Guys! This project truly is one of those ones where two worlds collide: my love of plants & DIY!
This DIY rattan style planter box was born out of not being able to find a planter box without an exorbitant price tag, and my growing fondness of using unexpected items for a rattan effect. You can see more of my rattan style projects like this upcycled lamp and this bamboo stake table lamp.
You may (or may not) have noticed the the material giving this planter box its ‘rattan’ look IS in fact, a piece of matchstick blind! Surprise!
Matchstick blinds go for relatively cheap (the small sized one for this project cost me $18) and there was lots left over to satisfy my wandering mind with lots of other rattan projects too.
This project was surprisingly easier than I thought, and with an afternoon you can create your own rattan style planter box too! Read on for the tutorial or drop a comment if you have further questions.
A few notes on the below tutorial:
The below tutorial is based off the measurements I used for my planter box, but you can adjust them to a size that suits your needs. I designed the rattan planter box to be able to fit (and cover) at least 3 normal-sized nursery pots, and to sit at a height just at my window ledge to maximise light for the plants!
If you have a particular spot, window or plants in mind for the rattan planter box, you can adjust the below measurements to suit them.
Cutting the timber
The first step is to cut all the timber to size. If you don’t have power tools, you can use cutting services at places like Bunnings, or even use a handsaw (the pine timber is quite easy to cut!)
Cut a rectangle of MDF board that is 21cm x 58cm. This will become the base of the planter box. From the wider pieces of pine timber, cut four lengths at 60cm. These wider pieces will become the legs of the planter box.
We’ll be using the smaller width timber as the trim around four edges of the box, top and bottom. You’ll need four pieces that are 21cm and four pieces that are 53cm.
Building the Frame
To start the frame, nail (or screw) and glue the two shorter ends onto the rectangle. Next, carefully measure where to position the longer lengths on the longer sides of the planter box. The gap at the end will be where the legs are positioned, so that they will sit flush with the trim pieces. Nail & glue the two longer pieces on the longer sides of the base as pictured.
Next, position the four legs on each corner and glue & nail them in one at a time. Keep in mind where you position them will give you the height of the box itself. I positioned mine so that the box part was about 22cm tall so that any pots sitting inside the planter box wouldn’t be visible.
Once the legs are on, it’s time to add the trim around the top of the box. start by nailing & gluing the shorter pieces on each end.
For the longer pieces, you may find it tricky to nail them on depending on the size of your nails and width of the timber. To overcome this and still give a neat finish, I used some small pieces of timber as backing that nailed into the top of the legs and trim, to hold them in place (see pictures).
Your planter box frame is complete!
Preparing the Frame
Now is a good time to sand & paint the frame of your planter box. I used a primer before giving it a top coat. The primer will help protect the wood from any moisture from the plants, especially on the base of the box where plants might sit.
Adding the ‘Rattan’ Matchstick Blind
Here comes the fun part where your rattan planter box will start to come together!
Measure the height of the planter box from the inside. Mine was 21.5cm. Unravel your matchstick blind. Before cutting, I found it helpful to line up one edge of the blind along a piece of timber (or a wall would work too) so that it was even.
Mark along the blind the width you measured on the box and then use pruning scissors to cut the strip of blind. If you made your planter box the same size as mine, you should have enough to cover the whole planter in one length. However, if your planter box is larger you may need to cut a couple of lengths of the matchstick blind.
When you cut the blind off at the top horizontally, you will realise it will start to unravel. Simply remove a few of the matchstick pieces and tie off the cord at the end to stop it unraveling.
Lay your planter box on its side and position the matchstick blind around the inside, using upholstery tacks to fix it to the trim of the box. If you stretch out the blind it will give a more open look, however I aimed to keep the blind closer together.
Once you’ve tacked the blind to the inside, your planter box is complete! Fill it with plants to your heart’s desire.
Using & Maintaining the Rattan Planter Box
You may have realised that this is a decorative planter box, and NOT one to be filled up with dirt! Instead, place potted plants inside the box. I find this a better approach as you can mix up the look of the planter easily, as well as keeping it relatively lightweight.
Keep in mind that if timber comes into consistent contact with water, it may begin to warp and eventually rot. The paint & primer will definitely help protect it, however if you are planning on using the planter box outdoors I’d suggest using a lacquer finish for extra protection.
- It’s best to remove plants from the box when watering, to avoid excess water or moisture buildup inside the box.
- Another option is to line the base with some plastic sheeting to keep it free from damage.
- You can use plants in their plastic nursery pot to keep the rattan planter box lightweight.
- The matchstick ‘rattan’ can be a little fragile, so protect your new planter box from getting knocked around if possible!
I hope you love this DIY as much as I do!! You can also find video tutorials and more details over on Instagram.