Friday, March 18, 2011

Flower Box Tutorial: Bringing Southern Charm to My Porch

UPDATE: This project is not just for those with porches! I have been reading all of your wonderful comments and I realized something, I don't want my porch-free friends to feel left out. This project can easily be applied to a regular planter such as this one from Home Depot.

My husband surprised me with a trip to South Carolina to visit my sister a few years ago and it was amazing. I instantly fell in deep love with Charleston, particularly the amazing architecture downtown and at the nearby plantations. I am bit obsessed with architecture and design and the old homes and buildings were so amazing, I had to continually remind myself to breath. There were so many pretty details like these sweet planter boxes, dripping with flowers.

They inspired me to bring a little Southern charm to my own home, on a much simpler scale, of course. I decide to try my hand at some planter boxes that could hang from my porch railing. They were quick and easy to make and you can play along if you like.

Step 1: Purchase two planter boxes. I found these in the Garden Center at K-Mart on sale for about $10 each, but have also seen them at Home Depot and other home improvement stores. I opted for the over rail planter style that sit on top of the porch rail because I thought they would be kinder to my new porch railing, not leaving scuff and rust marks like their metal or wrought-iron counter parts, but I did not anticipate problems with high winds (more on that later). There are many styles of planter boxes, so decide which works best for your porch or windows.

2. Paint the boxes. I used Krylon spray paint for plastic to paint them black. One can covered both boxes (Don't paint the bottoms, the paint will just rub off on your railing).

3. Accessorize. Because I have an uncontrollable urge to embellish everything, I purchased these wooden accents at Home Depot to put on the front of the boxes.

4. Paint the wooden accents with some ivory spray paint.

5. Attach the wooden accents to the front of the boxes. When everything was dry, I used Liquid Nails (learning the hard way that a little goes a long way) to attach the accents to the boxes. If I had to do it again, I think I would used a different adhesive. After a summer of heat and water, the wooden accents were a bit loose (ask an employee at your hardware store what type of adhesive they recommend).

6. Secure the boxes to the porch. In each corner of the planter box is a drainage hole. We threaded a small plastic zip tie (available at hardware stores) through the drainage holes and then wrapped it around the porch rail and secured it.

7. Plant them full of vibrant-colored flowers and pretend for a minute you are downtown Charleston, SC.

Please note: Choose your style of planter box carefully. The planter box grooves were a little wider than my railing and I live in a very windy area and despite my zip ties, on a few occasions, I discovered this...

Amazingly, the flowers survived a couple of these crashes. If I were purchasing the planters again, I think I would buy a style that attached to the porch with some sort of hardware. I have seen the over rail planters work well on some homes, so just decide what works best for you.

I am linking up to these blogs this week:


  1. Dang, I wish we had a Home Depot here! Those wood accents are so cute! I'll have to stock up on some next time I go to "the big city". I also wish I had railing at our house, I would totally make some of those!

  2. I love the finished look and thank you for the tutorial!

  3. I need a railing at my house. I want a planter box! And I love the embellishment, it totally needs it!

  4. Oh bummer that it fell! However, you made it look AMAZING!! I want to go find some now. I like how you spray painted them. Looks fabulous!

  5. They are adorable. I am a southern girl and did a post recently with all my spring flowers out. You should go check it out if you wanna see some southern flowers.

  6. Wow....what a great idea! So pretty! :) Now I just need the railing!

    Would you be willing to link this idea up next week to my Thrifty Thursday?? I think that my readers would LOVE it! :)

  7. Awesome flower baskets! I'm going to spruce mine up this summer after seeing this. I just kept mine plastic! Thank you!

  8. Okay - this is the second time I've clicked on your blog from a linky party. I obviously LOVE your stuff. I am following you now!

  9. Very sweet way to adorn your porch with flowers! i'm a porchless gal, (sad face) but love the idea! xoox, Tracie

  10. this is amazing! love the colors you picked! maybe i can find some to fit my deck railing? thanks for the inspiration!!

  11. I love this! Found you through the Shabby Chic Cottage and so glad I did! Bookmarking this - it's a keeper and I can't wait to try this myself. I've painted some plastic planters but have never seen the over the rail ones. Genius!

  12. Excellent Share! I just finished mine and I was looking for some ideas and your website gave me some.

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