Repurposed storage bench: an outdoor planter

This past June when West Des Moines had their annual clean-up week, Greg and I went out driving around looking for good junk on the curb. One of the items we found was an awesome wooden outdoor bench. It was missing the lid for the storage compartment under the seat, but I had an idea to make a planter out of it anyway, so Greg fixed the front for me and built a false bottom in the storage part so I wouldn’t have to fill the entire thing with dirt.

I had been enjoying my colorful zinnia patch, patio table, and container annuals for some time around my patio, but the area right outside the back door really needed a more welcoming look. Here is the space where I was going to put the planter, with the planter already set in place. (Yes, once again I failed to take a legitimate “before” picture… just imagine this space completely devoid of anything even remotely interesting to look at.)

Bench Planter | Vintage Floral Cottage

First step was to line the compartment with landscaping cloth which would serve as a moisture barrier. This step was tremendously frustrating because it turned out Greg had borrowed the staple gun and had it at his apartment, so I had to use my little office stapler to try to attach the cloth to the wood. Approximately 2,353 staples did NOT go all the way through the cloth into the wood. I therefore do not recommend office staples for this step.

Bench Planter | Vintage Floral Cottage

Bench Planter | Vintage Floral Cottage

Next, I wanted to add something for drainage in the bottom. I had about two-thirds of a bag of pea gravel left over from another project, so I dumped that in and it was the perfect amount.

Bench Planter | Vintage Floral Cottage

Bench Planter | Vintage Floral Cottage

The remaining depth was about six inches, and I used two large full bags of a garden soil mix to fill it up.

Bench Planter | Vintage Floral Cottage

Bench Planter | Vintage Floral Cottage

I had purchased a few potted mums for this project so I put in what I had and left room at the front in case I wanted to add more later.

Bench Planter | Vintage Floral Cottage

Bench Planter | Vintage Floral Cottage

Bench Planter | Vintage Floral Cottage

It was looking pretty cute, but it was definitely not filling the entire space outside the back door. I went on the hunt for something to put behind it to give it some height, and chose a spare barn door we had in the garage from a past picking trip. I styled that with a fun little faux window frame, and added a non-working lamp as well. Here was the end result:

Bench Planter | Vintage Floral Cottage

Bench Planter | Vintage Floral Cottage

And here was my new view from the patio table! Very colorful and cheerful, including my new bench planter, crazy zinnia patch, and even my faux flower fence off to the right!

Bench Planter | Vintage Floral Cottage

I’ll be sharing this post with Donna for the DIY Salvage Junk party over at FunkyJunkInteriors, Metomorphosis Monday at Between Naps on the Porch, and at Inspire Me Tuesday at A Stroll Thru Life!

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One Response to Repurposed storage bench: an outdoor planter

  1. Janet says:

    Dear friends, I’m so sorry there was a comment submitted for this post which landed in my spam folder, and I inadvertantly deleted it before I realized that it was a real comment. If you’re reading this and you know you left a comment here but do not see it, please re-send or at the very least, know that I am sorry for the error – I appreciate each and every visit, comment, and interaction! Thanks! 🙁

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