Tall Wood Planters

tall wood planters
| Print this plan

Build your own tall wood planters with our DIY plans!  This plan uses inexpensive cedar fence pickets and easy cutting to keep the cost and time investment down.  Cool, modern design with tapered sides to add style to your outdoor space.

These tall wood planters are so stylish and beautiful!  You'll love that they are inexpensive and quick to build - this is an easy way to add curb appeal or freshen up your outdoor space.

I built these tapered wood planters for about $25 each!  And each planter only took about half an hour to build (including the cutting!)

christmas tree wood collar

In this project, we make building the tall wood planters with tapered sides easier because you cut them out all at once.  Please take a second to watch the video - it will all make sense in the video:

Build your own tall wood planters with our free plans below.


Pin For Later! 

Tall Wood Planters

tall wood planter dimensions
Dimensions for different height planters shown in diagram


Shopping List
  • 1 - 5-1/2” wide, six feet long, cedar fence picket (not dogeared) per row (for example, for the largest tall wood planter, you would need 7 cedar fence pickets) per planter
  • For the planters three and four rows high: 1 - 1x2x8 and 1 - 1x3x8
  • For the planters four, five and six rows high: 2 - 1x2x8 and 2 - 1x3x8
  • 1" and 1-1/4" brad nails
  • Recommend 1-1/4" self tapping screws (get the ones with star bits appropriate for exterior use)
  • Scrap wood may be needed to add a "bottom" to the planters, depending on how much soil or if you are using a plastic liner pot inside the planter


Cut List

4 - 1x2 @ width of all your cedar fence pickets added together (for example, 7 cedar fence pickets was 38-1/2")

4 - 1x3 @ width of all your cedar fence pickets added together (for example, 7 cedar fence pickets was 38-1/2")

Tape Measure
Speed Square
Safety Glasses
Hearing Protection
Circular Saw
Brad Nailer


Step 1

It is very important to watch the video to understand how this planter is made.  The diagram above shows the dimensions for the tallest planter - you will need to modify your layout for smaller planters as detailed below in the bullet list.

Lay out your fence pickets, up to seven high, on a flat level surface, with fence pickets as lined up as possible to each other.

Begin by drawing a line at a 5 degree angle off square and nailing a 1x2 to the top of all the fence pickets with 1" brad nails - two nails per overlap of 1x2 and each fence picket.

Then measure over according to the list below for your size the outside measurement, and make draw a 5 degree line, tapering inward from your first line.  The side of the planter will be between the lines you just drew (shown in orange in the diagram.  Attach another 1x2.

Repeat these steps until you have attached all four 1x2s to the fence pickets and drawn the last line.

  • 7 Pickets High: 20" outside measurement, 19" inside measurement
  • 6 Pickets High: 19" outside measurement, 18" inside measurement
  • 5 Pickets High: 18" outside measurement, 17" inside measurement
  • 4 Pickets High: 17" outside measurement, 16" inside measurement
  • 3 Pickets High: 16" outside measurement, 15" inside measurement

Cut along the dotted lines shown in the diagram with a circular saw with the blade set to 1-1/2" deep.  

Save the larger cut pieces to make up the free sides of the planters (see step 3)

Step 2

Change nails in the brad nailer to 1-1/4" length.

Attach 1x3s to the 1x2s with glue and nails, keeping outside edges lined up.

Step 3

Attach the free fence picket pieces to the 1x3s with 1" brad nails.

Finish the planter by adding 1-1/4" screws to the top and bottom rows to secure everything.

Finishing Instructions
Preparation Instructions
Lightly with medium grit sandpaper
Finish Used
Behr Penetrating Stain and Sealer in Clear



Tue, 05/19/2020 - 15:34

Hi Ana! I have not done any of your plans forever! I have missed it! A friend asked me to build the tallest planters and I did that just today! I will say the video is invaluable but honestly the plan is super simple and fast! They turned out just beautiful.
Hahaha, I'm so glad you said what you did about the corners in the video because my first one does not look so great. I did better with the second.
Thanks for the plan!!


Wed, 08/05/2020 - 06:39

Using dogeared would be a problem on the 7 boards only as far as I can see. I used dogeared on the 4 and 5 and had 6-10 inches left over on the end. Hope this helps and they looked good!


Tue, 09/01/2020 - 10:33

I intend to paint the planter after it's assembled. Do I need to buy cedar still or should I use a different type of wood? Also, maybe I should paint it inside and out first to protect the wood from water?


Tue, 07/13/2021 - 11:19

Thanks for your website Ana. You’ll probably never read this, but you have been better than any therapist at saving my sanity.
The planters turned out great. You have so many projects I want to do, and I firmly believe in building my own furniture (among other things) for myself rather than purchasing an unknown quantity...and quality. Thank you again.

Seasonal And Holiday