diagram showing the various parts that going into making a planter bench
Illustration: Gregory Nemec



Friday: Cut the boards and excavate the planter footings (Steps 1–3).
Saturday: Level the base and build the planters and seat (Steps 4 and 5).
Sunday: Cut the short planter's opening and trim the tall planter (Steps 6 and 7).

2x4 planter pieces: 4 per course @ 16½ inches

2x4 seat frame front and back: 2 @ 82½ inches

2x4 seat frame crosspieces: 8 @ 17 inches

2x4 blocking: 4 @ 13 inches

2x6 seat boards: 4 @ 63 inches

2x6 cap: 4 @ 24 inches from long point to long point

The dimensions of our finished bench: 84"L × 23"D × 18"H

Download a printable copy of the Cut List to Build a Planter Bench.
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    Tools List

    • four-foot level
      4-foot level
    • miter saw
      miter saw
    • circular saw
      circular saw
    • jigsaw
    • speed square
      Speed Square
    • drill
      drill/driver fitted with a -inch paddle bit
    • square spade
      garden spade
    • hammer
    • tamper
      hand tamper
    • caulk gun
      caulk gun

    Shopping List

    1. cedar 2×4s Get twenty 8-foot boards to make the 16½-inch planter pieces and the 82½-inch-long seat frame.

    2. cedar 1¼×6s Get four 6-foot boards to make the 63-inch-long seat, and one 8-foot board to trim the tall planter.

    3. ¾-inch gravel for drainage below the planters and to fill the assembled planters. Get at least 1½ cubic feet (three bags).

    4. potting soil to top off the planters filled with gravel. Get four 32-quart bags.5. construction adhesive Get 4 tubes.

    6. 3-inch stainless-steel deck screws

    7. 2-inch stainless-steel deck screws

    8. 3-inch galvanized siding nails

    9. 12-inch galvanized spikes Get eight