DIY Project: Deck Planter Boxes



Deck Boxes 1

Yup we’re on a mission to makeover our deck space into a great outdoor living space complete with new custom cushions, potted plants and now we are building a few deck planter boxes. But the plan to build didn’t always start out that way.

Deck Boxes 2

First we did a little research in the Planter box aisle of Home Depot. We found a couple nice options here and here, but at the potential cost of either $99 or $159 for each box (we need three) we were convinced we could build them more affordably.


1 x 6 pine boards
1 x 2 flat stock pine trim
Finishing nails
Paintable caulk
Exterior semi-gloss paint
Sand Paper

Miter saw
Finish Nail Gun
Electric Sander

The design is nothing more than a pine box with a a few trim pieces added to dress it up. Each board was cut straight across with the miter saw to the desired length, width and 1 board for the bottom of the box.

Deck Boxes 3

As Bryan was building he dry fit them together to make sure they all aligned evenly and scrap piece was placed inside to keep every nice and square while it was nailed together.

Deck Boxes 4

Then using the nail gun Bryan made made quick work of assembling the boxes together by first assembling the sides then attaching the bottom.

Deck Boxes 5

Once the boxes were all assembled we moved onto the top corner trim on three sides. Leaving the trim off the back side will allow the box to mounted tight to the deck rails. Carefully measuring and cutting a 45 degree angle to ensure a tight finished seam helps to dress up the end and cover any unfinished edges.

Deck Boxes 8

After trimming the tops and bottoms we finished it up with three square cut pieces nailed to the front of the box and one on each side.

Deck Boxes 9

Then we sanded the whole thing for a smooth painting surface, caulked the joints with a paintable exterior caulk and finished out the whole thing with a couple coats of Behr Ultra White Exterior paint in Semi-Gloss.

Deck Boxes 10

Finally we drilled a few drainage holes in the bottom of each box.  Now we just need to wait for the final coat of paint to dry, hang the boxes and plant some flowers. All in all it was a relatively easy project and came in around $70 for three boxes as opposed to the $300 minimum price for the same look.

Deck Rail Flower Boxes

Seriously, I love them and I can’t get enough of them. I even enjoy watering them in the morning as I leisurely sip a cup of coffee and enjoy the view.

The geraniums have been growing like little sun loving monsters on steroids. By the time I’m done typing this sentence I’m sure they will have grown 3 more feet ;-) If you would like to see all the details of how we built these guys click here.

I anxious to finish painting the deck rails white. Although, not so anxious to do it while it’s 100 degrees and sunny. At this rate it will probably be September before we get rolling (pun intended) on the painting again.

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  • Maury Kilgo

    These are awesome! I need to make some that are similar for our deck. I’d love to have one on our bay window that looks out on the deck.

  • Bernhardt

    Your planter boxes are fabulous!  We made a window box for the front of the house and I could not believe how much we saved!
    dee dee

  • Threemangoseeds

    I love your boxes!  I’ve been wanting to make some for the front of our house…thanks for the push! {HUGS}

    Mango Seeds

  • marisa

    i absolutely love these planter boxes and am desperate to make them for my front porch railing. How did you attach them to the deck? In the last picture it looks like there is some sort of support, what are those?? Rough dimensions? Thanks for anything!

  • Billie

    Wow! Nice job. We are about to make our own planter boxes because I can’t find any in store that I like. Thanks for the inspiration!

  • Dennis Howarth

    My top railing is only 3″ wide. How would I help support the box? Thanks for any suggestions.


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  • Josh

    How did you secure them to the porch railing?

  • Marge vwlliams

    How can these be attached to wrought iron railings?

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