How to Build a Potting Bench Part I


A few weeks ago, I dragged my little potting bench inside to use in my mudroom. Since I'm beginning to landscape my property now (finally!), I needed a new bench PRONTO. Soooooo time to build!  Here's what I came up with:



I searched Google for some plans that I liked and found a whole bunch of 'em.  I chose this one - click HERE - and then modified it to suit me and the little touches I wanted to incorporate.  This was a bit of a difficult plan to work with because I had no one to help me.  If you have a helper, this is a great plan to use.

I bought new wood for this - 2x4s, 1x4s, 1x2s - because I didn't want to dance around with odds & ends of wood.  Total cost $40 including coated screws, paint and caulking.  As it was, I wound up doing the dance anyway because I added an old window frame and some metal panels from a fire screen - then I spent a ton of time trying to figure out how to secure everything.  Sheesh.



I began by building the base, a rectangular box with 2x4s - the long pieces are 48" and the short pieces are 21".  Then I attached the legs - the front are 36" and the back are 72".  Once that was in place, I attached the 48" slats all across the bottom.  I used 1x4s for the first and last pieces and 1x2s spaced evenly (I used a 1x2 on edge as a spacer).  I used acrylic caulk as glue and my nail gun to attach the slats to the cross pieces.  Then I covered each nail hole with more acrylic caulk - this stuff is interior/exterior and paintable.


Then I dragged this baby outside because I was never going to be able to move it by myself after I added any more wood to it.


I had a salvaged window frame that was the perfect size to fit my upper pieces.  How lucky is that?!  So I used coated 2" screws to attach it to the frame.  Then I attached the front piece for the table top, a 51" 2x4 and another 51" 2x4 is attached across the top of the window frame.

I built the table frame in the same way as the base frame minus the front piece which is already attached.  Notice the table front piece fits right across the legs and the shelf front piece does not.



Then came the jiggling part as I had to come up with a brace to hold this assembly in place so I could screw it to the legs.  One trick to making things easier is to measure, drill and install your screws in place ready to screw into the frame once you have the table frame in place and level.


Once the table frame was in place, it was simple to add the table top pieces.  So that I didn't have a lot of material waste (save on wood and money!), I added 2x2s to the sides so that my table top pieces would be 48" instead of 51".  I also prefer not having the end grain exposed, so this method works really well!


Then I added my metal fire screen pieces and realized I was going to have to find some way of holding them in place.

Here is the broken screen.  I used the two side pieces for the bench.


  I came up with a pattern I liked and used 1x4s to fill in the gaps:


I picked up two flower basket brackets and built a little shelf from two 1x4s and braced them across the bottom with 1x2s.  I placed the braces right up against the brackets so that the shelf could be removed easily but would sit firmly in place without any screws.  Then the whole thing got painted.

Garage Sale Find! $1.00


More garage sale finds - gotta love those garage sales.
And now the photo you've all been waiting for!  






For Part II, adding a roof, click on the photo:


Happy gardening!

77 comments:

Cristina Garay said...

Wow, WOW! I was looking for inspiration on how to build a potting bench, that's it! Your potting bench is AWESOME!

Danni Baird @ Silo Hill Farm said...

You are absolutely my favorite DIY hero Anne!! I love this and I love the use of the window and the little lanterns. Mostly I love that you will take this kind of project on without a helper! You go girl! Pinned it for swiping later!

Butterfly 8)(8 Bungalow said...

So adorable and spectacular that you did it all by yourself!

I see you have it sitting n napkins, maybe the paint is still drying on the feet. If you don't want the wood to touch the ground they sell galvanized braces, and the wood since it was standard should fit into them. There are all different kinds. I'm thinking the one that goes on the bottom of a beam would fit and be level, but hard to tell from the photo. They are a little pricey, but keep it from rotting.

Mimi@blueroofcabin said...

You did a great job on your bench! I love the slatted look on the bottom and the extra touches you added. I do have a question, your Kreg jig is still in the box isn't it? Haha. Don't need that anyways.

Athena at Minervas Garden said...

This is a great potting bench--I love it, and you have some mad woodworking skilz--way beyond what I can do! I love the colors you used, and all the fun design elements like that top shelf and all the decorations you used--I just love it all!

Susan @ Rustic ReDiscovered said...

Love it Anne, Your added touches make it so cute. Can't wait to see the roof!
Susan

Cynthia Weber said...

It looks amazing Anne!! I bet you can't wait to get it covered in dirt and start planting!

Christine Vandormolen said...

ohh I love those little lanterns hanging on it.....my friend just gave me her old potting shed...you gave me some ideas on how to dress it up!!!

Shirley@Housepitality Designs said...

Anne...your potting is truly amazing!!...you have added so many cute details and now a roof??!!!...I love it!!!...Truly a potting bench for all of us to swoon over!...Cannot wait to see the roof!!...

Mel@JunkinJunky said...

That is truly beautiful! I know that you love gardening and now you have yet another beauty to add. And a roof? All of your decorative touches make it incredibly sweet! Girl Power!!!

Pam said...

I was out looking for junk to turn my old kitchen table into a potting bench just today, so this comes in handy for me. I love how you used the lights on it!

Audrey said...

Love it Anne ... you do such good work ... wish you lived close to me. I am working on a potting bench right now and not too sure how well it will come out. Using reclaimed lumber and a lot of vintage salvage. These sometimes present a real problem. Decided new wood is maybe the easy way out.

Enjoy ...
Audrey Z. @ Timeless Treasures

Julie @ followyourheartwoodworking said...

Great job Anne, it looks beautiful.

Cynthia said...

This is beautiful as always Anne! I love, love it! I want and I am putting in my order now!

Cynthia

Jennifer said...

Looks terrific Anne! I amy have to steal a few ideas. Hubby is making me some trellis supports and then I amy have to go on to figure out a design for my potting bench.

Something Nice and Pretty said...

Just one wonderful job Anne, love the color you painted it too!

Bliss said...

Anne. Can. Build.

Bliss

Amy Ellis said...

Your potting bench dance worked out splendidly, love it Anne!!

Katie @ Creatively Living said...

I love it Anne! Great work!

anangloinquebec said...

We are presently trying to finish up pour backyard project that we started last year and I love the idea of including a potting bench. This one is perfect Anne. YOu really are so creative.

Shauna@Satori Design for Living said...

Wow, ambitious project that turned out so great. Would love a potting bench if I had more room!

Kelly @ JAX does design said...

Holy Crap Anne, that's AWESOME! You are seriously rockin' the tools! You really did an amazing job, and I'm sure you'll be getting LOTS of use out of your beautiful blue potting bench :-)

Hartwood Roses said...

O.M.Geeeee! This is so cute and SOOO well built! I love it!

Terri Lynn Grothe said...

ohhh i love it!!!!!!!!! such a great job

Becky@Beyond The Picket Fence said...

Love it so!! You have inspired me, thanks for sharing.

Vetsy said...

"Ooo..It's so pretty! Your are really good at this! Very Lovely!

Anne said...

Thank you Vetsy!

Anne said...

Thanks Terri Lynn! So glad you stopped by :)

Lulu said...

I am about to head outside to do some spring potting, but I will be working on the porch. Your bench shows me that I would really appreciate have such a delightful place to do the work. It's so lovely though I'd hate to get dirt on it. Good job!!

Elena Sullivan said...

You are so crazy-talented! You have totally inspired me... to have you come to my house and make another one ;)
--Elena

White Weathered Hutch, said...

Anne I'm impressed!! Great going girl all by yourself...
I love that cute seed frame you have hanging. Is this something you made.

Betty@SouthernGrace said...

Ohh, I really, really LOVE this. I have been wanting a potting bench also and looking at so many on line I cannot decide. But..I am definitely showing this one to my husband. Thanks for sharing. Found on on Common Ground..

Debra Oliver said...

Anne, you are amazing. You can build anything!! love your bench, you did a super job!

Tiainspace said...

Green with envy! That turned out so well! I literally thought you updated a store bought model, then scrolled down and said, "she MADE it!!" Wow! Nice work!!

Charlene Faulkner said...

What a perfect work of art Anne!

Anne said...

What a nice thing to say! Thank you!

Cindy Rippe said...

Oooo.. that looks to pretty to mess up with potting soil. I make such a mess that it's best for me to transplant pots right in the grass. lol. The paint color is great too. Thanks for sharing.

Cindy
www.cindyrippe.blogspot.com

malia said...

Anne you are an amazing builder... not only do you have the vision but you execute it beautifully!

Daniela Duriavig said...

Anne! Seriously! Most people want a potting bench and then make a Pinterest board and cross their fingers for something to show up on craigslist. But make one?? From scratch? You seriously rock!

Samantha said...

That is amazing! Great job!! I love it.
(welcome to Social Fabric!)

Anne said...

Thanks Daniela! I love to build!!!

Anne Boykin said...

Hi Anne, You are so talented! Love your potting bench.

reFresh reStyle said...

Love it! Make me one :)
Debbie

The Tablescaper said...

I host a weekly link party called "Seasonal Sundays". This week, in honor of my fourth blog-a-versary, I'm having a giveaway of a $100.00 gift certificate to HomeGoods/TJ Maxx. I'd love to have you join the fun!

- The Tablescaper

Tasha said...

WOWZA! You are so awesome at DIY projects. Unbelievable work. Great job!

Cindy said...

That looks fabulous, Anne! You make it look so easy. :)

Karie's Chic Creations said...

OH MY Gosh! I wonder if I could do this. I want a potting bench so badly. Thanks for the inspiration and directions. Karie

Maria Elena said...

Oh, I love, love your potting bench! So pretty! I want one so badly... LOL
I have a new weekly link party which is live now and I would love if you stop by and link up this wonderful post! Hope to see you there! http://mariaelenasdecor.blogspot.com/ Hugs, Maria

Mary Beth said...

Anne!!!! This is soooo awesome....just like you.

Thanks for sharing at Project Inspire{d} ~ pinning to my party board.

Hugs, Mary Beth

Jona @ Boho Willow said...

So jealous of your skills! I'd try this, then have to ask my husband for help, then that would be a whole new set of issues. Pinned anyway!

The Decorative Dreamer said...

Love your potting bench! I have one that my hubby built for me several years ago. It's aging but still my all time favorite vision. They are so functional too. Yours is adorable,love the colors and I love the way you have accessorized it too. Great job!

Javeriya Siddiqui said...

Love the potting bench with all the details! Pinning it up.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to have one with a pail in it so I could mix my soil.

Kristin @ Yellow Bliss Road said...

Wow Anne you did a beautiful job! Just fabulous!! Thanks for linking up!

Anne said...

Yes, that would be handy!

Gail Wilson said...

love your potting bench anne! Thanks for linking up, catching you this week!
gail

Korrie@RedHenHome said...

This is SO amazing, Anne! Great work!

Natasha In Oz said...

Wow Anne, you are so clever! That potting bench looks amazing.

Thanks so much for linking up to the Say G'day Saturday party. Hope to see you again this weekend!

Best wishes,
Natasha in Oz
www.natashainoz.com

Vicki Wizniuk said...

This is so great. I can't find the Part II... did I miss it somehow?

Andi's English Attic said...

Fabulous. xx

Laurel Stephens said...

I love your potting bench and the way you've styled it. So cute!

Heather - New House New HOme said...

Hi Anne

Love the potting bench. Just a quick question: the "seed packet" sign - did you make it or buy it? I'm looking for a trio of this type of image for my kitchen.

Pam Jackson said...

Excellent!

Debbie @ MeandMyDIY said...

You're so clever Anne! I love the whole thing, but I think my favorite part is the two hanging lights. And you did a great job incorporating the window frame and metal fire screens. Very, very clever. Well done, as usual!

Debbie

Judy K said...

You did a great job. I will be featuring this tonight at my Sizzle into Summer party that opens at 8pm EST. Please stop by and pick up an I've Been Featured button. Thanks.

Leslie Stewart said...

Thanks so much for sharing your potting bench at my Twirl & Take a Bow party! Stop by House on the Way to see it featured! Feel free to grab a "featured" button. Have a great week.
Leslie

Holly said...

Wow. You are insane talented. My sad little potting bench needs some love. You've given me some inspiration. Hugs, Holly
http://coconutheadsurvivalguide.com/blog/

Anne said...

You can do it! I have complete faith in you! :)

Ivy and Elephants said...

You totally rock. This potting bench is beautiful. This is such an awesome post. I would love it if you would share this post at our WIW linky party. Hope you can join us!

Paula
ivyandelephants.blogspot.com

Zuni, Chickadee Home Nest said...

I so want a potting bench--just like yours--but I can't begin to imagine building it. Wow!!! What a great job! Thanks for sharing it! ~Zuni

Cathy Compeau said...

This is awesome!
I would love for you to share and link up at my weekly TGIF Link Party if you haven't already this week. Your favorite posts, most popular, recent or new! The party is open every Thursday night and closes Wednesday's at midnight. Followed by (Not SO) Wordless Wednesday! http://apeekintomyparadise.blogspot.com/. I would be honored if you join us! Have a wonderful week!

Hugs, Cathy

Felix S said...

This is so lovely, Great Ideas!

ANNE said...

Thanks so much!

Dorth said...

What kind of paint did u use? I'd love to try this.

ANNE said...

It's Behr Exterior Paint in a half shade of Agave and their non-tinted bright white. Go for it!!

Katherine said...

Shoot...lost my comments. I notice you built this in 2013 and used non-treated wood. Do you use it inside (I may have missed that detail). You worked so hard and added so many cute bits and bobs I hope it is out of the weather. (sorry, worrier) Just too cute to lose to the weather. Mine was built with treated wood in 2007 and is having "issues". Just wondering. Saved it to my pinterest page so I could find it again. Beautiful blog - enjoyed wandering in it.

ANNE said...

Thank you for your sweet comments! This bench was built to be outdoors. I added a roof to it and attached old windows to either side to help keep the weather out. The paint will help keep the wood from rotting. Thanks for visiting!