If you follow me on Instagram you might have already seen a few snaps of my latest DIY – a wooden planter for the dahlia on my front doorstep! My neighbour actually gave me the idea for the planter – she has an almost identical one in a dark lavender colour on her doorstep, and I got jealous.
Looking for something similar that would make my plastic-potted dahlia feel a little more welcome (and suave), I went on the hunt. On my first stop I found a ready-made wooden planter in Homebase. It looked great, but with a £24.99 price tag, I wasn’t quite prepared to part with the cash.
With a few hours left in the afternoon, I put the question to my boyfriend – “Can we make this?” In typical Jack style, he replied, “Yea”, and so we went around Homebase picking up the bits and pieces we needed to make it ourselves instead. We found cladding for £5.99, and some spruce for £6.
To make your own DIY wooden planter, you will need:
- 2x lengths whitewood spruce (33mm x 33mm x 1.8m)
- A pack of tongue-and-groove cladding
- Saw (for cutting the wood to length)
- Table saw / router (for creating the grooves)
- Screws and a screwdriver
- Some clamps
- Outdoor paint (We used Cuprinol Garden Shades in Malted Barley)
In the interest of honesty and transparency, I must confess to doing very little of this DIY. Mostly I sat in the sunshine, watching, and taking the occasional photo, so Jack is the real hero of this story. First of all, he set about measuring and cutting all of the pieces. You’ll need 12 lengths of spruce.
We wanted to put little feet on the planter so we cut 4 lengths at 34cm, and 8 lengths at 23.4cm using a hand saw. For greater precision, you could use a chop saw if you have access to one. Jack then used a table saw to cut grooves in the centre of the spruce on the sides where the cladding would slot in.
The cladding, which slots together, needs to be cut to size, so that it fits in your spruce frame. With 0.5cm grooves on each side, our cladding had to be 24.4cm square. To construct your planter, start by creating two ‘U’s – each one using two of your 34cm lengths, and a 23.4cm cross-beam.
Connect your two ‘U’s together using another two cross-beams, so that you have a loose frame. Once you’ve made the base frame, slide the cladding in on the open side, one side at a time, and attach the final cross-beams, securing your cladding in place, and solidifying your structure.
For the base, we placed some spare wooden planks inside so they sat on the wooden rim, allowing the plant to perch nicely on top. In honesty, our planter does leave ‘right-angles’ to be desired, however once you’ve popped your plant in, you really don’t notice, unless you’re the Planter Police…
Once constructed, I perused my Cuprinol Garden Shades colour guide (which lives in my kitchen), and settled on a soft grey called Malted Barley. I currently own three shades of Cuprinol – we painted our deckchairs Pale Jasmine (white), and I’ve got a pot of Willow for an upcoming upcyling project.
If, like me, you go into your local Homebase and nearly give up because you can’t find your shade anywhere on the shelf, fear not, for this shade has to be mixed for you in the Mixing Lab. I was saved by the very helpful Roger, who mixed me a can in no time and told me tales of his latest DIYs.
As predicted, I loved the colour straight away. The paint is quite thin, which means that it’s easy to paint on quickly, and dries fast. I’d recommend doing a couple of coats for a bolder colour, although it also looks nice when you can still see the natural texture of the wood-grain through too.
Once you’ve got this far, all that’s left is to buy yourself a beautiful, colourful plant to live in your planter. The orange dahlia that you see here (also from Homebase) has been doing well all summer, with new flowers coming up all the time. It does particularly well when I remember to water it…
Though this DIY is by no means ‘perfect’, I often fall into the trap of trying to be too much of a perfectionist, and I’m pretty chuffed with how this impromptu DIY turned out. The plants hide any of the wonky corners, and we saved ourselves a bit of cash whilst enjoying the sun in the garden.
The yellow plant that you see here is called a Coreopsis, which flowers throughout the summer. Have you been doing any DIY garden projects this summer? Let me know in the comments box below.
N.B. This post is not sponsored by Homebase, I just live down the road from one =)