Raised Bed Planter From Old Picket Fence Panels

6 Materials
4 Hours

Looking for a way to repurpose those old picket fence panels? A DIY raised planter bed is a a great way to upcycle them!

Maybe you've taken down an old fence or scored a lot of free wood on a swap site. Either way, this well weathered wood is the perfect way to reduce waste and reuse the wood for a raised planter bed.

A few years ago my parents took down an old fence, and knowing my project hoarding tendencies they gifted them to me for something creative.

One of the things we were in need of this year was a raised planter bed for a small square foot garden so I got to work.

Depending on how much you choose to reuse, I've found the easiest way for me to disassemble the panels was with a crow bar, hammer and good old muscle. Grab a pair of gloves and get to work!

Assemble the Frame

Once I had everything broken down, I used the the back horizontal support pieces and some scrap 4 x 4 to build the the basic framework. The horizontal pieces were screwed into the 4 x 4 using my Kreg Jig and pocket hole joinery.

I used a piece of scrap wood as a spacer along the top to keep everything the same height around the box.

I knew I wanted to bury my 4 x 4 posts in the ground, so I left this spacing at the bottom.

Cut down the pickets

Once the basic framework was laid out, I cut down all of my fence pickets to the same height using a miter saw.

You can make a quick work of this by setting up a stop to cut them all at the same length.

Nail in the pickets

Using my Ryboi cordless nail gun, I nailed the pickets to the backside of the framework.

I covered the entire length.

When it was done, this was the view from the front facing side. I love the patina of the old wood!

Repeat for all 4 sides

I repeated the process for all 4 sides. My longer sides were 8 feet and my shorter sides were 4 feet.

Once all the sides were completed I joined the 4 corners together.

You can see here that some of the old nails were left in the wood. I just hammered them down for safety since they will be buried under soil eventually.

You can see one of our chickens checking out the final product. Our leghorns are the most curious of our hens! icon

We dug four holes even spaced to place the 4 x 4 corner posts, and backfilled well with dirt.

And there you have it! A MASSIVE 4 x 8 garden bed completely free thanks to some leftover picket fence panels.

And again, more curious chickens.

This wood also makes gorgeous smaller planter boxes. If you check out this post, you can see an image of a DIY deck I made out of the rest of the panels for my daughter's playhouse!

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Jessica | The Martin Nest
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
Frequently asked questions
Have a question about this project?
3 of 5 questions
  • Lauraleedaydreams Lauraleedaydreams on May 31, 2020

    What a neat project. I would like to purchase a lightweight nail gun without spending too much on it. Can you tell me about your nail gun and possibly make a recommendation on what I should purchase. Thank you so much.

  • Peggy Peggy on Jun 04, 2020

    Is this treated wood or did I miss something? If I did I apologize. I learned we can use this wood. For those of us who are beginners.

  • Ran99277135 Ran99277135 on Feb 16, 2024

    I want to do this project with a fence I am taking down. One issue: the fence is painted white. Any suggestions? I am worried about paint toxins seeping into my food.

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2 of 36 comments
  • Leslie Leslie on Jun 25, 2021

    Love the chickens lol.

  • Henry  Reed Henry Reed on Aug 16, 2023

    Absolutely love the innovative approach to reusing old picket fence panels for a raised bed planter! Sustainability meets gardening - it's a win-win. For those who are also interested in sustainable and entertaining online activities, I've found https://payid-casinos.com to be a great resource for eco-friendly online gaming. Let's merge our love for the environment with various aspects of our lives!