DIY,  Garden

Pallet Planter Box

One of our first DIY projects was utilising pallets to create a planter box (raised garden bed). We had seen a few videos and decided to complete a similar project for our own backyard.

To complete the planter box you will need the following materials and tools:

MaterialsTools Required
3 x Pallets (pulled apart using a hammer and Wrecking Bar) used for the sidesMitre Saw (A blade with 254mm couldn't quite cut through the posts)
3 x Cyprus Posts (100mm x 100mm x 1200mm) for the six postsWrecking Bar (Small Crowbar)
6 x Pine (2400mm x 60mm x 20mm) used as crossbeams between the postsHammer
2 x Pine (1200mm x 150mm x 28mm) for the short sides finishDrill & Sander (Orbital or Belt)
2 x Pine (2400mm x 150mm x 28mm) for the long sides finishBrackets and Screws
Merbau Decking OilBrad Nails

We completed the following steps for the base unit:

  1. Take apart the pallets trying to keep all the long pieces of timber complete (This is challenging depending on how old the pallets are as the wood may be rotten and nails rusted). When sourcing pallets ensure you are using heat treated pallets instead of chemically treated pallets especially when growing vegetables. These pallets should be stamped, you can google pallet stamps to understand the codes:

  3. Saw the Pine timber from the pallets into lengths of 450mm. We used 50 x 450mm lengths in total (the short sides required 8 each, the long sides had one section of 8 and another of 9 each);

  5. Saw the Cyprus posts in half producing 6 posts that you will dig into the ground for support due to the weight of the soil;

  7. Saw the Pine timber (60mm in width) into into 8 x 80mm and 4 x 90mm used as the crossbeams between the posts;

  9. At this point you can either sand the wood or complete this afterwards, we sanded once everything was joined together in sections;

  11. We used brad nails to nail the cross beams into the pallets with two nails in each cross beam. When nailing we used timber glue to fix the wood together. This took some time and precision with nailing;

  13. Once all sides are created and the beams are ready we sanded all the wood and stained it, however this could be done when you have finished the box;

  15. Pre-drill pilot holes for your screws into the Cyprus and the crossbeams. We used L shape brackets that had four holes allowing for two screws into the post and two into the cross beam;

  17. Connect the 8 and 9 panel sides to three of the posts as the long sides and fix the short sides once the box is in location – shifting the box at this stage is very heavy it is best to have two people for this step;

  19. Dig the three holes for one long side and bury the posts into the ground ensuring you have some of the pallet timber into the ground a little for stability;

  21. At this stage we dug the holes for the other long side and then connected the two short sides at the end, however it might be easier to connect the two sides to the long side and affix the last long side last;

  23. Pre-drill all holes into the Cyprus prior to finishing the box as it can be challenging to reach the drill in place if using a big drill;

  25. Drill the L brackets to the pine cross beams so you only need to drill screws into the Cyprus posts;

  27. You should now have a planter box ready for the finishing top pieces of Pine timber. Use a Mitre saw for the 45 degree cuts to be able to connect all four tops neatly;

  29. The planter box is 2000mm by 1000mm in length so the wood will need to be slightly longer allowing for the 45 degree cut;

  31. Attached the top pieces of wood using screws and ensure you pre-drill the holes. We placed two screws into each Cyprus post and timber beam for stability;

  33. Finish off the whole look with Merbau decking oil;

  35. Lay down pool liner using a staple gun to stop weeds growing through the garden bed and fill with 0.8m3 of three way soil.

This is not the quickest raised garden bed to make, however it is made using pre-claimed timber (pallets). The pallets came in different widths and were not always 100mm wide so we bought 5 pallets and occasionally had to swap pieces of wood around.

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