How to Repurpose Old Pallets into Rustic Garden Planters
I’ve always loved the rustic, earthy look of wood planters in the garden. There’s just something about the natural texture of wood that pairs so nicely with plants and flowers. However, buying pre-made wooden planters can get pricey. That’s why I love finding ways to repurpose materials I already have on hand into DIY planters. Old wooden pallets are one of my favorite items to repurpose into rustic garden planters. Here’s my guide on how to do it yourself!
- Old wooden pallets – These are often available for free or very cheap. Check construction sites, businesses, and online classifieds. You’ll need 1-3 pallets depending on size.
- Sandpaper – To smooth rough edges. Get a coarse grit.
- Wood stain, paint, or sealant – For weather protection and aesthetics. Pick a natural color.
- Landscape fabric – To line the inside so soil doesn’t fall through cracks.
- Staple gun & staples – For securing the landscape fabric.
- Drill & screws – If pallets aren’t already assembled into a box shape.
- Soil & plants – To fill your new planter!
Dismantle the Pallet
- Take apart the pallet slats so you can work with them individually.
- Pry slats off of the pallet using a hammer or crowbar.
- Remove or bend over any protruding nails.
Construct the Planter Box
- Reassemble pallet wood into a square or rectangular box shape.
- Use a drill to insert screws to hold corners together.
- Make sure boards align flush with corner edges.
- Build box to desired height and width for plants.
Smooth & Prepare the Wood
- Sand pallet wood with coarse grit sandpaper to smooth rough edges.
- Stain, paint, or seal the wood for protection and aesthetics.
- Allow stain/sealant to fully dry before continuing.
Add Drainage Holes
- Use a drill to add several drainage holes in the bottom of the planter box.
- Space holes evenly for sufficient drainage.
Line with Landscape Fabric
- Cut landscape fabric a few inches wider than planter box.
- Staple fabric securely to underside of box.
- Fabric prevents soil from leaking out drainage holes.
Fill Planter Box with Soil
- Fill box with potting soil up to about 1 inch below rim.
- Mix in compost for added nutrients (optional).
Plant Flowers or Herbs
- Arrange plants in soil and pack gently around roots.
- Choose plants suited for container gardening.
- Herbs, succulents, petunias, and pansies are great options!
Display Your Rustic Planter
- Show off your handmade pallet planter in the garden!
- Consider planting coordinating flowers or herbs in a series of planters.
- Paint planters same color for cohesive look.
- Stack rectangular planters on top of each other for height.
With a few simple tools and DIY pallet planters, you can add beautiful, rustic charm to your garden on a budget. Get creative with mixing and stacking planter shapes and sizes. And be sure to choose the right plants for container gardening success!