From salvage to sensational!
Cottage style is comfortable and often decorative, but to be truly in-character, the best pieces are fun and functional. When Kirk Willis made this one-of-a-kind potting bench for his family, he blended charm with practicality. He combined salvaged metal hardware and wood furnishings collected over the years from flea markets and beyond. The finished bench is storage, display area, and workbench all in one!
Kirk’s tips for building a potting bench:
- In place of a sink, use a large, flat-bottom enamel pan for repotting projects. If the pan is nicked, dinged, or a trifle rusty in character, so much the better!
- Put a hole in a sturdy bench or table top for a metal work pan, so that it can be popped out for easy clean-ups; Kirk made the hole in this work bench by tracing around the enamel pan (turned upside down) for a pattern, then he made a pilot hole inside the circle with a drill, cut the opening with a jig saw inside the pattern line, and sanded the edges to make a smooth opening.
- Make mismatched, salvaged pieces harmonious with a good quality stain—gel stains work on metal as well as wood if you allow more drying time. Chalk paints finished with beeswax can also be used for a colorful variation on parts of this cottage-themed project.
Potting Bench Décor and more, tips –
- The sides of overhanging worktops are great for pegs to hold more tools and for mounting fun metal details.
- Toolbox and galvanized buckets on lower shelf hold lots of miscellaneous gardening items out of the way.
- Fun metal details and an iron pig harmonize with the metal pans, buckets, enamelware, and tools. Kirk and his family collect flea market treasures and since both parents are teachers, arts and crafts projects are created and displayed on this bench too. For everyday fun, mix your tools with your keepsakes.
- Change up your displays every few weeks. The fun thing about a bench like this is that it can hold a lot of unique items and be functional at the same time.
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Products you may find helpful –
Click can above to find this in our Flea Market Gardening Shoppe!