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Make a Potting Bench

Gardening bench made from wooden gate has handy shelves and a window.

Materials and Tools:
wooden gate
scrap wood
four 36-inch 4x4 boards for the legs
peg board
drill and bits
gingerbread molding


1. Start from the bottom up with the wooden gate, that will be the table top of the bench. Place the wooden gate on the floor along with a pre-built belt made from four slats of scrap wood. This is attached together with wood screws. Screw the gate onto the belt from each side through pre-drilled holes. The size of the gate will determine the size of the belt.

2. Place four, 4x4 boards vertically inside the belt. These are the legs. Screw them from both sides of each corner. Make sure to hold the legs tightly while screwing, otherwise they will be unbalanced.

3. Next, add a second belt that will later hold a shelf. Screw on a runner to each side of the belt. Allow at least 4 inches of free space in each corner so the legs can slide on. Once that’s done, screw on the belt 12 inches from the bottom of the legs.

4. Turn it over and show the pegboard shelf. Cut out the corners so it fits securely around the legs.

5. Next add a small shelf to the top of the window using gingerbread molding, found at most architectural salvage yards. Place it about 6 inches from the top of the window and screw it in. Triangular cutouts made from scrap wood brace the shelf and give it more stability.

6. To secure the window to the potting bench, you can leave the original hinges on the gate. Use these to attach the window and bench together.

7. To provide support for the front, add two more triangle cutouts. These were created by gluing a decorative flower to a square piece of scrap wood. Use a square to mark the diagonal and cut the square in two. Attach one to each side with screws. The flower should be on the outside.

8. Screw on a couple of hooks for extra storage and usability. To go along with the gardening theme, add another flower to the front of the bench with glue and a small finishing nail.

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