Growing strawberries in containers is an easy way to enjoy super-sweet fruits all summer long. Strawberry plants are compact and perfect for tucking in small spaces like pots, planters, and baskets. There are many different sizes of pots and planters out there to choose from. We had a few pots of strawberry plants in our backyard and since our kids love the fruits, I decided to build a unique DIY pyramid gutter planter for the plants. Now we can plant a lot more strawberries without taking up much space in the backyard.
Having strawberries in containers is also a good way to foil pests like slugs that seem to know just when a strawberry is most sweet. Plus, strawberries grown in containers are generally less prone to bacterial and fungal diseases.
This container could also be used for herb plants, flowers or other small plants.
You also might be interested in my previous projects such as a DIY flower planter box and DIY planter container with corrugated steel.
Time to Complete
Tools for this project
- Tape Measure
- Miter Saw
- Table Saw
- Pop Rivet Gun
- 1/8 Sheet Metal Drill Bit
- Kreg Jig
- Scratch Awl
- Red Snips
- 1x2x8′ Pressure Treated (x4)
- Gutter (45 feet)
- Pop Rivets
- 2 1/2″ Pocket Hole Screws
- 2 1/2″ Wood Screws
- 4″ Wheels
Note: Lumber dimensions are listed as nominal size. See lumber sizes for actual dimensions vs nominal.
Disclosure: Some of the links on this page as well as links in “tools for this project” and “material list” sections are affiliate links.
Step 1 – Cut Boards for the Base of the Pyramid Planter
This project needs to be built using pressure-treated wood since the planter will be exposed to weather and moisture. Pressure-treated lumber is wood that has been immersed in a liquid preservative and pressurized in a pressure chamber. The treated lumber keeps the outdoor wood from decaying and rotting. Using regular 2×4 construction lumber on outdoor projects is not recommended, but it could be done if the wood is sealed correctly. Otherwise, the wood will deteriorate and rot.
First, build the base of the planter. The base dimensions need to be 30” x 30”. Take pressure treaded 2×4 and cut two pieces to 30” in length and two pieces to 23” in length.
Step 2 – Drill Pocket Holes to Assemble the Base
Drill two pocket holes on each end of the 23” boards. Make sure the Kreg Jig is set for 1 ½” wood thickness. Then attach the boards together using 2 ½” pocket hole screws. After connecting the boards, you should have a 30”x30” square base.
Step 3 – Cut Boards for the Triangle Frame
Next, to build the frame of the pyramid, you need two triangles that sit on the base of the planter and lean against each other. First, cut four boards to 48” in length. Then miter cut one side to 16 degrees and the other side to 74 degrees, see picture. If you don’t have a miter saw to rotate the blade to 74 degrees, you could use a skill saw to make that cut. Save the small scrap pieces, you will need them later on the project. Now cut two boards to 22 3/4” in length with a 16-degree miter cut on both ends. Drill pocket holes on the 22 3/4” board and two holes on the 48” board at the top of the pyramid triangle.
Step 4 – Assemble the Triangle Frame and Attach the Base
Assemble both triangles using 2 ½” pocket hole screws.
When attaching the triangles to the base, the bottom needs to be ripped to 16 degrees. Since both triangles are slopping 16 degrees, the bottom of the frame needs to have a 16-degree angle. This will make the bottom of the triangle sit perfectly over the base without any gaps.
Attach the triangles to the base with 2 ½” wood screws from underneath the base. Then take the scrap pieces that you saved from step 3 and insert them at the top of the pyramid as shown in the photo. Use 4” wood screws to secure the scrap pieces and the frame together. Having these scrap pieces at the top of the pyramid makes the frame stronger and hides the 4” long screws.
Step 5 – Attach the Wheels to the Frame
If you prefer this pyramid planter to be placed permanently in one location then wheels are not required and you could skip this step. We have a large concrete patio in our backyard so I wanted to have wheels on the planter so that it could be easily moved around from one place to another.
Take 5” wheels and attach them to the base with lag screws and washers. You could also use pocket holes screws since they have a flat head. I used two screws per each slot opening on the wheel. Either way will work.
Step 6 – Make a Pattern for a 90 Degree Gutter Miter
For the main part of this project, I’m using 7” gutters to hold the soil for plants. There are many different shapes and size gutters out there that you could choose from. But I decided to use 7″ because it holds more soil than other smaller or OG gutters.
Before cutting the gutter, you need to make a 90-degree miter cut pattern. To make a pattern, take a piece of gutter and place it upside down on the floor and mark the center of the pattern. From the center mark, draw a 45-degree line on the left side and 45-degree line on the right side. Then while the gutter is still upside down, at the bottom, measure 4 1/2″ to the left and 4 1/2″ to the right from the centerline. Connect the lines from the 4 1/2″ mark to the top 45-degree mark. Now using red sheet metal snips cut out the pattern. Having the pattern makes the job much quicker. Otherwise, you’ll need to repeat these measurements on each gutter miter.
Step 7 – Measure and Cut Gutter Piece Without Flanges
The first gutter-level will be placed at the very bottom of the pyramid. If you assembled the frame perfectly you should have the bottom at 30″ on all four sides. But with most DIY projects, they do not come out perfect so each side needs to be measured individually and the gutter needs to be cut to that specific dimension.
Flip the gutter upside down and place the pattern on the left side of the gutter. Mark the center and trace the left side of the pattern. You could use a pencil or a scratch awl tool to trace the pattern. Then measure 30″ from the center mark to the next center mark. Next, place the center of the pattern on the 30” mark and trace the pattern on the right side. The backside of the gutter should always have a 90-degree vertical line. Using red sheet metal snips cut the gutter piece following the lines from the pattern.
Step 8 – Measure and Cut Gutter Piece with Flanges
Next, repeat step 7 for the next side of the pyramid, but this time you’ll need additional flanges on each end of the gutter. So once you have the pattern traced on both ends per step 7, trace the pattern again but 1″ further out on each side. These flanges will be used to connect the corners together.
Clip off the flange ends at 45 degrees, see picture. This will prevent the flanges from hitting each other when you bend the metal. Then bend the flange 90 degrees inward in the direction of the next gutter piece.
Each level of gutter will have two pieces without flanges and two pieces with flanges on opposite sides.
Step 9 – Assemble the Gutter Pieces Together
Now that you have two pieces with flanges and two without, join two gutters together forming a 90-degree corner. Take a 1/8” sheet metal drill bit and drill two holes on the bottom flange. Then take a 1/8 pop rivet and from underneath the gutter, insert the rivet inside the hole and ratchet the rivet gun until the pin brakes lose. After the bottom rivets are attached, drill four holes on the front face of the gutter corner thru the flange. Repeat the process to attach rivets in the front corner. The backside of the corner takes two rivets. Repeat the step when connecting all four gutter pieces.
Repeat the steps 7 thru 9 to get the remaining gutter pieces done, following the gutter dimensions provided in the cut list. Once the gutter pieces are assembled, drill small holes on the bottom for the water to drain when watering the plants.
Step 10 – Attach Screws to Fame for Gutters to Sit on
Before placing the gutter planters over the pyramid frame, screw in 2 1/2″ screws into the frame for gutters to sit on. The screws need to be screwed in halfway into the frame. The other half of the screw will be sticking out for the gutter. Make sure that the screws are placed at the correct height to make the gutter planters leveled.
Step 11 – Place the Gutter Planters Over the Pyramid Frame
Now slide the gutters over the pyramid frame starting from the largest to the smallest squares. You could paint the gutter and the frame any color you want. Fill in the gutters with soil and plant the strawberries. You’re done with a DIY gutter pyramid planter.
2 thoughts on “How to Build a DIY Gutter Planter (Pyramid)”
Where did you purchase the gutter?
My brother in law works at a company that installs gutters, so he gave me bunch of scrap pieces that they were throwing away. I’ve seen them at Home Depot, but they only have 5″ tall gutters, and I’m using 7″ tall for this project. You should be able to buy these locally at a company that installs gutters.