How to Make a Planter from a Wooden Shipping Box

I’ve had this wooden box for a few years which I originally purchased from an antiques festival. I loved it, but had no idea what I was going to do with it. It became a sort of ‘junk box’ for a while, sitting pretty on a console table, however it wasn’t the best use for it.

A few weeks ago Michael and I moved into an apartment where we have a beautiful outdoor balcony which gets so much afternoon sun. I knew I wanted to add tons of plants and found this box would be a perfect receptacle.

In order for it to stand a little taller I purchased these hairpin legs from amazon and screwed them into the bottom. I love the way it looks and it turned out to be the perfect height to really frame the seating space we have!

Planter Box
16″ Hairpin Legs$27.99
Potting Soil Mix$9.97

Drill Holes for the Legs

Using your legs as a template, mark with a pen the locations for where you need to put your screws through. The box I’m using had very dense wood boards, so it required me using a drill bit to create a hole before guiding my screws in. Use a drill bit the same size as the screws provided. When selecting the right drill bit size, go by the body of the screw, not the treads of the screw.

Install the Legs

Once you have all your holes drilled in place, attach your legs using the provided hardware. My package came with five screws per leg, but I only used three per leg because the wood was so difficult to drill through and I really didn’t need any more to support the weight of the planter. I’ll hold onto these extra screws just in case I may need them for a future project. My hairpin legs came with little round feet, so I attached these at the base of the legs to help keep them grounded.

Line the Box

Once all your legs are attached, flip it over and line the box with a plastic garbage bag. I used black so it would be less noticeable if you saw it through the cracks in the wood. This will help protect the wood and help keep some moisture in.


Arrange your flowers in the box however you like. Think of this as a window box if you don’t have windows. See to Pinterest for some inspirational window box displays and you’ll see all the beautiful options out there. Just remember to select plants appropriate for the sun exposure you’ll be placing it in. I purchased potato vine and two colors of impatiens. Once they are arranged in a way you like add planting soil around the gaps. I added some smooth stones over the top of my soil for some added interest and to help keep moisture in.

Enjoy! There are so many variations you can do of this; swapping out the legs for another style, different plant combinations, or styles of boxes. For me, I worked with what I had to re-purpose it into something joyful.

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Hi! I’m Kristy Pedersen. I’m renovating houses in Philadelphia and sharing the process one step at a time.

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