Mother’s Day is here, and if you’re still on the lookout for the perfect gift for mom, we at Sunbelt Forest Products have you covered. This year, instead of buying flowers or chocolates, why not give Mom a gift that will make her gardening hobby even more enjoyable?
We’ve put together an easy-to-follow plan to build a beautiful and functional potting cart. This cart will help mom keep her gardening tools organized and add a touch of style to her backyard. Read on to learn more about the plans and how to get started on this DIY project.
You can also click here to download a free PDF copy of the plans to keep by your side as you work.
DIY Potting Cart Instructions
Build the Worksurface
- Place the seven 1” x 4” x 30” worksurface boards on top of the worksurface frame.
- After laying the worksurface boards down, use a scrap piece of 1” x 4” as a spacer to make sure that the boards overhang the frame by 3/4” all the way around.
- Nail the worksurface to the frame using 2” 6d galvanized finish nails.
Attach the Legs
- Lay the worksurface on the ground face down and place the four 2” x 4” legs on end into the box formed by the worksurface frame.
- Position the legs in the corners of the frames so that the 4” side meets the 23-1/2” side of the frame and end of the 2” x 4” is flush with the bottom of the worksurface.
- Using four 2-1/2” #6 galvanized all-purpose screws, screw through each leg into the frame.
Build the Bottom Shelf
- Measure 6-1/2” from the bottom of all four legs and mark a line.
- Attach a 2” x 4” x 22-1/2” bottom shelf support between the two front legs, keeping the top edge of the 2” x 4” shelf support flush with the marked line on the leg and the 4” face of the support flush with the outside 2” edge of the front legs.
- Screw through the leg into the shelf support using 2-1/2” #6 galvanized all-purpose screws.
- Repeat this procedure to attach the second 2” x 4” x 22-1/2” bottom shelf support between the two rear legs, keeping the outside 4” face of the support flush with the outside 2” edge of the rear legs. These bottom shelf supports should be parallel with the front and back sides of the work surface frame.
- Next, evenly space the six 1” x 4” x 20-1/2” bottom shelf boards across the bottom shelf supports and nail them to the supports using 2” 6d galvanized nails.
Build the Top Shelf Assembly
Build the Back Panel
- Lay eight 1” x 4” pickets together side by side and attach the 1” x 2” x 27-1/4” cleat to them to form the back panel. Remember to attach the cleat on the panel centered over the width of the panel’s boards. Space the back cleat along the eight back panel pickets so that it has a 3/4” gap from each end of the back panel sides. The cleat on the back panel should be attached so that the top of the cleat is 5-3/4” from the bottom of the pickets.
- Use 1-1/4” #6 galvanized all-purpose screws to attach the cleat. Screw the cleat on from the inside, through the cleat into the 1” x 4” boards.
Assemble the Top Shelf Side Panels
- Lay three 1” x 4” pickets together side by side and attach the 1” x 2” x 9-3/4” cleat to form the left side panel. As with the back panel, the top of the cleat should be 5-3/4” from the bottom of the pickets. One end of the cleat should be 3/4” from the edge of the panel that joins the back panel. The other end of the cleat should be flush.
- Again, use the 1-1/4” screws to attach the cleat to the pickets.
- Repeat these steps to form the right side of the picket benchback assembly. Remember that the left and right sides will be opposite each other and that each cleat configuration should mirror the other.
Build the Top Shelf Frame
- Place the left side panel into position at the left end of the back panel so they form a 90-degree joint with the side panel covering the outside edge of the back panel.
- Using 1-1/4” #6 galvanized all-purpose screws, attach the side panel to the back panel by screwing through from the outside face of the side panel into the edge of the back panel. Refer to the illustration above for a look at where to place the screws.
- Repeat these steps to attach the right side panel.
Build the Top Shelf
- Take three 1” x 4” x 28-1/2” upper shelf pieces and slot them one by one into the top shelf frame so they rest on the cleats.
- Nail the shelf boards to the cleats using 1-1/4” 6d galvanized finish nails.
- Next, flip the picket bench-back assembly upside down and attach the 1” x 2” x 9” cleat centered across the shelf pieces using 1-1/4” #6 galvanized all-purpose screws. The end of the cleat closest to the back picket panel should butt up against the back panel’s cleat.
Attach the Picket Bench-Back Assembly to the Worksurface
- Place the picket bench-back assembly on the worksurface so that the back and sides of the bench-back are flush with the back and sides of the worksurface.
- Using 2-1/2” #6 galvanized all-purpose screws, screw through the worksurface overhang up into the center of each picket of the picket bench-back. Pre-drilling the screw holes will prevent the boards from splitting. Attach the Lattice
- Place the 25-1/2” x 29” section of lattice over the back legs between the worksurface frame and the bottom shelf support.
- Nail the lattice to the legs and shelf support using 2” 6d galvanized finish nails.
Make the Potting Cart Mobile
- Place a 5-1/2” lawnmower wheel against the outside 4” face of both rear legs with the wheel resting on the ground.
- Mark a dot on each leg through the hole in the center of the wheel, and at the mark, drill a hole centered on the leg.
- Measure up 1” from the bottom of the rear legs and mark a line.
- Using a circular saw, cut the bottom inch off both rear legs.
- Bolt the wheels onto the legs using a galvanized bolt and three washers. Refer to the illustration above for a look at where to place the screws.
- Next, attach the handle to the front 28-1/2” piece of the worksurface frame. Center the handle from side to side and up and down, then screw it on.
You can view the PDF plans below or click here to download a copy of the plans, and be sure to check out the Sunbelt Forest Products blog for more projects and the latest information on how to get the most out of your pressure-treated lumber.