Make a rustic potting bench for your garden


Upcycling. Building with pallet wood.

I still have a bunch of pallet wood leftover from last week’s side table project. I have really become enamoured with using this stuff: of course because it’s free, but also because it looks great for rustic outdoor projects.

Shipping pallets are readily available for free. Check Craigslist’s free section and you will be able to find some. Or ask local businesses who are often eager to rid themselves of pallets.

All it takes is a little elbow grease to break them apart. See last week’s Rustic Side Table video to see my easy method. 

I designed this potting bench to be super simple to build. Anyone can make it with almost no woodworking experience and a few tools. All you will need is a saw (any kind you want…a jigsaw or circular saw would be great), a hammer, glue and nails. It looks great and is useful if you enjoy gardening.

Watch the progress

All week I’ve been shooting short videos showing the progress of this project, from my initial idea, to design and modifications, to building and completing this week’s video. If you are interested, you can watch them all by searching  #pottingbench on Keek or Twitter.

Download plans:


  1. I love this bench–it looks awesome, and the pallets complement the style perfectly. Maybe you need to have a whole section devoted to pallet projects? 😉

  2. Great,another project for my wife’s gardening. I already have orders for about 30 bags of the good potting soil. She also liked the planter boxes as well. I do like the use of pallets. There piles f them right up the street.

  3. I was woodworking with pallets like 16 years ago and now everyone is getting in on the act lately. Where am I supposed to get my pallets from these days if everyone else is busy grabbing them up?

  4. Will there be a pallet wood garden cart or wheelbarrow in our future?

    Pallet wood Trellis?

    Pallet Pergola?

    Pallet Pagoda?

  5. Great project Steve! I have a neighbor who collects pallets to burn and I am going to hit him up for some to make both the tables and the bench. Probably make him some tables as well! I really like your grass roots approach to woodworking. Keep up the great work!

  6. Definitely enjoyed your noisy neighbor out-takes; are you sure the noisy neighbor wasn’t David Marks? Nice simple easy projects with the pallet wood.

    Stan P

  7. Hello,

    are you afraid that the pallets mights be treated with some type of chemicals? especially if they came from overseas?

    patrick melchior
    Dragonfly Woodworking

  8. This came just at the right time I just spend 4hrs sanding all my pallet wood to build a potting table…You just saved the day. The other plans I had were a bit hard to understand. thanks for making it easy.. Now I can do this without getting my mate involved. I think I’ll paint mine. Thank you

  9. I am going through this post and thinking of it’s theme and trying to understand what is this post about. At last I can have found something from this post which feels pretty good.

  10. Does anyone know what size nails Steve uses on this? I don’t think screws would work too well here…wood splitting, so I can see why he used nails. Any help would be appreciated.

  11. Hey Steve, I was totally inspired by your video and plans, and even though I’ve never done more than hammer a couple of nails into a 2×4, I posted a request Friday afternoon for any of my FB friends who might have some free pallets.

    And the rest is history – estimated cost $9 for nails, screws and some glue. Check out my progress from mere mortal to accomplished carpenter with a killer Potting Bench on my FB page ( ) Looked for a spot to post the pics here, but couldn’t find one – message me if you want ’em! I’ve been spreading your links around from Tyler, TX all weekend long!

  12. Steve, My ladyfriend wanted a potting bench so I built it. It came out so nice that I took pictures of it and put an ad on Craigslist. I sold 7 last year at $125 each. This year I plan on building 10! It all goes into my vacation fund. Thanks.

  13. ya made this bench minus the dry sink / and its great perfect size / gave me a perfect excuse to buy a new orbital sander lol /


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here