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Farmhouse Style Potting Bench

When I saw the plans for this farmhouse style potting bench on Pinterest I knew immediately I wanted to make it. Thankfully, it was very beginner friendly and I was able to put it together with a few tools in a few hours!

Late summer isn’t exactly the prime time to be making a potting bench. I don’t know about you, but over the last few weeks I have been able to hear fall starting to whisper. Mornings have a crisp coolness to them that are quiet reminders that fall is on the way.

Regardless of summer headed towards its end, this potting bench was a project I wasn’t going to wait a whole year for.

Farmhouse Style Potting Bench Plans (Ana White)

The plans for this potting bench come from Ana White. I found her blog and Youtube channel through Pinterest. I am absolutely obsessed with her DIY projects. At least half of her videos are saved to my “to build” playlist.

Another bonus for novice carpenters is that her plans are easy to understand and usually have pretty straight forward cuts and equipment used.

Plus, I love the fact that she is a badass woman carpenter that empowers other women to get out there and build something.

All the plans for this bench are available here including a cut list, step-by-step instructions, and a YouTube video.

Using the Potting Bench Plans

I’ll be the absolute first person to admit that I am not a carpenter or woodworker. This spring I made eight very simple raised beds, the first one of which I named “pancake” because it looked so terrible, like a first pancake. However! Ana puts together such a simple and easy to follow guide, I really think anyone could build this.

Thankfully, before I made this project I read the comments section on the original blog post to learn that the instructions are a little wonky.

The CUT LIST, has an error, but the SHOPPING list is correct.

The last two items listed on the cut list say “3, 48″ 2×4’s” and 1, 50″ 2×4″. Those measurements are correct, but the boards aren’t. You want to use 2x6s boards, not 2×4’s.

Another thing I noticed is that some of the instructions she gives in the video are a little different than the instructions given on the blog. My advice is to pick one or the other as your guide and stick with it.

Tips for Making your own Potting Bench

My bench is far from perfect, so here are a few things I would do differently if I were to make it again.

A chop saw would be ideal. We only have a circular saw so making angled cuts and even just consistently straight cuts was tricky. Use a chop saw if you have one.

Use the screws she recommends. Ladies. Actually, everyone. These screws are AMAZING. You don’t have to pre-drill holes and they slide right in like you are drilling into butter. They might be a touch more pricey but man are they worth it.

Screw in your cross braces before you add the top. I worked on this project between 8-10:00 p.m. I was anxious to see it almost finished that first night, so I screwed my table top on before I did the cross braces, just because I knew those would be a little putzy. In doing so, I wasn’t able to screw down through the tops of the cross braces to keep them in place. Instead I had to screw up wards through the top part of them. Not the end of the world but it would have been much easier to do it the way she shows. If that all sounds confusing, just remember to do your tabletop AFTER the cross braces and you’ll be fine.

potting bench rough and tumble farmhouse
If the tabletop boards aren’t there, the screw to secure the top parts of the X can go straight down through that side board.

Measure your bottom slats. Because I have next to no construction experience, I decided “heck. I don’t need to measure. I’ll just eyeball it.” That decision leads me to say this, don’t eyeball it. Especially if you are brand new to this type of project like me. Again, follow what Ana does in the video to measure out where each slat should go.

potting table rough and tumble farmhouse
So much for my “eyeball” ability. Look at the difference in those gaps!

Use a light stain. Much of the beauty in this bench is the natural wood shining through. I used Cabot Australian Timber Oil as a stain for this farmhouse style potting bench. I believe it was “Honey”.

Final Thoughts from a Novice Woodworker

My husband, bless him, is more of a bookish guy so these sort of projects aren’t really his thing. When I decided that I liked and wanted a potting bench, I knew it was up to me.

It can be intimidating to pull out saws, drills, measuring tape, and dive right in to a construction/woodworking project. Especially when you haven’t tried something like this before.

I simply want to tell you, no matter what your skill level, if you have the tools, safety gear, materials, and determination to make it happen, you can totally do this.

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