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Build a Potting Table, Great for Parties, Too!

Love! That perfectly describes how I felt when I saw this picture of the Abbott Potting Table online. Was it the orchids that lured me in, those wonderful old windows or was it that fabulous potting table? I’ve always wanted a potting bench or potting table.

Pottery Barn Abbott Potting Table

 Photo Source

I was doubly smitten when I realized the table could also function as a serving table for parties! Awesome!  There was just one problem, it was $1,299! Yikes!

Pottery Barn Abbott Buffet Table

 Photo Source

In my Googling for the Abbott table, I came across a post where Sarah at Thrifty Decor Chick had built a similar table with her Dad. Cool! I’ve never built anything in my life but I decided to give it a try.

I have to admit, I was a little nervous. I knew it would involve operating a circular saw which I’ve only done once before when I created a china closet here: Building a Dish Pantry. I came away from that project with all 10 fingers still intact but this time my plan involved using a jig saw, too! Yeah, I may have looked like this just once or twice during the planning stage.

Yikes!

 

I spent about two weeks planning this project. If Olympic medals were given out for “Most Detailed Obsessive Planning” I’m pretty sure I would be bringing home the Gold! I wanted the finished potting table to live on the deck, just to the left of the bottle tree. The inspiration table was 36 inches tall which turned out to be the EXACT height of my deck rail. I had visions of placing tall beverage servers and drinks on top during cookouts, followed by more visions of me shoving them right off and over the deck rail. ;)

I decided to make my table an inch shorter to create a little barrier to hopefully keep that from that happening. The inspiration table was 28 inches deep and 50 inches long, those dimensions were perfect for my space.

Decorating the Deck with Flowers for Spring and Summer

 

One of the most challenging parts of all the planning was learning that wood lies. Yep, it tells big, fat whoppers! For example, did you know a 1 x 6 isn’t really 1 x 6. Nope! A 1 x 6 is actually 3/4 x 5-1/2.

2 x 4’s lie, too. They are really 1-1/2 x 3-1/2. Normally, math doesn’t intimidate it, says the girl who made 100 on her Statistics final in college, but all this fibbing wood was giving me a major headache with my planning.

After LOTS of planning and mathematical gymnastics, I finally took the plunge and purchased the wood. I went with cedar because cedar is a natural choice for outdoor furniture since it is somewhat resistant to water, decay and bugs. Notice I said, somewhat, not full-proof. Any wood when exposed to the elements long enough is going to weather and eventually begin to deteriorate and splinter. More on that in a sec.

I actually had more 1 x 6 boards than visible in this picture. The rest was up in the garage and I forgot to bring them down before taking the photo below. I ended up with some left over because it was less expensive to buy 12 foot boards and cut them to about 8 feet (so they would fit inside my SUV) than to buy shorter boards. I think I ended up buying maybe one more board than I actually needed in the end, which isn’t too bad for my first foray into woodworking.

The only thing I had cut when I purchased the wood was the four, 4 x 4 legs. I just wasn’t sure I could cut something that thick (and keep it straight) with my ancient, 2o+ year old circular saw. I knew I had made the right decision to let the store cut those when the guy cutting them told me he wasn’t sure he would be able to cut them perfectly straight either, and he was using a massive table saw. Yeah, glad I let him cut those.

Cedar Wood for Potting Table

 

I built the table down in my basement, just inside those French doors you see there under the porch. (Photo is from 2008 when the screened porch and decks were being added on.) I’ve never shown photos of the basement on the blog since there’s nothing down there to really see.

The larger side of the basement (the left side) is finished-in except for paint and flooring. I’m not sure if I’ll ever paint it or add flooring since I don’t really use the space. I did have it completely redone when I added on the porch because though it had already been finished in by a previous owner, it wasn’t a very professional job.

Screened in Porch Additon

 

Okay, back to our potting table. I decided to treat myself to a cordless drill before starting this project. I’ve been lusting after one for ages and I just wasn’t relishing the idea of dragging a cord all over the place. May I just say, I’m in love! ♥ Amazing how having the right tools can make any job so much easier! This drill is a dream!

Dewalt Drill

 

Before we get into the building part, just want to mention how important it is to wear safety glasses and hearing protection when building something and when using noisy tools like sanders, saws, etc… Also, be sure to read the manuals that come with your equipment/tools to ensure you know how to operate them correctly and to avoid being injured.

All of the cedar I purchased felt nice and smooth except the legs. I almost didn’t sand them but in the end I decided they would be less prickly to work with if I did. So glad I sanded them, what a difference it made! In the photo below, the top three legs had been sanded and the bottom was still waiting to be done .  Tip: Always wear a mask when sanding. You don’t want to breathe that stuff in!

Sanding Cedar for Potting Bench

 

I used stainless steel nails for this project because in my obsessive extensive research before starting this project, I read they were best for outdoor projects since they won’t rust. They are more expensive but definitely worth it. I purchased them in three sizes and used almost all of the two longer sizes and a bunch of the smaller ones.

7 Stainless Screws

 

I wanted my potting/party table to be super durable so I used 4 screws at each joint. I made a little template to help keep things looking neat and tidy. I may be an amateur at this building stuff, but I still want it to be pretty. :)

Update: Totally forgot to mention, I pre-drilled a tiny hole for each of the screws…just made it easier to put the screws in and it kept the thinner 1 x 6 boards from splitting when those were added.

Template for Screws

 

I started by building two frames around the legs as shown below. (The table is upside down in the photo.) This is very basic construction, no mitered corners or anything like that. I used 2 x 4s for this part as opposed to 1 x 4s. I’ll explain why in just a sec.

Building a Potting Table or Buffet Server for Parties

 

Once I had the basic framework in place, I turned the table up on one end and added more support/bracing on the inside. I didn’t use wood glue in addition to the screws, although I thought about it. I decided with the extra bracing/support inside and four screws at each juncture, that would be enough support to keep it good and sturdy. The little template I made came in handy throughout the whole project. I used it for marking where the screws would go and where I would need to pre-drill before adding them.

Building a Potting Table or Buffet Server for Parties

 

Here’s how it looked after the inner support pieces were screwed in.

Building a Potting Table or Buffet Server for Parties

 

During the planning stage, I tried unsuccessfully to find 2 x 6 cedar boards for the top. I wanted the top to be a bit thicker than the bottom shelf where I’d be using 1 x 6s. I felt 2 x 6 boards would add extra strength to the top for planting in bigger pots and heavy beverage servers. Since I was stuck using 1 x 6 boards, I debated whether I should add one support under the top or two. (The support board below was just wedged in…not screwed in, yet.)

Building a Potting Table or Buffet Server for Parties

 

I ended up going with two just to be on the safe side. I used two screws to hold those in place on either end.

Building a Potting Table or Buffet Server for Parties

 

I took the shorter boards left over from where the 12 foot boards had been cut and just laid them across the top of the table to see how the depth/width of the table looked. My plan had been to design the table where I wouldn’t have to rip any of the 1 x 6s, meaning I wouldn’t have to cut any of them long ways/the length of the board.

During that two-week planning stage, I had determined the table would work out to be exactly 50 inches long with a one inch overhang all the way around if I made the base 48 inches long. I calculated if I used exactly five 1 x 6 boards across the top, (1 x 6 are actually 3/4 x 5-1/2) the table would come out to be exactly 27-1/2 inches wide. And it did! YAY! The inspiration table had been 50 inches long and 28 inches deep so 27-1/2 was perfect!

How to Build a Potting Table or Potting Bench

 

For this project I purchased one more tool I have long thought about buying, a Jig Saw! If you want to build this table and don’t have a jig saw, don’t worry. You can leave that part off and your table will still look great.

Dewalt Jig Saw

 

I wanted to enclose the area around the legs of the table instead of leaving that part open. Again, if you don’t have a jig saw, you can leave it open and it will look and function just fine. I measured and drew lines on one of the lower shelf boards, indicating the part I needed to cut out to fit around the legs.

Using a Jigsaw to Build a Potting Table

 

I’ve never used a jig saw before so I just figured it out as I went. First I cut a straight line down one side. Then I cut a slightly curved line as shown below.

Cutting with a Jigsaw

 

Next, I cut down the other side and then went back and continued the curved cut, cutting across the back. Then I removed that little piece in the corner, being super careful to not cut too far. I used a “scroll” blade for all of the jig saw work since they are better for cutting curves. I found the trick to using a jig saw is to go very sloooowly. Don’t rush it, just take your time.

Also, be fully aware of where your fingers are at all times. It’s easy to forget and stick a finger under the board in the wrong place. I didn’t do that but I was concentrating so hard on keeping my line straight, I almost forgot at one point. So pay more attention to where your fingers are than the line you’re cutting. You can always buy more wood and cut another board. It’s not so easy to reattach a finger. Got that? Good!

Cutting with Jigsaw to Build a Garden Table

 

This is where that piece ended up–on the lower shelf, right at the end of the table. The other 1 x 6 boards you see across the bottom were not screwed in at this point. I had just placed them across the bottom after cutting them to see how they would look. I cut them to the exact length needed since I didn’t want an overhang on the bottom shelf…just wanted it to be flush with the sides.

Building a Gardening Table

 

Now, here’s why I chose to use 2 x 4s  for the framing, instead of 1 x 4s. During the planning time, I had figured out that by some amazing miracle, if I used 2 x 4s instead of 1 x 4s for the framing, when I built the table and closed in the end, the width of a 1 x 6 board would end right at the edge of the 4 x 4 leg.  (See arrow in photo below.) Is that not perfect?  That meant I wouldn’t have to jig saw cut two boards at each end or worse, have an ugly gap where the support underneath would be visible. Plus, the 2 x 4 framing gave me a larger surface in which to sink the screws.

Building a Gardening Table

 

For the most part my learn-as-you-go jig sawing came out looking pretty good. I had two legs where it looked really nice.

Build a Garden or Potting Table from Cedar 

And I had two legs where it looked not-too-bad. :)

Building a Potting Table

 

After I got the end pieces jig-sawed out (that’s a technical term so be careful how you use it) and screwed in place, I evenly spaced out the rest of the 1 x 6 boards across the bottom and screwed them in place. Attaching the 1 x 6s is where the smaller of the stainless steel screws came into play.

Then I cut the boards you saw on the floor in an earlier photo to 50 inches in length and screwed them in place on top. Because I had built the base 48 inches long by 25-1/2 inches wide, I had a 1 inch overhang all the way around as planned, and the surface area ended up being 50 inches long by 27-1/2 inches wide.

Ignore the hooks along the front. They weren’t screwed in at this point, I just used straight pins to pin them along the front to see how they would look. I was trying to decide if I should use three hooks or five hooks. I ended up settling on three but I may add the other two at some point.

Pottery Barn Abbot Inspired Potting Table and Buffet Server

 

Remember the wheels on the inspiration piece?

Pottery Barn Abbot Garden Table & Server for Parties

 Photo Source

During the planning stage, I searched online everywhere for wheels resembling those in the inspiration photo. I found several sites with similar reproduction casters but they were all really expensive running around $250-$275 for 4 wheels, and that was for reproduction wheels! No way was I spending that for just four wheels.

I continued looking and finally found some heavy-duty steel, swivel casters for  just $23.76 each. They had a nice vintage feel and were big, measuring 6-3/16 in height. The wheel alone was 5 inches wide. That price seemed fair and I ordered four. Update: One more source for casters recommended by a reader and they have them in black: Casters. Thanks Karen!

Side Note: I ordered the casters before building my table. Since I knew the casters were going to be 6-3/16 inches in height, and the table top itself would be around 3/4 inches in thickness, I had my 4 X 4 legs cut to 28 inches so the table would come out around 35 inches tall, 1 inch shorter than my deck rail when completed. Whew! The math was killing me people! :)

Reproduction Casters for a Garden Table

 

The casters on the inspiration piece were black. (Scroll up two photos to see those.) The wheels on the casters I ordered were dark green, they didn’t have them in black…I asked. The green didn’t bother me but I didn’t like the shiny silver showing on the stem part of the wheel. I decided to spray paint it an Oil-Rubbed Bronze color.  Once I sprayed the silver part and removed the tape, the green wheel didn’t look right, so I ended up spraying it, too.

Painting Casters for a Garden Table

 

They came out great! Once dry, I attached them to the bottom of each leg using some pretty pricey, heavy-duty screws. I had originally planned to bevel the very bottom edge of all four legs like they appear on the inspiration piece. Once the wheels arrived, I realized the metal plate would go right up to the edge of the leg on two sides, preventing me from beveling those two edges. So, I nixed the idea of beveling the edges.

So are you ready to see how it turned out? :)

Reproduction Vintage Casters for a Table

 

Here she is, Miss Garden Cart (aka, Party Table)  in all her precision-measured glory! :)

Pottery Barn Abbott Inspired Potting Table & Buffet Server

 

She’s still in the basement, as you can see. I’ve decided to protect her from weathering too much. Though cedar weathers much more slowly than most woods, it will eventually weather. From what I’ve read, it will even start to splinter after a few years. I don’t want to serve food or pot flowers atop splintered wood so I’m going to protect her somehow.

Build a Potting Bench DIY Tutorial

 

I don’t really want to stain her since I love the natural color of the cedar, so I’m thinking about using a marine varnish I read about. It’s supposed to last around 3+ years before you have to reapply it. One reviewer was saying, the cedar furniture he protected with marine varnish still looked brand new, even after several years.

DIY Potting Bench, Pottery Barn Abbott Inspired

 

I’ll get that done in the next few weeks so she’ll be all ready in time for spring planting and summer partying.

Pottery Barn Abbott Inspired Potting Table & Buffet Server

 

I love daffodils, can you tell? :)

Pottery Barn Abbott Inspired Potting Table & Buffet Server

 

I liked the hooks on the inspiration piece but I wanted to use something with more of a garden feel. I found these adorable dragonfly hooks online and ordered them but once my confirmation arrived, it indicated it would be two weeks before they even shipped. I sadly canceled the order and decided to look for something else locally. I was stunned when I found the exact same dragonfly hooks in a local store the very next day! Meant. to. be!

I bought five but so far I’ve just installed three. I’m trying to decide if I really need all five. I think I may buy one more and just hold onto them in case the other three need replacing one day.

Pottery Barn Abbott Inspired Potting Table & Buffet Server

 

Here’s a little close-up of the swivel wheels, they work great and the table rolls effortlessly on them. Totally worth the cost for those!

Vintage Wheels Casters for a Potting Table

 

Potting Bench, Potting Table Tutorial_wm

 

Can’t wait to get Miss Garden Cart up on the deck for some serious planting. I accidentally spilled a little dirt on her when I was moving the plants around for the pictures. Whew, that was a close one, I almost got her dirty! ;)

Pottery Barn Abbott Inspired Potting Table & Buffet Server

 

My final cost was around $260. The cedar wood and screws ran around $150, the four wheels were around $95 plus shipping. The dragonfly hooks were around $15. I like that price a lot more than $1299.00 for the inspiration table. :)

Update: You’ll find additional information about all the dimensions including a Cut List in this follow-up post: Dimensions and Cut List for Potting Bench Table

Check out how the table looks set up for a little springtime dessert fun here: Spring Dessert Buffet for An Outdoor Party

Have you ever varnished a piece of cedar furniture? How would you protect Miss Garden Cart from weathering and turning gray?

Pssst: If you found this tutorial helpful, appreciate so much a Google+1! Thanks in advance for that! XO

 

Are you getting prepped for spring planting, too? Check out StartRightStartHere.com and True Value’s Facebook and Pinterest pages for more inspiration!

I was one of the bloggers selected by True Value to work on the DIY Squad. I have been compensated for my time commitment to the program as well as writing about my experience. I have also been compensated for the materials needed for my DIY project. However, my opinions are entirely my own and I have not been paid to publish positive comments.




Comments

  1. Oh I love this piece. It really is so versatile and you can definitley use it for serving also when you are entertaining. Great project. Hugs, Marty

  2. Wow, I’m SO impressed!! I love it!

  3. Cherry Goodson says:

    Gosh Susan I love your potting bench. Am always impressed that you take on lots of projects and they turn out so beautifully. Know you will get lots of enjoyment out of your bench. Thanks for sharing. Cherry

  4. Cherry Goodson says:

    Susan, wanted to ask where you found your casters. The ones on my bench aren’t as pretty.

  5. Linda C in Seattle says:

    Susan,

    The math alone would kill me, but using a circular saw would do me in.
    Your talents never fail to impress. Miss Potting Cart is a perfect addition to your deck.
    ……. and the wheels go round. had to laugh about the beverage containers going over the deck railing.
    Now I want to plant Daffodils too. :)

  6. Wow Susan, this is BEAUTIFUL, and I’m truly impressed. I can’t imagine me building anything like this in a million years. I love potting benches, too, and there is some great inspiration out there. This will add a whole new dimension to your deck. You’ll enjoy using it even more knowing that you made it with your own two hands. :)

    Have a great day!

    Denise

  7. WOW!!! times 2. I am so impressed. I love it. xo Laura

  8. Now aren’t you miss smarty pants LOL I can’t use any tool. and it makes me so mad. I am not careful enough to use an electrical tool
    any way it is fabulous and I am sure you could take orders for your creation, love the wheels

    • Aww, thanks! I’m a bit accident prone myself so it always makes me a little nervous, which may be a good thing…keeps me on my toes! If I can do it Janice, I know you can! :)

  9. Wow….I am impressed. You have made me think maybe I can build something similar!

  10. robinbelltower says:

    You prove, once again, that anything made with your own two hands is superior to what you could buy. You’ll love it more, learn a lot, and inspire others. Beautifully done and expertly explained. Thank you for inspiring me!

  11. You did a beautiful job. I love it! :-)

  12. You did an absolutely awesome job. Totally impressive. Also, those 20 w Dewalt cordless tools look fairly new something we need. Give yourself a pat on the back on this one!

  13. Susan I don’t know how you do it, you are an amazing woman. Is there anything you can’t do? I saw this potting bench or one like it in PB and thought what a lovely thing to own, but when I saw the price I just walked on by. Thank you for sharing.

  14. She’s beautiful! Great work!!

  15. Carolyn Price says:

    Ador. A. Ble!! You are amazing, Susan. And I loved all the Math … retired high school Math teacher here. I will definitely build this one day. Thanks for doing the Math for us. Loved how the bottom shelf worked out with the leg posts! You ROCK!!

    • Thanks, Carolyn! lol All that math was confusing since none of the wood is the size that it’s called. Definitely had me doing a lot scratching and scribbling to figure it out. :)

      • Carolyn Price says:

        Susan, I know a subsequent post listed the marine sealant you used for your adorable beverage/potting cart but I am unable to find it. Could you please, once again, share the protectant you used? I love the thoroughness of your homework … i.e.: research as to what is best. I remember the post but cannot find it. it was the night you had to leave the house while it was drying. As luck would have it, you found some great buys at HomeGoods … your cute shell hurricanes, for example. Could you also repost that info on the marine sealant you used in your DIY/Paints & Stains section?
        Thank you.

  16. Oh I love that potting bench!!

  17. Susan,
    Your cart is amazing!!! I love it and I admire you for just digging in and getting it done. It’s a perfect addition to your deck. Now if I can just get the courage…perhaps by the BBQ Grill? Thanks for the tutorial. You are unbelievable.

  18. Wow, I’m impressed! What a versatile piece, and how proud you must be that you mastered the math and made it all by your self!

  19. First of all, GREAT job – you should be incredibly proud of yourself! Secondly, I always tell my husband that wood is measured in “man”inches…he doesn’t laugh, but I do. Third, I think you should name her (in addition to Miss Garden Cart/Party Cart) – she deserves it. Seriously…excellent work!

  20. Beautiful. Thanks for sharing. Just in time for spring.

  21. I’ve got to know where you found those wheels!! I’ve been looking and looking because you know it… I fell in love with that potting shed, serving table myself. You did an amazing job.. As for my, I am having my son make mine, so my fingers are safe!!! xo marlis

  22. So what was your final cost? or asking in a more mannerly way was it noticeably less than what you had seen others made for?
    Thanks.
    Susan

    • Susan, I forgot to include that in the tutorial. I think it ended up between $260-$300 by the time you figure in the shipping for the wheels. The wood was around $150, the wheels were around $95 + shipping…then there was the cost for the stainless steel screws. Oh, and the three dragonfly hooks were around $15. There are less expensive hooks out there but I just loved dragonfly hooks. So not super cheap but definitely better than $1299 for the inspiration piece.

  23. Libby Westcott says:

    WOW! That is beautiful! Thanks so much for the step by step. I think I could do this (with my hubby’s tools!) I love your blog and look forward to it every day! Many blessings to you!

  24. Susan, you constantly amaze me!! What a terrific job!! I called my hubby to have a look and said `Susan made this“, I have been on to him for five years to make me one. So I guess he will now blame you for a potting bench as well as dishes!! :)

  25. What a great job u did and can’t wait to see her on the deck this spring(if it ever gets here, about 20 here today :( did u keep up with the cost and ur time? Wish I was more motivated!!!

    • I didn’t really keep up with my time. It took me a lot longer than it probably would most folks since I was using a new drill and learning to use a jigsaw. I could def build it faster the second time around. I need to gather my receipts up and add them up. I’m guessing it was between $260-$300. The wood was around $150, the wheels were around $95 + shipping…then there was the cost for the stainless steel screws. Oh, and the three dragonfly hooks were around $15. There are less expensive hooks out there but I just loved the dragonfly hooks. So not super cheap but definitely better than $1299 for the inspiration piece.

  26. Very impressive, Susan! You can do anything you put your mind to. I couldn’t do that in a million years.
    I know you will enjoy using it. Don’t be surprised if you receive order requests. Great job!

    • Thanks, Bonnie! You could build it! One of the trickiest parts I had was learning to use my new drill…getting the setting right so the screws weren’t going in too far. Once I got that figured out, it was really pretty easy. A lot of measuring but not that hard. :)

  27. Wow! I am IMPRESSED!!! You are da bomb!!!! Just be thankful I live several states away from you or I would be bugging you to help me build one of those!! :-D

  28. Love the potting table/serving cart, it turned out so well, will you be putting a towel bar at one end like inspiration piece, I think that would be so handy for either the potting table or serving cart…I think you could find one at home depot and spray it with your same spray, or buy a rubbed bronze one…love the tut on how to do it all,,,wow a lot of math…I have always wanted one with a galvanized metal top, but could not figure out how to do that….How will you get the table upstairs? Great idea to leave it in the basement until weather improves..Congrats on your beautiful project…

    • I was planning to and just never got around to looking for one. That would be nice, wouldn’t it? If I do, I need to find something that won’t rust. I checked on the zinc, which is what’s on the PB table. I was wondering if it came in sheets and could be bent over the edges. Well, the info I found online made it sound pretty complicated so I nixed that idea pretty quickly. I wonder how galvanized metal would look? I was talking with a friend today, she’s a professional landscaper and she recommend I purchase some really thin pond liner and put a piece of that over the top to protect it when I’m actually potting up plants. I think I’ll look into that. Cedar is a pretty soft wood and I do hate to see the top get really dirty and scratched up, especially since I’d like to use it as a serving table for a party sometime.

      • I also looked up the zinc top and you are right it does look complicated with a machine that bends it….very complicated…..love yours though and the pool pond liner over top sounds kind of cool, maybe even an oilcloth kind of thing, you know like the old outdoor tablecloths were made from that you just washed off….I think I will brainstorm on this…love brainstorming on your projects…lol…can’t wait to see it on the porch

      • Carolyn Price says:

        Another way to dress the cart top up when it is being used for a party is to use a piece of glass cut to size. Then, depending on the theme of your party, you can put childhood photos (50th birthday party), seed packets (garden party), wedding invitation/bride and groom photos (wedding shower), baby shower (pink and blue metallic baby bootie confetti), etc. types of items under the glass that decorate while the glass protects. These items can be placed strategically to disguise any dents or mars that may pop up accidentally over time. And, if the top stays perfect, they’re just fun!

    • Love the bench so much, I will have to find that marine varnish…

  29. I am so impressed with your carpentry skills! I love the cart and can see it used so many ways.
    We have cedar on the posts and trim on our house. We have sealed it and it does prevent it from
    graying to some extent. We have found that a light stain brings the color back nicely when that happens.
    Looking forward to seeing it on the deck this summer.

  30. Wow, that’s such a great job!! Really LOVE it!

  31. She’s gorgeous! And to think you made that…wow! I would treat her just like a cedar deck…a protective finish just for cedar. Sorry, can’t remember what we used. Love the wheels…is it easy to push around? ;)

  32. I love it! You are so talented!!!! I would put the marine varnish on it, keep it looking good and can just hose it off. Very versatile piece to have, I can see it next to the BBQ also. Great Job!

  33. Wow Susan, I am really impressed. You did a fabulous job. I have never tackled any project like that. I usually leave things like that for my husband. You have given me the courage to try some things on my own now. Can’t wait to see it on your deck this spring.

    • You can do it! Just watch the fingers if you use a jig saw…so easy to forget where they are. I wonder if they make special gloves with metal in them for when you’re doing work like that. I think I may check into it. I didn’t nick myself but that part made me nervous.

  34. Beautiful job; I am majorly impressed with your skills!! I would love one of these – maybe I can get my retired hubby (I still work 60 hour weeks) to create one for me. The only thing I might add to mine would be to have a galvanized top made for it to protect the top for when I would want to use it as a serving table. Galvanized top on for the work – remove for the “pretty”. You might be able to find a local sheet metal fabricating place (try looking at commercial construction metal bending companies…i.e., people who make duct work for air conditioning units–or ask at your Ace store–they may know someone), if you think that is something you would be interested in doing. Hubby knows many people who do this (however, I’m in Washington state so not anywhere near you) and I’m guessing it might cost $200 to $250.

  35. OH MY GOSH girl! There isn’t anything you can’t do! You did an amazing job, and the daffodils are so pretty!
    This project the you were working on when you said you might be in over your head. Not you, you are the MAN! ;)

    All that math would have made me throw myself over the porch railing. YIKES, too much for me!

    Beautiful job, now go have a bottle of wine :D

  36. Heavens I can’t type, I was trying to say “This must be the project you were working on when you said you might be in over your head.”

    On my computer the ink color has changed from black to gray in the comment box. I struggle seeing what I have typed. I will hopefully do better next time.

    • It was! Definitely took me outside my comfort zone! If I can build it Mary, anyone can! I didn’t have any manly help so just shows us “girls” can do this stuff, too! :)
      Thanks for mentioning that about the font…it is really light! My tech guy made a change to something else a while back and I think it changed the font color by accident. I’m going to asked him if he can fix that back.

    • Mary, it’s fixed now…back to the way it was. No more pale gray writing when leaving a comment. :)

  37. Oh Susan! That is just beautiful! and it looks even better than the inspiration table! You are so talented….and your “Gutsy”…..not sure I would have taken that on……
    I would put a finish on it too………you certainly don’t ever want her to show her age!
    Lois

  38. Peggy Thal says:

    Turned out beautiful Susan. The cart will be such fun to use and for parties too. The marine sealer is perfect. We put it on a bamboo bar by the pool in Florida. It was for my daughters patio. Love the wheels and hooks. Great job!

  39. I am BEYOND impressed with your math prowess an carpentry skills.

    When we had our screened porch built of cedar last year, they did put something on it which is supposed to protect it and extend the life. Unfortunately, I don’t know what it was.

  40. Love the power of a determined woman. Great job, wish it was mine.

  41. I absolutely adore this! Great job and love the detailed info! Something like this would also be great in the kitchen!

  42. Susan,
    Looks like you could start a new business to me! I know you can sell these; it is too cute! It looks amazing all decorated for spring! :) You really are something Susan! You make “us women” proud!

    Blessings

  43. debbie kos says:

    that looks awesome..my question is where did you find the hooks??

  44. Wow, the bench looks amazing. I laughed when you showed the jigsawed pieces. Why, when we do a project, do we feel the need to point out what we perceive as less than perfect work ? It usually just looks amazing to other people. Your bench is perfect.

  45. Love the work you did. Do you have any places that sell ends of granite. That might of worked out really nice for the top shelf. Just a thought and then the wood wouldn’t be stained from the dirt.

  46. Susan,
    You are super amazing. I could easily be intimidated, it you weren’t so nice.

  47. WOW!!!!!!!! What an awesome job! It’s just perfect. ok, so now I want one!!!!

  48. I LOVE it!! I have always wanted one too and I’m SO impressed that you made it all by yourself! It’s wonderful and will be perfect when the weather warms up.
    love and blessings~
    Lynda @ Gates of Crystal

  49. pam ~ Crumpety cottage says:

    I am so IMPRESSED! Susan, you did a fantastic job! It looks professionally made; you’d never know it was your first foray into wood working. ;) I actually like yours better than the inspiration piece – it looks sturdier and I like the look of the wood better. :) And what a great savings! Okay, you bought a couple of tools, but you’ll be able to use those in other projects and even with the price of the tools, it was still only a fraction of the other table. So … want to make another one? :D ;) Seriously, I think you could set up shop making these and selling them for a tidy profit. It’s just adorable. I love the look of it and the dragonfly hooks are such a pretty touch. I even love your little graph paper template, lol.

    Congratulations! It must feel good to make something so lovely and so useful and have the finished result turn out so well. :D Can’t wait to see what you build next! ;)

  50. Susan,
    The table is perfect! Great size, love the cedar and especially those wheels. You have inspired me to give something like this a try. I am envious of your basement–what a work space!
    Jane

  51. pam ~ Crumpety cottage says:

    Btw, the comment about how the wood lies made me laugh. :D Did you not know that? All the stuff you do and all the things you know, it makes me chuckle to think that was news to you.

  52. I love Potting Benches and yours turned out beautifully! In fact, yours is better as it is also an “everything” table!! You did a great job, Susan! It’s wonderful!

    Pat F.
    Las Vegas

  53. What a wonderful job. I would have had a difficult time even if someone did the math and cut the boards. What a lovely addition.

  54. Fantastic job Susan. :)

  55. Oh Susan, I am so IMPRESSED by your handy work. The table is terrific and better than most I have seen.
    You will get a lot of use out of this table. thanks for sharing this wonderful post. Your really did a wonderful job Susan.
    Have a wonderful weekend and soon you will be on your way to see that beautiful grandson.
    Mary

  56. Holy Cow Susan! You have created a work of art! I am super impressed! We have been discussing building a work table for our garden so I will have to show this to Leo. We would probably make ours out of treated wood and we have been brainstorming what to use as a top. That’s as far as we have gotten with our plans!

    • Oh, thanks so much, Jane! You and Leo have such a wonderful garden each year, I know you would love this project! Treated wood is a great way to go, too! Someone suggested a granite remnant, bet that would be durable, too!

  57. Oh how talented you are! I love your potting bench. My husband built me one years back and it’s still in great condition – mostly because I keep it in the garage. You deserve a new set of dishes or something you’d love for actually building it yourself.

  58. Your woodworking skills are impressive. I’m quite envious. This is beautiful. Thanks for sharing the process and all the closeups. I really enjoyed this post.

  59. Bravo…you deserve a standing ovation!!…I am so impressed that you built this … just amazing and the details are so close to the pricey PB table…down to painting the casters!…You must have stood back after you finished this project and said a resounding “YES” !!!…

    • Thanks so much, Shirley! I think I was in shock when it was done. lol The first few days I worked on it, the process seem to go slowly. The last day I was like the horse seeing the barn, I was galloping to the finish line. I think I stayed up to 3 AM that night…I was too close to being done to stop. :)

  60. Wow, Wow, Wow, I am so impressed. What a beautiful job! Please don’t take this the wrong way, but I’m so glad to see your creative side back. I was worried about you. I mean this in a good way. I love potting benches. My husband made me one several years ago. We had to leave it at our old house. I’m going to show him yours and see if he would make me one too. I don’t think I could tackle it so maybe if he says yes, I’ll definitely give him a hand. Thanks for sharing Susan. You’re one of my favorite blogs!!!

  61. I just love Miss Garden Cart, you did a wonderful job!

  62. Sherryle Hinton says:

    I love it!! If I didn’t already have one, I’d certainly try this one!! My son built one for me for my birthday 3 or 4 years ago and I love mine and he put “Nana’s Bench” on it and all kinds of flowers on it, too. Then he sealed it and it is really beautiful! It has a drawer under the top and doors like a cabinet. I have really put it to good use. I really like yours, though!!

  63. Wow, Susan, you and Miss Cart are fabulous! What a beautiful job you did–and you should be so proud of it! Thanks for sharing your super tutorial, too.

  64. Oh Susan you really “nailed” this one! If only you could see the Diva bow-down I have just given you. I have to confess few things scare me as much as math. You built that – you actually built that. With real tools and not a glue gun in sight. When you build your grandson his first tool bench please post those instructions too okay? We, who follow you, salute you!

  65. Wow, Susan! Impressive! I don’t know how many headaches it gave you, but it turned out fantastic!

  66. Looks beautiful! Well done! Love the wood you chose!

  67. Wow….you continue to amaze me every time!! When on earth did you find the time to do all of this?? You are my idol, unbelievable!!!
    Marine varnish is the way to go…….gotta have good ventilation for that project…….and would love a video of you carrying the potting bench up stairs!!!

  68. Well you are to be congratulated for calculating this so perfectly and the actual build! It looks so good- you really knocked it out of the park! I want to build a garden work bench but mine stays in the garage. I want a wood plank top too. I’m so showing this to Dan because I already drew a primiliary idea out but had’t thought it through yet. I was snickering about the reality you met with the “true” size of lumber. Isn’t it a joke! I love how you made a template for your pre-drille holes. :-) I am imagining you are going to get a lot of use out of this (perhaps more as an entertaining cart though)!

  69. Wow! And Wow again! Susan, you are amazing. Your potting bench turned out so pretty and so perfect. You were so meticulous with it. That’s just one of the reasons I wouldn’t be able to accomplish something like this. I am too impatient. When I get an idea in my head, I want to finish it yesterday. How great that you have that wonderful basement for building. With your mastery of new tools, I bet we’re going to see a lot of building projects on your blog in the future. Can’t wait! laurie

  70. ~Susan~
    You go girl ~~ hehee :) WOW you did a wonderful job on that potting cart ! LOVE IT .

    Paula
    IN

  71. I am so impressed! That looks very heavy, you will love those wheels. And you know I love those Daffodils! … and then my heart with pleasure fills and dances with the daffodils!

  72. Wonderful project! Would you be willing to post a “shopping list”? I think I (or my helper) can figure and follow your delightful directions, but it would be great to have a list of the necessary parts!

  73. Cyndi from MI says:

    Over the top Susan! Really Great!! I showed my husband who is a carpenter / builder by trade and he was impressed and we both love the wheels. As for a cover to keep her pretty when you are potting, instead of a pond liner, I think a dollar store clear shower curtain liner would work just as well and be a lot cheaper. Thanks for all your wonderful projects. I really enjoy your blog.

  74. You built a family treasure. Great sequence on your entire project. A potting table and party server in one. The wheels are such a great addition to your table.
    Joy

  75. Love it! and thank you for sharing the source for the casters – I’ve been looking for those FOREVER!

    xox

  76. You did an amazing job!!! I’ve been wanting to make a potting bench forever now!!!

  77. Hi Susan: Greetings from Minnesota! I’m weeks behind on my blog reading due to way too many emails, last count I had over 4,000! Anyways, I just now read about you building the garden-party table and just had to write and tell you how impressed I am. It’s so beautiful!! You must be very proud of yourself for doing such an incredibly excellent job on your first attempt at building something. I know I’m proud of you! It took real guts to tackle such a big project and you mastered it like a pro. I have one tiny idea for you in hopes of protecting your table from the elements: Perhaps you could track down an water/weatherproof umbrella that could cover the table from harsh sunlight, rain and bird droppings. Whether it sat on the table, stood next to it or somehow was attached to the table it could solve a few of your goals of keeping it like new. You did an amazing job and I can’t wait to see what’s next!

  78. Thanks for sharing this and doing all of that dreaded math for us! ;) Love this table – I love things that have more than one type of use! I’m pinning it so I can make this in the future. I will probably add some kind of handle on the end to make it easy to push/pull the cart. Thanks again!

  79. This is phenomenal!! So impressed by your DIY attitude. LOVE!

  80. I just made a potters table like this and am deciding on the casters. Have you had any trouble with the casters rusting? or with the paint chipping off the wheels when you roll it? Thanks!

    • Robyn, I haven’t had a chance to use it yet. I’m having my house, porch and decks pressure washed and the porch painted. The soonest they can do it is the end of June so sometime in July when they are done, it will finally get moved upstairs to the deck. So, can’t really say yet. If the paint does chip over time, I don’t think it would be that much trouble to repaint. Hopefully it won’t need that for a while.

  81. love your little table, it turned out beautiful, i would love to feature it, if that would be ok please let me know,
    lauren

  82. I LOVE it. You did a wonderful job showing photos of every step of the building process.

    I just might have to make me one of these. :)

  83. Came across your blog in my search for casters… need to replace the ones on my kitchen cart. I too have looked a long time for those industrial looking casters. You helped point me in the right direction. I did find another source, with a bit lower price. And they have them in black, in case anyone else has a need. http://vintageindustrialsupply.com/collections/casters

  84. Susan – do you think there is room for 2 shelves instead of just one? About how tall would each shelf be? Thanks for your help – Carla

    • Carla, There’s only about 16-17 inches between the shelf and the top so if you added a second shelf, you would only have about 7-8 inches height above each shelf, not enough height to store much of anything.

  85. Hi Susan…Beautiful work! Mine is almost done, but what type of heavy duty screws did you use to attach the casters & why (size/length)? Would the regular screws not he sufficient? I am using decking screws.
    Thanks!

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