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Getting Your Greens: DIY Cedar Planter

Getting Your Greens: DIY Cedar Planter

Now it’s easier than ever to enjoy fresh salad greens and herbs all season long with this space-saving, multi-tiered cedar planter.

Rob Brown designs and builds custom furniture, and is editor of Canadian Woodworking and Home Improvement magazine. www.canadianwoodworking.com

Here’s How to make the Tiered Cedar Planter

Required Materials & tools


  • Mitre Saw
  • Jointer
  • Planer
  • Measuring Tape
  • Drill
  • Screwdriver
  • Hammer
  • Carpenter’s Square


  • 5/4 X 6 X 8’ Cedar (4)
  • 2 X 4 X 8’ Cedar (2)
  • 1/4” X 4’ Hardwood Dowel (2)
  • Exterior Glue
  • Masking Tape
  • Sanding Blocks
  • #8 X 2” Stainless Steel Screws (2 Boxes)
  • 3” Stainless Steel Screws (4)
  • Exterior Finish

Step by Step Guide

  1. The fronts, backs, and sides for each separate planter box should come from the same board. Mark the boards so they can be reassembled the way they were cut from the board, so the grain lines up around corners.
  2. Cut the fronts, backs, and sides of the three boxes to length, with bevels on their ends.
  3. Glue up boards for the bottom panels, plane to finished thickness, and cut to finished length and width.
  4. Machine a groove to accept the bottom panels in each of the parts. (photo 1)
  5. Place boards from one planter box end to end, face down on a flat surface and apply masking tape across three of the joints.
  6. Apply glue to bevel joints, install bottom panel, and wrap box together. Apply masking tape across final joint and let dry. (photo 2)
  7. Repeat for the other two planter boxes.
  8. Drill holes for wooden dowel pegs, then glue pegs and tap in. (photo 3)
  9. When dry, sand the faces of planter boxes flush, and ease all corners.
  10. Cut long side supports to length, and at correct angle.
  11. Place one long side support on flat surface, aligned with a square edge of the flat surface. This square edge will offer a visual 90 degree corner, similar to the ground and a wall, to align planter boxes and long side supports for assembly. (photo 4)
  12. Mark on the long side support where the boxes will go. Place boxes and attach in place with screws. (photo 5)
  13. Place the second long side support on top of the three boxes and screw it in place.
  14. With the assembly still on its side, mark the angle of the short support legs, cut them to finished size, and screw them in place. (photos 6, 7 & 8)
  15. Take the unit apart and apply an exterior grade finish to all the surfaces.
  16. When dry, reassemble, then fill boxes with soil and plants.

Step by Step Instructions