Need a simple spring refresh for your front porch?  Make a DIY monogram planter box and fill it with spring flowers.  Here’s the step-by-step.

If you have been following this blog for more than a minute do you remember the gatehouse?

It was the cutest little house at the end of our road in Kentucky.

We bought it and remodeled it and added a faux brick wall in the kitchen and decorated it with a giant chalkboard and added a raised panel wall and painted the cutest geometric pattern on the dining room wall.

And on the front steps of the gatehouse, we made these simple wood planters.

You can see the front gatehouse steps and the planters here.

*sigh*

Just writing this post makes me realize how much I miss that gatehouse.  It’s where I wrote my first book and watched March Madness and had craft parties and enough craft supplies to make scrap paper banners for every state in the entire US.  Every corner of that tiny house rang with laughter.

When we moved to our new {old} house in Texas, most of the furniture was sold—but the planters came with me.

You can see them here.

Here’s the front porch decorated for Christmas.

They were still going strong after four years, but they needed a makeover.

They needed an update.

Here’s the before.

And here’s the after.

It’s one of my favorite kind of projects.

One that’s simple, easy and takes about an hour.

But the results?

They make SUCH A DIFFERENCE.

Here’s how we updated our DIY monogram planter box.

DIY Monogram Planter Box

Supplies:

  • wood planter box—you can make one like mine here
  • three letter wood monogram
  • wood glue
  • curtain finials
  • white paint
  • caulk

Step 1: add curtain finials

I found these curtain finials at Lowe’s.  They have a ton on clearance at our store.

You can also find them at Wal-Mart or Hobby Lobby.

The key is just finding the size and shape that works for your design.  I was thinking of just adding round balls, but I was hooked when I saw these.

The plus of lifting your planter off the ground with feet is that it helps with drainage when you water your plants.  You can drill holes in the bottom of the wood planter so that water can get out.  Also, if you have a little bit of dirt, debris or mold on your planter from years of use, bleach before painting.

Step 2:  layout wood monogram

The key to any monogram planter box is the monogram.

I had these monograms in my craft supply closet.  They were left over from the DIY cornice boards I created for the gatehouse.

I got them from one of my favorite monogram shops on the planet, Southern Proper Monograms.  This isn’t a sponsored post, just a shout out to someone who I’ve ordered from for almost 10 years.  The wood is super light and they stick so easily to wood surface and she has so many different sizes and fonts and designs.

Step 3:  Glue the monogram to your planter box

The next step is to glue your three letter monogram to create your monogram planter box.

We used a basic wood glue.  Do NOT use too much of it or it will leak out of the sides and you’ll be stuck for a while with a q-tip to catch the drips.

Use a ruler to center the monogram on the wood box and then glue it in place.

Simple tip:  place the two boxes next to each other when you line up the letters to make sure you are gluing them so they are the same height on each box.

step 4:  Caulk and paint

We used caulk to fill in the holes in the planter that had happened over the years from wear and tear.

We did NOT caulk around the letters.  The paint kind of acts like a caulk and I wanted the letters to stand out as much as possible because we were painting white on white.

After you’ve finished caulking, paint the planter box.

We used SW Extra White in a semi-gloss to paint the planters.

(total aside:  you can read my guide on what finish to paint where here.)

Let the paint dry and you are ready to add your monogram planter boxes to your front porch.

Here are the planter boxes again on the front porch.

Just a couple of quick notes before we go:

1. Now that they are installed, I’m thinking I should paint the monograms another color?  Maybe gray?  Maybe pink?  I was going for a classic look, but I think they look a little lost.

2. Yes, we did paint the bricks on the house.  So many of you suggested it and I LOVE LOVE LOVE how it turned out.  I’ll share the entire tutorial with you along with this AMAZING paint that we used for brick that covered everything in almost one coat.

3. I love these flowers so much.  They are called Dipladenia.  The porch gets morning sun, so I’m hoping they will stay blooming for a while.

4. This project just proves a very valuable point.  Most everything I used for this project I had laying around my house—the planters, the monograms, the paint, etc.  I have some curtain finials, too if I could remember where I put them.

The point?

Sometimes we already have what we need to make a project.

We just need a little creativity and a spring day.

Good thing there are plenty of those on the horizon.

The DIY Style Finder Link

Comments

  1. Image for Kris Kris

    Only you would think to add curtain finials to the base of a planter to use as feet. Brilliant! It's a classy, beautiful refresh that you did .... and yes, I kinda think you may want to use a contrasting color to make the monograms pop. If you don't like it, you can always repaint it! Happy spring.

  2. Image for Adrienne Adrienne

    These are lovely! I need to make some planters for either side of my door (after I dig the tools out of the moving mess in the garage...) I'm thinking of painting them black (right after I paint the door black, i'm SUPER organized, ha ha). Just to complete this whole theme of my obsession with black paint, one idea would be to paint the monogram to match your door. Just an idea :)

  3. Image for Yvonne Shafer Yvonne Shafer

    Hi KariAnne! You have a few colors on your porch already — the black bench and trim, the tan in the doormat, the grey cast on mailbox. I like the classic white on white for your very creative planter update! If you go to blue flowers or greens for Christmas the white will always work. Of course, you can always repaint to match the plants! Craft on!!

  4. Image for Kathy Kathy

    Your porch looks amazing with the brick painted white! Love the planters! If you wanted the monograms to stand out and still look classic, I would vote for black paint to coordinate with your door and lights. Thank you for your wonderful blog which makes me laugh and cry depending on your stories, all while sharing great decorating ideas and diy’s. Your incredible personality always shines through!

  5. Image for Young Young

    Oh!!! The feet just make it fit the house!!!! Girl, you have style!! I would use gray , a little darker shade for the monogram, but that's just me!! Whatever you do will be your style and look fabulous!!!

  6. Image for Mary S Mary S

    Those planters are so nice! I would paint the monograms -- gray would be good... neutral which would allow you to use any color plants... I they add a lot to the porch. Love them!

  7. Image for Sue Sue

    It all looks great. My suggestion is to try shadowing the edges of the monogram with a darker glaze that may just make it pop enough. If it doesn't look good, you can always paint over it.

  8. Image for Jenn Jenn

    Very nice project! I'm with the others on shadowing somehow. Otherwise, maybe a super light grey. I don't think they are totally lost, but they could stand out more. Much love!

  9. Image for Karen Karen

    WOW!!!! Everything looks amazing! I love how such a simple doable project can make such a huge impact! Do you mind sharing where I can find some lanterns like the ones on your steps? Thanks! XO

  10. Image for Sandi Sandi

    I am so making these! Could you give me the rough dementions? I just ordered our monogram from Southern Proper and told them you sent me! Thanks in advance!

  11. Image for Shelia P. Shelia P.

    Hi Karianne! Wow! Those are some good looking planters for only $29.00! I love, love the monograms too! I’m with the other ladies who suggested just maybe painting a shadow line kind of outlining them. If it looks bad you could always paint them the gray color of your house. Seems like that color would act as a neutral and go with any color of plant you put in the planters? I’m very interested to find out what kind of paint you used on the brick on your house. We’re going to paint our brick home. Its that ugly, ugly, all one color orangey brick from the 60s! We’re officially the ugliest house in the best neighborhood and I’m so embarrassed of this awful brick but I can’t decide what color to paint it. We’re on the water with woods on two sides, and I want a color that’s going to kind of blend in with the nature around us. Any color suggestions? Anyway, I love your planters, great job! Have a nice day! 😊.

  12. Image for Mary Mary

    I probably would have painted the monogram black, painted over it in white, then distressed (sand) the edges of the monogram to let the black stand out around the edges. Great project!!

  13. Image for Wen Wen

    Karianne I agree with Sue above about glazing edge, that Seems totally your look🙂 & they would pop.! I just was at the store looking at those exact flowers & think I will buy them now after seeing How great they look in your planters. I have a front door that is tucked to right of stoop area - so I can only accent to left. Need some ideas... then there is a large brick puller to roof that blocks my open area ? Help 🤪 Wen

  14. Image for Judy Judy

    Love these planters. Plan to get my husband to make some for our front porch. Question: Do you line the planters before putting the dirt in them or do you use a pot or what? They seem a little deep for a pot and I am wondering how the wood will hold up to the dirt?

    1. Image for KariAnne Wood KariAnne Wood

      Judy, That's a great question! We actually put bricks in the bottom of the planter to lift up the flower pot! Hope this helps! karianne

  15. Image for KIM WICKERHAM KIM WICKERHAM

    Hi Karianne, I just love this monogrammed planter box! You have inspired me to get to work on my own front porch. Could I ask what height of monogram you used on your planter?

  16. Image for BeverlyO BeverlyO

    Karianne, I just LOVE this idea. I think you are right that painting the monograms in a contrasting color - even if it is something very subtle - will make the monogram not seem like a lost detail. The good thing is if you don't land on JUST the right color, you can always paint it again! Since we live in a farmhouse on a real operating farm, our front porch has a couple of milk cans to hold the flowers or ferns that flank the front door. One from the Mr's grandpa and one from mine. So, I don't think I'll be replacing those iconic planters even though I love this idea. However, I think I will be making a box and monogramming somehow similar to your beautiful planters but will add a top or lid to it to use as a storage box for my throw pillows and cushions. What do you think?

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