How to Make a Chic, Modern Planter Bench

Add some sophistication to your garden or patio with this modern planter bench.

Modern Planter Bench

Modern Planter Bench

Make a stylish modern planter bench

Photo by: Sam Henderson

Sam Henderson

Materials Needed:

  • (4) 2”x10”x12’ treated pine
  • (1) 2”x10”x8’ treated pine
  • (5) 2”x4”x12’ treated pine
  • (1) 2”x4”x8’ treated pine
  • (6) 5/4”x6”x8’ treated pine
  • (100) 2-1/2” wood screws
  • (50) 2” wood screws
  • exterior stain clear and/or colored
  • measuring tape
  • carpenter’s square
  • pencil
  • circular saw or table saw
  • clamps
  • drill
  • level
  • soil
  • plants
  • pea gravel

Build the Frame Pieces

From one of the 2”x4”x12’ boards, cut 8 pieces that are 11-1/2 inches long. Cut the other four 2”x4”x12’ boards to 11’9". (Image 1) Lay two of the 2”x10”x12’ boards on a flat surface side by side. Place two of the 2”x4”x11’9” boards at the top and bottom of the 2”x10”x12’ boards, 1-1/2” from both ends. Place four of the 2”x4”x11-1/2” boards between the two long 2”x4” boards, spaced evenly with the two at the ends flush with the ends of the long 2”x4” boards. Clamp the two 2”x10”x12’ boards together and screw all of the 2”x4” boards in place with 2-1/2” wood screws. (Image 2) Repeat for the other two 2”x10”x12’ boards.
From the 2”x10”x8’ board, cut 4 pieces that are 1’9” long. Cut 4 pieces of 2”x4” boards to 1’6” long.

Assemble the Frame Pieces

Stand the two long sides up with the 2”x4” boards facing each other. On one end stack two of the 2”x10”x1’9” boards between the long sides. Clamp the entire end of the bench together. Use 2-1/2” wood screws to attach the end pieces to the 2”x4” pieces of the long sides. Add one of the 2”x4”x1’6” pieces to the top and bottom of the short 2”x10”x1’9” end. Repeat for the opposite end.

Modern Planter Bench

Modern Planter Bench

Make a stylish modern planter bench

Photo by: Sam Henderson

Sam Henderson

Preparing the Planter

Position the planter where it will stay. Use a level to make sure the planter is level from end-to-end and from side-to-side. Note: The planter will be quite heavy. This will require more than one person to move.
Stain the planter according to the manufacturer’s directions and allow for the appropriate drying time before proceeding. (Image 1) When dry fill the planter with soil to about 3 inches from the top. (Image 2)

Build the Bench

Cut the 5/4”x6”x8” boards in half (usually about 48-1/4”). From each of these boards, cut to 47-1/2” removing the factory edge. Measure in 3 feet from one end of the planter. Make a vertical line with a level starting at the top and stopping about 3 inches from the bottom. (Image 1) Attach the first 47-1/2” board with 2” screws against the surface of the planter with the long edge flush with the top of the planter and the short edge flush with the level line. Tip: Use a clamp to make sure the board stays flush while attaching. Add two more 47-1/2” boards under the first one, lining up the edges. (Image 2)
Attach the first of the seat boards in place with the long edge flush with the front of the top 47-1/2” board on the side. Screw this board into the planter top with 2” screws.
Cut two 2”x4”x17-3/4” boards. Place the boards in the planter under the first seat board, about 9 inches from both ends. Clamp the seat board to the 2”x4” boards and screw them together. (Image 3)
Place another seat board on the opposite side of the planter. Hold a 47-1/2 inch board against the outside of the planter to make sure the seat board is flush with the outside of it. Screw the seat board into the planter top. Use the clamps again to secure the seat board to the 2”x4” boards in the planter. Screw the seat board in place with 2” screws.
Add the 47-1/2” boards to the outside of the planter under the seat board in the same way as the opposite side.
Fill in the seat by attaching two more 47-1/2” boards with 2” screws flush with the outside seat boards, leaving a gap in the middle.
Rip one 47-1/2” board 3-3/4” wide. Place it in the gap and secure with 2” screws. Note: The plan should create a 3-3/4” gap, but as a precaution measure both ends of the gap before cutting for accuracy.

Add the Plants

Add the plants to the soil and water as needed. (Image 1) Add pea gravel to 1” below the top of the planter. (Image 2)

Modern Planter Bench

Modern Planter Bench

Make a stylish modern planter bench

Photo by: Sam Henderson

Sam Henderson

Modern Planter Bench

Modern Planter Bench

Make a stylish modern planter bench

Photo by: Sam Henderson

Sam Henderson

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