DIY potting table with shelves for propagation jars

With more time spent at home, I’ve started doing a bit more gardening. I’m so glad I hacked this DIY potting table over a year ago. It turned out so useful and my back will be ever grateful.

Back story, I had an old HEJNE shelving unit which I was no longer using. (You’ll see a lot of more holes on mine as it was used for another hack.) It was just the right IKEA item to repurpose into a potting table, cheaply and easily.

Best thing, it helped me organize my frequently used gardening tools and store pots, soil and more.

ikea hejne potting table

Related: Potting bench, perfectly made with 2 ÄPPLARÖ benches


IKEA items used:
Hejne shelf unit

HEJNE shelving unit | IKEA.com

Other materials and tools:
Optional accessories

DIY potting table step by step

I made a video of the steps. Or scroll down to read the complete instructions.

First, use a jigsaw to cut one section off the 5-plank HEJNE shelf. Set aside the one-section to be used as propagation jar shelves.

HEJNE shelving unit parts

Next, cut one of the posts into two equal halves. You’ll make these into the front legs.

Assemble the unit.

Set the two tall posts at the back and 2 short posts in front. At the highest screw holes of the two front posts fix a full uncut shelf to serve as the countertop. Position a second shelf below to stabilize the structure. You can place this second shelf anywhere along the length of the short posts, as your storage needs demand.

Secure the top hanging shelves

Now let’s turn to the section above the countertop. Here we’ll fix the two shortened shelves but vertically. Placing the shelves this way allows S-hooks to be hung on the planks. You’ll need additional wood screws for this step.

Propagation jar shelf

Remember the one-section you cut off the 5-plank shelf? Install them at the top of the long posts and in between the two vertical shelves. Turn the provided HEJNE screws from behind the HEJNE posts into the L-shaped wood bracket under the narrow plank.

DIY potting table IKEA HEJNE hack with propagation shelves

I drilled the wood brackets first before securing the screws as they are prone to crack. I also used a dollop of glue at the contact point for better hold.

Optional: You can use a hole saw to drill into the narrow shelf for propagation tubes. Just make sure the tube has a lip at the top to not slip through the hole.

Lastly, fasten the OBSERVATÖR cross-brace at the back of the structure for more stability.

Finishing

The last part is to sand and stain the potting table for better protection against moisture. You can use paint instead if you prefer more colour. I recommend using a primer first before painting to cover up the pine knots.

DIY potting table IKEA HEJNE hack

Let it dry and set in place.

I also installed a garden hose hanger on one side of the shelf to get things a little more organized. And some hooks on the other side for smaller items.

garden hose hanger

Place your gardening stuff in there and you’re set to grow.

Cost:

I already had the HEJNE. But if I bought it new, it would have cost $40 for 4 shelves and 4 posts. (I had one post leftover for other projects)

Stain, sandpaper and other materials were from my stash. It shouldn’t cost more than $20.

I’ve been using this IKEA HEJNE potting table regularly over the past year and it has held up well. The wood is still sturdy. I foresee it lasting for many more years.