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Outdoor Cedar Planters

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Project by Kevin Depies posted 1994 days ago 1905 views 7 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I made these a few years ago, and they were my first commission. I worked for a local natural foods co-op at the time (Outpost Natural Foods, for anyone in the Milwaukee area). Among other duties, I did maintenance & repairs on the stores and equipment as well as building some fixtures, etc. A member of the co-op had seen some planters that were in front of one of the stores (different than these) and called to see who had built them and if anyone would be willing to take on their project. My boss at the time didn’t want to do it so he referred the job to me, and I was happy to take it, especially since I was allowed to use the shop at work for personal projects on my own time.

The customer had a picture of a planter that I was supposed to replicate. Apparently they had been searching for a long time for something that looked like this, but couldn’t find them in the size they needed, which is why they went for the custom work.

They’re all cedar, doweled together. The panels are just some cedar tongue & groove wall paneling, which was cheap. The rest is just cedar 4×4s. The customer wanted to do the finishing work, so all I had to do was the build and sanding. They didn’t take too long and it was a fun little project that the customer was quite happy about. I only charged $450 for both of them, including design & materials, maybe that was the part they were happiest about! Was that too cheap?





4 comments so far

View John Stegall's profile

John Stegall

405 posts in 2143 days


#1 posted 1994 days ago

If your are happy and the customer is happy, I would say no you did not charge too little. They look nice btw.

-- jstegall

View Tim Anderson's profile

Tim Anderson

23 posts in 2045 days


#2 posted 1990 days ago

I agree with John. If the customer is happy… Who really knows what the right price is? One item will sell for hundreds while the same item, as where, is given away. It reminds me of a customer of mine. Just last year I had a young couple ask about a playhouse for their daughters. They made it clear they couldn’t afford a “custom” playhouse, so I shared with them the cost of a “standard” playhouse. After we agreed on a price, I help them choose the flooring, window, shingles, paint, etc… Apparently folks equate the word custom with expensive.

-- Tim, Isanti MN www.mnserenity.com

View Jim Reeves's profile

Jim Reeves

201 posts in 1650 days


#3 posted 1580 days ago

Very nice Kevin, in my town in Ontario, Canada a man makes these from his saw mill cedar not as nice as yours.
Hus are not snaded rough feel cedar, post corners on his are 2 – 1 4’s one one each outside corner edge your poat nice beefy.
He sells a 12 inch sq planter about 18 inch legs $ 125 med size $ 150 and large $ 175 as your size but no where near as nice as yours ones here rought looking think your in right price range very nice for sure.

-- jim

View Kevin Depies's profile

Kevin Depies

78 posts in 1995 days


#4 posted 1576 days ago

Thanks for the comment Jim. I’ve only made the pair in the picture, its not something that I’ve gone into production with or anything : )

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