I love plants. They are the heart of what I create and they just make me happy. So of course I have many gardens. Or rather, I used to. You see art-ing and barn sale-ing take a long time and lots of my energy. My garden has suffered for this.
But not this year! This year, I am hoping to again have a floral utopia on my deck and a bountiful vegetable garden in my yard. I have BIG plans.
Unfortunately, I am still broke.
The bin idea was great when I started. They are light, fairly cheap and huge. But over time, the sun breaks down the plastic until it becomes brittle. These are cracking down the sides, and split if I try to move them.
Undaunted, I put down my plant catalogs and went to my studio to see what I had there. There was exactly ....NOTHING that could help me.
This was actually a first for me. The Stash has never let me down before.
So I did something shamelessly self serving. I
HOW TO BUILD A 4FT X 2FT DECK PLANTER OUT OF 2X4S
1. FIND SOMEONE TO HELP YOU. This is not a one person job. You will swear a lot and potential hurt yourself if you try to go it alone. If you don't have basketball tickets, beer and pizza might do the trick.
2. DRAW UP A SKETCH OF WHAT YOU WANT I knew I wanted the planter to be 4 ft x 2 ft, just to take advantage of the 8ft length of the planter and cut down on how many cuts I had to make. Think through everything. How you want the corners to line up, how you want to attach things, how the bottom will be attached, to mitre or blunt joint, EVERYTHING. It will save you a bunch of time and frustration and trips to the store later. It's a lot easier to redraw something than to re-cut it.
Our plan was to go with a 4ft front, 4 boards high. The sides would be 17.5 inches long to accommodate the 3.5in width of the 5 boards we were using for the bottom of the box. There were four 21.5in boards running the width of the bottom of the box for drainage, base support, and air circulation. And their were 4 interior support boards cut at 14in high to secure the side and front boards to for stability. That was the plan. We did end up changing a few things.
We bought a box of Pine colored Deck screws size 9 and 2.5 inches long for $9.99. The box had one screw left when we were done. We got lucky, but I had some other deck screws at home if we needed them. If you don't know how many screws you need, buy two boxes.Then you're covered. You can always return an unopened box if you keep your receipts. Better than being mid project and having to run all the way back to the store.
For the base, you need to make two boards 3in shorter, to accommodate the support piers. The three middle boards are the full length of the box INSIDE the sides.
Once the frame was secure, we just laid in the base boards. There is nothing holding them in place, but pressure. (I wanted to be able to remove and swap them out easily if they rotted over time.) Fortunately, it was a very snug fit.
Here you can see better. Sort of. The front stack of screws is vertical. The side stack of screws is horizontal in between the other ones, so they all fit without hitting each other.
Since our base boards fit tight, we just left them in place, If yours are a bit loose, you can take them out and just put them back in when you're done. We just screwed the supports into the frame, since they would be resting on the ground with a about 200lbs of dirt sitting on them.
Oh and I think this is about where the cordless drill batter ran out. Make sure you have more than one battery for your drill fully charged. We ended up borrowing a corded drill and using the cordless one once it recharged.
YOU"RE NOT QUITE DONE YET
DK, "Man this is heavy! How many 2x4's did you use?"
I may stain the planter when I redo the deck. but for now, that's how you make a planter out of 2x4's. Enjoy!