DIY Potting Bench and Outdoor Bar | The Interior Frugalista: DIY Potting Bench and Outdoor Bar
DIY Potting Bench and Outdoor Bar | The Interior Frugalista

May 14, 2014

DIY Potting Bench and Outdoor Bar

This is the time of year us DIYers start planning our summer projects for our outdoor spaces. We have a long list of them for the Summer of 2014. In the meantime I thought I would re-share a project Mr. Frugalista and I made last July and hope to get a lot of use out of this year.

Easy DIY potting bench and outdoor bar After

While sitting on the deck enjoying our morning coffee I mentioned to Mr. Frugalista that I would love to have a potting bench/bar in our back yard. It was a beautiful warm sunny day and we decided right then and there that it was the perfect day to build one. So we quickly threw a plan together in our heads and headed over to Home Depot to pick up what we needed for our DIY Potting Bench and Outdoor Bar.

This was an easy afternoon project!  Unfortunately we were so engrossed in our project that we forgot to take pictures during the process of building it. So here it is after a couple coats of stain.  You can see we doubled up the lattice.  Why?  So it would hide our adjacent firewood pile and stack of pallets (for future projects *insert wink*.

 Easy DIY potting bench and outdoor bar After stained

I wanted some color to liven it up a bit so I gave it some pops of red (which happens to be my favorite color).

Easy DIY Potting Bench and Outdoor Bar with insert

So you're probably wondering why the heck did they cut a hole in the top?

Easy DIY potting bench and outdoor bar with insert for tray or cooler

Here's where the Potting Bench AND Bar comes in.

Potting Bench
Using 1x1 lumber and plywood we built a potting tray to fit the opening.  It makes planting flowers into small pots so easy.  I fill the tray with soil and dig away.  When doing my larger pots on the deck I take the tray and my gardening tools with me.  Love it!

Easy DIY potting bench and outdoor bar with potting tray

Bar
When entertaining around the fire pit we insert a cooler filled with ice and cold drinks and attach a flexible plastic drain hose to the back of the cooler and run it behind the potting bench.  It keeps the cooler drained and waters my shrubs at the same time!

Easy DIY potting bench and outdoor bar with cooler insert

Materials List:
  • 2 x 4 lumber
  • 1 x 1 lumber
  • fence boards
  • wood lattice
  • coated wood screws
  • Behr semi-transparent exterior stain in Natural Cedar
  • Behr Premium Plus Ultra in Antique Red
  • Rust-oleum Painter's Touch Ultra in Fossil 
  • Exterior Satin Polycrylic
How It Was Constructed:
  1. The frame is a simple 2x4 construction.  If you look closely enough at the pictures you can get a good idea how it was put together.
  2. The top and bottom shelf was made with ripped fence boards that we cut on the table saw.
  3. We spray painted both sheets of lattice.
  4. Once dry we doubled them up by overlapping them slightly and gluing them in place with construction adhesive. 
  5. Once the glue dried we cut the lattice on the table saw to fit the opening.
  6. The lattice is sandwiched between 1x1 lumber on both the front and back of the lattice and nailed into place.  
  7. The entire bench received a couple coats of exterior stain.
  8. Then I decided it needed a pop of color so I painted the frame in red. 
Then came the fun part - adding embellishments.  I found the metal candle sconces on sale at Homesense. One was brown and the other black so I unified them with spray paint.  The menu is an old picture frame I found in the storage room and gave it a few layers of red and green paint.  The wood backing was painted with chalkboard paint and voila!

Easy DIY potting bench and outdoor bar with candle sconces and menu board

I found the galvanized vase at a thrift store for $2.00 several months prior and had no idea what I was going to do with it.  After I installed the bottle opener I remembered I had this vase and ta da...perfect for catching the bottle caps!  I drilled some drain holes on the bottom to prevent rain water from collecting inside.

I had the metal hooks in my stash but it was white so I gave it a few coats of brown spray paint.  Perfect for hanging garden tools!

Easy DIY potting bench and outdoor bar with bottle opener, catcher, and garden tool hooks

The sign is a knock off from one I saw that retailed for over $30.00.  I made it for free with salvaged wood and stencils I had on hand.

Easy DIY potting bench and outdoor bar with DIY sign

Adding Character to the cooler:
Using painters tape I created stripes and using Rust-oleum Spray Paint For Plastic I sprayed the stripes in red, moss green, and white.  I protected it with several coats of exterior clear coat in a satin finish.

DIY potting bench and outdoor bar painting the cooler

Easy DIY potting bench and outdoor bar painting the cooler

Easy DIY potting bench and outdoor bar painting the cooler

Easy DIY potting bench and outdoor bar painting the cooler

I hung several lanterns on the tree behind the bar to light the path at night.  The glow of the candlelight adds so much ambiance.

Easy DIY potting bench and outdoor bar with lanterns

We plan on having many Margarita nights around the fire this summer.

Easy DIY potting bench and outdoor bar with fire pit

So there you have it, an easy make it in an afternoon Potting Bench...

Easy DIY Potting Bench

...Outdoor Bar.

Easy DIY Outdoor Bar
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