Recycled Wine Barrel Planter

June 6, 2011

I know this happens to you.  You see something in a catalog or online and you think to yourself, “I bet I could make that for less money” or “I think I could pull off a similar version, but give it my own twist”.   That’s just what happened when I spied the tiered recycled wine barrel planter in the Napa Style catalog for $299.

As I mentioned yesterday, wine barrels are readily accessible where I’m from, and we can find them for as little as $20 a half barrel.  (If you’re local, make a stop at Mission ACE on Highway 12, they’ll hook you up!)

After we scored a few half barrels last week from our favorite source, the mister and I decided to build our own rustic planter, and for much less than the Napa Style version.  Like, $274 dollars less.

kates tiered recycled wine barrel planter

Napa Style barrel planter, $299.

CG barrel planter, $25.

barrel side by side


Wine barrels make fantastic planters season after season, and this version is an interesting variation on the ordinary half barrel planter.  It makes a great conversation piece too, people are bound to ask “Where did you find that?”

My design is different than the NS version which has 4 tiers and 6 planting areas.  I reworked the raised triangles to create 6 tiers and 9 separate planting zones.

kate planter from side


I planted a variety of succulents and perennials, but you know this planter would also be great for growing strawberries!

kate recycled barrel tiered planter


If you can get your hands on a local seller of used wine barrels near you (or order one online from the link below), these are the basic steps for recreating this unique wine barrel planter.

How to Make a Tiered Recycled Wine Barrel Planter:

What You’ll Need:  Half wine barrel; 2 strips of wood ½” x 6” x approx. 26”; 7 strips of wood ½” x 4” x 10 – 12” (length varies with mitered corners), jig saw; compound miter saw; power screwdriver & drill bit for holes; measuring tape; wood screws; twine (optional).

Step One:  Divide the barrel into thirds with a measuring tape, then mark where you’ll cut the barrel to create the three main tiers.  I used twine to help me visualize how the barrel would look split into three levels before I drew my markings on the side of the barrel.

mark with twine


Step Two:  Measure the drop in the front tier where you’ll cut (12” down) and the second tier behind it (6” down) and mark areas to cut.

measure depth of cut


Step Three: Use a traditional blade on a jig saw to carefully cut through the wood staves.

cut with jig saw


For the metal band, you’ll need a special blade.  I found this set of metal blades at my local True Value Hardware store for $2.39.  Detach wood blade and attach metal blade for the sheet metal band cuts.

metal blade for jigsaw

Before you cut, double check the stability of your metal band on your barrel, since band stability varies from barrel to barrel depending on where it’s created.  The band on the barrel we used was stabilized by nails driven into the band every 6” during the fabrication (or cooperage) of the barrel, so even after the cuts were made, the metal band stayed intact.

Step Four: Once you’ve made your vertical cuts, measure the distance across the barrel (approx. 26”) and trim your wood to match the curvature of the barrel.  Attach your ½” x 6” x 26” board with wood screws as shown.

two layers


Step Five: Drill drainage holes in the bottom, two for each of the main tiers.  I forgot to take an actual pic, but you get the idea!

drill holes in bottom


To create the six tiers, I used salvaged wood from these pallets sitting in my side yard which worked perfectly and they were free!   The larger boards were used for the main tiers, and the smaller boards were used to form the triangle tiers.

pallets in yard


Step Six:  Once your main tiers are set (above), create the triangles with angled cuts on a compound miter saw.

cut wood for triangles


Attach your triangles together with wood screws, them secure them to the main three tiers with additional screws to form the raised triangle tiers.

cut tirangles


Fill your planter with soil (it holds 2 cubic feet) and add your favorite plants!

kate tiered barrel planter


flower collage


I chose succulents for the more shallow bottom tiers . . .

kates succulents in planter

Trailing ‘Bacopa’ for the center . . .

dahlias and succulents


And bright dahlias for the top tiers.

kates tiered recycled barrel planter

This planter is rustic and eclectic, and blends with the the style of our yard, plus it will make such a great conversation piece on our patio!

If you live near a winery, give them a call, or do some research and find out if and when barrels are for sale in your area.  If you want to purchase a barrel online, I tracked down a source on Amazon.  You can purchase a used Napa Valley wine barrel for $85 from Wine Barrel Creations* which will make two planters.

We’re lucky that we can get our hands on a half barrel for less than most folks, but if you do some research, or even purchase from the seller above, you can certainly create your own version of this rustic planter for your yard, and for much less than the Napa Style version, in just a few hours.  Nice.


True Value Blog Squad legalese:  “I was one of the bloggers selected by True Value to work on the DIY Squad. I have been compensated for my time commitment to the program as well as my writing about my experience.  I have also been compensated for the materials needed for my DIY project.   However, my opinions are entirely my own and I have not been paid to publish positive comments.”

*affiliate link


Pin It


89 Responses to “Recycled Wine Barrel Planter”

Leave a Reply