Tuesday, August 2, 2011

DIY Potting Bench

Hi there!  First of all, an update.  My daughter had her cheerleading practice/"surprise final tryout" last night.  And she gets to stay on the competition squad. :)  I walked in at the end of practice, and got to see them do their dance from start to finish, and I have to say, she looked good out there!  I was impressed! She really looked like she knew exactly what she was doing.  I was very proud of her.  (But the girl we carpool with got moved down to the "alternate squad."  That was a tough ride home.  I felt for her.  I've been on that end of the stick more than the other side.  I really knew how she felt.)  So that's that.  If you're wondering what in the world I'm talking about, check this out.  And then come back to see my new potting bench!


Back to our regularly scheduled program!  :)

A few weeks ago, I decided that I'd finally had it with the dysfunction of our tiny little back porch:

that's on a good day, nice and cleaned up

the only thing it's NOT lacking is more sidewalk chalk on the wall
So when DH had a few days off from work (in a row! imagine that), I sent him to Lowe's with a list.  :)  

Using Ana White's "simple potting bench" plans,  we built one of our own!  Have you ever made anything from Ana White's website?  It used to be called "Knock-Off Wood."  I liked that name; I thought it was clever.  Oh well.  Anyway, let me tell you: you need to try something from her site!  Her instructions are SO clear, and SO foolproof.  (And SO free!  ;) She even gives you a list of exactly how many of each size lumber pieces to get, and then a "cut list" so you know exactly what to do with them when you get home.  She makes it easy and FUN!  

I didn't take any pictures of the process. Why?  I don't know.  It wasn't that exciting...just a bunch of wood getting put together. 

Here's what we ended up with...ta-da!

And check out the wire hanging decoration...

There's my handy guy, wielding a drill.  I'm behind the camera, most likely asking if he's SURE he doesn't want me to get the level?  That's an ongoing point of, um, "loving contention" every time we do a project together, btw. 

tee hee!  Got it at a yard sale earlier this summer for $10.  Bargained it down from $15.  :)
Pretty!  And level.  Why did I doubt?
So we went from this (on a good day, remember)...

To this...

This isn't really a "before & after."  It's more like, "before & a good start."  I have a few things left to do to really make it a "Barbie Dream Porch."  Such as...

1. change out the light fixture.  I think that thing's been there since 1927.  I shudder to think of all the bugs that will fall out when we do that.  And when I say "we," I mean "DH." 
2.  maybe a larger floor mat or outdoor-type area rug.  I've looked into painting my own floorcloth, and frankly, it looks like a major pain in the bum.  And not necessarily less expensive than just getting one on end-of-season clearance.  So there! 
3.  finish the potting bench

Here is what I'm thinking for the potting bench: I want to put a curtain across it so that it covers the bottom shelf.  That, and/or get matching bins for underneath.  

I also want to either paint or stain it.  I'm not sure which, though.  I'm leaning towards painting it off-white.  Or I could go with a bold color; that would look great.  Like the red one on the aforementioned Ana White website.  Or a nice light sage green?  I have no idea.  What would YOU do?  Side note: I'm not very good at distressing things in a way that doesn't look like it's been distressed on purpose.  And I have a feeling it will get "naturally distressed" from use, anyway.  But I'm up for anything.  Seriously, I need suggestions!  

I think I'll link!


  1. I seriously adore this! What a gorgeous addition to your porch!

  2. I am so glad it turned out well for your daughter. But now my heart breaks for the other little one. I'm glad I don't have to deal with that any more.

  3. Looks great!!! Love how it came out! I am visiting from Not JUST A Housewife and I am a new follower!! I hope you have a great week and that I see you around soon!

  4. LOVE the bench. I say go for red and some great print curtains on the bottom. Definitely think you could find a rug on clearance this time of year and there would be no labor involved except the carrying to and from the car:) I just love you, my crafty, witty friend:)

  5. Love this! I am going to show this to my hubby! We are adding on to our house and we have extended out patio and it is about 4 times bigger than before! We would have plenty of room for this! Thanks for sharing :)