Decorate your front door with a house number planter box

A home-made door sign with a filled planter box is mounted on a red brick wall. In the background, you can see a blue-striped beach chair.
Something special: a house number planter box

  • Difficulty
  • Cost
    < 50 £
  • Duration
    1-3 h


Say goodbye to boredom: when making your own door sign, you can get a bit more creative than just using boring old methods like clay or salt dough. With our idea, you don’t just get a door sign with your name or house number next to the door, you also end up with a cute little mini garden. And it's simple to make too – in fact the hardest part is probably picking the right plants to go with it!

You need
  • work gloves
  • a stirrer to mix the paint
  • face mask
  • safety glasses
  • floor protector or cover sheets
  • carpet/utility knife
  • tape measure
  • paint roller with tray
  • screw clamps
  • pencil
  • 1 sheet of plywood: around 120 x 100 cm (L x W), 15-18 mm thick
  • pool liner
  • 16 screws: 4 x 50 mm (D x L)
  • 2 screws plus suitable anchors, depending on wall type
  • blackboard paint (black): around 345 ml
  • white chalk
  • 5-7 succulents (Please note: they should be suitable for growing outdoors)
  • succulent soil (or: sand/soil/gravel mixture)
L: Length, W: Width, H: Height, D: Diameter

Let's go - step by step

Step 1 7

Mark out the dimensions for your DIY door sign

The wood is measured with a folding ruler and marked with a pencil.
Measure the wood using a folding ruler

You need: pencil, Set square, tape measure, 1 sheet of plywood

To ensure there is enough space for plants in your house number planter box, it needs to be the right size. So mark out the following dimensions on the wooden board using a pencil and folding ruler:

  • 1 x the backboard: 60 x 60 cm (L x W)
  • 1 x the front: 60 x 15 cm (L x W)
  • 1 x underside of the planter box: 60 cm minus twice the thickness of the board x 15 cm (L x W), so in our case 56.4 x 15 cm (L x W)
  • 2 x sides of the planter box: 15 x 15 cm (L x W)

Saw a bevel cut on the front and sides of the planter box and leave enough space on the shorter sides to put the saw against.

Step 2 7

Saw the wooden parts for your home-made door sign

The wood for your DIY door sign is sawed using a NanoBlade saw.
Saw the backboard of the door sign and the underside of the planter box
The wood for the DIY door sign is bevel cut using a NanoBlade saw.
Saw a bevel cut on the front and the two sides

You need: NanoBlade saw, safety glasses, work gloves, screw clamps

Once you've marked out the dimensions, it’s time to get to work with a saw. To ensure the wooden parts fit together to make a box later, make sure you saw a bevel cut (i.e. at a 45-degree angle) when sawing the front and sides of the planter box.

We’ve put together the following instructions to show you how to saw the boards:

  • Saw the backboard (L x W: 60 x 60 cm) and the underside straight (L x W: 56.4 x 15 cm).
  • 1 board (L x W: 60 x 15 cm): saw the longer sides straight and a bevel cut on the shorter sides.
  • 2 boards: (L x W: 15 x 15 cm): saw the longer sides and shorter side at the back straight and a bevel cut on the shorter side at the front.

To saw a perfect bevel cut on the ends of the boards, draw a line on the board at a 45-degree angle. Place the saw blade on the line at a 45-degree angle and start sawing. And whether you are sawing straight or at a 45-degree angle, clamp the plywood boards down with screw clamps so they don’t slip while you are cutting them.


Picture frames are often joined together with a mitre joint at the corners. The sides of the picture frame actually form a 90-degree angle. However, their ends are sawn off at 45-degree angles – halving the angle. Mitres are often used for aesthetic reasons – as with picture frames – but they also help to distribute force more efficiently.
Step 3 7

Sand down the edges

The sawn-off edge is sanded down using a multi-sander with a rectangular sanding plate.
Sand down the sawn-off edges using a multi-sander and a right-angled sanding plate.

You need: Multi-sander

As soon as you have cut all the boards to the right lengths and the right angle, sand them down using some sanding paper (120 grit). This will remove any splinters and make the edges really smooth. To ensure the boards don’t slip while you’re sanding them, keep them clamped down.

Step 4 7

Paint the wood with blackboard paint

A block of wood is painted black with a paint roller
Coating the wood with blackboard paint means you can write on the door sign in chalk later

You need: paint roller with tray, floor protector or cover sheets, blackboard paint (black)

If you want to write your surname or a nice welcome message on your home-made door sign, coat the wood with blackboard paint. This will enable you to write a message in chalk and rub it off if you want to change it. When buying the paint, make sure it’s suitable for outdoor use.

Mix the blackboard paint with the stirrer and pour it into a paint tray. Then dip a paint roller in it, wipe off the excess paint and roll the paint evenly onto the surface of the wood. If necessary, add a second layer of paint once the first layer has dried.

Step 5 7

Screw the planter box together for your DIY door sign

Wooden boards are assembled to form the shape of an open box. They are painted black on the outside and left unpainted on the inside.
It’s a good idea to put the wooden boards together in the shape of the box first so you know where you need to drill into and add screws to
The wooden boards are screwed together using a drill driver.
Now you can start to screw the box together

You need: Multi-sander, 16 screws: 4 x 50 mm (D x L)

Now you can screw together the different pieces of wood to create your home-made door sign. It’s best to start with the planter box. First of all, put together the sides and front at the mitre joint and screw the boards together. If necessary, you can drill holes beforehand so that nothing comes loose. Lay down the 56.4 x 15 cm board on the ground and screw it in underneath. Once you’ve created the box, secure it against the large 60 x 60 cm backboard.

Step 6 7

Cover the door sign with pool liner

The pool liner is cut to size with a utility knife.
Cut the pool liner to size using a utility knife
The pool liner is secured against the planter box using a Bosch tacker.
Now staple the pool liner onto the planter box

You need: Cordless tacker, carpet/utility knife, pool liner

To create the right environment for growing plants in your home-made door sign, cover the wooden box with pool liner. This will make it ideal for use as a planter box. Lay the pool liner over the box and mark the areas where it needs to be cut. Then cut it to size using a utility knife and staple it firmly to the wood. After stapling it down, cut the ends carefully so that it doesn’t stick out further than it needs to.

Step 7 7

Plant flowers and mount the door sign on the wall

Succulents are planted in the planter box.
Plant your succulents and you are nearly done with your home-made door sign

You need: Multi-sander, Detection device, 2 screws plus suitable anchors, succulents, succulent soil, white chalk

Now you’re almost done: you just need to plant something in your new door sign and mount it on the wall.

Succulents are popular at the moment and ideal for planting in your door sign – provided they are suitable for the climate. Simply fill the box with some succulent soil (a mixture of sand, soil and gravel or grit) and place the plants carefully inside.

Before mounting the door sign, you need to decide where to drill the holes. And before drilling the holes, you should also test whether the area you want to drill into has any water pipes or electricity cables running along it. You can check this using a digital detection device. To find out exactly how to do this, take a look at our article on safe drilling here.

To mount the sign onto the wall, you’ll need a cordless drill driver, an impact drill or a rotary hammer (depending on the wall) and the right screws and anchors. Once you’ve mounted your door sign, all you need to do is write a message on it. It’s guaranteed to draw admiring looks from the neighbours!