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Easy DIY Tapered Planter Build Plans

Build a simple DIY planter with a stylish taper for your deck or garden.

The weather is warming up and that means I am eager to start planting! I just love getting dirt under my fingernails and helping things grow.

But since our move to Texas a couple weeks ago, I don’t have a place to plant yet. So I partnered with Kreg Jig and their project plan site,, to make a beautiful DIY planter.

Top view of tapered cedar planter with two tomato starts planted in it.

Planters are a great way to garden in limited space. You can use them for a container vegetable garden, herbs, or flowers. They would even be beautiful with a small tree on your patio area.

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And these planters are a simple build. You could easily build a few to give you lots of places to grow your favorite plants!

Front view of the DIY planter showing the taper to the box.

What Wood to Use for Building Planters

Planters are in contact with dirt and will get wet, a lot. Plus they stay moist (or else your plants won’t be too happy), so you need a wood that can handle that.

Cedar is a great choice for planters. It is naturally resistant to rot and bugs. And it gets a beautiful gray patina on it overtime.

If you do not like the color of the patina, you can use a waterproofing sealer to prevent it. But be careful of sealers on your wood if you plan to plant vegetables or herbs. Make sure to use a non-toxic option.

Plus the build plans for this tapered planter were created to use inexpensive cedar fence pickets. The texture of the fence pickets give the inside panels a rustic look to balance the more modern tapered design.

Close up view of the edge of the wood planter made from cedar 1x2s and fence pickets.

Redwood is also a good choice for outdoor wood projects. It too is naturally resistant to decay and also has little seasonal shrinkage and movement.

If you want to use cheap construction lumber, you will want to seal the wood to prevent decay. And the planters will not last as long as one made with a more appropriate wood.

DIY cedar planter on the ground with plants inside.

How Big is the Planter

The top of the planter is 17 3/4″ x 12 1/2″ with a planting area of 14 3/4″ x 9 1/2″. The planter is 15 1/2″ tall and is raised off the ground 1 1/2″ to allow for proper drainage.

This DIY planter is large enough to grow 3-4 herbs, a couple small vegetable plants, a tomato plant (I planted 2 and will see what happens), or a collection of colorful flowers. You could also use it to plant a small tree or bush.

Build a few of these easy planters and have fun adding new plants all over your yard or patio!

Rectangle planter made from cedar in front of a rosemary bush.

How Much Does it Cost to Build a Planter

The cost of the planter depends on the type of wood you choose. I built my planter out of cedar I purchased at a home improvement store. I will give you the breakdown of what I spent to give you an idea of cost.

  • Cedar 1×2 boards: 3 @ $4.25
  • Cedar fence pickets: 3 @ $1.89
  • Kreg pocket hole screws: 1 box @ $4.78 (I should have used Blue-kote screws but couldn’t find them in the store and didn’t have time to wait for shipping, Blue-kote are a little more expensive but made for outdoor use).
  • Landscaping fabric: I used leftover but could get a small roll for under $10
  • Staples & nails: already had, they come in packs of 1000 so just needed a few

So for less than $25 I was able to build a beautiful cedar planter. That is much cheaper than other wood planter options I have seen out there.

If you buy landscape fabric it will cost you more, but you can make multiple planters out of one roll.

Simple to build wood planter growing tomato plants.

DIY Planter Build Plans

If you are ready to build your own tapered cedar planter, I am sharing the plans for free thanks to

Click here for the complete build plans!

DIY cedar planter with taper on the bottom and word overlay.

And have fun building!

-Kati with picture of blog author Kati

Thank you to Kreg Jig for sponsoring this post. I only recommend products that I use and love and all opinions are 100% my own. Click here to read my full disclosure policy.

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Tuesday 31st of May 2022

If you leave the outside 2 bottom slats off until the end, you could use pocket hole screws to attach the top in each corner from the bottom. You would need to fit the landscaping fabric first and push it out of the way to put in the screws and have a long extension to drive the screws. This would make the top attachment more secure so that it does not get pulled off when someone uses it to lift the pot to move it.


Saturday 25th of April 2020

Nice design. Plan to build. Thanks for sharing!


Tuesday 28th of April 2020

Thanks Ben! I'd love to see pics when you are done. Feel free to email or tag me on social.

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