Build a Raised Bed for $10

When we renovated the garden we used raised beds and the results were fantastic.  It took me a couple years to uncover what beds I liked the most which takes me to 2 ft. x 4 ft.

I’m going to show you how to build two frames for under $10.

Tools and Supplies

  • Electric Saw – I used a Chop Saw.
  • Drill + Bit and Tip
  • 3 eight ft. stud 2 x 4’s about 2.50 each = $7.50
  • 16 screws 2.5 or 3 inch will work = under $2.00

Price on 2 x 4’s may vary depending on the wood quality and your location.  Home Depot offers a variety of board options and make sure they’re straight.

Smaller hardware stores like Ace will sell screws individually without having to purchase the entire box.

Measurements + Cut + Drill

I’m building in our workshop where space is slightly limited for a project this size.

Work on a flat surface prior to measuring and cutting so everything is even and mark the boards with proper measurements prior to cutting. This is really important because you want your boards to lay flat when it comes time to stack.

  • Four cuts at 4 ft.
  • Four cuts at 2 ft.

Once the wood is cut take the 2 ft. boards and drill two pilot holes at each end.  A pilot hole is smaller than the screw and it keeps the wood from splitting.  Do not skip this step!

Recycled or New Screws

For this project I’m using recycled deckmate screws from old projects.

New screws for this project should run between 7 and 10 cents each.  Deckmate from Home Depot is also a great brand because they’re coated and they don’t rust.

This is a good thing because in 5 or 6 years when it comes time to replace boards those screws will reverse out of the wood with no problem.

Pretty neat, right?

Connecting the Frame

Inserting the screws is a breeze when you have pilot holes, just another added bonus to that tip and remember please don’t skip it because it really does keep the wood from splitting.

  • Layout a rectangle with the boards
  • Connect the 2 ft. board to the 4 ft. board
  • Repeat at each corner until complete

Raised Bed Almost complete

One layer is completed now it’s time to build another frame before this bed is finished.  For additional raised beds on the blog just use the search bar or click Projects.

Also keep in mine that you could also change this up a little by connecting the longer 4 ft. boards into the end boards from the.  This would give you a little wider bed but you would miss out on a little length.

You’re basically changing it up a little.  I’ve done both styles in my garden.

This raised bed style compliments my book Startle Garden which is such a fun read for gardeners who are starting out or seasoned gardeners who are looking to downsize their garden.

I offer many ideas for raised beds and some don’t even involve building. This book is about growing that amazing garden without all the headache because it walks you through the entire process.

2 x 4 raised bed

$10 Raised Bed Complete

Once both frames are built you can leave them natural, add paint or stain to finish the exterior.  Then take them to the garden and simply stack and add soil.  Because they’re short you don’t need corner support unless you insist because the dirt will keep them stable.

If you want to go taller like this raised bed then use rebar in the corners to stabilize prior to adding soil.  Growing in taller raised beds is a game changer and something else I love.

This raised bed project is for you and so easy to build in less than 30 minutes.  It’s the perfect companion to my book, Startle Garden.


Easy to build raised beds for the garden for $10#RaisedBeds, #DIYgarden


  1. Patti says:

    This is great. I’m sure so many people want a raised bed but have no idea on how to build one.

    1. Carole says:

      Thanks Patti, I guess keep looking for additional posts that compliment my new book because this raised bed style is a gem. Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Karen says:

    As always, you make this look so simple and your tutorial is thorough – anyone can do this. Thanks for sharing. The spring planting bug has already bitten me. Now I’m really itching!

    1. Carole says:

      Anyone can do this, course you knew I would say that. When Robert is home Full time he is going to start up my tool video series, can hardly wait to share because these videos won’t be the traditional how to. I’ll have you building in no time. Thanks for stopping by, how’s that new puppy?

  3. Jemma says:

    Your blog is always such an outstanding resource and you have a gift for teaching.
    Looking forward to more of your tutorials, you take the “big,” picture of creating and break it up into doable.
    This is an enjoyable collaboration to be part of with you!

    1. Carole says:

      Thank you Jemma – I’m not sure if I have a gift for teaching I just really enjoy the writing process to deliver information. Keeping it simple just really helps me stay focused so glad you found it helpful. I now have my first raised bed for the new property thanks to this collaboration. This has been fun!

  4. Tammy says:

    Carole this is a great idea. I bought a raised bed from a box store and have been less than pleased with it. Plus, I wish it were a different size. The 4 X 4 just doesn’t work for me. You have inspired me to make a few of my own! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Carole says:

      The 4 feet wide is a pain to work with, this raised bed is the companion to my new book, Startle Garden. It will be out in February!!

      1. Tammy says:

        I can’t wait to read it. Thanks!

  5. Cecilia says:

    I’m planning on doing raised beds at the farm. It will make it much easier so this project is perfect. Filing away – you’re a great resource!

    1. Carole says:

      You’re welcome and I think you’re going to love my new book, it will help you get that new garden ready in such a simplified way. Startle Garden will be available in February..

  6. Carol Lander says:

    Carole, Great idea. I just wish we had space for a raised garden in our yard. But I love the idea of the pilot holes. Thanks for sharing how important they are.

    1. Carole says:

      I use pilot holes in everything – an absolute must they take a little additional effort but it so worth it. This is just a 2 x 4 garden I bet if you looked you have room for one. Imagine it filled with lush herbs, which is my favorite thing to grow down south.

  7. Stacey says:

    Seriously, you amaze me!! You are in the process of selling your home and you are still building things?! You did make this look so easy for anyone. Thank you so much for sharing these great instructions today. 🙂

    1. Carole says:

      These building projects help me chill and now I have my first raised bed for the new property thanks to you! How awesome is that? It is this easy… I know you don’t build but you can pass this along to the hubby when it comes time to put in that new garden.

  8. I am pinning this Carole for future use. Absolutely brilliant! I truly would like to start creating raised garden beds once I am through with school and have a bit of extra time to devote to gardening.

    1. Carole says:

      Glad you enjoyed!! Raised beds are wonderful, they make maintaining a garden especially during July and August a breeze.

  9. Lisa says:

    This is brilliant. I think I will make one of these for my mom.

    1. Carole says:

      Does your mom garden? I bet she would love it! Build it higher like I mentioned in the post so she doesn’t have to bend over. I’m doing that in my next garden and can hardly wait.

  10. Jane says:

    I love the idea of a raised bed! Thank you for the easy step by step instructions and only $10! I also love that you recycle the screws. Always a great teacher with every day useful info!

    1. Carole says:

      Those screws, lol.. With the farm clean out some things were taking apart and I thought of my grandma when I almost tossed them out. Trying to use things up around here as this week it’s been all about cleaning out the workshop. Amazing the things we accumulate. Glad you found this helpful it’s the companion bed to my new book, Startle Garden.

  11. Wow, I had no idea you could do this so easily and affordably! I love the tidy look of raised beds, but always thought they’d be hard to make, and those kits are so expensive. Thank you for the inspiration!

    1. Carole says:

      Hey Meredith, hope all is well. I have this saying, if you can build a box, you can build anything. So if you already have the tools yes mam the possibilities are endless what you can do on a budget.

  12. Laura says:

    Carole- this is a wonderful tutorial and your blog is beautiful, professional, and so organized!
    I enjoyed being part of this event with you!
    I have raised beds in my garden and I just love them:)

    1. Carole says:

      I must admit I’m a bit of an organized nut. Drives my husband nuts around the house. This was a super fun and I’m looking forward to next month. Not sure what I’ll do but I’m sure inspiration is just around the corner.

  13. Cindy says:

    Carole, a lot of my friends has went to raised beds. Thanks for sharing. Hugs and blessings, Cindy

  14. Hi Carole! It’s nice to meet a fellow gardener! I will have to agree with you that 4′ wide raised beds are harder to manage. I wish we had made ours more narrow because I can’t quite reach the middle without stepping in. Itching to get outside and get started working in them, though!

    1. Carole says:

      Nice to meet you to Jane. I was just in the garden today, had to water the broccoli and lettuce due to lots of wind lately. I took these smaller raised bed idea for a spin last year and loved them.

  15. Angela says:

    Thanks so much for sharing this! I can’t wait to try it.

  16. Linda says:

    Did you use pressure treated wood?

    1. Carole says:

      I never do, but you could and that would extend your investment over the $10 mark.

    2. Kathy Welch says:

      I have tried both. The untreated lasted about 3 years, and fell apart. I was using 2x 12. Ouch!!! Live & learn. lol

      1. Carole says:

        Mine last a good 5 which is great. I found five years with landscaping timbers too.

  17. Sonya says:

    Thanks for the easy to follow plans. I just got done building 2 of them..course, the 1st one took more than 30 minutes to build ? but the 2nd one went together much faster.

    1. Carole says:

      Awesome and congrats, the more you build the faster you will get.

  18. Bob Egert says:

    I am still building birdhouses.

    1. Carole says:

      Well remember to send me a picture after you get them placed. Great idea!

  19. Lori says:

    Hi. Thanks for the great tutorial! I’m getting ready to build raised beds to expand the vegetable garden. My husband is worried about longevity using untreated lumber. How long do your 2×4 beds usually last? Thanks.

    1. Carole says:

      This is one of my favorite raised beds and they’ll last between 4 and 5 years.

    2. Carole says:

      Forgot to include I stain the exterior of the wood which helps. I’ve attached an example of a finished bed like this tutorial.


  20. John says:

    Forgot to add costs and type of soil and fertilizer used and if raised high enough or above ground do you need stilts of bottom added to it.

    1. Carole says:

      This tutorial was for building a raised bed frame only and where the cost resides. Hope it was helpful.

  21. Samantha says:

    First off I love this!! Secondly, about how many bags of soil did you need to fill up the bed?

    1. Carole says:

      Well thank you – these beds are so fun to build and you can stack them as high as you want to go. I normally use soil right from our land because I love to amend. However if you go with large bags for two frames – it should be 3 maybe 4.

  22. oliver gongaware says:

    You Can use old pallets as they are mostly made from hard woods . I have seen some stores that give them away just foe asking . You can take them apart and then use your imagination for just about anything . I feel that they would make small raised beds to plant in . I have made raised beds in the past from old wooden boxes made of pine . They last a good while and you do not have to use much effort to raise them , just add legs . leave the bottoms in them just drill holes for drainage ,fill with siol and plant . Great for lettuce ,radishes and carrots or any thing you want to plant. Than you for your great page !

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