As I mentioned in my last post, I was on a planter-building spree before Mother’s Day, building my DIY Farmhouse Planter and my DIY Multi-colored Planter, and then this project, my DIY Pet Memorial Planter, which is featured in today’s post. This planter was a Mother’s Day gift for my mother-in-law who had to put down her super-sweet and all-around awesome 15 year old Border Collie the week before. I wanted to give her something to remember him by and yet something that was also useful, so I decided on a planter along with some easy-to-care for succulents that she can enjoy and aren’t difficult to maintain.
DIY Pet Memorial Planter Supplies and Materials:
(affiliate links – I may receive a small commission if you purchase items through the links below, these earning help me to support this blog and provide free building plans).
DIY Pet Memorial Planter Wood List:
(I used construction grade redwood)
DIY Pet Memorial Planter Wood Cut List:
DIY Pet Memorial Planter Instructions
1.Cut the boards to make the planter bottom and front and back panels:
- Cut 6 2×4 boards to 15 1/2″ each
- Cut 3 2×6 boards to 15 1/2″ each
2. Cut the boards to make the planter right and left sides
- Cut 4 2×4 boards to 9 3/4″ in length each
- Cut 2 2×6 boards to 9 3/4″ in length each
- Cut 4 2×4 boards to 15″ in length each
3. Assemble the planter bottom panel:
- Drill three 1 1/2″ pocket holes into one side of one of the 15 1/2″ 2×6 boards
- Drill three 1 1/2″ pocket holes into one side of one of the 15 1/2″ 2×4 boards
- Attach one 15 1/2″ 2×4 on each side of the 15 1/2″ 2×6 board using wood glue and 2 1/2″ blue kote pocket hole screws
4. Assemble the planter right and left sides:
- Drill two pocket holes into each end of one side of the six 9 3/4″ 2×4 and 2×6 boards.
- Use wood glue and 2 1/2″ blue kote pocket hole screws to attach two 9 3/4″ 2×4 boards and one 9 3/4″ 2×6 board (the 2×6 should be sandwiched between the two 2×4 boards) to the 15″ 2×4 boards (one on each side of the 9 3/4″ boards, repeat this for the opposite side panel. The bottom 9 3/4″ 2×4 should be attached 2″ up from the bottom of the 15″ 2x4s.
5. Attach the bottom panel to one of the side panels using wood glue and 2 1/2″ exterior wood screws (predrill first through the bottom board of the side panel – see diagram of holes below). The bottom of the bottom panel should line up with the bottom of the 9 3/4″ side panel boards and should be centered between the two 15″ 2×4 legs.
6. Attach the front and back 15″ boards with wood glue and 2 1/2″ exterior wood screws drilled through the 15″ 2×4 legs. The bottom from and back boards will be a 15 1/2″ 2×4, with a 2×6 next, and then another 2×4 on top.
7. Attach the remaining side panel using wood glue and 2 1/2″ exterior wood screws (predrill first). Attach to the bottom and front and back panels using the same method used for the first side panel.
8. Fill all holes with wood filler and let dry.
9. Sand until smooth.
10. Print a photo of the pet and any wording in reverse. Make sure to print on regular printer paper on a laser jet printer (inkjet printer won’t work as the ink will run once it comes in contact with the Liquitex).
11. Apply Liquitex medium to the paper with the printed letters and photo, so the Liquitex is covering the ink for the words and picture. Then lay the wording and pictures face down onto the boards on the front panel of the planter, in the location of your choice. Use a plastic card to smooth over the paper to remove any bubble and to smooth the picture out onto the wood. Let dry completely for at least 24 hours.
12. Once the Liquitex i completely dry, lay a damp towel over the adhered paper and let sit for several minutes, until the paper feels damp.
13. Once the damp towel is removed, use your finger to gently begin rubbing away the paper. Continue this until the picture and all wording is familiarly revealed.
14. Stain or paint the sides, front and back, and bottom panels. I chose to stain the sides, front and back with Varathane Weathered Accelerator and then I painted the legs white.
15. Once the paint and stain have dried, coat the planter with three coats of exterior polyurethane.
16. Attach the 2×4 post caps to the top of each leg using wood glue.
16. Add dirt and your favorite plants and add to your porch, patio, or yard to bring a smile to your face when you exit your house as you are reminded of the happiness your furry friend brought you!
Hopefully this has given you an idea for an easy project you can do to celebrate your pet’s life once they are no longer with us. Do you have creative ideas for how to create a memorial for you furry loved ones? If so, I’d love to hear what they are!
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