a wine rack made from a planter box
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How to Make a Wine Rack from a Planter Box

This compact storage piece stands out from the pack—and won't blow your holiday gift budget

'Tis the season for receiving bottles of red and white as host gifts, so it's critical to have a spot to store your stash. But when we shopped for a small wine rack, we were, in a word, uninspired. Wire models felt cheap; Tinker Toy—like wood options looked rickety. What's a vino lover to do? DIY it, of course. This Old House general contractor Tom Silva showed us how to transform a wood planter and plywood into a simple wine rack that takes up little counter or table space. Even better: You can put it together in less time than it takes to cook the average holiday meal. And that's something to drink to.
 


Steps // How to Make a Wine Rack from a Planter Box
1 ×

Overview for Making a Wine Rack

 
Step One // How to Make a Wine Rack from a Planter Box

Overview for Making a Wine Rack

the materials needed for building a wine rack from a planter box
Photo by Anthony Tieuli

We used a wood planter with a lip, which has a backside that serves as a nailing and gluing surface for the bottle supports. If your planter doesn't have a lip, nail 12 strips to the inside walls of the planter to make an attachment surface. For nonwood planters, assemble the parts with construction adhesive instead of nails and glue.

 
2 ×

Cut Plywood for the Bottle Supports

 
Step Two // How to Make a Wine Rack from a Planter Box

Cut Plywood for the Bottle Supports

Tom Silva marks an 'X' for the first bottle hole
Photo by Anthony Tieuli

Knock out the bottom of the planter and remove any nails. Cut two pieces of plywood to the inside dimensions of the planter. Cut 1 inch off the top of the rear support so that it can be tipped into place, as shown in Step 7. On the front support, mark the center of the first bottle hole by drawing lines from corner to corner to form an X.

 
3 ×

Mark the Centers of the Bottle Holes

 
Step Three // How to Make a Wine Rack from a Planter Box

Mark the Centers of the Bottle Holes

Tom Silva marks an 'X' for the next bottle hole
Photo by Anthony Tieuli

On all four legs of the X, mark a point that's 2¾ inches in from each edge of the support. These will be the center points of the bottle holes. Check to ensure that the marks form a square, with enough space to cut all five bottle holes.

 
4 ×

Cut the Bottle Holes

 
Step Four // How to Make a Wine Rack from a Planter Box

Cut the Bottle Holes

Tom Silva cuts the bottle holes with a hole saw
Photo by Anthony Tieuli

Clamp both supports, with the bottoms and sides flush and the hole markings facing up, to a worktable on top of a piece of scrap wood. Center the hole saw over the middle of the X, and drill through both supports. Repeat for the remaining holes.

 
5 ×

Paint the Interior Surfaces

 
Step Five // How to Make a Wine Rack from a Planter Box

Paint the Interior Surfaces

Tom Silva spray paints the bottle hole insert black
Photo by Anthony Tieuli

To unify the materials and protect your wine collection from exposure to light, paint the interior surfaces of the planter and one side of the rear support in a dark color. (We chose black.)

 
6 ×

Cut the Front Support into Strips

 
Step Six // How to Make a Wine Rack from a Planter Box

Cut the Front Support into Strips

Tom Silva cuts strips for the front bottle insert with a miter saw
Photo by Anthony Tieuli

Mark off strips of the desired width and spacing on the front support. (Ours were 2 inches wide.) Use a miter saw to cut along the lines; set aside the pieces you're not using. Cut spacer blocks from a 1x2 to the desired gap between the strips. (Ours were 2 inches apart.)

 
7 ×

Install the Front Support Strips

 
Step Seven // How to Make a Wine Rack from a Planter Box

Install the Front Support Strips

Tom Silva installs the front support strips
Photo by Anthony Tieuli

Nail the lowest front support strip to the inside of the lip. Lay spacer blocks on top of it, then nail the next support strip in place above it. Repeat until all strips are installed. Remove the spacer blocks.

 
8 ×

Install the Rear Support

 
Step Eight // How to Make a Wine Rack from a Planter Box

Install the Rear Support

Tom Silva installs the rear support
Photo by Anthony Tieuli

Apply wood glue along the perimeter of the unpainted side of the rear support. Tip the piece into the planter and pull it snug against the inside of the lip so that the glue makes contact.

 
9 ×

Finish the Wine Rack

 
Step Nine // How to Make a Wine Rack from a Planter Box

Finish the Wine Rack

Tom Silva sands the completed wine rack
Photo by Anthony Tieuli

Use a damp rag to wipe away any excess glue from Step 7. Stand the planter upright on its back while the glue dries. Conceal the joints with wood filler. Sand the entire assembly, and finish with primer and two coats of satin or semigloss paint.

 
 
 

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