Box Planter Bench

Box Planter Bench

Sit and smell the roses with this step-by-step guide to a handcrafted planter bench.

5 col

(2) 4”x4”x14” redwood lumber — seat supports
(3) 2”x6”x14 1/2” redwood lumber — bench leg
(2) Bar clamps
Nail gun with 2 1/2-inch brad nails
Drill with 1/8-inch countersink drill bit
Phillips head drill bit
Small box 3-inch wood crews
(3) 2”x6”x36” redwood lumber — seat
4”x4”x14” scrap lumber
18”x18”x18” redwood box planter
120-grit sandpaper
Wood stain — color of your choice
Large decorator’s paintbrush
Dry rag
Large flowerpot pre-filled with succulents to fit inside the planter box
Large bag dried Spanish moss


  1. Seat supports are pieces of lumber that will be used to connect the seat to the leg and planter box. Both seat supports (4”x4”x14” lumber) for the bench seat should have two corners cut off to make the finished bench look less clunky. To cut off the corners, measure 2 inches in from each side of the corner and mark the diagonal with a pencil. Use a handsaw to carefully cut off the two corners

Assembling the Bench Leg:

  1. With a ruler and pencil, mark the center point along the long edge of one seat support from Step 1. Align the center of the short edge of a leg piece (2”x6”x14 1/2” lumber) with your pencil mark and hold in position with a bar clamp

  1. Use a nail gun to drive (2) 2 1/2-inch brad nails through the leg piece and into the seat support, and then remove the bar clamp. The nails will hold the wood temporarily in position until wood screws are added later
  2. Place additional leg pieces next to each side of the first piece so there are three in a row. Use a nail gun to drive (2) 2 1/2-inch brad nails through each leg piece and into the seat support

  1. To permanently secure the three leg pieces in place, use a 1/8-inch countersink drill bit to drill two pilot holes through each leg piece and into the seat support. Replace the countersink drill bit with a Phillips head bit and drive a 3-inch wood screw through each pilot hole and into the leg support to secure

Tip: Make sure to account for the cut corners on the seat support when drilling through the outer leg pieces. Drill the pilot holes closer to the inside edges than the outer.

Assembling the Bench Seat:

  1. Place the second seat support so its wide edge is aligned with the edge of your worktable. With a ruler and pencil, mark the center point along the wide edge of the seat support
  2. Place the short edge of a seat piece (2”x6”x36” lumber) over the seat support so it’s centered with the pencil mark from Step 6. Make sure the short edge is also flush with the wide edge of the seat support. Temporarily hold the two pieces together with 2 brad nails through the seat piece and into the seat support. Place additional seat pieces on either side of the first piece so you have three in a row. Use a nail gun to drive (2) 2 1/2-inch brad nails through each seat piece and into the seat support

Tip: Temporarily rest the opposite ends of the seat pieces on a scrap piece of 4”x4” lumber. This will make both ends of the seat pieces level for an easier time securing the seat support.


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  1. Repeat Step 5 to permanently secure the three seat pieces to the seat support

Attaching the Leg to the Seat

  1. Place the bench leg’s seat support on the edge of the worktable so the leg is overhanging. Rest the seat over the leg’s seat support so the edges are flush

  1. Using a 1/8-inch countersink drill bit, make three pilot holes through the top of the seat — one in each board — and into the seat support attached to the leg. Secure in place with 3-inch wood screws using the same technique as in Step 5

Attaching the Seat to the Box Planter:

  1. Center the seat up against one side of the box planter so it is resting just under the lip of the box. Make sure the sides of the seat are also flush with the sides of the box planter. Hold the seat in place with a bar clamp on either side

  1. Mark with a pencil on the inside of the planter box, approximately 3 inches down from the top. Make six marks, two per board. This will be for the wood screws to secure the seat to the planter box

  1. This step works best if there are two people. Have one person use a drill with a 1/8-inch countersink bit to drill pilot holes through the six pencil marks and into the seat support, while a second person provides resistance at the other end of the bench. Use a Philips head drill bit to secure the planter box to the seat support with 3-inch wood screws

Staining and Planting:

  1. Sand any rough edges off of the bench with 120-grit sandpaper
  2. Apply one even coat of stain with a paintbrush, following the grain. Rub the stain in with a dry rag as you go along until the whole bench is covered. This will remove excess stain and leave you with an even, finished coat. Allow stain to fully dry before moving on to the next step
  3. Place the flowerpot with the succulents inside the box planter and fill around it with dried Spanish moss

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