Planter boxes for a staircase


These planter boxes are just one small DIY step as we’ve begun taking on some much-needed landscaping projects around our house. One of our biggest goals is to eliminate high maintenance plants and transition to more native plants and ones that require much less care. Out the front door of our house, along the driveway is a stretch of ground that previously had two overgrown trees and a mix of ground cover and seasonal flowers that all seemed to compete for growing rights.

I cut down the trees and we dug up all the plants that were there and will be planting low-maintenance succulents that grow very well in our environments,  plus they are drought and deer resistant. This week, we also thought it would be nice to spruce up the stairway by adding some succulents in planter boxes. I made six of these using pine boards from The Home Depot.  They aren’t fancy: the point is to showcase the plants!

staircase planter boxes

Plan it!

I like to draw up plans for even the simplest projects. There is not a lot to making these planter boxes, but planning ahead of time and knowing all the sizes of the boards I need to cut, makes the entire building process much smoother and more efficient. (You can download my planter box plans here.)

I began by ripping the boards to their final widths. This is one of the rare projects that I feel pretty confident cutting all of the pieces at once.


Batching up cuts

As with any batch project, organization is very important. Since there will be two types of boxes and three of each, I made sure to label all the boards after cutting them. Again, this saves time trying to figure out which boards go where and having to double check.


Since the three angled boxes are a bit more difficult, I cut all their boards to length first. The fronts and back are angled at 30 degrees.



And I beveled the ends of the side boards and the bottom boards at 30 degrees.


I assembled the boxes with glue and screws, leaving a gap between the bottom boards to allow for drainage.






The boxes at the top of the staircase are easy since there are no angled cuts.


I painted the boxes with the same solid deck stain used for the stairs.


And planted the succulents.


Finally, I screwed the planter boxes onto the rails using lag screws.





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