I was at Home Depot a few weeks ago looking around the garden department for some new plants and I came across this gorgeous climbing plant with bright red flowers. I HAD to have it! I’ve been trying to add more color to our back yard and deck area. Because of our location in the foothills of Northern California, in the summer everything is brown and looks dead (except for our Oak trees, but even those aren’t very green), especially with the drought we have been having. I have been trying to find low water plants with bright colors to plant around our property. When I saw this vine with the pretty red flowers, I bought it (even though I didn’t have anywhere to really have the vine grow….). So, perfect opportunity to build something where this vine can grow – a DIY raised planter with a trellis!
At first I was just going to stick a plastic trellis in the ground and plant the vine at the base of the trellis. But after contemplating that for about two seconds, I decided instead on the raised planter to put on my deck with a trellis attached for the vine! Brilliant, I know! 😉
Here are the materials to make the raised planter and trellis:
- 3 – 2×2 @ 8′
- 5 – 2×4 @ 6′
- 3 – 1×3 @ 8′
- 0.578″ thick plywood (I had spare plywood in my garage, but you can buy a small or large sheet)
- 12′ of 3/4″ trim
- 20′ of 1-1/8″ trim
- Brad or finish nailer (I used my Ryobi Airstrike nailer – but you can also use a hammer and finish nails)
- 2 1/2′” exterior wood screws
- wood glue
- wood stain
- Spar Urethane outdoor finish
- 2 – 2×2 @ 72″
- 2 – 2×2 @ 36″
- 1 – 0.578″ plywood @ 21″ long x 14″ wide
- 20 – 2×4 @ 11 3/8″
- 1 – 2×4 @ 30″ (with curves cut at each end)
- 1 – 1×3 @ 25 3/4″
- 1 – 1×3 @ 20 7/8″
- 2 – 1×3 @ 13 3/4″
- 1 – 1×3 @ 20 3/4″
- 2 – 1×3 @ 16 7/8″
- 2 – 1×3 @ 12 3/8″
- 4 – 1×3 @ 9 1/2″
- 10 – 1 1/8″ trim @ 24″
- 4 – 3/4″ trim @ 35 1/2″
First, I built the planter box portion of the planter. I cut the plywood to 21″ x 14″, this will be the bottom of the planter box. Next, I cut the 20 2×4 pieces to 11 3/8″ each, which will comprise the sides of the planter box. Then I cut the 2×2 boards so i had two that were 72″ long and two that were 36″ long, these will be the legs of the planter. Once I had those boards cut, I began assembling the planter box.
First, using wood glue and 2 1/2″ exterior wood screws, I attached the 11 3/8″ 2×4 boards around the base of the sheet of plywood I had cut (make sure to predrill the holes for the screws). I placed one screw at the base of each 2×4 to attach it to the plywood. I did the front side first, and then attached the 36″ 2×2 boards as the front legs by attaching them to the front 2x4s with 2 1/2″ wood screws.
Once the front boards and both front legs were attached, I attached the side 2x4s to the sides of the plywood sheet using wood glue and 2 1/2″ wood screws and then attached the back 2x4s.
I then attached the 6′ 2×2 back legs using wood glue and 2.5″ wood screws.
Next, I cut a 2×4 to 30″ using my miter saw, this will be the top board of the trellis. Using an empty can of stain, I drew the pattern to cut out the curves at each end.
Once the curves were drawn on each end, I used my jig saw to cut the curves.
Attach the top trellis board to the top of the back legs of the planter using wood glue and 4″ wood screws (predrill first). Once the top trellis board is attached, cut the top trim pieces for the planter box:
- side trim pieces: 2 – 1×3 @ 13 3/4″
- back trim piece: 1- 1×3 @ 20 7/8″
- front trim piece: 1 – 1×3 @ 25 3/4″
(Note: here is one change I would have made when building the planter: I would have made the back and side trim pieces longer and cut notches into them so they would have covered the back legs. I didn’t do this and it would have looked nicer if I had. The cuts listed above are the actual cuts I made, you’ll need to cut differently if you do intend to cover the back legs).
I then cut the trim pieces to make the trellis. I cut 10 of the 1 1/8″ trim boards to 24″ in length each, and I cut 4 of the 3/4″ trim pieces to 35 1/2″ in length each.
First, I attached the 1 1/8″ trim boards horizontally to the back legs, spacing them about 3 1/4″ apart. I used wood glue and my Ryobi Airstrike nailer with 5/8″ finish nails to attach the pieces to the back of the back legs.
Next, I added the 3/4″ trim pieces vertically, evenly spacing them across the back. Because these boards or so thin and lightweight, I only used wood glue to attach these (glued them to the horizontal trim pieces making up the trellis).
Then, my little inspector stopped by to see if the project met his approval up to that point 🙂 (I think he liked it!):
Next, I cut and added the 1×3 trim pieces to the front and sides of the planter box:
- Front (bottom): 1 – 1×3 @ 20 3/4″
- Front (sides): 2 – 1×3 @ 12 3/8″
- Sides (bottom): 2 – 1×3 @ 16 7/8″
- Sides (sides): 4 – 1×3 @ 9 1/2″
I then attached the 1×3 trim pieces using wood glue and 1 1/2″ wood screws.
I then added a wood applique that I purchased at Hobby Lobby (called Artistic Appliques) to the front of the 2×4 at the top of the trellis. I used wood glue to attach the applique.
I then used Minwax Ash stain to stain the entire planter (except for the inside of the planter box since that will be filled with dirt and plants).
While the stain was drying, I took three more wood appliques purchased from Hobby Lobby and painted them white using Rustoleum Heirloom White spray paint. Once the stain and paint dried, I attached the appliques to the front of the planter with wood glue.
Once the glue dried behind the appliques, I coated the entire planter (including the inside of the planter box) with four coats of outdoor spar urethane. I used a spray can of urethane because it was much faster and easier to coat the trellis with a spray can than with a brush. Here is the completed planter prior to planting my pretty Mandevilla in it.
And here are some pics of the final produce, complete with flowers! :-):