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A completed herb planter built from a recycled pallet, containing several herb plants, positioned on a deck outside

Overview

It always tastes better cooking with fresh herbs grown in your own garden. We’ll show you how to recycle an old wooden pallet into a rustic herb planter, perfect for growing herbs in any outdoor space.

Steps

1Dismantle the pallet

Make sure you get a pallet that has been heat treated so it will be safe for growing food. Use a pinch bar to lever the timber slats from the frame of the pallet. Use a hammer and pliers to remove any nails from the timber.

Planks of an old pallet being pried up by a Bunnings team member with a pry bar

2Cut the wood to size

Your herb planter can be any size you want. In this case, we had enough timber to make a top box, base box, legs, support posts and spacers. Before you cut the timber to size, use a tape measure, pencil and square to measure and mark it. Then use the drop saw to cut the timber to the following lengths:

Top box
90mm x 300mm (sides) x 2
90mm x 750mm (front & back) x 2
90mm x 750mm (base) x 3

Base box
145mm x 300mm (sides) x 2
145mm x 750mm (front & back) x 2
145mm x 750mm (base) x 2

Legs
90mm x 50mm x 300mm x 2

Support posts
90mm x 500mm x 2

Spacers
90mm x 150mm x 2 

A circular saw being used to cut planks free from an old pallet

3Assemble the framework

Put on your ear muffs and safety glasses. Line the timber up so that the edges are flush. Then use the nail gun to join the four pieces of timber to make the rectangular frame for the herb planter.

The frame of a herb planter being assembled by a Bunnings team member with a nail gun

4Put the base on the planter

Line up your base pieces on the frame, making sure you leave a gap between the timber so that the soil drains well. Then use the nail gun to attach the timber to the frame of the planter. 

The base of a planter box being put into place by a Bunnings team member

5Attach the feet

The feet are important because they elevate the planter, help with drainage and keep the base dry so it doesn't rot. The heavy rail from the pallet is perfect to use for the feet. Attach the feet to the base of the planter using the nail gun. 

Feet being attached to the bottom tier of a herb planter by a Bunnings team member

6Attach the end posts

Use the nail gun to fix the spacer to the end posts. Slide the end post onto each side of the planter, place the top box onto it and nail it into place. 

An upper tier of a herb planter being fitted into place by a Bunnings team member

7Line the planter

Line both the base of both herb planters with weed mat. Add the soil and plant your favourite herbs into your new herb planter.

A completed herb planter built from a recycled pallet, containing several herb plants, positioned on a deck outside

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Health & Safety

Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions that came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings Team Member.

Grave health hazards are linked to asbestos, which may be in homes built up to 1990. Health hazards may result from exposure to lead-based paints in older materials and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer. You can also use a simple test kit from Bunnings to indicate the presence of lead-based paint.