Build a Barrel Planter from Recycled Materials

Repurpose a 55-gallon drum and leftover decking to create a rabbit-proof barrel planter that pairs perfectly with your deck.

| December 2016/January 2017


Spruce up your porch or deck with this attractive and inexpensive planter made from salvaged materials.

Photo by Seth and Cheryl Rundle

Our 8-by-22-foot deck looked a little plain, so we decided to build a planter. The soil box is made from a thick plastic soap barrel taken from the dumpster of a company that washes buses and trucks.


• 55-gallon plastic barrel
• Landscape fabric
• Assorted screws
• 4-by-4s
• Scrap 2-by-4s
• Three 3⁄8-by-6-inch lag screws
• Scrap decking material


1. Cut the plastic barrel in half with a reciprocating saw, and then cut one end from each half and slide them together, creating a 6-inch overlap.

2. To create adequate drainage, drill holes in the bottom of the barrel and cover each hole with landscape fabric.

3. Build a frame from six durable 4-by-4 posts, joined by two pieces of scrap decking between each of the posts. For the middle posts, use a 2-by-4 to support the middle of the soil box.

4. Attach the back three support posts to the deck using the lag screws.

Crowd at Seven Springs MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR


Sept. 15-17, 2017
Seven Springs, PA.

With more than 150 workshops, there is no shortage of informative demonstrations and lectures to educate and entertain you over the weekend.