DIY Deck Rail Planter

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Add some color and life to your deck, patio or balcony with this fun DIY railing planter. It’s easy to make, plant and move.

With so many fabric choices, you can make these to match your home or even swap them out for holidays. A red, white and blue set would be fun. How about some fall colors with marigolds for Autumn?

The steps to make this project are similar to sewing our gathering apron pattern. If you use the same fabric, you can match your patio yourself!


This project uses a thick, outdoor fabric such as bark cloth or duck cloth that is lined with Fairfield World shield moisture and allergen barrier fabric.

According to Fairfield World, “Shield is a PUL fabric that creates a moisture and allergen barrier for improved health and comfort. Sew a layer to the top or inside of your project to create a shield against moisture, grease, pollen, dust mites and dander.”

The combination of these two fabrics make the planter durable and almost weather proof while maintaining a healthy home for your plants.


You will need the following tools to complete this project in addition to a sewing machine, iron and ironing board.


Before beginning, decide if you are making a single or double sided planter.

The instructions listed below are for a single sided planter. If you are making a double one, repeat each of the pocket steps for both sides.

Step 1: Cut the Fabric

Use a rotary cutter and cutting mat to cut your fabric and shield to the following dimensions:

Exterior24″ x 18″
Interior22″ x 16″
Pocket Exterior6″ x 30″
Pocket Interior5″ x 27″

Step 2: Cut Corners

Fold the exterior fabric piece in half length wise and then width wise so that all raw edges meet at the same corner.

Clip or pin to hold.

Then cut a 1″ square from all layers at the corner.

Step 3: Prepare Exterior

Next, fold each edge of the exterior fabric 1″ to the wrong side.

Press well.

Step 4: Add Shield

Lay the large shield piece on top of the wrong side of the fabric piece. It should fit nearly flush.

Clip and/or pin well all the way around the perimeter at this point. We found that the shield fabric tends to slip during sewing, so the more pins and clips to hold it secure, the better.

Step 5: Prepare Pocket

Turn the top of the fabric pocket under 1/4″, then another 1/4″.

Press and clip.

Then turn the pockets sides under 1/2″ and another 1/2″.

Press and clip.

Step 6: Add Pocket Shield

Lay the pocket interior on top of the pocket fabric.

Again, use lots of pins and/clips to hold the slippery shield in place.

Step 7: Sew

Sew around the perimeter of the large piece with a 1/4″ seam allowance.

If your sewing machine can do a zig zag stitch, we recommend trying that to reduce slipping and increase durability.

Then sew around the perimeter again with a 1″ seam allowance.

Step 8: Add Pocket

Flip the pocket upside down so that the hemmed edge is at the bottom, wrong side up.

Find the top center of the pocket and pin it to the center of the larger piece, 3″ from the bottom.

Then pin each end of the pocket 1″ in from the innermost stitches on each side.

Now pinch the fabric between the pins to form a gather and pin, pin, pin!

Step 9: Sew Pocket

Sew across the gathers and pins with a 1/4″ seam allowance.

Then flip the pocket up and top stitch across the bottom of it.

Sew up the sides of the pockets with a double stitch for added security.

Then divide the pocket into thirds by sewing from the bottom seam to the top of the pocket.

Step 10: Insert Grommets

Grommets can easily be made with a grommet kit. Follow your kit instructions to create grommets at each corner of your planter.

Additional grommets can be added where you would like to secure the planter to your railing. Test where your planter will hang to determine exactly where it is best to place grommets since railings vary in size and angles.

Our final planter ended up with 10 grommets. We love the finished look it gives the project.

Step 11: Hanging

To hang your planter, drape it over the railing. Then insert zip ties, rope or twine through the grommet holes to secure.

Plant your flowers after securing the planter to the railing and enjoy.

We’re joining the Summer Patio Party with with Fairfield World and Laura Kelly of Me and My Inklings.

Enter to win a $100 gift card to Joann Fabrics and a 10 lb box of Poly-Fil below. Winner will be chosen on August 10, 2020.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Don’t forget to pin this project for later, and check out some more sewing projects for beginners listed below.

Yield: 1 Deck Rail Planter

DIY Deck Rail Planter

DIY Deck Rail Planter

How to sew a planter that hangs from a deck or balcony railing.

Active Time 45 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Difficulty Easy
Estimated Cost $5.00


  1. Cut fabric: 24" x 18"; 6" x 30"
  2. Cut shield: 22" x 16"; 5" x 27"
  3. Fold fabric length wise and width wise making raw edges meet
  4. Cut 1" square from all layers at corner
  5. Fold 1" of large fabric piece under on all sides
  6. Press
  7. Lay large shield piece on top, wrong sides together
  8. Clip/pin
  9. Turn top of pocket fabric under 1/4" and another 1/4"
  10. Press
  11. Clip/pin
  12. Lay pocket shield on top, wrong sides together
  13. Clip/pin
  14. Sew around perimeter of large with 1/4" seam allowance
  15. Flip pocket upside down
  16. Find center of pocket and center of large piece
  17. Pin pocket 3" from bottom where centers meet (right sides together, pocket upside down)
  18. Pin each end of pocket 1" from innermost stitches
  19. Pinch fabric to gather and pin all the way across pocket
  20. Sew across top of pocket
  21. Flip pocket up
  22. Sew across bottom of pocket
  23. Sew up pocket sides with double stitch
  24. Divide pocket into thirds
  25. Sew up pocket to form three smaller pockets
  26. Follow instructions in grommet kit to insert grommets at each corner and at sides
  27. Hang the planter with zip ties or rope
  28. Plant flowers


  • Shield can be slippery when sewing. Pin as much as possible and use a zig zag stitch if your machine allows.
  • Railings vary in size and angles. Test your planter before inserting grommets to determine their best location for your railing.

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