Simple 2x4 Potting Bench with Slatted Back

free potting bench plans
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How to build a potting bench - super easy and looks great - this is a free woodworking plan featuring step by step diagrams, shopping and cut list, everything you need to build your own potting bench.

We love this simple design with a back hutch with shelf and rails for hanging tools.  The bottom shelf is perfect for storing accessories and supplies for all your potting needs.

DIY Potting Bench

Why We Built this Potting Bench

This spring, I wanted to create new potting bench plans for you that are still super simple to make, but this time, I wanted to integrate more storage on the hutch and back.  

One of the things I love the most about this potting bench is the back is like a pegboard!  You can use any "over-the-cabinet" accessories to customize your hutch for your needs.

You'll also love how quick and easy it was to build this potting bench!

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Simple 2x4 Potting Bench



Potting Bench Plans
Dimensions shown above


Shopping List
  • 8 – 1x4 @ 8 feet long
  • 2 – 1x4 @ 10 feet long
  • 4 – 2x4 @ 8 feet long
  • 2-1/2” and 2” exterior self tapping screws
  • Wood glue
Cut List
  • 2 – 2x4 @ 61-1/2” (back legs)
  • 2 – 2x4 @ 35-1/4” (front legs)
  • 4 – 2x4 @ 22” (side aprons)
  • 10 – 1x4 @ 39” (front aprons, short shelf boards, back shelf)
  • 10 – 1x4 @ 42” (long shelf boards, back boards)
  • 2 – 1x4 @ 24” both ends cut at 45 degrees, long point to short point measurement (cross support)
Tape Measure
Safety Glasses
Hearing Protection
Circular Saw


Step 1

Mark the back legs from the bottom at 11-1/4” and 35-1/4”.  Attach with 2-1/2” self tapping exterior wood screws the 22” long side aprons to the back legs, matching marks with tops of aprons.  Then mark the front legs 1-1/2” in from front edge and also 11-1/4” up from bottom of leg.  Attach other side of 22” long side aprons to the front legs.

Step 2

Attach front aprons to the side aprons with 2” wood screws and glue.

Step 3

Shelving – Place shelving boards on bottom shelf.  Attach with about a ½” gap in between shelf boards with 2” exterior wood screws.  Repeat for top shelf.

Step 4

Cross bracing – cut cross bracing at 45 degree angles on ends.  Attach to back legs and the back shelf board with 2” exterior wood screws and glue.

Step 5

Step 6

Hutch Shelf – Screw through back boards and back legs into the hutch shelf board sides and back to attach with 2” exterior self tapping screws.

Finishing Instructions
Preparation Instructions
Fill all holes with wood filler and let dry. Apply additional coats of wood filler as needed. When wood filler is completely dry, sand the project in the direction of the wood grain with 120 grit sandpaper. Vacuum sanded project to remove sanding residue. Remove all sanding residue on work surfaces as well. Wipe project clean with damp cloth.

It is always recommended to apply a test coat on a hidden area or scrap piece to ensure color evenness and adhesion. Use primer or wood conditioner as needed.



Sat, 04/11/2015 - 14:46

And I need to make one, too, so I can work on our garden! :) Thanks for sharing!


Sun, 04/12/2015 - 22:36

I just built this bench and love it. I also really like those hooks. Where did you get them? Thanks for all the great plans, I've made quite a few pieces.


Thu, 06/16/2016 - 01:14

Hi Ana,

So excited to make this bench! Was wondering, on the video you have a material list:

(8) 1x4x8

(2) 1x4x10

(4) 2x4x8

Could you please tell me what cuts are made to the (2) 1x4x10's? Thank you so much!

Rowland A Shepard

Thu, 03/11/2021 - 08:37

# Panel Cut Result
1 4×120 y=39 4×39 \ -
2 4×81 y=39 4×39 \ -
3 4×42 y=39 4×39 \ surplus
1 4×96 y=24 4×24 \ -
2 4×72 y=24 4×24 \ -
3 4×48 y=42 4×42 \ surplus
1 4×96 y=42 4×42 \ -
2 4×54 y=42 4×42 \ surplus
1 4×96 y=39 4×39 \ -
2 4×57 y=39 4×39 \ surplus
1 4×96 y=42 4×42 \ surplus


Sun, 06/02/2019 - 15:39

This was an awesome project. I shopped for the materials in the morning and built it in the afternoon. The shopping list and plans were fabulous. I had to adjust slightly since I used pressure treated wood and the 1x4’s were 3/4 x 1 5/8 instead of 3/4 x 1 1/2.  It came out perfect though and seems sturdy and quite functional.  I added a piece of aluminum to the top to keep soil from falling through when potting plants. I love it when a project comes out as planned!


Sun, 05/31/2020 - 22:45

I've only made a hand full of wood workings projects but had no problem building this (in just a day too!)
The only issue I had was which cuts went where when it came to the 1x4s (since there's two different lengths) here's what I went with so I could have a bunch of useable offcuts:
All 8ft 1x4 boards: cut a 39" and a 42" from the same board. This will give you 8 of each of those and 8 15" offcuts
Both 10ft 1x4 boards: cut a 39", a 42" and a 22" in both
You should then have all the boards you need with the most useable offcuts. They're even the same length @15"! I have another project in mind for the leftovers making this a zero waste project :)
I didn't need to predrill the 2x4s but it's pretty much mandatory for the 1x4s
Hope this helps!


Wed, 07/08/2020 - 09:11

Thank you so much for this easy to do AWESOME potting bench. My dad and I built this in about 2 hours as a surprise for my mom. Got it stained and varnished the next day! Such easy to read instructions and pictures! Thank you again!!!