Dresser Drawer Planter DIY

Well friends, it is still frigid and grey in Ohio, which should be expected of February.  I am attempting to alleviate my winter blahs with a few bright and cheery home decor projects that will be useful this spring when the sun finally makes its way back to the Midwest.

Today’s DIY project is more re-purposed patio decor rather than re-purposed interior styling.  When discussing our next major home project, the hubby and I instantly went to the patio.  I think we used our patio space more than any room in our home from May to mid-September.  We have been plotting and planning how to step up the decor and one thing I really want to incorporate are some fun planter boxes.  My plan is to fill one with mosquito repelling plants like lemongrass.  The second will be filled with herbs to use in cooking and mixing drinks– mint, basil, rosemary, etc.

If you haven’t looked into planter boxes recently they are expensive and rather boring in their styling.  Planter boxes also become incredibly heavy once filled with soil and plants, so I made a mental note that whatever I settled on needed to have wheels.  Much easier to move out of the sun or a rainstorm when it can be rolled!

When I start formulating a DIY idea, I often make a trip to our garage.  It’s full of all the random items I’ve picked up off the curb, and these dresser drawers in particular were calling my name.  Last fall I hauled a dresser off the curb, and while it has yet to be transformed, I know it’s final plan does not require two of the drawers.  They are just the right height and width to become a planter box!

Painting a bright color wasn’t enough excitement for me– I wanted bright color and pattern that would really pop.  Oilcloth is a fabric I haven’t worked with much, but have always loved.  It’s a retro laminated fabric and often comes in wild patterns.  Best of all, it is waterproof.  Perfect for outdoor projects!


Before I break down the steps of this super easy DIY, below is a list of all the supplies you will need.  I had almost all of the supplies I needed on hand, many of which were leftovers from previous projects.  I spent a total of $22 for the fabric, caster wheels, and the waterproof sealer.

Supplies List:

  • Dresser Drawer
  • 1/2 yard oil cloth (I found mine here)
  • Exterior based paint- it doesn’t require much! (I used Behr Marquee in Verdant Forest– it was leftover from when we painted the shutters for our home)
  • Paintbrush
  • 4 caster wheels (I used these from Lowe’s)
  • Modge Podge & paper towels
  • Drill and 3/4″ drill bit
  • Staple gun
  • Fabric scissors
  • Measuring tape
  • Sharpie
  • Upholstery tacks (not pictured)
  • Thompson’s Waterproof Sealer in a spray can

Steps to transforming your dresser drawer into a planter box:

Step 1:  Using your drill and a 3/4″ drill bit, drill several holes into the bottom of the drawer.  This will allow drainage and also prevent the water from standing and rotting the wood of your planter.  Be sure to get holes up near the corners where water will collect.  When drilling is complete, empty the sawdust and wipe down the entire drawer, removing any dust.  Let dry.


Step 2:  Paint the front portion of the drawer.  I gave mine two heavy coats, using an exterior paint.  The exterior paint will help in protecting the wood from rain and sun weathering.  Don’t worry about filling the holes where drawer pulls were.  These will be covered up with a fabric panel later on.  Give the paint a day to fully dry.painted

Step 3:  Attach the caster wheels.  Before securing, be sure the wheels have enough clearance to swivel a full 360 degrees, without getting stuck on the front drawer edge.  In this case, I placed my caster wheels 1/2″ down from drawer top and 1 1/2″ in from the drawer sides.wheelattach

This gives a better look at the drainage holes and all 4 wheels attached.allwheelattach

I like the smaller caster wheels, and the copper finish on these ties in nicely with the colors used on the planter.wheelfront

Step 4:  This is where the math comes in.  Remember, measure twice then think again.  Measure one more time, then you are ready to cut!

**When measuring the height of both side panels and back panel, ADD 2 1/2″ to the measured height.  This will allow enough fabric to fold inside and staple in place.**fabriccuts

Step 5:  Generously apply Modge Podge with a scrunched paper towel or sponge brush onto the drawer sides.  A sponge brush will hold up better, but to be honest I was being cheap and did not want to make another trip to the craft store.  The paper towels work just fine!


Be sure the bottom edge of fabric is lined up with the bottom edge of the drawer and press firmly in place.  There should be 2 1/2″ of fabric extending up past the top edge of the drawer.  Fold this extra fabric to the inside of the drawer and staple in place.  Remember this planter will be filled with soil and plants, so the stapes and fabric edge will not be visible.

Repeat the same steps for applying the fabric to back panel of the drawer.

Step 6:  Since I am planning to use this planter outside in the spring, I wanted to reinforce the Modge Podge, and ensure my fabric would stay in place.  Using small upholstery tacks, I hammered 4 tacks down the edges of the back drawer panel.  There are two layers of fabric here (side panel fabric is lapped underneath 1/2″) and the tacks will ensure all layers stay in place.

Corners are often the first place fabric starts to peel or roll, so I also placed a tack in each corner on the front drawer panel.

Step 7:  Spray the finished product with Thompson’s Waterproof Sealer.  This will help protect the planter from weathering.

Step 8: Pick your plants and start filling up your new planter!  finished2

It is far too cold to start planting so for now I filled my planter with a few house plants and rolled it next to our front door.  I’m so excited with how this one turned out, I cannot wait to get the second drawer finished.finished

Would love to hear your thoughts on the finished product!  Any suggestions on what plants I should fill it with?  Share your feedback in the comments!



4 thoughts on “Dresser Drawer Planter DIY”

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