How to Make an Outdoor Spiral Bench With Built-In Planters
A bench doesn’t have to be a rectangle or square. Learn how to build a three-sided spiral bench with built-in planter boxes.
Take your patio or deck seating to a new level with this combination bench and planter box. It's not complicated to build — just a few angled cuts on the miter saw are all it takes to build the three-sided spiral. We added planter boxes to all three sides, but they can easily be left off if desired.
- (3) 1x6 x 8'
- (7) 2x4 x 8'
- (8) 1x4 x 8'
- 3” decking screws
- exterior paint
- miter saw
- measuring tape
- speed square
- circular saw
- palm sander
- optional: landscape fabric
1. Assemble Seat Frames
Build the frames using three 2x4s. The frames will be 17-1/2” across to match standard seat depth.
- Cut one board to 20-3/16” (both ends at 30 degrees)
- Cut one board to 24-3/8” (one end at 30 degrees)
- Cut one board to 34-1/2” (one end at 30 degrees)
- Cut one board to 17-1/2” (both ends straight)
2. Attach Seat Frames
Fasten the three identical frames together to create the seat base. Predrill for the screws to prevent the wood from splitting. Use a few screws at each joint to make sure your bench is sturdy.
3. Make Seat Surface
Cut five 1x4s with the same 30-degree angle on one end. Attach these cut 1x4s flush to the edges of each section of the 2x4 frame. Repeat for the other two bench sections.
4. Trim the Ends
Use a circular saw to cut off the excess 1x4s from the end of each section of bench. This is an easy way to ensure your bench seat is flush all the way around.
5. Add Legs
Flip the bench over to attach the legs. Make the legs from 2x4s; cut them to about 17” so your bench will sit about 18” off the ground. (Standard seat height ranges from 16” to 19”.) The six legs will attach using screws (be sure to predrill) on the outside corners of the frame on each bench section. Add a leg in the middle of the spiral for additional support.
6. Paint or Stain
Use a sander or hand-sand all the edges smooth. Paint the bench using exterior-grade paint (we used a paint with built-in primer).
7. Build Planter Boxes
This step is optional; you can leave the bench as-is. However, we chose to cap off the ends with planter boxes. To make one box, cut two 17-1/2” pieces from a 1x6 for the back and front of the box. For the sides, cut two 5-1/2” pieces from a 1x6; for the bottom of the box, cut a piece of 1x6 to 16”. Assemble using deck screws. Paint or stain the boxes to match the bench. Line the boxes with landscape fabric, stapling it in place. Then fill with soil and your favorite plants.