Planter Box: priorities and constraints

My project is is to make a planter box that I can put in my apartment. After my initial design stage, I have come up with my top 5 priorities and top 5 constraints that I will go over below.

Top 5 Priorities

1. My top priority is to make my planter box in the modern farmhouse aesthetic. I really like how this aesthetic looks and I want it to go with the furniture I already have. This way, it will be able to fit seamlessly in my apartment. I hope to do this by choosing a similar stain to the current furniture I have which is a gray-brown color. I also want to choose a metal handle similar to what is on the current furniture I have now. Below is a picture of my nightstand from Walmart (1) which is in the modern farmhouse aesthetic. 

Modern farmhouse nightstand

2. My second priority is to make a functional planter box. I hope that it’ll turn out well and I will be able to plant my own herbs and flowers in it to brighten up my place. I’m also excited that I will be able to have fresh herbs when I’m cooking.

3. My third priority is to make a drawer that works. I’ve never tried using drawer slides, so I think this will be a fun experience. I would love to have a functional drawer though because it would be nice to have a place to store gardening supplies where they will be close to where I need them.

4. My fourth priority is for it to be large enough to fit both herbs and flowers. To do this, I’m planning on making 2 different boxes as seen in my sketch below. This way, I will be able to separate the herbs and flowers in case they have different gardening care needs. 

Design sketch

5. My fifth priority is properly staining the planter box and choosing a stain that can be waterproof. I want to make sure that it will hold up over a long time and if I’m going to be watering the plants a lot, the wood should be finished with water-proofing varnish.

Top 5 Constraints

1. My biggest constraint is probably time. I’m not sure how long the project will take because I’ve never tried making a piece of furniture like this before. Due to this, I want to start making it over break in case something goes wrong so that I have plenty of time to recover. Below is my timeline to keep me on track.

Project timeline

2. My second constraint is making the drawer. Since I’ve never tried making a sliding drawer, I want to allow enough time to figure out the correct sizing for it and to make sure it will function. I’ve already seen a few videos on how to do it, so now I just need to get the materials and try it myself!

3. The third constraint is never making a piece of wood furniture from scratch. I’ve built things out of wood for various projects using saws, drills, sanders, etc. but haven’t made furniture. I think this will take new skills in terms of making the furniture functional though. Therefore, I want to plan out my project very carefully so that it turns out well.

4. My fourth constraint could potentially be the weather. I need to do the project in our backyard since it could cause a lot of mess and I don’t want to mess up anything in our place. The weather in April can be very unpredictable so I plan on making it any time the weather is good and leave plenty of time to get it finished.

5. The fifth constraint I have is not having any power tools. I know the machine shop may be busy with projects for other classes, but one of my friends has a whole set of power tools that I could use. I just need to make sure to coordinate a good time to borrow them from him.


  1. Walmart,
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2 Comments. Leave new

  • Abigail Angwin
    April 15, 2024 4:38 pm

    Seems like a cool and useful project! I think all your priorities and constraints make sense. One potential issue that could add to the constraints is that if this planter is to be used inside you will want to make sure it doesn’t leak. I know the waterproofing of the wood was discussed but if you want the drawers below, the floor and walls to stay dry you might want to figure out a way to seal cracks at seams.
    Hope you enjoy learning how to make a drawer!

  • Hi Kyra, I really enjoyed your post and I really like your project idea and design! I like how you ranked your aesthetic over functionality in your constraints as it shows how much you emphasize what the final product will look like. I agree with the other rankings of your priorities and constraints and I find myself with a lot of the same issues. Once concern I had just when looking at your sketch that might want to find it’s way on your constraints list is water proof-ness as the plants will need water and even just a little moisture can start to eat away at wood.


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