Ryan Chambers shares how to build a DIY backyard cedar planter! |


Today I’m letting Ryan takeover the blog again, because let’s face it… I am not what you’d call “handy”! And, he did a pretty awesome job building these diy wood planters, so I thought it would be fun for him to share just how he pulled it off. Also, I get e-mails, texts, and DMs about how he built this garden planter boxes just about everyday, so I thought it was high time he spilled all of his Tim the Toolman Taylor secrets!  So, Ryan…show us how it’s done!


Decide before you start…

– How much space do you have? You want to be smart here and figure out the best location for your cedar planter boxes. Will the spot you have in mind receive the right amounts of sun and shade?  What are the dimensions of your outdoor space, and how much margin do you want to leave after the raised planter boxes are in place?

The overall dimensions for our planter measured 75″ L x 27″ W x 31″ H. We had some space we needed to fill, but wanted there to be a little bit of margin in the existing pea gravel bed where it would sit.  

– What do you plan to plant? We wanted to plant loads of flowers and layer them in, so we needed a good bit of space to pull off our vision of a raised garden. If you have in mind to plant a small herb garden, you can get away with something smaller or a different style planter altogether, for something like a vegetable garden or planters garden. 

Ryan Chambers shares how to build a DIY backyard cedar planter! |

Find a DIY Planter Box Template:

Sometimes I go into a DIY with schematics and a thought out plan. This DIY planter was not one of them. I stumbled through it and, aside from some really great Pinterest inspiration, made it up as I went along. Mostly, I just did what worked best for me – don’t be afraid to do the same. Also, just know you can still opt for an easy DIY and it will turn out great!

Here are some of the best DIY projects planter designs I could find on Pinterest (they’re randomly throughout the Casa de ABD Pinterest Board). I made note of their general layouts and added my own design twist to it to come up with the final planter box plans. 

Ryan Chambers shares how to build a DIY backyard cedar planter! |

What Kind of Wood to Use:

We needed something that would stand the test of Florida heat and rain but also add character and richness to the backyard. When it came to building our planter, we decided to use two different types of wood. One for the outside (visible) portion and another for the inside (frame) portion.

– Cedar Wood – I chose cedar fence pickets for the outside walls and paneling of the garden bed because it’s known to hold up well outdoors. It’s extremely durable and has a rich texture and color. It’s often used for outdoor furniture, home siding, fences, etc. It keeps its shape and doesn’t rot for upwards of 20 years outside. It seemed like a safe bet. 

– Pressure Treated Wood – This was used as the inner frame. It resists termites and decay, and it’s pretty standard for wood projects that are exposed to the elements.

Ryan Chambers shares how to build a DIY backyard cedar planter! |

Bells and Whistles:

Stain or Seal for the Cedar – If you skip this step, the rich red/brown natural color of the cedar will pretty quickly give way to a dark gray. The gray looks nice on the side of a Nantucket cottage, but we didn’t want our back yard to look too rustic. We chose to lightly stain and seal the wood (what I used). It’s something we’ll have to do again in a few years, but at least the cedar will continue to look fresh.

– Accent Hardware – Here’s where we went back and forth, but ultimately added some corner braces. And, we’re glad we did. It adds a look of structure and actual strength to the planter. 

Ryan Chambers shares how to build a DIY backyard cedar planter! |

The Fun Part

Just remember, if I can do these outdoor projects, you can do it! The reward is when you can sit back and enjoy the view of your raised garden beds. 

Ryan Chambers shares how to build a DIY backyard cedar planter! |

Ryan Chambers shares how to build a DIY backyard cedar planter! |


Don’t miss the full Backyard DIY Series!

Part 1 – An Introduction (before & after pics included!)

Part 2 – How to hang String Lights

Part 3 – Backyard Entertaining (three best Summer cocktails!) 

Part 4 – How to Build a Cedar Wood Planter Box

Part 5 – How We Installed the Pavers & Gravel


Photographed by Gregory Daniel



    • Ashley Brooke
      July 20, 2017 / 9:03 am

      You can do it!!! Thanks Taylor! 🙂

  1. Kristen
    September 9, 2017 / 4:59 pm

    Love this! I can’t wait to see how you did the pavers & gravel! We have been wanting to do this in our yard! 🙂

    • Ashley Brooke
      September 13, 2017 / 1:29 pm

      Hi Kristen! I’m going to have Ryan work on this ASAP! 😉

    • Ashley Brooke
      December 11, 2017 / 8:15 pm

      It isn’t! You’ll definitely have to give it a try! 🙂

  2. Bev
    May 20, 2020 / 10:56 am

    Did you put anything in the bottom of the planter before the soil? It’s very deep. What k kind of soils did you use? My son & family me a planter for Mother’s Day. Now I have to plant it.

  3. Lucas
    October 21, 2020 / 4:08 pm

    Do you have actual plans for this? My wife loves it!

    • October 28, 2020 / 11:03 am

      Hi Lucas! I wish we had plans! We just kind of built it as we went!

  4. Jina
    April 18, 2021 / 9:18 pm

    Love this!!! Where did you buy the Cedar wood?

  5. Michelle
    May 22, 2021 / 5:58 pm

    Looking forward to trying pavers

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