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DIY potting bench

By: James A. Baggett
Tired of making a mess when potting plants? Watch our how-to video to see how we upcycled an old drop leaf table into this handy DIY potting bench!

Are you tired of using the picnic table for potting up seedlings? Do you repot houseplants on top of the dining room table? If so, then this DIY potting bench is guaranteed to make your life easier. We found this drop-leaf table at a flea market for $25 and transformed it into a great-looking upcycled potting bench that you can customize to suit your garden needs and sensibilities. Watch the video above or follow our step-by-step instructions below to find out how we did it.

Make a sturdy potting bench

Many of the ready-made potting benches are made with thin boards and can be wobbly to work on. And the potting benches that are sturdier and better built come with a hefty price tag. Repurposing an unused table solves both issues. Look for a table with sturdy legs and one that’s large enough to provide adequate work space as a potting bench. Keep in mind the size of the drop leaves, as that will determine the size of your final work surface.

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DIY-potting-bench-bowl-with-soil: This enamelware bowl is a handy addition to your potting bench perfect for holding potting mix or catching debris when repotting.

Add stylish and handy features

We added a shelf and cut a hole for a built-in and removable enamelware bowl as a sink, a handy feature for mixing up potting soil, for cleaning tools or for catching plant trimmings. The colors for the table are a neutral gray (for the surface and backboard), light gray (for the legs) and black (for the trim) for an on-trend and elegant color scheme.

DIY-potting-bench-customize-with-accesories: Antique faucet knobs and a wire basket adds style and function to this upcycled potting bench.

Customize your potting bench

The best part about making a DIY potting bench is that you get to customize the design to suit your style and gardening needs. We added lots of fun details like vintage faucet knobs as tool hooks and a wire basket to hold miscellaneous items like garden tools or gloves.


How to make your own DIY potting bench

Check out the materials and tools list to see what you will need. Then click through the slideshow below to see how we created this one-of-a-kind potting bench.

Materials

  • Drop leaf table
  • Enamelware bowl or galvanized tub
  • Wooden garden tool handles or dowels for shelf legs (at least 1¼ inch diameter)
  • (3) 1½×1½-in. black corner braces (L brackets)
  • (12) #7 galvanized Phillips flathead screws
  • (5) 8×1½-in. GRK fasteners or deck screws (2 for shelf legs, 3 for backboard)
  • Shelf 4 in. shorter than the width of the table (ours was a 6-in.-wide piece of 1-in.-thick plywood with a decorative routed edge)
  • Semi-gloss exterior paint
  • 4 black rubber tips (for legs)

Tools

  • Drill
  • Jigsaw with downcut blade
  • 5⁄16, 1⁄8 and 3⁄32-in. wood drill bits
  • Masking tape
  • Permanent marker
  • Sandpaper
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Published: Dec. 3, 2019
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