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Make a portable flower box

Start off the new year on a cheerful note by constructing a transportable flower box from pallet wood to brighten up the interior or exterior of your home


By Aarifah Nosarka




•    3mm drill bit      
•    Approximately 20 screws
•    Two 2.4m lengths of crate wood
•    Chalk paint


•    Drill driver
•    Jigsaw
•    G-clamp
•    Pencil for measurements
•    Safety glasses and hearing protection
•    Framing square

Cutting list

From the two 2,4m x 80mm x 16mm crate wood planks, cut the following:
•     Six 400mm lengths (A-parts)
•    Four 155mm lengths (B-parts)
•    One 432mm x 40mm length (C-part)
•    Two 200mm x 40mm lengths (D-parts)


Project guide

Difficulty: Beginner

Cost: ±R100

Time: Two hours

This project is specifically targeted at beginner handymen and handywomen who enjoy working with wood. Gareth and I built this simple flower planter box on a day where the maximum temperature reached 30°C. Photo credits go to Rosemary Johnston-Fitch (our magazine designer) – she is also the person responsible for the weathered appearance of the box. She got the effect using grey chalk paint and the dry brush technique.  This was certainly a fun filled, teamwork-inspired project.


Step-by-step guide

Step 1: Start by marking out the lengths for the longer sides of the planter using the framing square and a pencil. We marked out six 400mm (A-parts) for the longer sides and four 155mm (B-parts) for the width. When assembled, there will be a small gap in the base of the box to allow for drainage should the collector dish of the flower pot overflow. We then took a 500mm long section and split it in half, giving us two 40mm wide strips, these were trimmed to one 435mm (C-part) and two 200mm (D-parts) for the handle. 


The dimensions are not important, but help with the planning, design and assembly of the box. 

Step 2: Cut along the marked lines using a jigsaw, hand saw or circular saw. Remember to wear safety goggles and hearing protection when using power tools.


Step 3: Clamp two of the longer pieces (A-parts) together at a 90˚ angle and use screws to butt the pieces together. We used three pilot holes and screws, one near each end and one in the centre. Do the same with the other two pieces.


Step 4: Place the two L-shaped pieces next to each other and insert two of the shorter lengths between the inside edges at the ends. This will give you a rectangular shape and you will notice that the newly added pieces stick out higher than the others.

Step 5: When adding the second layer of the box, you can leave a small gap between the A-parts before screwing the last two A-parts to the pieces that stick out using four screws. The B-parts are now attached to the A-parts with only two screws on each side. To complete the box, place the last two 155mm (B-parts) in the open spaces and drill another four screws into each side of the box.


Step 6: Once all the sides are assembled, the handle can be fitted. Screw the two 200mm x 40mm pieces in the centre of the shorter sides.


Step 7: With these in place, mount the 432mm handle in-between the 200mm pieces on each side. Two screws are needed on each side to make the handle sturdy.


Step 8: You can paint the box the colour you want – you can even match the colour to the surrounds of where you plan to place your flower planter box.  

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