Potting Bench by Between Naps on the Porch

easy potting bench plans by Ana-White.com


Projects built from this plan. Thank you for submitting brag posts, it's appreciated by all!

Author Notes: 

Hi everyone!  Hope you had a great weekend!  

Is spring arriving for you?  Up here in Alaska, we've been blessed with the warmest winter I can remember, and we are so thankful for the increasing daylight.  My mom has already started her seeds!

I am overly honored today to be able to introduce a new plan, just in time for spring, built by my friend Susan from Between Naps on the Porch.

Can you believe this potting table was Susan's first ever project?  That before building this potting table, she'd never built anything in her life?  And that she did the designing too?

I tell you, it is a great honor to be able to share the plans with you!

You'll find plan diagrams below, but please take a second to stop over and read Susan's building post!

Thank you Susan!

Enjoy the plans following!

XO Ana + Fam

Shopping List: 

1 - 4x4 @ 12 feet long
4 - 2x4 @ 8 feet long
6 - 1x6 cedar boards 10 feet long or 9 cedar fence pickets 6 feet long
4 - caster wheels (if desired)
3" or longer self tapping exterior deck screws
2" self tapping exterior deck screws (for attaching top)
exterior wood glue

measuring tape
safety glasses
hearing protection
General Instructions: 

Please read through the entire plan and all comments before beginning this project. It is also advisable to review the Getting Started Section. Take all necessary precautions to build safely and smartly. Work on a clean level surface, free of imperfections or debris. Always use straight boards. Check for square after each step. Always predrill holes before attaching with screws. Use glue with finish nails for a stronger hold. Wipe excess glue off bare wood for stained projects, as dried glue will not take stain. Be safe, have fun, and ask for help if you need it. Good luck!

Dimensions shown above
Cut List: 

4 - 4x4 @ 35-1/2" - cut shorter per wheel height if using (legs)
8 - 2x4 @ 22" (sides and top supports)
4 - 2x4 @ 48" (front and back)
1 - 2x4 @ 45" (bottom support)
8 - 1x6 cedar boards or fence pickets @ 26" (bottom shelf)
5 - 1x6 cedar boards or fence pickets @ 50" (top shelf)

Step 1: 

Test a few of your screws to make sure you don't need to predrill all the holes. I find self tapping screws pretty forgiving (though more expensive). Layout the 4x4 legs and attach the 2x4s to the top and at the bottom shelf location. 

 To keep things pretty - I love how Susan made a screw pattern here.

Step 2 Instructions: 

Now things will start to take shape! Attach 2x4s to both the 4x4s and the side 2x4s for extra support.

Step 3 Instructions: 

You'll need something to attach the top boards too - so attach more 2x4s inside the top.

Step 4 Instructions: 

The same needs to be done for the bottom shelf - but we'll go the other way since the bottom shelf boards are run the other way.

Step 5 Instructions: 

Layout six of the bottom shelf boards and attach, with an even overhang on both sides. Leave about a 3/4" gap between the wood slats.

Attach to center support and sides with shorter exterior deck screws.

For the end shelf boards, you'll need to notch out with a jigsaw. The easiest way to do this is to scribe the board in place by placing next to the 4x4s, marking the 4x4 location, and cutting in 3-1/2". Susan shows you how she notched out her bottom shelf boards here.

Step 6 Instructions: 

Attach top shelf boards with the shorter screws to the supports - if the supports were placed to plans, the dotted lines show the location of the center of the studs.

Step 7 Instructions: 

Attach wheels to bottom of legs if using. 

For more details - please visit Susan at Between Naps on the Porch.

Thank you Susan!

Preparation Instructions: 
Fill all holes with wood filler and let dry. Apply additional coats of wood filler as needed. When wood filler is completely dry, sand the project in the direction of the wood grain with 120 grit sandpaper. Vacuum sanded project to remove sanding residue. Remove all sanding residue on work surfaces as well. Wipe project clean with damp cloth. It is always recommended to apply a test coat on a hidden area or scrap piece to ensure color evenness and adhesion. Use primer or wood conditioner as needed.
Project Type: 
Estimated Cost: 
Skill Level: 


This is so cool! Really easy to follow tutorial. You should wear protective masks and gloves.

I love this! I am determined to have a garden this year, so I'm thinking I NEED it :-)

Do you think I could use pocket holes to attach the 2x4s? I bought a massive box (2000!) of outdoor 2.5" Kreg screws, so this seems like a good use for them.

I built this in about 3 hours including sanding yesterday. What a sturdy bench, I think I may build another one a little bigger for a workbench using maple as a top. Two things i found: From the buy list, I was (1) 2x4 short, as well as (1) 1x6 too many. Also, be very careful about screw placement on the (2) cut out boards on the lower shelf. It's very easy to split the wood even when pre-drilling. One last thing, remember to always put the Top boards "crown down" to keep from warping and pulling up in the future.