DIY Modern Slat Wood Planters

Learn how to make beautiful DIY modern slat wood planters in one weekend and with just three power tools!

modern slat wood planter

In case Mother Nature (or, if you’re like me, your allergies) hasn’t told you yet, Spring is in full force! Warmer weather and longer days mean time for outdoor projects, and I couldn’t be more excited!

If you’ve been following my journey on Instagram, you’ll know that I am in the middle of a huge shed-shop renovation. Which means it’s time to spice up the exterior of the shop to look as pretty as the rest of my parents’ yard!

So, I partnered up with my friends at The Home Depot and Olympic to create a pair of modern slat wood planters and made some magic happen!

How To Build Modern Slat Wood Planters

This project is sponsored by The Home Depot and Olympic. This post contains affiliate links. Click here for my full sponsorship disclosure & ad policies page.

modern outdoor planter

Not only am I obsessed with the way these modern slat wood planters came out, they legit only took me one weekend to make (this one is for you, weekend warriors)! They were also so easy to make and required only three (maybe four, if you want to use a powered sander) tools for assembly.

Modern slat wood planters in front of shed workshop

Even though these planters only took one weekend to make, I know they will last outside for a long time to come thanks to the durable waterproof wood finishes I used from Olympic (especially since their products come with a lifetime guarantee)! 

Want to see how easy these were to make? Let’s do this!

What I Used:

image of supplies used to build modern slatted planters.

Miter Saw/Circular Saw
Brad Nailer
3M Sanding Sponge
Staining Supplies
Safety Glasses

Materials *
(8) 2 x 2 Pressure Treated Baluster
(2) Bundle 1 x 2 Pressure Treated Board
Olympic Maximum Stain in Cedar Natural Tone
Olympic Elite Stain in Ebony
2 ½” Outdoor Screws
1 ¼” Brad Nails
Plastic Planter
Wood Glue

* Materials listed are for one planter.

The Steps:

1. First, I cut my pieces into the following lengths:

2 x 2’s
(4) Legs @ 34″
(8) Frame Pieces @ 14 ½*

1 x 2’s
(2) Planter Platform Sides @ 16″
(4) Planter Platform Pieces @ 16″
(40) Short Slat Sides @ 16″ **
(40) Long Slat Sides @ 17 ½” **

* These measurements were based on the type of plastic planter insert (14″ square) I used for my plant. You will need to adjust if you use a different planter.

** This measurement may be different depending on which pressure treated lumber that is available for your planter. My best advice is to measure these pieces for your particular build before cutting.

cutting pressure treated wood with a miter saw

2. Next, I assembled the frames of my DIY modern slat wood planters by attaching the legs to the frame pieces with wood glue and screws.

how to build a planter with 3 tools building the frame

3. I then built a small platform inside the planter frame for the plastic planter to sit. I attached the platform frame pieces to the 2 x 2 frames with screws and then nailed the actual platform pieces to those frames.

building a platform for a planter

4. Once the planter frame was complete, I stained it using 2 coats of Olympic Elite Stain in Ebony. I chose to use Olympic Elite for this portion as it offers seriously durable waterproofing for 4 seasons of protection!

I was also able to apply it to my project even though there was rain and a windchill expected in the forecast because it was rain ready in just 8 hours and can be applied in temperatures as low as 35 degrees!

how to waterproof wood with olympic stain

5. After allowing the stain on the frame to dry, I focused my attention on the shorter slat wood pieces. I cut 20 pieces per side and decided to stick with 90 degree cuts (I’ve learned the hard way that mitered corners don’t do well in our super humid summers on Long Island). To make cutting repeated slats easier, I set up a stop block on my miter saw.

making repeated cuts on a miter saw for the slats of the modern slatted planter

6. After cutting the slats, I lightly sanded the edges using a 3M Sanding Sponge and then stained them using 1 coat of Olympic Maximum Stain in Cedar Natural Tone. To say I’m obsessed with this product is an understatement.

The stain had super strong adhesion and the color was flawless. I opted to use Olympic Maximum for this part of the project because it allowed me to still highlight the beauty of the wood grain in the lumber, but also provides a seriously strong waterproofing, UV blocking and anti-fungal finish.

I definitely need these planters to be durable since we have historically rainy summers, and this finish will for sure deliver.

sanding pressure treated wood
olympic maximum waterproofing stain being applied to slats of planter

7. Next, I began to attach the shorter slat sides of the planters to the frames using nails and wood glue. I used a piece of scrap wood from my workshop to evenly space out each one.

attaching wood slats with brad nailer

8. I then measured and cut the longer slats for the remaining two sides (it was easier to measure as I built because the pressure treated lumber I was using came in slightly different widths) and pre-stained them before attaching them to the planter the same way.

nailing slats to planter using a brad nailer.

9. Last step was to add my DIY modern slat wood planter with my new fancy plants, and after one weekend of work, I was done!

modern slat wood outdoor planter in front of shed workshop

It’s seriously amazing what a set of planters can do for an outdoor space! My shed-shop is starting to look a lot less “shed” and a lot more “shop”! 

modern outdoor planters in front of shed workshop

See, friends? DIY projects don’t have to be complicated to be beautiful! I’m seriously so stoked to get serious about finishing up this shed-shop makeover now!

Want to save this project for later? Make sure to Pin It!

Pin to pin to Pinterest How To Make Modern Slat Wood Planters With 3 Tools

More outdoor planters

Sam Raimondi

Sam is a full time psychologist and part time content creator from Long Island, New York.




  • Nate Lockett

    Hi, great tutorial, going to try to make 3 of these but have them shorter and wider. What’s the length in ft of the 1×2 and 2×2’s?

  • Joe

    Same question as above. What is the total length of the 2×2’s and 1×2’s?

  • Ron Baker

    hello great planters, I was wanting to know the spacer width between the slats

    thanks for the ideas great work.

    • Christine

      I was wanting to know the spacer width between the slats?

  • Stefan

    Thank you for posting this great idea, and the instructions! I just finished building one today (still waiting for the stain to dry before I do the last bit of assembly! I imagine the next one will go a bit faster – definitely planning on making more before summer!

  • Lin

    Plastic plant liners. Where can we find custom sizes?

  • Lin

    I’m in love with this style Japanese inspired theme!

  • Donna DiBiase

    Made this one over the weekend. Changed the height and width. Messed up a bit because I didn’t take into account the additional length needed once the front and back were added. Working on two matching to Sam’s specs but shorter in height. I’ll post when I am done.

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