Easy Planter Box using Reclaimed wood Pallets.

From time to time I get the urge to build something new. Since we live in a rather small house I have to be selective of where to install the results of my efforts. I am not too proud to admit that not all my ideas are worthy of installation and I am notorious for taking too long to finish a project. Any number of reasons are typically at my disposal for excuses but the truth is that often I get in a bit over my head.

This project I am about to show you is not one of those too big to finish ones. This little planter is a relatively easy project and can be completed in less than a day. I based my plan on a couple of plans and ideas I found while searching the net. The hardest part of the whole thing is breaking down the old pallet.

First you begin with any old pallet that you can find. These are often found behind grocery, department, or hardware stores. They can be found at many other places too. I found this one behind one of the local grocery stores. For this project you will need two pallets . Inspect the pallets to make sure they are in good condition. You want to avoid pallets with too many split or busted boards. Do not worry about nail or screw heads. And, oh yeah, a relatively clean pallet is preferable.

any old pallet in good condition will do

Lay the pallets flat on the ground and use a skill saw to cross-cut the slats near the larger support beams. Be careful not to run your saw through any screws, nails, or staples. If you do not have a skillsaw then a jigsaw or saws-all will work. Since we are not too worried about preserving slat length, using a saw is preferable to using a pry bar. Prying the boards will likely frustrate you and break too many slats. When you have finished breaking them down you can trim all the slats to square ends and a common length. The resulting length should be between 10 and 14 inches depending on how closely you ran the saw. It is ok, even preferable if the slats are of varying widths as long as their lengths are all common.

Stack of cut and trimmed slat boards

After you have cut and trimmed all the slats you need to finish cleaning all the long support wood. Use a pry bar or hammer to either pull the remaining nails out or pound them flush with the surface. You should have a total of 6 cleaned/prepared long boards. Keep 4 of them at a common long length and cut 2 into 4 shorter common lengths. I cut my short ones to approx. 12 inches.

Next lay 2 long boards down parallel to each other and arrange the slat boards across them in a ladder fashion. Once you have completed the arrangement, fasten them into place using your fastener of choice (glue, nail, or screw). I chose screws.

Repeat this step for the other long side and the 2 shorter sides.

Once you have complete all four sides you can arrange them to shape your box.  Use the remaining slat boards to line the bottom of the box and voila! you have a new box re-using old wood.

Even my 3 year old could do this one!

You can then add any more finishing touches you want. We took some other wood we had laying around and fashioned 4 legs to bring the box to an easier height to maintain.

We also lined the box with some newsprint from one of the old pads we had laying around

An old college art pad proved to be still be useful after all these years

We then filled the box with a mix of compost &  potting soil and trimmed the paper to give it a cleaner finished look.

Ready for planting!

A box this size is good for any number of things. Tamara plans to use it for salad and herbs since it will stay in the shade the northern exposure of our home.

Go save a pallet and some money and have fun with the little one day project!

2 thoughts on “Easy Planter Box using Reclaimed wood Pallets.

  1. Good looking project! I’ve used clean pallets (that my wood pellets come on) for a compost pile: simply wired 4 together. It’s easy to remove the one side to dig out the compost.
    There is some debat as to the safety of pallets…..ie where they’ve been (chemicals). Just google “safe pallets” for a list of articles to read.

    • I was not aware of the debate but the questions does not surprise me. I built our entire 3 bin compost system using old shipping pallets. I’ve got pictures of it littered about the blog.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s