of 1×3 to 4-1/2″ and cut 2 pieces of 1×3 to 6″.

Step 2. Cut the Fronts and Backs. Cut 2 pieces of 1×4 to 3-1/2″, cut 2 pieces of 1×4 to 4-1/2″ and cut 2 pieces of 1×4 to 6″.

Step 3. Cut the Bottoms. Cut 3 pieces of 1×2 to 2″. These parts are small, so please use caution when cutting.

Step 4. Assemble the Large Container. Apply glue to the 1-1/2″ edge of a bottom, center a 6″ side so it’s flush with the bottom and attach with 1-1/4″ finish nails.

diy tiered planter attach side to bottom

Place the side assembly on your work bench. Apply glue to the side, place the front so it’s flush with the side and attach using 1-1/4″ finish nails.

diy tiered planter attach front to side

Repeat for the back.

diy tiered planter attch back to side

Apply glue to the side and the edge of the bottom, slide into position and attach using 1-1/4″ finish nails. Your large container will look like this when looking down from above. The space on either side of the bottom will allow for drainage.

diy tiered planter single container complete

Step 5. Assemble the Small and Medium Containers. The small and medium containers are assembled just like the large container, with one exception – we won’t attach the final side. This will allow us access to attach the containers to the large container in Step 6.

diy tiered plant small container complete

Step 6. Attach Small and Medium Container to the Large Container. Measure in 3/4″ on the left hand side of the large container and place the small container.

diy tiered wood planter attach small container to large container

Drill two countersink holes

diy tiered wood planter attach small container to large container with countersink

Attach using 1-1/4″ exterior screws.

How to Attach DIY Tiered Wood Planter together


Repeat for the medium container.

diy tiered planter attach small container to large container 4

Step 7. Attach the Small and Medium Sides. Apply glue to the sides and bottom, slide into the corresponding container and attach using 1-1/4″ nails.

diy tiered wood planter complete

Step 8. Fill the nail holes, sand and apply the finish of your choice. Place an oversized piece of window screen in the bottom of each container to prevent the soil from washing out and fill with your favorite plants or flowers. I opted for some Wave petunias, but I think succulents would also look great.

How to Build a DIY Tiered Wood Planter

Thank you for stopping by to check out my easy DIY tiered wood planter. Would you please head over to Saws on Skates, so I can share some more DIY projects with you? Oh, and I’d love to know how you would finish this planter. Please share your ideas in the comments πŸ™‚ I’ll be back soon with a new project.

DIY Wood Tiered Planter an easy project perfect for a garden lover! Learn how to build this cheap wood planter for your deck or patio.


  1. That is adorable!! I would love to make a larger size for my garden – thanks for the tips! πŸ™‚ Thank you for sharing it with us at the #HomeMattersParty

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