How to make a planter box

Breathe new life into a battered old toolbox and use it for your next upcycling project by planting it with colourful flowers, herbs and greenery.

How to make a planter box

This DIY planter box is a real attention grabber and could be just the thing to draw admiration at your next socially distanced event in the garden.

There are loads of old toolboxes online that you can pick up for just a few pounds, and plenty of bargains to be had at garden centres as they start to reopen, so scour the sales to keep making costs low. If you are thinking about selling your diy planter box, market your toolbox planter at micro-gardeners looking for quirky ways to brighten small spaces such as balconies, terraces and porchways.

Here’s a top tip for this project, how to make a planter box: you can buy trays of mixed plants for hanging baskets for an easy way to get a coordinated look.

This project, how to make a planter box, was designed by Pembrokeshire florist Marie Parie, of By The Sea. Bookmark her page, By The Sea Flowers, if you’re after beautiful wedding flowers, sympathy flowers or floral gifts – she runs floristry workshops, too!

Use a trailing foliage for a more natural, overgrown feel!

And if you like this project, have a look at our other floristry articles written by Marie Parry – we love this DIY terrarium – or how about adding a homemade card with our free gardening-themed patterned papers?

We love seeing your projects, so don’t forget to share your DIY terrarium projects with us on Facebook and Twitter, too!

To make a rustic planter you will need:

  • Old toolbox
  • Compost
  • A selection of plants, herbs and greenery
  • Broken terracotta or gravel

How to make a planter box


Step 1

Give the toolbox a good wash to remove any residue from its previous contents that might disagree with the plants. Drill a few small holes in the bottom of the toolbox to allow water to easily drain out.

Step 2

Line the bottom of the toolbox with some pieces of broken terracotta pots, gravel or stones, just to help with the drainage. Cover the drainage layer with a deep layer of compost.

Step 3

While the plants are still in their pots, play around positioning them until you get an arrangement you like. We mixed colours randomly for an eclectic look to our planter, then used trailing ivy plants to fill in any gaps around the edges and to drape over the front.

Once you are happy with the positioning, then plant the plants pushing them firmly into the toolbox. Add a top layer of compost to neaten them off, then give the plants a good water, to finish.

How to make a planter box