Portable Planter Box Project

Recently I put together a little project from some wood I had stored in the garage. It was an idea I had to help me with a presentation I’ll be giving at a local garden show. Essentially I needed a way to demonstrate how a few plants could be planted in combination with each other. I didn’t have access to a projector for the demonstration so I couldn’t do a slide show. What I decided to do is to put together a portable planter box that I could stock with a few plants to bring along. It couldn’t be big or it would be a problem to move around. Here’s what I did to make this 24″x12.25″ portable planter box!

How to make a Portable Planter Box

For materials:

  • 2 6′ cedar fence boards
  • short deck screws.
  • soil mix
  • newspaper
  • plants (of course!)


The total cost of this portable planter box project should be less than $15 if you have the equipment and should take about 30-45 minutes for one planter. I think I’ll make a few more of these to have around. The time spent making a few at the same time shouldn’t be too much more since you can make many of the cuts at the same time.

The box itself is pretty simple. The long sides are 24″ long and the short sides are 11″ long. I predrilled the holes to minimize wood splitting (which did happen some anyway) and screwed the long ends into the short ends. This gave me a box with 24″x12.25″ dimensions.

2-Portable Planter Box Project - Cedar Box (2)

I flipped the frame over and added the slats at the bottom from the other piece of cedar fencing. Those were measured to be 12.25″ each to cover the short length on the bottom then predrilled and screwed together.


4-Portable Planter Box Project - Cedar Box (4)

Since the box planter was meant to be portable I wanted an easy way to carry it. So I cut a 2.25″ width of cedar fence board to create a handle for each side. Then I screwed those in on each end. The screws actually go all the way through so I would recommend getting a smaller sized screw that will sink into both pieces of wood without going all the way through. For me I was using what I had on hand in my garage.

3-Portable Planter Box Project - Cedar Box (3)

You’ll notice that there are gaps between the 4 bottom slats. That provides drainage but could also allow soil to escape. The solution is to put newspaper as a bottom layer in the box.


5-Portable Planter Box Project - Cedar Box (5)

Once I put the newspaper in a filled it up with a homemade soil mix and planted a small group of plants: Rosemary and a curly red leaf lettuce. You could plant any type of fairly shallow rooting plants in this planter box like Spring greens, radishes, kale, or even flowers.

The Finished Portable Planter Box

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Attractive and edible!

1-Portable Planter Box Project - Cedar Box (1)

Beautiful curly leaf red lettuce!

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This planter box could just be used as a sturdy tray to carry plants around your garden. Just don’t plant anything in it and you can use it to haul your potted plants to their new homes.

Portable Planter Box

My talk will be on Sustainable Gardening Techniques at Rippavilla Plantation on March 25th at 11:00 AM. Stop by and say hi if you like!