Sunday, May 20, 2012

Pallet potting table.

Here is my new potting table!

I know this is not a sewn, knitted or spun item, but it is handmade so that's ok, right? Jamie and I spent the weekend building a potting table for our garden. My parent in laws were visiting and gave us a lot of help also with this endeavour. To be fair, Jamie is the total brains and brawn behind this creation, my role was more as the 'artistic director'. 

I have dreamt of having my own potting table ever since we moved to Newcastle and rented a house with a yard. Potting tables can be as unique as your garden is. Most often they are crafted from re-purposed materials that the gardener has managed to salvage from a local source. Random bits are nailed, glued and screwed together to create something for the garden that is functional, and in my case, pleasing to the eye.

This potting table is completely made from pallet timber I was able to obtain for free from a retired gentleman who lives near the town where I work. He builds chicken coops and bird breeding boxes in his spare time and was only too happy for me to take what timber I needed. I did offer to pay him for the timber, but he replied with a smile "I would be offended if you paid me, please take as much as you need". He spent almost 45 minutes with me discussing my design plans and selecting the perfect pieces for the project from his substantial timber pile.

Pallet timber is ideal for this kind of project. It is cheap, or possibly free, and is a standard size. Pallets are made from outdoor wood so this table will survive being exposed to the weather. What I also prefer is the timbers 'rustic' look. Every piece is weathers differently. Knots. Stains. Splinters. All slats are unique.

I am considering adding some nails or hooks to the upper part of the timber frame, to use as a place to hang my gardening hand tools whilst I am working. Rhonda also uses a potting box to prevent wasting some of her soil while she is potting. I am hoping I can whip one of these up with all the off cuts I have left.

Below is the photo I found on pinterest months ago that I used for the inspiration for this potting table. The table was made by Bruce at The image has been sitting in my Gardens folder for some time, waiting for me to get my hands on some pallets.

Jamie was really pleased with how similar his creation was to the inspiration photo...

We finished the potting table as the sun was setting, so I am yet to actually use it to pot any seeds. Winter is a difficult time to garden as night falls before I am home from work, leaving me unable to garden most evenings. Sometimes I do a spot of weeding before work, but that depends on the chill in the air and me not hitting the 'snooze' button. I am sure this table will get much use though next weekend!

Sam xox


  1. It is wonderful, Sam! I didn't even realize that the inspiration picture was different than the one you made - they could be twins! I love making things from repurposed materials. The boys and I just made a chicken tractor (moveable chicken coop) from wood that had been the boy's clubhouse, and before that, had been the bleachers at the University where I work. This potting table inspires me to do something similar.

  2. Love your potting table, it looks exactly like the photo you used for inspiration. At first glance, the weathered wood made it look as if there was a scene painted on the back of it. Good job.
    I have one in my greenhouse which is made from scrap lumber, it has a shallow "gutter" on the front of the top, which collects all of the scattered soil and then can be brushed back into a container.
    Happy "potting".

  3. Sam & Jaime I wanted to stop by and say BRAVO!
    I am the the creator of your inspiration potting bench. And I must say Jaime, yours is much better than mine. It was the second one I had ever built, each one being a little different. (I actually had a policy of naming each bench style after the person who purchased it...but I think the name should be changed to the Sam Jaime!)

    Those early pallet furniture pieces inspired me to build more refined pieces. I now build furniture/ home goods for INSIDE, but still love to see people make my original plans even better. I try and use only locally salvaged lumber from urban felled trees and use smaller cut offs for my home decor items. Still trying to keep it green!

    A wonderful surprise to see this from the great Pacific Northwest, Seattle WA. USA.

    Well done!


  4. Wow, that is one nice looking potting table hon! Go Jamie! xoxo

  5. this is absolutely brilliant! I know a sort of dump (!) that I can get free pallets from and I would love to try my hand at this! I've got a potting shed and I could put one in there and take it outside in the summer!