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

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.

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