It's a planter box. No, it's a bench. Wait, no, it's a planter box bench that's simple, easy and good looking.
Before we get started let's talk about a few accessories that we purchased specifically for this project.
The cushions are optional. My wife bought them at a local store on sale. I think she triple stacked a coupon deal and got them for next to nothing. If you choose to buy cushions for your bench seat you need not worry about their size. The measurements for the bench slats can be easily adjusted to accommodate just about any width yours would happen to be.
The depth is the same story. Simply adjust the space between each slat to adjust the depth of the bench itself. An extra slat can be added or one taken away if the space becomes to much or too little.
The plastic planters I used were 18" x 18". I measured the depth of the planters, added 3/4" to that and transferred that measurement to the inside of my planter boxes that I built.
Everything else is standard DIY material as listed below.
DIY Planter Box Bench
27 - 1x4s
5 - 1x3s
4 - 2x3s
1-1/2" Pocket Hole Screws
1-1/4" Pocket Hole Screws
1-1/4" Brad Nails
18"x18" Square Plastic Planters
8 Horizontal Inside Rails @ 3.5" x 21"
8 Horizontal Inside Rails @ 3.5" x 21-3/8"
8 Horizontal Center Rails @ 2.5" x 21"
8 Horizontal Center Rails @ 2.5" x 24-3/8"
8 Horizontal Outside Rails @ 3.5" x 24-3/8"
52 Vertical Planter Slats @ 3.5" x 21.5"
12 Bottom Slats @ 3.5" x 21"
4 Bottom Slat Ledges @ 1.5" x 21"
2 Bench Slat Ledges @ 1.5" x 21"
4 Top Sill Pieces @ 3.5" x 25-7/8"
4 Top Sill Pieces @ 3.5" x 24"
8 Bench Slats @ 1.5" x 2.5" x 45.5"
Glue and screw a 1x4 to a 1x3. Three 1-1/4" screws will work and not extend through both boards. Too be extra safe, drive the screws at an angle to ensure they stay embedded in both boards.
Two of those assemblies are used for each side of the planter boxes. One for the top and one for the bottom. Lay the vertical slats on the lip created by the two boards. Be sure to lay a line of wood glue and tack in place with 1-1/4" brad nails.
Two of the sides for each box are assembled slightly differently from the other two sides. One pair go ahead and place a third 1x4 on what will be the outside sides. Wood glue if desired then drive 1-1/4" screws as before.
The other two sides will get a third 1x4 attached to the inside. However, I decided to wait to attach this piece as shown in the video above because I did not want to try and be perfect with my measurements for the overhang.
Same thing here. I decided to wait to attach the ledge piece for the bottom slats of the planters. You don't have to follow my lead. Blaze your own trail if so desired.
Pocket hole screws were used to attach the four sides together. It was after I did this that I decided to attach the pieces depicted in steps 4 and 5.
The ledges for the bottom slats should be placed low enough to sit just below the top of the planter sill pieces that will be attached in the next step 7.
The top sill pieces can be glued in place. Either brad nails or screws can be used to secure them.
The photo below shows mitered corners. If you are not sure how to cut angles into boards and get an exact length, I have a video and a post describing the process I use. I promise it will be simple and easy.
However, if you do not want to mess with mitered corners, no problem. You can simply cut them in a rail and stile fashion or you can do what I did and omitted them all together.
That's right, it's your project, do what you like.
The ledge for the bench slats can be attached with 1-1/4" screws. I wouldn't glue this piece in place just in case you want to adjust the height of the bench at a later time.
The Bench slats can be laid in place and attached to the planter boxes with 1-1/4" pocket hole screws.
A good height for a bench is generally recognized at about 18". This allows for a cushion of about 2" thickness for individuals that are of average height. If you are taller or shorter or using cuhions that are of extra thickness, then you may want to adjust the measurement accordingly.
I used an outdoor deck stain with a cedar tone to protect our new lounge area.
Placing the bench about 6" from the wall of the house seems to make for a good back rest position.
The top of the boxes themselves rise high enough to serve as arm rests and the top sills are wide enough to place drinks on them if so desired.
I placed ours on the north side of our house so that shade would never be an issue that prevented us from enjoying our new rest and relaxation zone.
Sometimes stopping to smell the flowers is just what the DIYer ordered.