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How to build a raised garden bed using pallets

Bunnings Team Member
Bunnings Team Member

Difficulty: Intermediate

A fantastic raised garden bed for growing vegetables or other plants can be constructed from recycled pallet timber.


This project can be built for a minimal cost and be customised to suit your needs.


Follow our simple step-by-step instructions, and feel free to ask any questions about the build process in the comments section below.


Step 1

You’ll find pine pallets the easiest to work with for this project. They are readily available and last a significant amount of time out in the weather. It’s best to pick up pallets that are in a reasonable condition, avoiding those with damaged or warped and twisted boards.


After acquiring your pallets, disassemble them by removing the boards from the runner. Select the straightest timber runners as you’ll be using these for your frame. For each frame we will need two runners and two shorter cross pieces. The length of the cross pieces will determine the depth of your planter. The runners should be approximately 120cm from your pallet. The cross pieces will be a runner cut in half at 60cm.


1.1 Aquire some free pallet timber.jpg  1.2 Two full runners and one cut in half.jpg

Step 2

After cutting a runner in half to form shorter cross pieces pre-drill the end of the longer runners with a 6mm drill bit in two places. Drive in two of your longer bugle screws into the cross pieces end. Repeat this on all four corners. You’ll need to make two of these frames for the top and bottom.


2.1 Pre-drilling corners.jpg  2.2 Fixing with two screws.jpg  2.3 Two frames constructed.jpg

Step 3

Cut four upright posts at 50cm length. The length of these will determine the height of your planter. From the inside of the frame screw these uprights into the corners with your treated pine screws. From the outside add some additional screws for strength.


3.1 Four upright posts..jpg  3.2 Fixing Upright posts into place between two frames.jpg  3.3 Additional screws from outside being added.jpg  3.4 Frame constructed.jpg

Step 4

Begin laying out your boards. Fix the boards to the top and bottom timber on the frame with screws. You should use two screws in the top and two in the bottom of the board.


4.1 Begining to lay boards.jpg  4.2 Boards being screwed into place.jpg

Step 5

Once the boards are fixed in place, cut them flush with the top of the frame.


5.1 Cutting boards flush with frame.jpg  5.2 Boards trimmed flush.jpg

Step 6

Select some boards to use as capping pieces. These will be used to finish the top and hold the plastic liner in position. Cut the boards to size.


6.1 Selected capping pieces.jpg  6.2 Capping pieces cut to size.jpg

Step 7

Lay builder’s plastic into the planter. Sandwich the plastic in between the frame and the capping boards. Screw the boards in place. Trim the excess plastic off.


You’ve now completed your garden planter. For a fabulous addition, consider adding an additional vertical garden behind the planter. Our step-by-step guide How to build a vertical garden can show you how. 


7.1 Builders plastic laid in planter.jpg  7.2 Capping pieces fixed over plastic.jpg  7.3 Plastic cut to size.jpg  7.4 Plastic in postition.jpg    7.5 Finished.jpg


  • Four pallets
  • 25 galvanised bugle screws - size 14g x 100mm  
  • 150 treated pine screws – size 10 x 65mm  
  • One roll of builder’s plastic 2 x 5m  


  • Drill driver 
  • 6mm drill bit 
  • Handsaw or circular saw 


1.1 Aquire some free pallet timber.jpg

1.2 Two full runners and one cut in half.jpg

2.1 Pre-drilling corners.jpg

2.2 Fixing with two screws.jpg

2.3 Two frames constructed.jpg

3.1 Four upright posts..jpg

3.2 Fixing Upright posts into place between two frames.jpg

3.3 Additional screws from outside being added.jpg

3.4 Frame constructed.jpg

4.1 Begining to lay boards.jpg

4.2 Boards being screwed into place.jpg

5.1 Cutting boards flush with frame.jpg

5.2 Boards trimmed flush.jpg

6.1 Selected capping pieces.jpg

6.2 Capping pieces cut to size.jpg

7.1 Builders plastic laid in planter.jpg

7.2 Capping pieces fixed over plastic.jpg

7.3 Plastic cut to size.jpg

7.4 Plastic in postition.jpg

7.5 Finished.jpg

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