Herb Garden Planter from Cedar Fence Pickets

cedar herb garden planter
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Free plans to build a DIY Kitchen Herb Garden Planter from a cedar fence picket - just the right size for a shelf or window sill.  This is a free step by step woodworking plan for beginners with detailed diagrams, shopping and cut list.

diy planter box small
diy planter box small


How I Built this Cedar Herb Garden Planter

I used a cedar fence picket bought new

And strapping scrap for the handles (optional)


And it is really sturdy and functional.

While adding a pretty rustic touch to the ends.

But if we do get found out, here's our saving grace (well, our other saving Grace)

I did hand trace letters out on the front

And hand paint the letters with black craft paint.


Free Plans to Build a Cedar Fence Picket Herb Garden Box

diy planter box small
Dimensions shown above


Shopping List
  • 1 cedar fence picket, 5--1/2" wide
  • 1 1/4" exterior galvanized finish nails (you could use exterior screws too)
  • Wood glue suitable for exterior applications 
Cut List
  • 2 - 5 1/2" wide by 1/2" thick cedar fence pickets @ 5 1/2" long
  • 2 - 5 1/2" wide by 1/2" thick cedar fence pickets @ 20 " long
  • 1 - 5 1/2" wide by 1/2" thick cedar fence pickets @ 19" long
Tape Measure
Speed Square
Safety Glasses
Hearing Protection
Circular Saw
Brad Nailer
Power Sander
Drill Bit Set


Step 1

Nail the two ends to the bottom

Step 2

Then nail the two sides to the bottom and ends. Easy peasy!

Finishing Instructions
Preparation Instructions
Fill all holes with wood filler and let dry. Apply additional coats of wood filler as needed. When wood filler is completely dry, sand the project in the direction of the wood grain with 120 grit sandpaper. Vacuum sanded project to remove sanding residue. Remove all sanding residue on work surfaces as well. Wipe project clean with damp cloth.

It is always recommended to apply a test coat on a hidden area or scrap piece to ensure color evenness and adhesion. Use primer or wood conditioner as needed.


Ana White

Fri, 04/26/2013 - 10:10

Thank you - its super fun and easy! I even thought about making a bunch of them and putting ladder sides on and leaning against a wall outside for a cheap and chic taller planter!

Hope to see yours soon!



Fri, 04/26/2013 - 12:24

Hi, Ana!
Thank you so much for your plans!

Because of you, my husband has built the farmhouse queen bed, two side tables, and the Land of Nod bunk. We never would have been able to afford these pieces retail. Now he just needs to get motivated to build both of us some dressers to match the farmhouse bed!

You mentioned putting ladder sides on your planters and leaning them against an outside wall. How would you do this? We have a huge blank brick wall behind our garage.

Also, what stain did you use on your "Herb Garden" planter and how did you protect it?

Thank you for all of your time and effort. I love seeing your projects.


Ana White

Fri, 04/26/2013 - 13:08

Hi Julie, thank you - what a very nice comment! Totally made my day! And I love your profile picture!

I am working on a tutorial of a leaning ladder planter - check out this plan for the gist of how it's done http://ana-white.com/2013/04/plans/little-sloan-leaning-bookshelf

I used Minwax Special Walnut for the stain color and Minwax Helmsman Spar Urethane (it's exterior grade) for the top coat. I sanded pretty good the raw board first to make things easy. I have a full tutorial to be posted next week on the finish.

Thank you so much - enjoy your weekend!


Fri, 04/26/2013 - 15:34

I am not sure that is best way to describe it, I would go more along the lines of.....dang I am not witty enough to come up with something good....let's just say, Amazingly Awesome!!!! I personally love the lazy cheapskate (aka, amazingly awesome) route myself, with six kids it is a must! This is so stinkin' cute it will seriously be the best gift Grace's teacher gets! You "nailed" it! (ha, pun intended) Thanks for sharing and I especially love the cute handles, I like pulling things out of the trash too!! Love your work Ana!


Mon, 05/13/2013 - 08:43

I helped my grandson make this for his Mom for Mothers Day. All I can say is there were tears shed!

Thanks so much Ana!!!


Wed, 03/12/2014 - 09:14

I'm getting with a group of ladies to build these tomorrow. One of our concerns is making it "waterproof" for windowsills or other indoor surfaces. Any suggestions?