Whether you are a keen gardener growing your flowers and vegetables from seeds or someone that simply plants up a few pots on your decking, having a dedicated potting area can be a real game changer. Here I show you how to build your own using 5 pallets.
- 5 pallets – I used 3 that are fully covered with wood and 2 that are slatted. Mine were 120 cm by 100 cm.
- Outdoor paint or clear seal – I used this one.
- Cupboard door knobs or handles
- Screw driver and screws
- Hammer and crow bar
- Saw (circular saw is optional but useful)
- Sander or sand paper
- Paint brush
- Dust mask and gloves
- Spirit level and pen
- Tape measure
HOW TO MAKE THE PALLET POTTING BENCH
Step 1: Chose two matching pallets to make the sides and one for the desk top. I chose fully covered wooden pallets rather than slatted ones but of course you could use whatever you have.
The desk top part works best if you have a fully covered wooden pallet, so your compost doesn’t fall through.
Step 2: Turn the two side pallets upside down and carefully remove the back wooden slats using a crow bar and hammer. Remove any loose nails too. I chose to wear gloves for this to protect my hands. Put any good slats to one side as these can be used later.
Step 3: Turn the bench top pallet upside down and using the saw, trim the back slats back to the cross beams.
Step 4: You now need to cut the 3 pallets down to the right size. Using the saw, and wearing a dust mask, cut the pallets down so they are 70 cm deep. Place the 30cm off cuts to one side as these will make the shelves later.
Rather than cutting through slats, try to saw through the cross beams in between the slats. This may mean depending on the size of pallet you cut it down to a different dimension to me.
Step 5: The desk top part now needs to be cut along both sides, so it will sit on the support beams of the sides when they are standing in position. Using a spirit level measure 10 cm either side (or to the first support beam under the pallet) and using the saw, cut off.
Step 6: Stand the two sides and position the bench part onto the two side support beams. Once you are happy with this position and height, screw the pieces together.
Step 7: You now need to create a back to the potting bench. I chose the slatted pallets for this. Lay the bench upside down on the floor and position one or two pallets into position cutting down if needed. I chose to have the back coming up above the bench, so I can attach small garden tools to it. This can also be fixed to an outside wall for extra support when completed. When happy, screw them all into place.
If cutting down the back section, try to cut equal amounts from each side to make it symmetrical.
I tried a few different positions for the back-wall section and ended up with the slats running horizontally so I could attach more door knobs at the later stage.
Step 8: Stand the bench back upright. Using the offcuts, you can now create shelves with them sitting on the side support beams as per the bench top.
Step 9: To create drawers cover the underside with offcuts from step one and screw into position.
Step 10: I added another offcut to the front of the desk section to finish it off neatly.
Step 11: If you want the bench to feel slightly lighter and open, using the saw, cut down the sides to suit.
Step 12: Screw on door knobs on the back section to hang small tools from.
Step 13: When you are fully happy with the design add as many extra screws as you can to ensure it is secure.
Step 14: Sand down any rough edges using a sander or sand paper before painting. It is now a good idea to hoover everywhere and lightly wash down the wood to prepare for painting.
Step 15: Paint the whole project using an outdoor wood paint or clear stain such as decking seal.
You can now add anything you like such as signs or extra shelves. I cut a hanging basket down into half and attached on the side to store my gardening gloves and the like.
You could also make it into a bar for when it gets warmer and it is time to get the BBQ out!
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This project first appeared in Take A Break Magazine. This post contains affiliate links.