Sunday, July 3

DIY Potting Bench

This is how I spent my 4th of July weekend!

Well, not the WHOLE weekend, just a few hours. I also spent a goodly amount of time eating corn on the cob and watermelon. And I admit, I DID spend the lion's share of my time in the pool, squirting my kids in their faces with a Super Soaker until they banded together like Voltron and flipped my floating lounge chair over.

I think we can all agree, that's how the Founding Fathers would have wanted it.
It was a great weekend.

And here we are now!! Together again. Any Monday that finds me staring fondly at something I made despite my criminal lack of formal training with power tools is a good Monday. I made this. I love saying that.

Make one with me, after the jump!!

I have been really covetous of inspired by all the beautiful and functional potting benches I've been seeing in the home & garden mags lately. Flea Market Gardening, Better Homes and Gardens, Martha Stewart Living, I want to have all of them. But I can't.


But that's okay, because I've made my own, and so can you! First, you'll need a very meticulous and precise diagram of your future potting bench.
Not pictured: precision or meticulousness.
Then you'll need to purchase your building materials. I bought six 2"x 4" beams that were 8 feet long, and one 4'x8' sheet of plywood.
This gave me enough lumber, plus a bit left over, to make exactly what I wanted! Except the lumber was mislabeled, and instead of being 8 feet long, all my 2x4s were 7 feet 8 inches. I was really peeved, but not so much that I was willing to heave it all BACK into the van and exchange it. Also, and did you know this, because I did not, 2x4s are really 1.5"x3.5". SAY WHAT?

I was scandalized by this, but I've been assured it's totally normal. Anyway.

SO. I had to adjust my specs a bit and revamp some of my plans, but I perservered. I also decided to make a crucial change to the upper shelf. Instead of having a fixed shelf, I wanted to make it removeable, so that if I ever need the bench to just be a temporary table, it can be. Neato!!

I also wanted the upper shelf to be cuter. This was very important. So in place of boring old wood uprights, I painted some cute flower pots white and attached the shelf to them.
Ooh!! I almost forgot! I was recently given some cool carved crown moldings, and I thought, "what the hey??" So that's on there too. And I painted it with some leftover pale green from my kitchen, just some cheapo Valspar paint in "Lindhurst Spring Eve". The green is on the bench top and its legs, and on the molding and flower pots I used some of the leftover white paint that's on my bathroom cabinets.
My garden tools hang from hooks on one side;
My little red watering can hides underneath,
out of the way.

Two white flower pots support the upper shelf,
and the whole thing is easily removed!

Pretty dang inexpensive, for a potting bench! Less than $30 for the wood, and I had paint on hand. I'll have to apply some weather sealer to it to keep it safe from the elements, but not bad for a little weekend project!
Chalk paint makes great, easily changeable labels.
Jobe's Plant Food Spikes and Miracle Gro at my fingertips!

I love this grapevine molding!

Peat pots and sissal twine! If only the weather
was more conducive to gardening...

Nosy old Dexter is in about 30 of my shots,
so I had to include one...
I hope this Fourth of July finds everyone (even my overseas friends, Hi Hannah!!) happy and well. We've got big plans ourselves (more swimming, more watermelon) and this box of fireworks we bought from a local cheerleading squad fundraiser:

This won't do NEARLY enough damage.
We'll be buying more.

I may even do a little gardening...

With my new potting bench!!


  1. I didn't realize that you did the grapevine molding yourself. You said you have a tool for that? Does it have a guide or did you just do it freehand?

  2. Oh, no no no! Lol I WISH I could carve molding like that! It already had the grapevine motif; all I did was nail it to the bench.

    Crafty Butt

  3. Gosh that looks like something your mother would really love. If you are a good daughter you will make one for her.

  4. AMEI!!!

  5. WOW! Good job! I'm inspired to build a table. I've got a bunch of left over wood. I just might try it. I'm your newest follower. Hope you can visit me sometime soon.

  6. Awesome! So cool you did it yourself!

  7. Great looking potting bench! Awesome job :)

  8. Thanks ladies! I'm reeeeeally happy with it. I can't believe I waited as long as I did! It was cheap and easy to build. The only problem was that I waited until Summer. If I'd done this in April, it would have MUCH more pleasant experience!!

    Crafty Butt

  9. so fun to finally be done and begin to use what you've worked on! i'm excited for you! xoxo, tracie

  10. How awesome! I want one! lol You did such a fabulous job! Happy White Wednesday. Drop by for a visit!

    Waving from Our Back Porch,

  11. I have no power tool training either and not quite as adverturesome as you, perhaps if I had your "precise" building plans. Anyway, I'm scouring GW for a table that I can put on top of a wooden platform to get right height. Then I'll add shelves, sections, hole in the top to scrap off soil, whatever it needs. I'll see what leftover paint I have. Thanks for the idea and encouragement.

  12. LOVE your potting bench, especially how you used the pots to support the shelf. Great job!

  13. HI Melody! Wow I am so impressed with your potting bench that you made! It turned out wonderful. I slapped two pieces together....cabinet and picket fence piece and made one...but there was no technical work done like yours...I am so impressed with you. And it looks great. I too needed a place to put potting soil into pots instead of bending over all the time. Hahaha!
    Great post.

  14. Wowzers! Looks amazing, you did such a great job!

  15. I've been doing the blog rounds this morning myself! I love seeing everyone's projects; gives me ideas... lol! Debbie-- you know what they say! Gardening begins with daybreak and ends with backbreak!!

    Crafty Butt

  16. That is awesome!! :) Love your blog name BTW! :)

  17. Great job!! I want a potting bench!!

  18. Really awesome post! Thanks for linking it up at the Creative Bloggers' Party & Hop :)

  19. I have gardener's envy. :) I've featured this post on Craft Gossip here:

    If you would like a "featured by" button, you can grab one here:

  20. hi! i love your potting bench and want one too! would so love to make one. i have to get off my lazy butt and kick it into a crafty butt :)

  21. Love the potting bench! I am going to try making one for my craft room and have a crafting bench!

  22. Fantastic job!! So much cheaper than what is available to buy in the stores...may I ask what your final measurements wound up being? The reason I ask is that my local lumber/hardware/etc. store will cut to specs provided...since I don't own any power tools, saws, etc. this would be my route to take. Thanks so much for sharing!!

  23. @Ruby

    My final measurements were 3'H by 3'W by 2'Deep. The top shelf is 3'W by 1'Deep. If I had any sense at ALL, I'd have asked the Home Depot guy to cut my lumber too. It didn't even occur to me...

    Crafty Butt

  24. Following you from Someday Crafts. Would love to have you link this up at my {wow me} wednesday link up party going on right now. :)


  25. EVERYONE needs a potting bench, great job!! Thanks for sharing the how-to with us, and linking up for VIF! xo Debra

  26. Hey Melody,

    Girl, I love that you made this yourself, YAY for girl power, he he.

    WHat a useful piece to have in the garden, LOVE that!!

    Thanks so much for linking up to my party :)
    I loved this so much, I featured you girl!
    Come grab a button girl, and display it proudly!

    Hugs, Bella **Features from week #43 & 44** @ Bella Before and After
    **PARTY PLANNING TUESDAYS** @ Euro Style Cakes. Party planning tips, decorations, invitations, and recipes welcome to link up.


Thanks for commenting!! I really do read them all and I greatly appreciate the feedback.