Houseplants have taken over my home. Like many people my husband found a new quarantine hobby during the great 2020 pandemic. He has had a few plants here and there over the years but this year he has accumulated over 50 of them. It makes him happy and he enjoys it so I can’t complain.
However the constant re-potting or plant maintenance has given me a few things to complain about.
He gets dirt everywhere or leaves his pots and other stuff just lying in my way.
I decided to build him a potting bench for outside. He can display all his plants, and have room for storage underneath. Maybe if I give him an area to himself to do all this then the mess will be contained!
Day 31 of Artober was roots. This may be a cop-out but potting involves roots and I wanted him to have a nice place to take care of his plant babies. So that’s how this post was born!
Below I will show you how I made this pretty simple bench. The ones online were always too small for over 200 bucks. This one may not have all the bells and whistles but I made it for UNDER 200 bucks and its 8 feet long.
- Wood glue
- 1/8 drill bit
- 1×4 8-foot wood planks x 14
- 2×4 8-foot wood planks x2
- 1×2 8-foot wood plank x1
- 1-1/4″ exterior screws
- 1-5/8″ exterior screws
- 2-1/2″ exterior screws
- English chestnut wood stain
- Indoor/outdoor varnish
If you get the wood cut at the hardware store then you wont even need a miter-saw.
Here are the dimensions of the wood needed:
- need one or two of the 1×4 planks cut down to six 17-inch pieces.
- Both 2×4 planks cut into four 3-foot long pieces for the legs.
- 2 leftover pieces of 2×4 cut to 14.5 inches
- nine of the 1×4’s at 8-feet. I trimmed off the ends to make them all one length since they weren’t all exactly 8 feet long.
- Four 1×4 planks cut to 7 feet 2 inches
- 1×2 plank cut into 15 inch pieces
I started by first taking my six 8-foot long boards and laying them next to each other. Then glued and clamped them in place. I also set something heavy on both sides to make sure it would lay flat as it dried.
After it dried I laid 2 of the 1×4 boards on each side long ways. I laid the 17 inch pieces inside that. two on each side standing up instead of laying flat. These pieces laying flat will give extra support to the top so it wont bow.
I moved the side pieces in about 3 or 4 inches.
Before you screw these in make sure to make a pilot hole. I used to try and skip the pilot hole step. I now know its necessary or else the wood will crack.
I took the screw and saw how far down it would go and marked it with the tape on the drill bit. This way it wont go too far and through the other side.
On the flat boards I used the 1-1/4 screws on each board. so I used six screws in total to adhere the one flay board to the top six boards.
on the board standing up to connect the two long sides I used the longer ones. I used the 1-5/8 but the 2-1/2 screws work here too.
I also screwed in the long side boards to the flat boards. Making sure to also do pilot holes before screwing anything in.
After everything was screwed together I set the 2×4 boards inside the frame I built. And screwed it in to the two boards they were touching with the 2-1/2 screws.
After that I measured out where I want the shelf to lie and clamped it in. I also used another board that was a good length to prop it up so it was even. Screwed it in with the 2-1/2 screws and did the same on the other side.
After this I was able to flip the table over and have it stand up right.
This is where I found out the length of the bottom shelf. It ended up being 7 foot 2 inches for me. but may differ if you move things around. I cut them to the length I needed and laid them out across the two 2x4s
I drilled the 1×2 boards into the 4 planks and I made sure the boards that had dents or imperfections would be face up where I was drilling. This is so when the 1x2s are all drilled in I can flip it over and have the nicer side be the top of the shelf. I used the 1-1/4 screws after I drilled pilot holes. Sometimes its easier to drill one pilot hole, drill in the screw then do the same on the opposite side so it stays in place and doesn’t move around.
I drilled the 1×2 onto all 4 boards like I did up top. to give it some stability.
This part would have been much easier if I wasn’t stubborn and would have asked for assistance. instead I held the board up on the back and awkwardly drilled the pilot hole and screw in one end. Then drilled in the other side and put two more in between those. It was annoying. ask for help holding the board!
Next sand it down to your liking. I used English Chestnut stain and got everywhere visible. I did not do the underside because I felt there was no point since no one would see it.
Once that dried enough, I applied two coats of this varnish. You may need more but I laid it on THICK. Later when my husband was using the bench he spilled water all over it and not a drop soaked into the wood. It all stayed on the surface, so this varnish was a perfect choice.
This thing was heavy but not as heavy as it seems! Still get some help moving it or you’ll end up awkwardly moving it like my dumb-ass pushing it through the house by myself. The bottom shelf inst really meant for anything too heavy so I urged him not to put anything in the middle so it wouldn’t start bowing. Heavier stuff on the side just in case but I’m not too worried about it!
It fit perfectly in our screened in porch and I added little hooks on the side for his tools.
That’s all! Thanks for following along! If you end up trying this please let me know! I’d love to see how it came out!
I made a “Plant Daddy” sign if you want to add that to your potting area, I show you how below!