Under 2 hours
Showcase seasonal flowers and fall foliage by creating a rustic wheelbarrow that can be used as a charming decorative planter box. Use our step-by-step guide to build a wooden wheelbarrow planter for your porch, patio or deck using pressure treated wood and kiln-dried boards.
Measure and Mark the Wood
Get this decorative wheelbarrow project started by first measuring and marking your lumber. In addition to a premade wooden crate, here are the pieces needed for this project:
- Two 8-inch segments on one of the balusters for the legs.
- One 3 3/4-inch segment on the wooden dowel for the wheel axle.
- One 7-inch circle from the 2- x 8-inch x 8-foot board. To draw an even circle, make a mark in the center of the 2- x 8-inch x 8-foot board about 6 inches in from the end of the board.
- Drive a screw halfway into the center mark and use a 3 1/2-inch piece of string, wrapping one end around the screw head and the other end around a pencil. Tie the string to secure it in place.
Cut the Legs
Using a circular saw, cut the two 8-inch legs from one of the balusters and the 3 3/4-inch wheel axle from the dowel.
Cut the Wheel
- Using a 1/2-inch drill bit, pre-drill a hole touching the outside line of the circle.
- Insert the jig saw into the pre-drilled hole and cut the 7-inch circle from the board.
Prep the Wheel Axle
Measure and mark the center of both remaining balusters 1 1/4 inches from the ends.
Drill the Balusters
- Using the 1/2-inch drill bit, drill a 1/2-inch hole halfway through the baluster at the pre-made marks. Use a 5-degree angle with the drill bit pointing away from the short end of the baluster.
- Return the drill to a flat 90-degree angle and drill a 1/2-inch hole through the center mark of the 7-inch wheel.
Attach the Balusters
- Turn the wooden crate upside down and align one of the balusters over the bottom of the crate.
- Make sure the end of the baluster with the drilled hole hangs over the end of the crate by 6 inches and is centered over the second slat on that side.
Secure the Balusters
- The other end of the baluster should be angled to hit in between the two outermost slats on the other end of the crate, allowing a 12-inch overhang to act as a handle.
- Secure the baluster to the bottom of the crate using a 2 1/2-inch screw on each end.
Slide the Wheel onto the Axle
- Insert the 3 3/4-inch wheel axle into the drilled hole on the secured baluster.
- Slide the 7-inch wheel onto the wheel axle and insert the wheel axle into the remaining baluster.
- With the wheel sandwiched securely between the two balusters, secure the remaining baluster to the bottom of the crate, centered over the second slat at the wheel end and between the two outermost slats at the handle end, using 2 1/2-inch screws at each end.
Attach the Legs
- Place the two 8-inch legs vertically 3/4 of an inch in from the end of the crate on the outside of the balusters.
- Secure with one 2 1/2-inch screw through the balusters.
- Turn the wheelbarrow over and secure the legs through the slat on the inside bottom of the crate, using one 1-inch screw in each leg.
Paint or Stain the Wood
- Paint or stain the wood as desired, using appropriate exterior stain. Non-toxic stain like tung oil is recommended if the planter will hold edibles like herbs.
- Use non-toxic polyurethane on the inside of the planter box to protect it from water damage.
- Drill drainage holes if required. 1/4-inch to 1/2-inch drainage holes should provide adequate drainage for most plants.
Fill and Decorate
Find the perfect spot for your rustic wheelbarrow, then fill it with decor, like fresh gourds, dried leaves and fall flowers. It will add charm to any room or outdoor area.
Build your own DIY wheelbarrow planter with pressure treated wood and a kiln-dried board to display your fresh flowers, or simply to add rustic charm to your deck, porch, patio or garden.
Need tools to get started? The Home Depot delivers online orders where and when you need them.