DIY Large Planters for Outdoors: Ideas and Guides

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Crafting DIY large planters for outdoors is as broad a topic as it can get.

You can use almost any material, as long as it can contain the soil for your plants and drain excess water or moisture.

The good thing about bigger plant containers is that you can add greenery and blossoms of all sizes to your exterior hardscapes.

Nevertheless, building something unique from scratch can be somewhat complicated depending on the choice of materials and methods.

That said, we’re here to discuss some ideas and a few guides to keep this project simple.

DIY Large Planter Ideas

There are endless possibilities when creating something with your own hands using recycled, upcycled, and store-bought materials.

It is up to you to get your headgears rolling until you develop an idea for a piece that is both decorative and functional.

To help you get things started, here are a few DIY ideas for crafting large plant containers.

Concrete Planters

Like clay, a ready-mixed concrete can take any form, and you can cast it into any shape you desire before it hardens.

However, it is much more durable than clay, and it does not require as much heat to stabilize and dry.

The problem with working ready-mixed concrete is the necessity of concrete molds or manually assembled formworks.

Furthermore, it is also much easier to work the mix with a portable electric concrete power mixer.

If you want to make your concrete end-product more durable, you might also want to add anti-crack concrete fibers while you’re at it.

Masonry Planters

For a project that requires extra-large planters that are stationary, old firebricks and similar masonry materials may be the simplest way to go.

Bricks are versatile and easy to handle, and you can use them to build straight or curved-edged planters.

Because of this property, bricks are an excellent choice for expansive rows of shrubbery around structures and along driveways.

Wooden Plant Boxes

Compared to forming concrete and doing masonry tasks, assembling wooden planters is a whole lot easier.

You can use reclaimed weathered wood planks as your primary material, and all you need from your tool shed is a hammer and some nails.

Of course, you will also need a saw to cut the planks down to the desired size.

If you have wooden pallets to break down, you can use the pieces to craft any wooden outdoor furniture, including planters.

If your goal is to keep the planters lightweight, you’ll do better by sticking with wood and avoiding concrete altogether.

samples of diy large planters for outdoors

Recycled and Upcycled Containers

For every DIY project, using recycled materials is the most economical practice.

If you have unused items that can serve as planting soil containers, you can very well convert them into large outdoor planters.

Examples include worn-out car tires, wooden crates, metal drums, plastic barrels, garbage bins, bathroom ceramics, and children’s plastic toys.

If you do not have these items lying around, you can always upcycle a new one by decorating it.

In some cases, you will need these large containers for larger plants. For instance, only a 55-gallon plastic barrel can last a lifetime to hold a small tree.

Since a bulky blue plastic container will not be attractive in the garden, you will want to cover it with something like paint.

DIY Large Planters for Outdoors in 10 Easy Steps

Now that you know you can use almost anything to create planters, it would be better to plan things out before you begin.

Use the following procedure to try out your skills and realize your ideas for an eye-catching garden patch in your backyard.

Step 1: Collect Your Materials

Here is where you gather your supplies, tools, and equipment for building your DIY planters.

Furthermore, remember to have safety gear on, especially when using hazardous materials and power tools.

Your choice of materials is as important and maybe interchangeable with the next two guides—choosing a spot and your plants.

You might have come up with the idea of building a large outdoor planter by just staring at a dead space outside your home.

On the flip side, you might have seen a plant that you want to put somewhere around your house.

Nevertheless, it is essential to take note of the area’s proximity to other objects so that you can come up with a cohesive result.

Step 2: Choose a Spot

On the other hand, you might have come across an unused plastic container that may very well serve as a large planter.

With that container in mind, you now need to look for the perfect spot, which will be the final home for your new plants.

Step 3: Choose Your Plants

If you begin with a choice of plants, you can easily size your planters and choose where to put them.

A preselected spot or planter size can limit which plants you can put into your containers.

Step 4: Start Building

Recycling projects that use an existing container don’t even require crafting or building anything at all.

If you’re in that exact situation, you can proceed to the next steps.

However, if you’re building something from scratch, you’ll make things easier by making sketches with your desired dimensions.

Whichever raw material you plan to use, you can ensure precision by using a tape measure.

Use this tool to mark and cut your concrete formworks or wood planks to size.

Step 5: Ensure Durability

Bear in mind that enormous containers can hold large amounts of planting soil, making an entire planting setup heavier.

Unlike round metal or plastic barrels, some plastic containers tend to bend or break when filled with heavy loads.

You can add metal or wooden frames to support your planters to ensure durability.

Step 6: Ensure Drainage

Aside from the durability of your planters, having holes at the bottom is also critical.

These holes allow excess water in the soil to drain freely so that your plants’ roots always have access to adequate air.

While different plants have varying drainage requirements, only a few terrestrial species can tolerate soaking or staying underwater.

Use a power drill to poke or drill holes on the bottom of the container.

Depending on the material of your container, you can choose from a variety of drill bits.

Step 7: Stylize and Decorate

Adding plants to an area will liven up the space, but upcycling your planters can add an attractive flair.

You can decide whether to blend the planters into the space by mimicking surrounding design elements, or you can turn it into an accent piece.

If you choose to use paint, you should know that there are varying types for different materials and desired outcomes.

For example, wooden planters last longer when painted using oil-based paints.

Step 8: Add Some Fillers

You do not need to fill your large planters with soil from the bottom.

Since many plants can thrive in shallow soil, you can add pebbles or stone fillers as bottom layers for improved drainage.

On another note, if you plan to move your planters around often, you can benefit from making the entire planting setup lightweight.

Instead of using pebbles and rocks as filler, line the bottom with empty PET bottles before adding the soil.

Step 9: Put in the Planting Soil

For starters, use an all-purpose potting soil that contains a balanced mix of vermiculite, perlite, sphagnum peat moss, and garden lime.

However, plants grown from seeds might require an entirely different soil mix.

Step 10: Begin Planting

As soon as you’re satisfied with how your planter came out and your choice of potting soil, you can begin planting.

DIY Outdoor Planters

Creating DIY large planters for outdoors should be easy if you follow these procedures.

You can use any material if you have the tools and know-how to get the job done.

While you can purchase all the raw materials for your project, you can avoid spending too much by recycling unused containers.

If you’re not up to the task of crafting large outdoor planters, you might want to start with smaller-scale outdoor plant stands.

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