How to Build Handrail Planters for Your Pergola
Planter boxes are a great way to spruce up a small garden with some plants and flowers. If you have a pergola and your backyard is not so big, utilising handrail space is an ingenious idea that will add to the aesthetic appeal of your garden area. If you catch the gardening bug and decide to install a number of planters, it can get quite costly. The good news is, however, that you can actually build your own custom planters, giving you a good weekend activity and the added benefit of saving some money in the process.
There are a few different styles of planters and different methods of building them, so pick one that suits you and your garden the best. Here are three DIY handrail planter projects that you can try on your pergola or deck.
Hanging pot handrail planter
This is a simple planter that effectively converts a plank into a holder for potted plants.
- Source a plank that is roughly 30 cm wide and at least 2 cm thick. The wood should be pre-treated
- To determine spacing, place your plant pots or buckets on the plank, equidistant from one another. Mark the spacing on the plank for reference and then trace around the top of each pot
- After removing the pots, draw another slightly smaller circle inside. This will ensure that the hole is slightly smaller than the top of the pot, creating a more secure fit
- Now cut the holes out. The best way to start is by using a drill to create a small hole in the centre which you can jigsaw around. The plank will be mounted using wooden brackets that you can drill into the handrail
- The final step is to screw the plank onto the brackets, and there you have it! Your hanging pot handrail planter.
This version of the handrail planter is effectively a rectangular box designed to hold the plants itself. Six planks are required to create the box, one of which will provide a stable reference inside the box to ensure the planks are nailed together properly.
- Using a nail gun, assemble an open box using five planks. Adding a different wooden trim to three of the sides will create a more elegant look
- Sand the entire surface of the box and paint to your desired colour
- Drainage is important for planter boxes, but this is a simple matter of drilling some holes into the bottom of the box
- Wooden brackets can be nailed to the handrail, and the boxes then nailed onto these to secure them to the pergola or deck.
Wooden pallet handrail planter box
A creative way to make a planter box is to find a heat treated pallet and remove the wooden planks. It’s important to watch out for nails and splinters when doing this!
- Select the straightest planks of wood and nail them together to create an open box. This will be a narrow planter box due to the width of the planks, but this is part of the charm
- When nailing the planks together, try to nail the side planks at a slight angle. This will allow a wider opening of the planter, making it easier to install and water plants. A good way to do this is to cut some small angular pieces to act as guides
- Paint your box in your desired colour
- Create or purchase some metal brackets to hang over the handrail. These can be screwed into the exterior of the box then hung directly over the handrail before screwing in again for support.
These simple handrail planter boxes can be attempted by almost anyone. Be sure to exercise caution when handling materials and using power tools. The result is sure to be as rewarding and fun as it is aesthetically pleasing.