If you have an awkward corner that you’re not sure what to do with, make use of the space by building a corner planter.
This tiered design will help you maximize the plants in your yard, porch or balcony. Plant it with flowers and foliage for a purely decorative planter, or add edibles like lettuce, herbs or even a tomato plant in the top level.
Make a Corner Planter
Step 1: Cut Wood
The trickiest part of this project is cutting the wood. For each level, you’ll be making a right-angled triangle with two sides of equal length. You need a front piece, with each end cut at a 45-degree angle, and two side pieces, one of which is longer than the other by the thickness of the wood, each with one end at a 45-degree angle and the other end at a standard 90-degree angle.
The measurements provided below are for the shortest face of the bevel-cut wood, wood cut at an angle other than 90-degree along the thickness of the wood, which makes up the inside edge of the triangle.
Cut the following pieces from the ¾- x 8-inch cedar board:
- 25-inch piece with a 45-degree angle at each end
- 38-inch piece with a 45-degree angle at each end
- 16 1/4-inch piece with a 45-degree angle at one end
- 17-inch piece with a 45-degree angle at one end
- 25 ½-inch piece with a 45-degree angle at one end
- 26 ¼-inch piece with a 45-degree angle at one end
- Cut a 14 ½-inch piece of the 2- x 2-inch cedar baluster
Sand any rough edges on the cut wood. Cut the pieces for the bottom of the planter after you’ve assembled the triangles that make up the sides. If you need to adjust the measurements, an online triangle calculator can help you determine the side lengths for a triangle with two 45-degree angles and a 90-degree angle. Convert decimals to the nearest ⅛-inch.
Step 2: Build Triangles
Lay out the boards for each triangle so that the longest board with two 45-degree angles makes up the front, and the two shorter pieces make up the sides, overlapping and forming a 90-degree angle in the back. The larger triangle is made up of the 38-inch piece with a 45-degree angle at each end, the 25 ½-inch piece with a 45-degree angle at one end, and the 26 ¼-inch piece with a 45-degree angle at one end. The smaller triangle is made up of the 25-inch piece with a 45-degree angle at each end, the 16 1/4-inch piece with a 45-degree angle at one end, and the 17-inch piece with a 45-degree angle at one end. At each 45-inch angle corner, drill two pilot holes through the side piece into the front piece, and use 1 ¼-inch screws to attach the side pieces to the front. At the 90-degree angle, drill and screw the pieces together with 2-inch screws. Repeat for both triangles.
Step 3: Build the Bottom
Once the larger triangle is built, lay it on top of a ¾- x 8-inch cedar board, and align the back edge of the wood so that it’s flush with the back and one side of the planter. Use a pencil to mark the angle at the front of the planter on the wood. Cut the board and set the planter on top. Repeat marking and cutting the base boards for the entire bottom of the triangle. Attach the base boards you’ve just cut to the bottom of the triangle with 2-inch screws for which you’ve drilled pilot holes.
Step 4: Secure the Tiers
Set the smaller triangle on top of the larger one so that the back corners are aligned. Place the 2- x 2- x 14 ½-inch cedar baluster in the back corner of the planter, and attach the triangles to it with a 2-inch screw through each board on each side of the corner, for a total of 4 screws.
Step 5: Fill and Plant
Place planter in desired location. Add potting soil and plants. Water well.
Tip: If planting edibles, use organic potting soil.
- 12-inch compound miter saw
- One ¾- x 8-inch x 12-foot cedar board
- One ¾- x 8-inch x 8-foot cedar board
- Tape measure
- 1/8-inch drill bit
- 2-inch deck screws
- 1 ¼-inch deck screws
- 2- x 2- x 36-inch square-end cedar baluster
- Potting soil or organic potting soil
- Watering can or garden hose
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