Friday, March 18, 2016

DIY Planter Box Bench

DIY Planter Box Bench

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.

Have Fun!

DIY Planter Box Bench



27 - 1x4s

5 - 1x3s

4 - 2x3s

1-1/2" Pocket Hole Screws

1-1/4" Pocket Hole Screws

Wood Glue

1-1/4" Brad Nails

1-1/4" Screws

18"x18" Square Plastic Planters

Outdoor Cushions



Cut List

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"
8 Horizontal Outside Rails @ 3.5" x 24"

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"

Step 1

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.

Planter Bench Step 1

Step 2

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.

Planter Bench step 2

Step 3

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.

Planter bench step 3

Step 4

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.
Planter Bench Step 4

Step 5

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.

Planter Bench Step 5

Step 6

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.
planter bench step 6

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.

planter bench step 7

Step 8

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.
Planter Bench Step 8

Step 9

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.

Planter Bench step 9

Final Thoughts

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.


  1. Great details here. Really enjoy my subscription to your channel.

    1. Hi there. Can you please clarify the lenghts of each cut?

      I am adding up the cut list with your video and diagrams and they don't match? Please clarify.

      Thanks. I am a dummy. :-)

    2. It's possible I made a mistake but you'll need to be a litle more specific and narrow down what doesn't match.

    3. Long delay reply lol. :-)

      The various boards you cut, ex: 1x4 and 1x3 etc. do not say the lengths.

      Am I just stupid or what are the LENGTHS of ALL the cuts?

      I understand the dimensions of the boards but I am unsure of ALL your cut lengths.

      Thanks alot if you could help with that.

      Great work btw.

  2. nice, great, fantastic, wonderful, amazing, fabulous, terrific, your better than my uncle Fadhidius Von Rickenberize. Hey we want's more more more.
    yes. great job from an artist woodworker.

  3. nice little project for me to do for our community centre, many thanks for sharing the plans and the video

  4. Man you really do good work looks awesome my wife and I were thinking of doing a bench Planters but not sure the way we wanted it you made it look so so easy thanke8for the video

  5. Awesome job man thanks for the video my wife and I were wondering how to make one of those you make it look so so easy thanks again for your site

  6. Are you ripping every single board? Why are the measurements 3.5" , 2.5", 1.5"?

    1. 1x4s are 3.5". 1x3s are 2.5". 1x2s are 1.5". The exception are furring strips. I have stopped listing items in their nominal dimensions to avoid confusion in the matter. Apparently didn't work in this instance.

    2. What are the 1x2s used for I don't see them in the video

    3. The cut list tells what each piece is for.

  7. What size boards for all the different wood did you buy (length) I want to make three of these what a great video!

  8. Can anyone help out if they have done this project what length of boards and how many did you buy for each length new to woodworking thanks alot

    1. I'm gonna drop some knowledge here. Whenever you see a materials list whether here or somewhere else it should follow a few basic rules. Board lengths should be 8' long unless otherwise noted. Their are various ways an author may denote different lengths of boards. An example would be if they just added up the total board feet needed for the project as a whole and listed that number. It is then left up to the reader what lengths they wanted to buy. 8' is the most widely accepted and commonly used length of board and therefore becomes the default. Plus 8' boards can be transported in a small car whereas 10' and 12' becomes a little more daunting. If nothing else and you just want to be sure, you can simply multiply the lengths in the cut list by the number of cuts for that length and then divide (in inches) by whatever size of boards you intend to buy to find out for yourself. sometimes lumber yards will have sales on different length boards so it's certainly worth a minute with a calculator. On this website the materials list is merely a courtesy list for guided reference only. On a side note, I run, operate, edit and otherwise split my time not only with this website, but two YouTube channels, several social media accounts, a full time job and four home schooled kids. Sometimes responses can be delayed or non existent. If you don't get a response here the next best place would be Facebook. I have several people who help me answer questions over there. Hope this helps.

  9. Hey thanks alot Stan great info will keep that in mind keep the videos comimg great work!

  10. How much did this project end up costing all together. I am curious cause I want to make o e and resale as well as make one for myself

  11. How much did this project end up costing. I am curious cause I want to make a few.

  12. Hi Stan!

    This is a bit late, but I recently found out about your channel and have been really liking what I've been seeing in your DIY guides. I have a quick question: in what part of the project did you apply the stain? Did you apply it before the cutting? After the cutting/sanding? After the bench was built? I'm really curious to know.

    Keep up the good work!

  13. I just went and bought the materials for this project.. and before i start the cuts.. can you tell me why the 3/8. inside rail 21 and 3/8, horizontal center rail 24 and 3/8 and horizontal outside rail 24 and 3/8. are these measurments good and important .. or can i just cut them without the3/8. I am new and home projects and just bought a house and would like to try and make this. thank you for any info you can give me :) RObert, you can also email me at and i will also check back here occcasionally for your answer. have a great day and thank you for succh a great web site


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