Building a Bench Planter

What You'll Need
(2) Plywood sheets; 10-feet by 10-feet by 3/4-inch thick
Cedar planks; 1 inch wide-by-2 feet high
Circular saw
Tape measure
Wood glue
Plastic plant liners
Potting soil
Wooden bench
1/4-inch drill bit

Having a garden is a joy and a bench planter can give the same level of satisfaction to your yard, patio or porch. The following is a simple "how-to" on turning an existing wooden bench into a bench planter.

Step 1 - Cutting Wood for the Planter

Having a bench that is already assembled saves you time and makes building the planters a relatively easy task.

Use a measuring tape to measure the width of the bench from the ground to the seat (or arm rests, if you like). Measure the width of the bench, using as a starting point the place where the arms connect.

For the purpose of this how-to, we will assume the measurements of the planter will be 2 feet-by-2 feet. Measure  5 2-feet-by-2 feet sections of plywood. Mark the lenth and cut the sections from the plywood.  You should have a total of 10 squares.

Step 2 - Assembling the Planter

The planter is basically an open box.

Begin with one piece, tightly gripped in clamps. Place 1 board along the thin edge and nail it into place with 1 nail every 6 inches. Remove the wood from the clamps and place it on your work surface, on its side. Place a board on the thin edge and nail into place. Turn the assembled pieces over again, placing another piece of wood on the thin side and nailing it into place. Repeat again to finish the unit. Create a second box, using the same process.

Step 3 -Seal the Seams

Turn 1 box over and, with the drill, make 5 holes in the bottom of the planter. The final product should look like a 5-sided die. Repeat the process on the second box.

Place 1 of the boxes on one end of the end of the bench and position it in the location where you want it to be. Hammer several nails into the legs and arm rests of the bench to attach the box to the bench. Repeat this step with the second box.

Step 4 - Finishing the Planters

Add decorative touches by taking 1 of the cedar planks and attaching it to the sides of the box with wood glue. Press the plank on 1 of the sides of the box, lining it up with the edge of the box. Continue adding cedar planks to both boxes along the sides until both boxes are covered.

Place a plastic flower planter liner inside each box. Fill approximately half of each liner with potting soil and plant flowers or seeds in the boxes.