Friday, April 27, 2012

Guest post: Coach house Crafting on a budget

 Hi, my name is Linda and I blog over at 'Coach house Crafting on a budget'.
I love creating items for the home and garden using scrap or recycled materials. If I see something I like at the garden centres or online then I find a way to make something similar with as little cost as possible - preferably no cost at all.
Following is my tutorial showing you exactly how I created this lovely bench planter from scrap wood, in just a couple of days and making it up as I went along,

But first I would like to take this chance to thank Kaysi for giving me the opportunity to guest post on her fabulous blog. I'm sure you guys already love her blog and follow her regular so I hope you enjoy this tutorial and bench planter I created just for this post.

This planter with built in seat was amazingly easy to build and can easily be completed over a weekend.
With just a few adjustments you can adapt it to be able to use whatever scrap wood you have laying about or can scrounge. As it happened for me my husband saved a load of lengths of 5"x2" from a wood workshop he demolished. I'd been wondering what I could make with the wood and that's when I happened upon this idea and I still have enough lengths left to build a picnic table for the garden too (tutorial on my blog soon).

To start with you need to collect all your tools and materials. I tend not to do this and always regret it later on when I'm hunting around looking for what I need and usually find I don't have it.
You'll need:
  • Wood. I didn't calculate what I needed and never work from plans but it's obviously going to be more convenient to measure beforehand. You'll need wood for the main construction and the seat, battens for a base ledge, slats to create the base and wood to make the top rim.
  • Screws/nails.
  • Tape measure & pencil
  • Hand saw or Cross cutter (electric all the way for me).
  • Dewalt drill or similar.
  • Plastic if you want to line the planter.
  • Fence paint or exterior varnish.

OK, first I decided how long and how deep I wanted the planter.
Next, using the cross cutter or the hand saw cut 6 pieces at the correct length and 6 pieces at the correct depth.
On a flat surface take 2 length pieces and 2 depth pieces and nail them together to create an oblong (You may find it easier to pre-drill the nail holes first):

Repeat that process with 2 more lengths and 2 more depth pieces Creating another oblong and sit it on top of the first one:

Cut 4 pieces of batten and screw each one into  each corner to start connecting the two oblongs together as I have done it the above image.
On the next level we need to create 3 supports for the bench so you need to measure the width of the piece of wood you intend to use for the actual seat - mine was 8", then  cut the supports at the same length as the side pieces you cut earlier plus a further 10". (This extra 10" allowed me to attach the 8" seat width 2" away from the front of the container.

Before attaching the 3 bench supports I used the cross cutter to angle one end on each piece at 22.5 degrees. This angle isn't necessary but I prefer the look - the choice is yours.
Once you have attached the side bench supports and have centred the middle support correctly you then need to cut 4 pieces that fill in the gap to the front and the back:
(This next image shows the side pieces I also attached for the final layer)

The next step is create one more oblong frame on top of the bench support level to create this:

In the above photo you can see the battens I used inside the planter to screw everything together. I also nailed each side piece to the front and back long pieces using extra long nails and pre drilling the holes first to prevent the wood splitting.

Next cut your wood for the actual seat to the correct length and position it on the supports with an approximate gap of 2" between the rear of the seat and the planter front.
Attach the seat either with screws or nails - I used 4" screws pre-drilled for ease.
With that done we need to attach a batten support inside the planter. Cut the battens to the correct length of the planter and screw them approx 3/4 of the way down. I sometimes make the batten support and then use galvanised fencing to make the base but with this one I used slats of wood to form the base.

The slats of wood sat on top of the batten frame I made and were drilled into the batten frame from inside the planter.

The next step is to line the planter with plastic - I used some leftover plastic I had from covering the polytunnel.
Tack the plastic to the top of the planter but remember to make sure the plastic fits in all the corners properly first then cut off alot of the excess. The final trimming will be done once the wood top has been attached so there's no need to take too much off at this point.

Next measure the finished planter length and width and using suitable framing wood cut 4 pieces to the correct lengths.
I couldn't find wood the correct size so I cut in half lengths of 5"x1/2" using a jigsaw (I'm too scared of the table saw to use it)  to create 21/2"x 1/2" wood. This was then perfect to fix to the top of the planter, hiding the plastic I tacked to the top and creating a 1/2" overlip.
I then used a stanley knife to cut off the excess plastic under the 1/2" lip created by the top plate:

The final stage is to give it a good couple of coats of your chosen exterior paint or varnish, fill it with compost, plant it up and enjoy!

I truly hope you enjoyed this tutorial and hopefully it has given you a little bit of inspiration to create your own garden seat or planter.
The one I created is truly a sturdy piece and I'm looking forward to having it all planted up ready to make use of in the summer!


That is awesome Linda, thanks for the tutorial!!


Linda said...

Thank you for the opportunity to guest post Kaysi. I'm glad you like the bench planter.