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DIY Potting Bench

Learn how to build a cute and functional DIY potting bench!

Spring is here and it’s my favorite time of year in Charleston!

To help with my gardening, I built a DIY potting bench, which I’m sharing how to build below with a how to video, build plans, and a step by step tutorial!!

DIY potting bench

Today’s project is a fun spring build collaboration on YouTube with my friend Anika over at Anika’s DIY Life. You can check out her YouTube channel here!

Anika shares awesome woodworking and beginner DIY projects and really helpful home improvement projects too!

Anika built an awesome DIY planter with a self watering feature which is perfect for spring and summer! So make sure to watch her self watering DIY planter video! Definitely a favorite channel to follow!

The total cost of my potting bench, including the lumber, corbels, & four hooks was about $95. Also, I had the stain for another project, but that costs $15 for a quart.

FINAL DIMENSIONS OF POTTING BENCH: 19″ deep x 36″ wide x 58″ tall

Note, this post contains some affiliate links. For more info see my disclosures here.

How to Build a DIY Potting Bench

get the printable build plans button

Materials:

  • (1) 2×6 @ 10ft
  • (1) 1×6 @ 6ft
  • (2) 1×4 @ 8ft
  • (1) 2×4 @ 8ft
  • (3) 2×3 @ 8ft
  • (1) 2×2 @ 8ft (furring board)
  • (1) 1×2 @ 8ft (furring board)
  • 1 1/4″ wood screws or self tapping screws
  • 2 1/2″ wood screws or self tapping screws
  • 1 1/4″ & 2″ brad nails
  • 1 1/4″ and 2 1/2″ Kreg screws
  • (2) Wood corbels
  • Wood Glue
  • Exterior wood stain (I used a quart of Valspar exterior stain in Pinebark)
  • Hooks (optional)
  • Stainable wood filler

Tools:

Potting Bench Video Tutorial:

Subscribe to my YouTube Channel here!

1. Make lumber cuts for the potting bench

Click here for the printable DIY potting bench plans which include the cut list and step by step building steps with easy to follow diagrams!

Use a miter saw and make the following cuts from the 2×4:

  • (2) 2×4 @ 29″ (for front/back aprons)
  • (2) 2×4 @ 15″ (for side aprons)

Make the following cuts from the 2×3s:

  • (2) 2×3 @ 29″ (for front/back aprons)
  • (2) 2×3 @ 15″ (for side aprons)
  • (2) 2×3 @ 58″ (for legs)
  • (2) 2×3 @ 34 1/2″ (for legs)

Make the following cuts from the 2×6:

  • (3) 2×6 @ 36″ (for middle shelf)

Make the following cuts from the 2×2:

  • (1) 2×2 @ 29″ (for middle shelf)

Make the following cuts from the 1×4:

  • (1) 1×4 @ 29″ (for top shelf backing)
  • (8) 1×4 @ 15″ (for lower shelf)

Make the following cuts from the 1×2:

  • (2) 1×2 @ 31″ (for lower shelf)

Make the following cuts from the 1×6:

  • (1) 1×6 @ 29″ (for top shelf)
  • (1) 1×6 @ 34″ (for top shelf)
make lumber cuts

2. Add pocket holes to boards

Make sure the Kreg Jig is set for 1 1/2″ thick wood.

Add pocket holes on each end of the following boards:

  • (2) 2×4 @ 29″ (for front/back aprons)
  • (2) 2×4 @ 15″ (for side aprons)
  • (2) 2×3 @ 29″ (for front/back aprons)
  • (2) 2×3 @ 15″ (for side aprons)

Adjust the Kreg Jig settings to 3/4″ thick wood and add pockets holes to each end of the following:

  • (1) 1×6 @ 29″
  • (1) 1×4 @ 29″

3. Assemble the side frames of the potting bench

Lay out one of the 58″ and 34 1/2″ 2×3 legs on their sides. Measure and mark 34 1/2″ up from the bottom of the 58″ 2×3 and then 4″ up from the bottom of both 2x3s.

Attach the 2×3 legs together with a 2×4 @15″ at the top 34 1/2″ mark and attach a 2×3 @15″ at the bottom 4″ marks.

Use wood glue and 2 1/2″ Kreg screws to attach the boards together and make sure the pocket holes are facing inwards.

assemble potting bench sides

Repeat these steps again to form the second frame, except for this second side, attach the boards so they are going the opposite direction as shown here.

assemble potting bench sides
potting bench sides both assembled - back view

4. Assemble the back and front of the potting bench to the side frames

Attach the two sides frames together and create the back of the DIY potting bench by attaching one 2×4 @ 29″, 34 1/2″ up from the bottom of the 2×3 potting bench legs.

Use wood glue and 2 1/2″ Kreg screws to attach the boards together and make sure the pocket holes are facing inwards. Also, I used our 48″ clamp to help with this part.

attaching back of potting bench frame with pocket holes and clamps

Next, attach a 2×3 @ 29″, 4″ up from the bottom of the 2×3 potting bench legs with Kreg screws and wood glue.

attaching back of potting bench frame

After the 2×3 @ 29″ is installed, measure and mark 3/4″ down from the top of the 2×3 on both sides.

marking back frame support

Then, attach a 1×2 @ 31″ with wood glue and self tapping 1 1/4″ screws (or regular wood screws) at these marks. This is to create a shelf support for the 3/4″ thick slat boards for our lower shelf.

attaching 1x2 lower shelf support with screws

Flip the potting bench frame over and repeat all of these steps to create the front frame.

front frame of potting bench attached to sides

See all of these steps in action in the potting bench video tutorial here!

5. Install the top shelf frame boards of the DIY potting bench

We found it easiest to hang the top of the potting bench over the edge of our work surface and then clamp the 1×6 @ 29″ and 1×4 @ 29″ boards in place with the front edges flush with the 2×3 fronts.

frame of potting bench on side
attahcing top shelf of potting bench with clamps

Then, we attached them with 1 1 /4″ Kreg screws.

attahcing top shelf of potting bench with clamps and pocket holes
frame of DIY potting bench before adding middle and top shelf

6. Add the the slat boards to create the lower shelf

Lay the 1×4 slat boards on top of the 1×2 supports, spaced about 1/2″ apart to create the lower shelf. Secure in place with wood glue and 1 1/4″ brad nails.

adding 1x4 slats to lower shelf
lower shelf of potting bench

7. Build the middle shelf of the potting bench

Place the first 2×6 board on top of the bench frame so it’s against the back legs and there is a 1″ overhang on each side of the 2×6.

installing middle shelf of potting bench with a 1 inch overhang in sides

Attach the board to the frame with 2 1/2″ self tapping screws on each side. Make sure they are countersunk beneath the wood surface a little bit.

Attach the next two 2×6 boards this same way leaving a 1/2″ gap between each board.

installing middle shelf of potting bench with screws
installing middle shelf of potting bench

Finish off the top shelf by adding a 2×2 @ 29″ between the back 2×3 legs with wood glue and 2″ brad nails.

adding back 2x2 support to middle shelf

8. Install the shelf corbels

Decide where you want to install your shelf. We marked a center point at 6 5/8″ down from the top of the 2×3 and 1 1/4″ in from the sides.

Then, we used a 1 1/4″ self tapping screw at this mark for our first corbel to sit on. We also used some wood glue and a clamp as well. Make sure to wipe away the excess wood glue with a damp paper towel.

adding wood screws for corbels
wood corbel on potting bench with clamp and wood glue on screw

Repeat these steps for the other shelf corbel.

It’s easier to wait to install the shelf on top of the corbels and go ahead and stain the DIY potting bench and add the hardware hooks first.

9. Stain the potting bench

Prepare the potting bench for stain.

Fill any screw or nail holes in with stainable wood filler if desired. And sand the wood filler once dried and any joints if needed.

filling holes with stainable wood filler

We stained our potting bench with one coat of Valspar semi transparent exterior stain in Pine bark. Also, we used a foam brush to stain in between the boards.

You can see the staining in action in the DIY potting bench video tutorial here!

10. Attach the shelf and hooks

Finally, attach the hooks in place with the included screws. The hooks I used were 1″ wide and I spaced them each 5″ apart on the 1×4 @ 29″.

attaching hooks to potting bench

Attach the 1×6 shelf on top of the corbels with wood glue and 1 1/4″ nails.

attaching top shelf to corbels for DIY potting bench
DIY potting bench after staining and building before flowers

I had so much fun picking out flowers at the garden center and planting them using our new potting bench. I love how cute and functional our DIY potting bench turned out!

How to build a potting bench
DIY potting bench with flowers
up close of rustic DIY potting bench with pots, flowers, shovels, and hat

Don’t forget to check out Anika’s channel and her awesome DIY planter video!

Make sure to join our Woodworking for the Home Facebook group and share this project there if you make it! Or tag me on social media @angelamariemade or #angelamariemade!

Follow along for my latest projects and sneak peaks on Instagram, YouTube, and Pinterest!

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