DIY Wine Barrel Planter


In the spirit of being green and sustainable on this Earth Day, we thought we would share this simple and affordable DIY planter project with you.  Even if you don’t have much of a green thumb, this planter is easy to assemble in 5 steps and re-purposes old wine or whiskey barrels creating a large gardening container that looks great in the yard or patio.

To get started, you’ll need the following items:

  • ½ Wine or Whiskey Barrel
  • Apple Cider Vinegar in a spray bottle (to inhibit growth of fungus)
  • Sandpaper
  • Power screwdriver & drill bit for holes
  • Staple Gun and Heavy Duty Staples
  • Screen or wire mesh to cover the drainage holes
  • Scissors or wire cutters to size the mesh
  • Lining Material such as Landscape Fabric or Heavy Duty Garbage Bags (optional)
  • 4 Cubic Feet of Good Potting Soil
  • Fertilizer or Blood Meal (optional)
  1. Once you’ve found the perfect barrel, you’ll need to prepare the barrel by turning the barrel over and drilling holes in the bottom.  Ideally, 5-7 holes the size of quarters should do just fine but we didn’t have a large enough drill bit so we drilled a lot of smaller holes.  Either way, the holes are necessary for proper water drainage.  Our wine barrel came with a large stopper in the middle, so we removed that and drilled holes around it.
  2. Next, you can use some high grit sandpaper to remove some of the frayed edges around the holes and on the top edges.
  3. Before moving on, an important step in prepping the barrel is removing and inhibiting any potential for fungal growth.  Real wine barrels that held fermenting grapes will host fungal growth and you do not want that interfering with your new plants!  The easy way to avoid this is spray the entire barrel down with apple cider vinegar.  We took an old spray bottle and filled with the vinegar and thoroughly sprayed the barrel inside and out.
  4. Once the vinegar is dry, you can move on to the next step of affixing the protective mesh or screen to the drainage holes.  Cut the screen or wire mesh to match the size of your drainage holes and affix each edge of the corners with a heavy duty staple gun.  This step pulls double duty by keeping the drainage holes from clogging and keeping out unwanted pests.
  5. Now you can add a liner to the inside of the barrel.  Adding a liner is beneficial as it can help retain moisture and extend the life of the barrel.  Pre-made wine barrel liners can be found at gardening stores or online outlets but a less expensive and easy way to line the barrel is by affixing some landscape fabric to the inside of the barrel.  Heavy duty garbage bags work just as well.  As you can see, we used both materials in our lining.  Just place the material inside the barrel and staple in place.  Cut the remaining excess from the top.  However, if you use a plastic liner, remember to put holes in the bottom as well.
  6. Now before filling the planter, determine and place the planter where it will stay.  Once you get all the soil in the planter it will be extremely heavy and hard to move!  Once you have it in place, fill up the container with the soil.  Adding in some fertilizer or blood meal is a good way to add nutrients that keep plants healthy and green.
  7. Consider adding hanging plants around the edges to droop over the edges of the barrel.  Adding different plants of contrasting colors and heights will add interest to your new planter.  Happy Planting!