8 creative ways to upcycle a wooden crate into a planter box

The simple structure of a wooden crate offers a multitude of DIY projects that won't break the budget.

Available in many sizes, the sturdy design of a wooden crate lends itself to be a strong base for many upcycling projects, including chic planter boxes. Whether you create a vertical planter for outdoors or some industrial hanging planters for your interiors, the flexible nature of this design can be upcycled to update any space. To get some inspiration, here are eight ways you can create your own planters out of wooden crates. 

#1 House number planter

Make a floral greeting that is sure to add wow factor to your home entrance.

What you’ll need: Potted flowers, wooden crate, hardwood, chrome stainless or brass numbers, wooden crate, hammer, nails.

Method: Attach the wooden crate to the hardwood backing. Allow the hardwood backing to sit about 40cm above the wooden crate to allow room to attach the house numbers.

Lay hardwood onto one of the sides of the crate and secure by hammering a few nails along the bottom where the rim of crate and end of hardwood piece meet.

Nail your house numbers to the top of the hardwood. Fill your new planter with colourful flowering shrubs such as: Grevillia, Pentas, Dianthus and Pansies.

Tip: Hardwood can be cut and measured to size at most hardware stores on request.

Image credit: brayspace_properties

#2 Colourful wall clock planter

This DIY project is a fun and colourful way to decorate a blank wall space and keep track of the time!

What you’ll need: Four small wooden crates, wall clock motor, acrylic paint, paint brushes, nails, hammer, measuring tape, wall mounting tape, craft numbers 12, 3, 6, 9, potted plants, (indoor plants such as hardy ferns, ‘Spider Plant’ and vines like ‘Chain of Hearts’ would be perfect for this project).

Method: Start by attaching your wall clock motor to the middle space of the wall where planters will be placed around. Most come with a sticky back for attaching or use wall mounting tape if not.

Use measuring tape to mark where the time places will be on the wall for twelve, three, six and nine o’clock. Hammer nails into wall at these points.

Paint the four wooden crates. Let your creative juices flow and decorate them with splashes of different colour or more detailed design work. You can also use a stencil found at most craft or hardware stores along with the craft numbers.

Allow to dry before hooking planter boxes over the wall nails. All is left is to put your potted plants into the crates and admire your handy work!


#3 Vertical succulent planter 

This DIY project is done using a pallet style wooden crate. They are perfect for making vertical wall planters as they are already made with little rows of wooden shelving.

What you’ll need: Wooden crate pallet, variety of succulents, potting mix, nail puller/remover, hammer.

Method: All that is needed for this project is the removal of some of the wooden pallet panelling. Remove every second wood pallet panel. This will allow room for your succulents to grow through and put on a vibrant display.

Once this is done it’s time to start planting your succulents. You will only need a handful of different succulent types to get started as time will allow for ‘pup’ succulents to grow from the original ones to fill out the space over time. Popular succulents to try in a variety of colours include; Sedum, Donkey Tail, Aeonium Kiwi, Crested Sunburst, Kalankhoe Flapjacks, Wax Agave, Jade.

Plant your succulents into the shelves of the crate pallet with a good succulent soil mix of potting soil, perlite and peat moss.

Image credit: succadelic

#4 Hanging planter box

These little hanging beauties are a great way to add some green to your home, as well as looking super cute! Hang these indoors near a window nook or under a deck balcony.

What you’ll need: Mini wooden crates, garden Jute twine or rope, planter hook, celling hook screw, potted plants.

Method: Decide how low you want your plant to hang and cut your first piece of twine/rope accordingly.

Loop your twine around one of the corners of your crate. Secure it well with a knot. Repeat this step to all four sides of your crate.

Put your potted plants into the crate. Try indoor plants such as; Monstera Deliciosa, Devil’s Ivy and Maidenhair Fern.

Gather the twine of all four sides, make a knot at the top around the planter hook. Once the celling hook screw is in place you are ready to hang your planter.

Here are four more ways to decorate and upcycle a wooden crate for indoor and outdoor gardens.

#5 Colourful shelving

Why not go the full colour spectrum using a handful of wooden crates to create shelving!

#6 Indoor herb garden

Plant a variety of herbs and use white chalk to label the outside of a wooden crate. This herb garden would be handy for a kitchen window sill.

#7 Stencilling

The addition of stencilling on the box gives it that professional touch. 

#8 Fruit box

Who needs a fruit basket when you can create a crafty fruit box using crate and chalkboard paint to label the front! 

Tip: For extra breathing room for the plants and flowers, drill holes into the bottom of the wooden crates.

See more DIY and craft ideas on Jenna's blog or her YouTube channel.

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