Tuesday 3 April 2012

Garden planter

And now for something different from my usual baking and crafts... I made a wooden garden planter!

Last summer B&Q started offering "You can do it" classes, where you could go to your local store and learn how to do a specific job - including plastering, laying laminate flooring, using power tools and putting up shelves and mirrors. I'd already taken an eight-week evening class in basic DIY the year before (a necessity when moving into my own house given I could barely change a lightbulb), but I was about to start doing up my garden and thought their class on building raised beds in your garden would be very beneficial.

The class only cost £10 for three hours of tuition and - as it turned out - construction, in a small group of about six people. The course description led me to believe we would be learning how to create raised flower beds, so I was quite surprised when I arrived and was told "We're going to be making one of these" - a square free-standing wooden planter. I queried what that had to do with raised beds in your garden, only to be told "We don't have the facilities to do that here, so we're making one of these instead". The planter in question was about half a metre wide by half a metre tall, and made of really solid wood.... and I was supposed to be getting the bus home! Luckily I rang my boyfriend and he said his mum would be able to pick me up after the class and take me home.

So we were given some long pieces of wood and had to mark the right length and use a power saw to cut the sections. Unfortunately one of the first people to use the saw broke the blade, and it took the guy taking the class about half an hour to find and set up a new one, so in the meantime we had to use hand saws. Sawing wood by hand is quite hard work and it's also very hard to saw in a straight line (well, I find it hard) so my planter ended up a little wonky.

When we had the correct-sized pieces of wood, we had to fix them together to create a basic frame, using a power screwdriver.

Then we cut pieces of decking to make the side panels and fit them on. It sounds quite straightforward and wasn't too difficult (other than my wonky edges) but it took almost the entire three hours to get to the point you can see below.

There was supposed to be a decorative top section that I didn't have time to finish, though I guess I couldn't complain - the £10 cost of the class covered the materials, as well as tuition, and obviously I got to take home the planter that I had made.

A week later, my boyfriend and his dad kindly added the decorative top section that I hadn't had time to make. You can see the finished planter below, taking pride of place on my patio!


  1. Well that planter looks very impressive and what a fun thing to do. Can I book you in for the various DIY jobs that have been piling up in our house? I'd bake you a cake :-S

    1. I'm really not that good, I did this under a lot of supervision! I do recomment the B&Q classes though, I think they are still running them this year and they look pretty good.


Thank you for your comment, all feedback is appreciated - even the negative! However due to a lot of spam comments on this blog I have had to turn on captcha. If you have problems leaving a comment please email me at caroline@carolinemakes.net