How to make a whimsical potting bench with a chicken coop nesting box!

vintage watering can flower bucket

Learn how to make a super unique and easy potting bench out of a simple wood table and chicken coop nesting box! Such a whimsical backyard feature that really works!

Happy summer!

shed window box planters with growing flowers

View the entire garden shed with DIY window box planters HERE

And boy can you ever tell it’s summer in our area, because are the DIY window box planters are doing on the garden shed ever growing! Here’s a couple of updated pictures…

shed window box planters with growing flowers

Aren’t they something? You’d think I knew what I was doing…

With that recent garden junk success story, I had dreams of creating another pretty backyard focal point that involved flowers. I was thinking perhaps a potting bench sitting along the reclaimed wood garden fence…

But how would I build a potting bench this round? Would I built the frame from scratch? Or perhaps wait until I find the right salvaged pieces to create a repurposed look?

One thing I do know… it’s always cheaper and more unique if I land free stuff! Plus you may not even have to build a thing at all!

I decided to do just that and wait it out until I found the right components. And then one thing led to another, creating the most unique potting bench I’ve personally ever seen… or made!

So today I’m sharing the super unique outcome of a potting bench made with something you don’t see on the side of the road every day… but hey, in case you do, here’s what to do with it!

Here’s what I did:

Whimsical potting bench with a chicken coop nesting box!

 

potting bench made with a chicken coop

Landing the right supplies

 

  • be patient if waiting on finding things
  • stay open minded: anything can do anything!
  • be prepared to rework your find to make it suitable

When you wait to land the right stuff, stuff certainly isn’t made within a day. But that’s what makes the thrill of the hunt so special. You can’t really plan something you haven’t found yet. It’s a wing-it project!

And that’s about when I drove past this galvanized chicken coop nesting box sitting with a FREE sign on the side of the road. Say what?!

Did you hear my truck screech? My immediate thought was to turn it into a potting bench for certain. I mean, look at all those compartments to mimic open shelving for clay pot storage!

And the lower shelf could serve as a countertop for potting or just for flower storage space.

But how would I mount it? I figured that could be a question answered for another day, for when you find cool stuff, you just say yes, and if you don’t end up using it, you can put it out on your own curb. It didn’t cost you a thing to try.

So I yanked the nesting box across the road towards my parked truck with sparks a-flyin’, got it home, and there it sat in my backyard waiting for an additional brainstorm that didn’t cost a bundle to whip up.

potting bench made with a chicken coop

Shortly after, a facebook post revealed this wooden table that was being given away just down the road from me. Now that’s a potting bench work surface if I ever saw one!

I crossed my fingers that the chicken coop nesting box would fit, dashed right over and lugged the heaviest wooden table in the land all the way to the back yard, then began to play…


How to make a whimsical potting bench with a chicken coop!

Dry fitting the potting bench

 

  • dry-fit or stage your project before continuing to work on it
  • is it a good height?
  • enough room?

Dry-fitting components are key so you can pretend it’s done before you do all the work. Will it work? The best way to find out is to pile it up and pretend you’re potting a plant.

And wouldn’t you know it, after a quick dry-fit, the chicken coop nesting box fit on the wood table perfectly! It doesn’t look like much now, but I was fairly confident I could make it cute with a little reworking!

Think: gardening supplies, flower buckets, antique garden tools, and plenty of clay pots filled with flowers. Oh… and maybe cut a new flower bed around it because this spot quite frankly needed a splash of fancy.

Time to get to work!

potting bench made with a chicken coop

Pressure wash everything

 

  • safe, non-toxic way to clean
  • much easier than scrubbing by hand
  • best way to clean off mildew

The fence, table and nesting box were pressure washed first to start things off right.

Tip: I picked up a price efficient lighter duty plug-in pressure washer so I could do cleaning with the click of a switch and get right to it. I couldn’t be without it now!

I recommend getting one at least 2000 psi, with a variety of pressure washing tips.

Video – pressure washing old wood

 

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View above to watch a short video on how pressure washing can revive old wood instantly!

Read original post HERE: Pallet-style adirondack chair makeovers


potting bench made with a chicken coop

Prep the wood table by sanding

 

After the table was completely dry, the top of the table was sanded with an orbital sander using medium, then fine grit, then brushed clean for the next step.

outdoor wood protection with Olympic Waterguard

Order Olympic Waterguard from HERE

How to protect wood outdoors

 

Can wood potting benches be left outside?

I vote YES! If you protect the wood.

  1. clean the wood well
  2. sand to remove any rough areas
  3. clean off all sawdust
  4. brush on a weather protectant sealer
  5. re-apply every so often to keep up the protection

Since a wood table had high potential to rot outdoors from the weather elements, I decided to protect the bare wood with Olympic Waterguard, a water-based clear wood sealer I had in my stash that was still brand new.

This will help protect the wood so the potting bench can safely remain outside. I’ll simply recoat the table every so often to keep up the protection required.


outdoor wood protection with Olympic Waterguard

The wood protectant was poured onto the table, then brushed on until it was all covered.

sealing a wood table for outdoor durability for a potting bench

And goodness gracious it works fabulous! The wood sealer does darken the wood a little making it have a slightly wet appearance, however boy does the water roll off beautifully! I rate this product an A+ and can’t wait to do the shed sides now!

The photo above shows the table still wet, however the dry appearance does lighten up a little.

Now that the table was prepped and ready, let’s get that chicken coop nesting box on top!

potting bench made with a chicken coop

Planting flowers

 

Next up was planting some flowers. And I had just the potting table to do it! πŸ˜‰

I had picked up some flowers from a local greenhouse but delayed this project, so the flowers were not their very best when I put this together!

But no matter. Armed with good quality potting soil, I’m certain these flowers will perform beautifully once I have a chance to baby them.

And I think it goes without saying, the smaller the plant pot, the more you’ll need to water. I’ll see how these do, but I may switch them out for something larger as the flowers grow.

How to plant flowers in clay pots:

 

  1. ensure each plant pot has a drain hole
  2. cover the drain hole with cracked pottery or small rocks
  3. fill with a quality potting soil
  4. water plants until saturated
  5. keep soil slightly moist so the water continues to penetrate through the peat moss

Tip: if using smaller clay pots, I vote to use a potting soil a little lower in peat moss, because once it dries, it tends to repel water.


potting bench made with a chicken coop

So I gathered up every single clay pot I owned and started to plant flowers. I had just landed this larger clay pot from the curb with a lovely satin finish on it too! What timing!

And I mean, what’s better than a beautiful classic red geranium planted in a clay pot?

The tabletop was super easy to clean. I I had to do was hose it off. It dried nearly instantly.


flower buckets for a potting bench

Adding galvanized flower buckets

 

Hmmm… but how about some flower buckets added for good measure?

Since the potting bench table had lots of storage room underneath, I gathered a group of galvanized containers, tubs, buckets and whatever else there was, pressure washed them, then stenciled a couple to further personalize a few that would actually hold flowers.

What I love about buckets and tubs is the fact that they hold LOTS of soil, so you’ll need to water flowers much less than smaller clay pots.


 

Botanical Flowers and Plants Funky Junk's Old Sign Stencils

View Botanical Flowers and Plants stencil HERE

Flower bucket stencils

 

For this project, I grabbed the Botanical Flowers and Plants stencil, which has 3 images that are suitable for plant pot sizes. I love their botanical catalog vibe which would add a unique touch!

There are plenty of other garden stencils you can find HERE that will also work!

vintage watering can flower bucket

View stencil HERE: Botanical Flowers and Plants

Stenciling the flower buckets and coop

 

And here’s the first! A vintage watering can was stenciled with Fusion Mineral Paint’s Chocolate. (order online here to save 10%!) How adorable is the flowering can as a flower bucket?!

How to stencil:

 

  1. Position the stencil into place with masking tape.
  2. Load stencil brush with paint.
  3. Remove most paint onto a rag so the brush feels dry.
  4. Tap the brush through the stencil for the desired image.


Outdoor durable paint for stenciling

 

I love to use Fusion Mineral Paint (get 10% off all colors and products HERE) for all my DIY projects. It’s fabulous for indoors or out, and doesn’t require a top coat!

plant bucket with a fern on potting bench

View stencil HERE: Botanical Flowers and Plants

Next up, I stenciled the Plants image on a galvanized bucket in Chocolate, then plunked an outdoor fern inside. Perfect!

The smoother bucket made this stencil go on effortlessly! And what a perfect fit, don’t you think? And thememing. Looks as if the potting bench stole one of my ferns… guess I need another!

Hmm… but where could I stencil the 3rd image of the group?

potting bench made with a chicken coop

View stencil HERE: Botanical Flowers and Plants

So I chose the middle of the chicken coop nesting box roof!  I love the decorative roof touch the Flowers A Growers Guide offered. Kind of like the chicken coop is branded.

Then I scattered all the planted clay pots filled with flowers and flower buckets, and came up with…

potting bench made with a chicken coop

whimsical potting bench closeup

The finished nesting box potting bench!

 

… what I think is the cutest and most unique looking nesting box potting bench with flower buckets and plants in the land!

And it makes a pretty great potting station too!

potting bench made with a chicken coop

Let’s take a closer look at each outdoor potting bench detail…

flower buckets garden with potting bench

Plenty of space to display and pot flowers

 

The chicken coop nesting box teamed up with a long wood table offers lots of places to display flower buckets as well as space to pot some new plants too!

potting bench made with a chicken coop

Lots of open shelving for flower pots and garden tools

 

Plus, some pretty nifty clay flower pot storage inside the nesting box! The wire mesh came with the coop, which normally sit on an angle so I gather the eggs roll towards a platform once laid.

The box has lots of holes in the sides and through each section, so I slipped a couple of garden bamboo stakes through the holes horizontally, then rested the back of the mesh wire against that to have the mesh sit straighter like open shelving.

It worked perfectly! Now I can’t wait to collect a few more clay pots too to really fill it up!


plant bucket with a fern on a potting bench

A group of potted flowers were positioned throughout and on the sides of the potting bench, offering a pretty neat plant bench look, or rather, bucket garden!

With plenty of space to still pot plants.

potting bench made with a chicken coop

Adding a new flower bed

 

The right side of the potting bench houses two flower buckets along with a few clay potted white flowers. 

A new flower bed underneath the potting bench was also created to tidy up the space and give it more of a purpose to be there.

Video – How to edge flowerbeds like a pro

 

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Click above to watch a short video of the flowerbed process!

Visit the full blog post: How to edge flowerbeds like a pro HERE

potting bench made with a chicken coop

The left side of the potting bench utilizes the reclaimed wood fence for some antique garden tool displays and to hang flowers.

And of course, that newly cut flower bed came in handy to plant some forget me nots moved from another area of the garden.

Love how the stumps give the potting bench area a woodland look and act as plant holders.

old rake plant hanger

A fence behind offers more plant hanging opportunities

 

An old rake came in handy acting as plant hooks to hold up a wire basket with a clay potted flower inside.


potting bench made with a chicken coop

I’ve been needing a storage area for all the galvanized tubs and such anyway. Grouping them under the potting bench table turned a collection into a display! Until the need arises for one of course!

potting bench made with a chicken coop

Metal table legs that won’t rot

 

The metal legs on the wood table also help to reduce the chance of the table rotting had lumber been used.

Small blocks of treated wood are underneath the front legs and back legs for some added stability, then covered with soil so they disappear.

potting bench made with a chicken coop

Plenty of storage

 

A good idea would be to leave some garden tools and gloves inside the coop! I think I’ll add that.

And of course, a bag of potting soil could be stored under the table inside one of the large cans.

All the potting bench necessities right at your fingertips!

plant bucket with a fern on a potting bench

This is one of my favorite potting bench shots. I’m in love with that plant bucket!

vintage watering can flower bucket

And the flowering can holding red geraniums is pretty cute too. 

potting bench made with a chicken coop

Before…

potting bench made with a chicken coop

… and after!

One day I’d love to turn a vintage dry sink into a DIY potting bench, but until then, this is one of my best potting benches thus far, and I’m going to enjoy this unique and free version for a very long time!

And that’s one more corner of the yard looking mighty cute, doncha think?!

Guess it’s time to tackle another…

Other garden projects to make:

 

How to build a reclaimed wood fence – 4-part series

Sawhorse potting bench by the shed

DIY window box planters on a garden shed

Window box planters on a garden shed

Create an easy garden-themed wooden walkway

How to edge flowerbeds like a pro!

Visit many other outdoor projects to make HERE

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Categories: All Cool Projects, DIY, Gardening, Junk Drawer, Old Sign Stencils, Outdoors, Seasonal, Summer
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17 thoughts on “How to make a whimsical potting bench with a chicken coop nesting box!

  1. This looks absolutely amazing! I just love it! Who knew a chicken coop could look so beautiful, lol? πŸ’•πŸ’•πŸ’•πŸ‡¨πŸ‡¦

  2. What a lovely potting bench! I love how you get those freebies and turn them into something unique and special as always! You have the gift of styling it and “merchandising” your creations as well. Another great score for your beautiful yard with the adorable shed!

  3. This has GOT to be my most favorite project EVER! And you’ve done some awesome work over the years. Sure wish I could get my hands on one of them – it’s PERFECT! You really made it look AMAZING!!! Thanks for the inspiration, Donna! Kris in Nebraska, USA

  4. This is excellent – perfect potting station with grit. I’m remembering this idea because those nesting boxes are perfect for storage. We’re building a home soon and planning my garden space now. LOVE this!!

  5. I still can’t believe you scored this nesting box free! I couldn’t love this potting bench area more!!

  6. Pretty cute!!! Now that’s the understatement of the year πŸ˜€ It’s gorgeous and so perfect. I struggle with being patient and waiting for the right things but I’m going to take a page out of your book, Donna. Somethings can’t be rushed.

  7. This is just dreamy! God was smiling on you. I love to refurbish vintage items. That’s the kind of ingenuity that was spawned out of the past from necessity. Our ancestors used everything they had for all kinds of purposes. Always inspiring!

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