How to Build and Install a Deck Railing Planter How to Build and Install a Deck Railing Planter

What You'll Need
Table Saw or Circular Saw
1/4 Inch Spade Bit
Galvanized Screws
Water Sealant/Stain
Foam Brush
Palm Sander
80 and 120 Grit Sandpaper
Potting Soil

Decorating with a deck railing planter will provide some color, texture, and character to the backyard entertaining area. A deck railing planter can be used for a prized flower, a few growing vines, or a tight mixture of colorful flowers. Building a deck railing planter is an easy project for a DIY homeowner. Once the planter is finished, installing it on your deck is also a very simple project. 

Step 1: Determine Size of Deck Railing Planter

A deck railing planter can be as large or small as you want it to be. However, a planter that is too large will be difficult to manage the plants, while a planter too small will not allow enough plants. Choose a size that works well with your overall deck. A simple planter that is 24 inches long by 6 inches wide by 8 inches deep is sufficient for a nice looking planter. If the deck is large enough, you can build 2 or 3 planters this size to decorate different points on the railing.

Step 2: Cut Wood to Size

Using some 2 inch wood lumber, you can easily make the deck planter without a lot of cuts. The dimensions that follow assume the planter is the size suggested in step 1.

Basically, you only need to cut the pieces to length. You will need one 4 foot section of 2x8 lumber and a 2x6 for the bottom. Using a table saw, cut the 2x8 into two 24 inch sections and the 2x6 down to 24 inches. You will also need to cut 2 short pieces of 2x6 for the end pieces. They need to be 9 1/2 inches long. Through this you will have all of the pieces needed for assembly.

Step 3: Assemble Deck Planter Railing

Lay the 2 side pieces on their edge and apply some wood glue along their length. Lay the bottom piece on top of the 2 sides. Make sure that they are flush with the edges of the bottom piece. Using a drill, drive in the 2 inch screws to secure the pieces together. Screws should be 6 inches apart. 

Step 4: Install End Pieces

Stand the body of the planter on one end and place one of the end pieces onto the wood. Secure it with the galvanized screws. Repeat with the other end.

Step 5: Drill Hole in Bottom, Sand, and Stain

With the planter built, you need to drill 4 holes in the bottom piece of wood. Use a 1/4 inch spade bit and make sure they are evenly spaced and in the center. Sand down the entire planter with the palm sander progressing from the 80 grit to the 120 grit paper. Wipe away the dust and stain, or paint, with your preferred color choice.

Step 6: Install Deck Railing Planter

Choose the location where the planter will be installed. Drill 3 holes in the top of the planter, 3/4 inches from the top edge, to act as pilot holes. Hold the planter up to the railing and secure with 3 inch galvanized screws. Fill the planter with top soil and plant your favorite flowers. If deck railing is made of iron you will need to use small metal clamps that wrap around the railing and area attached to the planter through bolts and nuts.

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