How to Make a Whiskey Barrel Planter

5 Materials
4 Hours

I found a picture on Pinterest that I loved as a garden inspiration project. It was fun and whimsical and just the “perk up” that my yard needed. And it had birdhouses, which I love! I used to visit a group board on Pinterest called Grace and Whimsy Guest Gardening Board and it always made me happy. This

project proved a bit more difficult than I had anticipated. This was mainly because I wanted everything to be removable so that I can change the decor and flowers easily with the seasons. I have some red, white and blue birdhouses to swap out for the Fourth of July. In the fall, I plan to fill it with pumpkins. I have some fun Halloween repurposed wine bottles to put on top instead of the birdhouses, too. What are seasonal decor ideas that you would incorporate into this planter?

I went to Home Depot and bought a whiskey barrel planter and a 4 by 4 post. While I was there I also visited the cull pile and picked up some boards for next to nothing. It is a good place to check out if you go.

I cut the 4 by 4 post into 3 staggered pieces. I used 2 1/2 ft , 2 ft and 1 1/2 ft as my measurements. I set them in place to play around with positioning.

I attempted to build birdhouses and failed miserably so I bought some at Tuesday Morning.

I positioned my flowers and determined that I needed to add a base to make my posts taller. You could also buy a longer 4 by 4 or two 4 by 4’s but I thought it might be easy to boost these up to the right height.

I used a piece of scrap plywood to build a base.

I cut a square piece and then took off the corners so it would sit on top of the pieces of wood that were in the barrel.

The front of my planter rests on the top of the whiskey barrel and I used a fence board to hold the back of the planter.

I painted the posts with black fence paint.

I put it together but felt like something wasn’t quite right. I posted a question in the Question and Answer section of Hometalk and asked for opinions on the birdhouse colors. After hearing everyone’s answers, I decided to repaint parts of them. The project was becoming really complicated so I didn’t paint them as much as I would like to.

I used a bright blue on all of them to tie them together.

I spray painted some spindles from Habitat for Humanity fun colors.

I put each of the birdhouses on new base. These would allow me to attach and remove them easily from the posts.

I replaced the dowel perches with quirky perches. Repurposing handles and knobs make fun little perches and also add some additional character to the birdhouses.

Surprisingly, super glue works great to attach the perches.

The spindles are just soooo pretty. I think they are one of my favorite parts. They look beach and all about summer to me.

I added a top to each of the posts.

I have lots of pictures of the assembly process so if you have a question, just ask. I probably have a picture explaining it. I put our house number on the planter but because of the metal band and the curve, it didn’t turn out well and I am going to rework them. Originally, I was going to put the house numbers down the middle spindle. Which do you think would be better? Middle post/spindle or planter?

All done!

Because of the metal bands and the curve of the barrel, the address numbers didn’t work great but I am problem solving that tomorrow.

It is so colorful, it makes me happy! 😊

And everything is removable and easily changeable.

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Frequently asked questions

Have a question about this project?

  10 questions
  • Leslie Leslie on Jun 08, 2020

    This is an adorable idea and I thank you for sharing. I have reread your post a few times and you did not describe how you kept the posts upright and secure. Did you bolt them thru the bottom and the side of the barrel? Are they on the outside of the barrel? Couldn't tell. The idea to attach the spindles to the front was a good one and tied the posts with the bird houses together. Leave the numbers where they are they look good. To me it is easier to read them in the position they are rather than up and down. Thank yo for taking the time to answer.

    • Stacy Davis Stacy Davis on Jun 08, 2020

      I don’t know how I forgot to describe that. I stacked some heavy 1 by 12 pieces of wood in the bottom. I attached scrap pieces to the bottom of each post. Then I screwed them into the 1 by 12 pieces of wood. When I want to swap them out, I can unscrew them and remove them easily. Thank you for your kind comments! 😊

    • Leslie Leslie on Jun 08, 2020

      Thank you for answering.

    • Stacy Davis Stacy Davis on Jun 08, 2020

      You’re welcome! 😉

  • Lottie Lottie on Jun 08, 2020

    Did you use outdoor paint or seal them with what ? Love it🤗😊

  • Are the birdhouses attached to the base on top of the 4x4’s? I love this and think it’s darling and will try my best to do one! Thanks so much for sharing your creativity!

    • Stacy Davis Stacy Davis on Jun 08, 2020

      Yes, using a short screw, you can come up from the under side and it won’t show on top. That is why I added a base to the top of the 4 by 4 and bases to the birdhouses. I wanted a way to unscrew them and swap them out for something different.

  • Myra McDermed Myra McDermed on Jun 08, 2020

    How did you fasten the posts the birdhouses sit on to the planter barrel?

  • Ivor Campbell Ivor Campbell on Jun 08, 2020

    How did you attach the posts to the base to stabilise them

    • Stacy Davis Stacy Davis on Jun 08, 2020

      First, I attached a base piece to each post similar to what I attached to the top. I filled the planter with scrapwood and the top two pieces were heavy 1by 12 inch boards. I screwed the base down into the 1 by 12 board.

  • Jane Hurl Jane Hurl on Jun 08, 2020

    Just out of curiosity ... do any birds move in?

    • Stacy Davis Stacy Davis on Jun 08, 2020

      It’s only been up a few weeks and no. I really think it is just for decoration in our case. I have a cat that hangs around a lot and keeps most birds away.

  • Lollie Lollie on Jun 08, 2020

    What size is the Whiskey Barrel?? I like the numbers on the Barrel, I do not like the band/

    Great project! Thanks for sharing.


  • Connie Connie on Jun 08, 2020

    Still not sure how you plan to remove the birdhouses for a different theme. Isn’t the base under dirt? Great job. Love the idea. I have an empty barrel and might do this. Color the house numbers.

    • Stacy Davis Stacy Davis on Jun 09, 2020

      My flowers are in plastic planters setting inside. When I swap everything out for 4th of July decor, I’ll make a video of swapping everything out. I think that will answer a lot of questions.

    • K Scott K Scott on Jun 15, 2020

      I agree, problem is not where the numbers are, placement is perfect! It's the color of the numbers that is "wrong"

    • Sandy Lindquist Sandy Lindquist on Jun 09, 2021

      I think it is perfect in every way and so very creative and fun!! People like you make my mind start to work and I love that and thank you for the time you took to post this awesome idea!!

  • Sharon Sharon on Jun 09, 2020

    Absolutely it!!

  • Donna Makowski Donna Makowski on Jun 17, 2020

    Really cute!!!!!

    Maybe I missed it but - did you attach the bottoms of the 4x4 pieces to the plywood?

    • Stacy Davis Stacy Davis on Jun 18, 2020

      I hope this picture helps. You can’t see it but those plywood bases are attached to the 4 by 4 from the underside with screws.

    • Elizabeth Elizabeth on Jun 23, 2020

      Very Nice! I like the numbers on the barrel.


Join the conversation

2 of 71 comments
  • Marlene Marlene on Jun 09, 2021


    I think you should paint the numbers the same color as your house then put them on your spindle...... if you don't like them up there at least paint them cause they are kinda hard to see...... just a thought 😊

  • Ellis Ellis on Jun 13, 2021

    This is really cute, what an inspired idea!