How to Make the Easiest DIY Wood Vase

Learn how to make easy wood vases or planters using inexpensive fence pickets to add to your home and give as a gift or wedding, or baby shower centerpiece.

three redwood vases with flowers with text overlay stating how to make easy wood vases with detailed plans

If you want a creative, quick, and fulfilling woodworking project perfect for beginners, I have the easiest DIY wood vases (or planters) you can build.

With just a few basic tools and materials, you can transform humble redwood fence boards into stunning and functional vases that add a touch of natural beauty to any space.

The best part about this project is its simplicity.

You don’t need fancy woodworking skills or a workshop full of specialized tools. You only need a saw, wood glue, and a Brad nailer (or a power drill). These basic tools, combined with the affordability and accessibility of the fence pickets, make this an ideal project for beginners or anyone looking for a quick and satisfying project.

white and natural redwood vase on table with flowers

These vases do not directly hold water in them. A glass vase with water and flowers goes inside the wooden box.

You can also finish these DIY wood vases in many ways, and I show you three of them.

Let’s dive in!

***This project is sponsored by Mendocino Redwood. All opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make it possible to bring you new projects***

What Type of Wood to Use

A project like a wooden vase will almost always see a fair share of moisture, even when you aren’t directly adding water. Hence, you want to ensure that the wood you use is weatherproof.

I picked redwood fence pickets because it is naturally weather-resistant and super lightweight. AND it is absolutely gorgeous when finished. Plus, fence pickets are extremely budget-friendly!

redwood vase on a desk with flowers

Over the years, I have built many projects with Mendocino redwood – a chair, a dining table, potting bench, and a hammock stand, and I love the rich, gorgeous color.

Mendocino Redwood is grown and harvested according to some of the world’s highest environmental standards. From conserving energy to absorbing greenhouse gases, no other building material offers the environmental advantages that come naturally with redwood.

You can read more about Redwood here.

If you do not have redwood available, cedar is also a great choice.

***This post contains referral or affiliate links. It is a way for this site to earn advertising fees by advertising or linking to certain products and/or services.  Please read my full disclosure here ***

Material Needed

Tools Needed

How to Make the Wooden Vases

Step 1: Prepare the Boards

Picket boards can be pretty rough to start with. They need to be sanded to get them smooth to look good as a vase.

Usually, I cut the boards and then sand the pieces, so I only need to spend time and energy on sanding the pieces that I need.

These vases, however, need small pieces, which can be hard to sand once cut. So, it is best to sand the boards before cutting. Each vase needs about 40″ of the board.

Woman sanding redwood board with a sander

Be sure to follow the guide on how to sand wood to get the best results.

  • Once the boards are sanded, cut them to the sizes needed per the plans. Many pieces are the same size. This is an excellent opportunity to set up a stop block to make repeated cuts.
Making repeated cuts on a miter saw using a stop block

Step 2: Build the Vase

Building the vase is relatively straightforward.

To attach the vase, you must use outdoor wood glue.

You can use either Brad nails or trim head wood screws to attach the boards. I prefer using trim head screws because they are made to pull the two boards together for a tight joint. Brad nails, on the other hand, just hold the joint as tight as you can.

  • Start by attaching two sides to the bottom.
Attaching the boards using trim head screws
  • Attach the remaining two sides to complete the vase.

Note: To prevent cracking, you may need to pre-drill holes for the trim head screws.

Step 3: Finish

woman staining the DIY wood vases and planters

Both the Brad nails and trim head screws are very tiny and you can possibly leave them as is. But if you are looking for a more finished look, you can use a tintable wood filler. It is especially useful when staining the project.

Applying a stainable wood filled to the planter
  • Apply an outdoor finish. I used Spar Urethane to protect it against moisture.
woman applying spar urethane to the vase and planter

Ideas for Vase Designs

There are many ways you can finish the vases. Of course, you can simply stain it and let the wood grain shine through.

You can also use paint and painter’s tape to add geometric designs. I decided to use white paint and left the rest of the redwood bare. Before applying paint you want to make sure to use primer made for wood surfaces. Then I coated everything with Spar Urethane.

woman applying primer to a wood vase

Another idea is to use a carving bit with a rotary tool to make carved patterns after staining but before the final finish to create contrasting design. This one is definitely my favorite.

carving with a burr using a rotary tool or dermel

Here are the three vases I built.

To use these as a vase, you can add a glass vase inside with water and flowers to it.

Redwood wood vases and planters with flowers

And because I was on a roll and I had a few boards left, I went ahead and also built a couple of other boxes and planters in various sizes. To use these as planters, I drilled drainage holes and stapled landscape fabric inside before planting.

Redwood planters with herbs and succulents

I have the plans available for you with the dimensions and the cut list for all of these versions.

DIY Wood Vase Plans

Get the detailed cut list and step-by-step plans for building your own vases and planters below.

There you have it.

A super simple and easy project. It uses only two power tools and makes a great gift or addition to any home.

More Redwood Project Ideas:

Learn how to make easy wood vases or planters using inexpensive fence pickets to add to your home, give as a gift or wedding or baby shower centerpiece.

DIY Easy Wood Vase

Yield: DIY wood vase from redwood fence pickets

Make easy wood vases or planters using inexpensive fence pickets to add to your home, give as a gift or wedding or baby shower centerpiece.


  1. Prepare the boards prior to cutting by sanding smooth using a random orbital sander. Then cut to the sizes needed according to the plans.
  2. Build the vase by using outdoor wood glue and trim head screws. Attach the first two sides to the bottom and then the remaining two sides to complete the vase.
  3. Stain the vases in the color of your choice. For a more finished look, you can fill the screw holes with tintable wood filler. Lastly, apply an outdoor protective finish. I like to use Spar Urethane.

Ideas for vase designs

  1. Use painter's tape to apply a painted geometric design then apply the protective outdoor finish.
  2. Use a carving bit with a rotary tool to make carved patterns after staining but before the final finish to create contrasting designs.

Anika's goal is to inspire and empower beginners with woodworking, DIY, home improvement, and home decor ideas.
She wants everyone to unlock their creative potential and experience the feeling that comes with making something. Nothing feels better better than seeing something and saying "I can make that!"

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