Home / Gardening Guides / How To Make A Planter From Sleepers? – [7 Steps]

How To Make A Planter From Sleepers? – [7 Steps]

How to make a planter from sleepers

Planters are a perfect place for growing vegetables, fruits, and even flowers.

But since there are so many types of planters on the market, deciding on the best planters can be quite challenging.

Today, we will be looking at the planter made from sleepers. Unlike other planter materials, sleepers are ideal because of their ease of use and durability.

Without wasting more of your time, let’s get down on how to create a planter using sleepers.

What’s more, we’ll also discuss the pros and cons of using a planter made from sleepers.

How To Make A Planter From Sleepers

Making a planter from sleepers is a simple and straightforward thing. You don’t need to be experienced or an expert to build a planter from sleepers for growing your plants.

The only thing that you need is the right tools, and you’re good to go.

Step 1: Select An Area That You Want To Set Up Your Planter

Choose an area where you want to install your planter and decide on the size. Next, you should bring along the right tools for setting up the sleeper planter.

The area that you choose should be ideal for your preferred plant.

This is important because you will not be changing your planter from one place to another easily.

Step 2: Cut The Sleepers According To Your Size

After identifying the location and size of your planter, you should cut the sleepers accordingly.

Of course, this depends on the size and shape of your planter. Use an electric or handsaw to cut the sleeper to your ideal size.

Step 3: Put The Sleepers In The Shape That You Want Your Plant To Be

When you’re done cutting the sleepers into the size and shape that you desire, you should lay them around the planter area.

The sleepers should lay adjacent to one another and in the order of installation.

If your planter is rectangular, they should butt against each other in that shape. Also, the sleepers should touch at the 90-degree corners.

Step 4: Install The First Sleepers Into The Ground

With the shape and size of the planter in order, dig a trench and install the bottom sleepers. The trench should be half of the bottom sleepers.

Some people may want to build a concrete surface or place a plastic material on the floor of the planter, but this is not a good idea.

It will lead to poor drainage.

Step 5: Fasten The Sleepers Together

After you’re done installing the bottom sleeper in the trench, ensure that they are all fastened together.

You can drill the bottom sleepers to ensure that they form a strong base. Add one or two more sleeper layers on top as you continue to fasten.

The number of layers that you add depends on how deep or high you want the planter to be. The screws used to fix the sleepers should be corrosion-resistant for durability.

Make sure that at least 50mm of the screws go into the adjoining sleeper.

Additionally, you should create a strong planter by fastening the bottom layer with the second layer and the second layer with the third layer. Use corrosion-resistant screws as well.

Step 6: Attach A Plastic Membrane

For safety purposes of the edible plants you’re growing, you should line the planter so that the materials in the sleepers do not leach out.

The barrier is essential as it will help to separate the wet soil and sleepers.

If the wood leach out its materials, this may affect the growth of the plant and even make it unfit for consumption.

Most gardeners and landscapers use a plastic sheet or heavy-duty plastic refuse bags.

Step 7: Fill With Soil And Plant

Finally, you can place a few stones on the base of the planter before adding quality topsoil and manure to the planter.

This will help to promote drainage. You can now plant your flowers, tomatoes, or plant of choice.

Pros Of A Planter Made From Sleepers:

Easily Blends With Other Outdoor Fixtures And Furniture

Planter made from sleepers can be customized to match your outdoor furniture and fixtures. As a result, it will beautify your garden and, at the same time, allow you to grow plants of your choice.

Prevents The Soil From Heating Up Too Much

Since wood is a poor conductor of heat, the soil in the planter will maintain its temperature throughout.

The sleeper won’t have an impact on the soil like with metal and plastic planters. The planter will prevent soil from heating up too much.


After metal and concrete planters, wood is the next durable planter available. It is more durable than clay and plastic planters.

If your sleeper is made from oak or other durable wood, expect it to last for at least 20 years or so.

Besides, you can treat your sleeper or line it with plastic to slow down rotting.

Cons Of A Planter Made From Sleepers:

It Rots After Sometime

Regardless of how durable wood is, it will rot after some time. This is not the same case with metal or concrete planters.

And if you decide to treat the sleepers, thy may leach out the poisonous substance and affect the growth of your plants.

Not Suitable For Planting Edible Foods

Since most sleepers are treated to deter termites and other insects that can cause the wood to rot, they may not be fit for growing edible foods.

The poisonous chemicals may be absorbed by the plants, which may be harmful to your health.

Final Thoughts

Planter made from sleepers is not only simple to set up but also reliable. You can grow any type of plants, and maintaining them is not a problem.

Unlike metal and plastic planters, sleeper planters do not heat up and can be customized to match your outdoor furniture and fixtures.

If you want to set up a planter made out of sleepers, follow our step by step guide above.

Don’t forget to include a plastic sheet on the lining of the sleepers to prevent leaching from wood to affect the plants.