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Planter with micro herbs sitting on floating wall shelf.

Overview

Build your own herb planter using timber dowel. Bring lush, natural textures into your kitchen to not only spruce up your design but also provide a neat place to store your fresh herbs.

Steps

1Measure up

Measure then use a mitre saw to cut the 90mm DAR Tasmanian oak into three 300mm pieces for the box base and sides, and two 114mm ends. Cut the edging into four 340mm sides and four 90mm ends. Use a clamp to set up a stopper on the mitre saw to cut the 8mm dowel into 110 pieces, each 120mm in length.

Timber in various sizes and shapes sitting on benchtop.

2Apply adhesive

To make the box, apply adhesive along the sides to butt them against the base then apply adhesive around the ends to position them against the box assembly. Use masking tape to hold the joints while the adhesive dries, tapping in nails to secure the ends and sides.
Timber planter box with tape on the sides.

3Make the base

To make the base, position edging under the box to fit over the 12mm sides and ends to protrude by 8mm. Apply timber adhesive and tap in nails at least 40mm from the ends to avoid splitting the timber.
Person hitting nail into piece of edging so that it joins with planter base.

4Clad the box

To clad the box, apply adhesive liberally over one side. Position the first dowel flush with the edge and then add dowel to cover the side, stretching masking tape over the side to hold the dowel as it dries. Clad the next side, applying adhesive, positioning the dowel and holding with another length of tape.
Timber with glue on it, where dowels will be placed.

5Position edging around the top

For capping, position the edging around the top of the dowel. Apply adhesive and tap in nails 40mm from the ends to avoid splitting the timber, checking the nails go into the dowel. Inside, run a bead of adhesive around the top of the box and the dowel cladding. 
Person hitting nail into piece of edging so that it joins with planter base.

6Round-over corners

Use 180-grit abrasive paper with a sanding block to round-over the corners of the edging, then fold the paper to sand the cladding, removing any breakout, splinters and excess adhesive.
Timber dowels on side of herb planter.

7Waterproof the inside

Waterproof inside the box by liberally applying a coat of bitumen rubber with a brush, ensuring there are no gaps or bubbles. Leave to dry then apply a second coat. When dry, use the abrasive paper to sand off any spills of the bitumen rubber.

 
Person painting inside of herb planter with black paint.

8Apply the varnish

Holding the aerosol varnish can 20cm from the planter, apply at least two coats of varnish on the sides, base and top; leave to dry between coats.

Tip: wear a mask and make sure the area is ventilated when working with airborne materials like spray paint.

9Ready to use

Now you've got a herb planter fit for your fresh herbs!

Tip: The dowel cladding is higher than the side to allow for the wider lips of 95mm herb pots. Squeeze the edges of the pots together slightly to position them in the planter.

Planter with micro herbs sitting on floating wall shelf.

Suggested products

More D.I.Y. Advice

Health & Safety

Asbestos, lead-based paints and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber are health hazards you need to look out for when renovating older homes. These substances can easily be disturbed when renovating and exposure to them can cause a range of life-threatening diseases and conditions including cancer. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page.

When following our advice in our D.I.Y. videos, make sure you use all equipment, including PPE, safely by following the manufacturer’s instructions. Check that the equipment is suitable for the task and that PPE fits properly. If you are unsure, hire an expert to do the job or talk to a Bunnings Team Member.