Recycled Fencing Flowerboxes

Redwood trees can grow for thousands of years, the least we can do is use their gift as efficiently as possible.

One particulary stormy winter I had an old redwood fence blown down. The posts and most of the bottom of the fence boards were rotted from being in contact with the ground.  This left me with an abdunance of redwood boards too short to reuse for fencing. Redwood has naturally ocuring chemicals that provide resistance to rot and decay and makes some damm fine flower box material.


  • (3) 8" Fence Boards (used) and workable length (24"-48" long)
  • (2) 8" ends 9"-14" high, dog eared fence tops look nice
  • (1 handful) Galvanized Deck Screws 1 1/2 - 2"
  • (2) 2"x4" footers 9" long


  • Saw
  • Tape Measure, pencil, straight edge 
  • Drill, 1" drill bit and driver bit (for deck screws) 


  • Select three used boards that do not have any major structrual defects, such as splitting, deep cracks, warping or excessuve cupping (curvature of the board along the grain - some warping and cupping is ok, the pull of the screws will straighten them out). Cut them to the same length. I like to use a speed square and a circular saw to make my cuts nice and square. Pick the prettiest two for the sides.

  • Attach the sides to the bottom with your deck screws. If you are using a hand held screw driver, you might want to drill a pilot hole in the side first. If you have a screwdriver bit for your drill, this isn't necessary. Evenly space the screws 8" to 10" apart along the bottom of the sides.

  • Cut the end pieces. Select some nice weathered fence tops for the ends of your flower box. I was lucky enought to have dog eared fence tops on some of my boards, so I cut my ends longer than the side boards to allow the tops to peeks out and remind me of the wood's former function. Cut them equal to or a little longer than the width of your side boards.

  • Put the end in flush with the side and bottom boards. Drive two screws through the side boards into the end piece. Be carefull with these screws for two reasons: The side boards can split easily because you're driveing thise screw very close to the end grain of the board, so drive the screw slowly home and do not over tighten. Secondly, if you drive this screw at an angle it can surface on the visable part of the end piece. You don't want that. It looks bad. If your screw comes out the inside of the box, your mistake will be covered in dirt.

  • Cut the feet. You will need two scraps of 2"x4" (or 4" by 4") the length of your board width (or a little longer if you want your feet flush with the side of the box like mine. A little shorter than the width of the box is preferable to longer. Place them under your nearly finished flower box and sink a few screws through the bottom from the inside of the box.

  • Drill the drainage holes. Take your 1" drill bit and drill drainage holes thru the bottom of your box, taking care not to drill into your feet (the box's or your own).

  • Fill with dirt and flowers. Admire lovingly.