Easy Wood Shim Planters

4 Materials
20 Minutes

These little planters are very easy to make. A few cuts, a small package of cedar shims and you're on your way.

They come together very quickly and look beautiful on a window sill.
easy wood shim planters
  • 1 (1x3)
  • 1 (1x6)
  • Wood Glue
  • One small pack of cedar shims (mine had 20 small 8 inch shims)
  • The stain of your choice -  I used Minwax Early American
  • 1-inch Finishing Nails

Cut List
  • Two 20-inch (6-inch x 1-inch board)
  • One 20-inch (4-inch x 1-inch board)
  • Two 4 1/4-inch (4-inch x 1-inch board)
  • Cedar shims cut 2 1/4 inch lengths
easy wood shim planters
Our firsts step is to attach the two small 4 1/4 inch (4x1) pieces to the 20-inch(4x1) base piece. 

Use a bead of wood glue and add a few small 1-inch finishing nails.  I used the brad nailer and air compressor, but a simple hammer would work here as well. 
easy wood shim planters
Once we have our two sides attached it's time to add the front and back pieces.

Add a good bead of glue along the front and side pieces and lay the 20-inch (6x1) board across the front.  Add a few finishing nails along the sides and bottom to hold your pieces in place.

Repeat this process for the back as well.
easy wood shim planters
Add your first layer of shims over the face of the box.   You are just placing them on the board to fill the front face.  If there is a small gap between the top layer and bottom layer that is not important, ignore it.  That gap gets filled when we lay the next layer.

You need to match the tops and bottoms of your shims to the edges of your wooden planter.

Align your shims on the front face of your planter so that they are all different size thickness, don't match them up.  Lay them out so that they are well mixed up.

Once you have a pattern that you like, go ahead and lay a heavy bead or two or wood glue under each row and place the shims back in place.
easy wood shim planters
The next step is to add the center row of cedar shims to the front of your wooden planter.  

Once you have the pattern set to the way you like it, go ahead and lay down a bead of glue along the center and put your middle row of shims in place.  You want to mix up the heights here, add some low, and some high to add a pattern and texture to your wooden planter.

Because the shims are different thickness, you're going to find that they have difficulty fitting flat. Don't worry about that, just add more glue to the area where the shim will lay flat.  This adds a bit of dimension, and that's what we want.
easy wood shim planters
Stain them, paint them, or even leave them bare. They look cute on a window sill or even as a table centerpiece!
Any price and availability information displayed on [relevant Amazon Site(s), as applicable] at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.
Hometalk may collect a small share of sales from the links on this page. More info
Laura Kennedy

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

Join the conversation

12 of 12 comments
  • Jim
    on Apr 2, 2018

    paint stirs are cheaper and more consistent in size !!

  • Maura
    on Sep 11, 2018

    Looks great! I saw a house number background with little flower box and think now that I have seen this shims is what they used. It was so cute. Keep it up

Your comment...