If you’re like me, your outdoor furniture needs an upgrade. We have a lovely patio that overlooks the lawn and pool, but the old sling chairs we had have split and you can’t sit in them anymore. We replaced them with cheap stuff, but I really don’t like the plastic chairs and table that flex when you sit in them and blow around in the wind. What to do?
Well, I’m no Norm Abrams, but I can find my way around a circular saw and cordless drill/driver. Armed with those tools, and maybe a couple more, I decided to build a bench for the back yard. It’s really not that hard, and I would encourage even a novice builder to give it a shot.
The nice thing about doing it yourself is that there is no end to all the possibilities. You are only limited by your imagination. Take a look at some of these ideas.
DIY Outdoor Bench Ideas
- A Simple Cinder Block Bench
Home & Garden Furniture
What’s great about this kind of bench is that it takes little skill, few tools, and minimal materials. You can probably buy all you need from your local hardware store for under $50. Then you can make or buy cushions and decorate it however you like.
You can make them as simple or as elegant as you like. Paint them or leave them natural. Either way, you have a sturdy bench that will last a long while.
- Japanese Garden Bench
Courtesy of Russel Jensen
At the other end of the DIY spectrum is this fancy Japanese style garden bench. It uses a complicated Mortise and tenon joinery, so it requires quite a bit more woodworking skill, but the resulting bench is quite beautiful and will last a long time. You can find plans for it at finewoodworking.com.
- Simple DIY Garden Bench
From DIY Garden Plans
A pretty simple but straightforward design is this one from diygardenplans.net. It only requires a basic knowledge and skill level, but the result is quite nice. It only requires basic lumber, 2x4s, a 2×6, and fence boards. You can download the plans for free.
- Classic Garden Bench
Via Extreme How-To
The design and instructions for this classic garden bench can be found on extremehowto.com. I would say the difficulty level is intermediate. It requires a pattern transfer and some careful use of a band saw, but the results are quite satisfactory. The site has detailed instructions to help you through the process. If you have good woodworking skills, you will like this project.
- Simple Garden Seat
Reference: Build Eazy
This easy-to-build garden bench is perfect for any skill level, and the plans come in either inches or metric. It is made from 2×4 stock that has been treated for outdoor use. If you want to try something simple but sturdy, give this one a try.
- Garden Bench by Bob Vila
Courtesy of Bob Vila
Here is a simple bench that Bob says anyone can build. Having spent many years as a host of home improvements television programs like This Old House and Home Again, Bob has some great ideas for improving your outdoor space as well. This simple bench has great eye appeal and is a fun project you can say you built yourself.
- The $16 Wonder Bench
Courtesy of The Project Lady
This simple and inexpensive bench is the brainchild of The Project Lady, who says it can be built in about an hour for only $16 in lumber. They are sturdy, they are cheap, and they will seat three adults. Hard to believe? Check out her site and get all the details. You can’t get a better quick and easy project.
- Reclaimed Wood Bench
This great little bench is made entirely from reclaimed wood. The guys at gardenseason.com have complete instructions and even a video on how to construct this bench from heavy duty pallets that can often be had for free. The only issue with pallets is that you have to dismantle them first before you can construct your garden project. But the cost savings makes it all worth it.
- Planter Box Bench
Courtesy of Shanty 2 Chic
This handy little garden bench doubles as a planter box. You can use this design to brighten up a patio or dull corner of the garden and not only provide seating, but a lovely planter box as well. Instructions and plans are available from shanty-2-chic.com and there is even a video showing some of the tool used. This is a nice option for something a little different.
- Easy DIY Outdoor Patio Bench
Here is a simple and easy patio bench you can build with just a few supplies. You can find the instructions and plans on the pinkwhen.com site, where they say you can build this bench for under $20. It is fairly simple and straightforward and can be built by someone with a basic knowledge of tools and woodworking.
- 2×4 Simple Garden Bench
From My Outdoor Plans
You can build this simple garden bench from plans available from myoutdoorplans.com. It is an easy project that can be completed in one day. Like some of the others we have looked at, it is made from 2×4 lumber, so it will be nice and sturdy. You will have to give this one a shot.
- Tailgate Bench
Just to show you can make a garden bench out of almost anything, the folks at 101gardens.org have put together this bench made from an old tailgate. It will add a bit of whimsy to your outdoor space and will be a fun project for the classic car lover. The plans and directions are available on the website, but this isn’t a project for the beginner, as it combines wood and metal into a single project. But the result is just amazing.
As you can see, there are dozens of project ideas to make your yard a little more inviting and more comfortable, and they don’t have to cost very much. So jump in and pick up the material to put together one of these benches and you will have a finished product that you will be proud of for years to come.