How to Build a Potting Bench From Pallets


A potting bench gives you a convenient place to replant smaller garden plants. Old shipping pallets are an inexpensive and sturdy base material to use when building your own bench. You can create various designs and accessorize them to suit your needs. Using a pallet simplifies the construction, letting you get back to gardening.

Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape
  • Circular saw
  • Medium grit sandpaper
  • Fine grit sandpaper
  • Sander
  • Hammer
  • Drill
  • 2 ½-inch screws
  • 1-inch screws
  • Count the number of slats. Most pallets have two layers of five slats while others may have six slats. The layers are held together with two-by-three plank framing. Assuming you are using a pallet with six slats, your design utilizes half of the pallet as a table top and half as a base underneath that doubles as a storage shelf.

  • Position the pallet so the slats are going left to right as you are looking at the pallet. Mark the space between the third and fourth slat. You will saw the gap off, creating two parts, the table top and the base, both flush to the aligned slat.

  • Saw the mark with a circular saw. Sand the edges with medium grit sandpaper then smooth with fine grit sandpaper. Set the tabletop piece aside for now.

  • Take a second pallet and remove eight slats from the two-by-three framing. Pull them apart with a hammer, keeping the slat intact. These free slats become the legs and cross supports of the potting bench.

  • Take the base component and lay it on the ground so the slats are moving left to right. Consider the left and right side, the outside. Place a leg flush to each outside corner, marking two screw holes that attach to the two-by-three frame of the base. Drill the marked holes through the legs with corresponding holes in the two-by-three frame. Screw the legs in place with 2 ½-inch screws. Repeat to attach the top shelf at the extended ends of the slats.

  • Install two rows of cross supports using the remaining four free slats to prevent wobbling. Two slats will attach to the back legs horizontally across the back of the potting bench. Saw the remaining two slats in half to add two horizontal supports along the outsides. The first row is one-third from the top and the second row of cross supports is two-thirds from the top. Measure and mark a drill hole to attach each support to the outside legs. Drill the hole and secure each support with 1-inch screws.

Tips & Warnings

  • Paint the unit any color you wish to compliment your garden or greenhouse.
  • Keep the slats attached under the frame of the pallet intact to serve as a shelf for tools.

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  • Photo Credit Hemera Technologies/ Images
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