Simple DIY Outdoor Bench (thrifty project – recycled wood)

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Use old wood to create your very own DIY outdoor bench!

Simple DIY Outdoor Bench -

So we got this outdoor table free from my sister last summer.
Basically it was falling apart and she was throwing it out and buying new.
(no way I was gonna let her throw it away! ;) )

But it only came with a few chairs (the others had broken completely)  and not enough to seat all the way around.

I’ve been wanting to add a bench since then.

Well I did it…..I made a bench!

And it’s a super Simple DIY Outdoor Bench…that you can make too.

You can do it!! Simple DIY Outdoor Bench -

The table was painted with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in “Graphite”.
I was out of that when I made the bench so I used General Finishes Milk Paint in “Lamp Black”.
You can read about (and see the “before” condition here –> Rescued Patio Table Re-do )

Anyway, I made a bench. 

Did I say that already?? ;)

Simple DIY Outdoor Bench -

I had my husband do the cutting, however. He is a master at the saw….like I am a master at the painting.
So why mess things up, right?

But in case you don’t have a handy husband, or don’t want to tackle the saw yourself, (and that’s okay! :)) you can get The Home Depot to cut all of these for you.

In my excitement to get it done (and done in time for Mother’s Day Dinner at our home) I started screwing things together…before photos.
Oops, I’m so very bad about that , sorry!

Here’s what you need to make your own DIY Outdoor Bench:

2 – 1 x 6 x 12 foot

1 – 4 x 4 x 6 foot

2 – 2 x 2 x 6 foot

Cut them into:

9 – 1 x 6 x 15 in

2 – 1 x 6 x 17 in

2 – 1 x 6 x 52 in

2 – 2 x 2 x 52 in

4 – 4 x 4 x 16 in

Drill, Screws (Deckmate 2 and 3 inch), Clamps, Paint

Every single piece of this bench is recycled from an old deck we used to have up.
We took it down and saved the wood.

The first thing you want to do is add the support pieces for the frame side pieces.

I had a little helper take photos for me. :)

Simple DIY Outdoor Bench - build the frame first - #diy #outdoorbench #outdoorfurniture #diybuild

That would be me showing you what I had already done in the above photo.
I was adding the 2 x 2 as a “ledge” to support the 1 x 6 x 15 in pieces.

Next I built the frame.

Simple DIY Outdoor Bench - corner clamps are great! - #diy #outdoorbench #outdoorfurniture #diybuild

That is a handy, dandy little corner/square tool.
Made things super easy!

Simple DIY Outdoor Bench - drill pilot first - #diy #outdoorbench #outdoorfurniture #diybuild

Drill a pilot hole first and then attach your screw.

Simple DIY Outdoor Bench - add screws - #diy #outdoorbench #outdoorfurniture #diybuild

Do this all the way around until you have built your frame.
I used 2 screws on each side of each corner.

Once that is done, add your 4×4 beams….legs.

Simple DIY Outdoor Bench - add leg posts using clamps for stability - #diy #outdoorbench #outdoorfurniture #diybuild

I used clamps to hold them in place while I drilled and screwed.

Simple DIY Outdoor Bench - secured with screws - #diy #outdoorbench #outdoorfurniture #diybuild

Since these were the main support for the seat I added 4 screws to each corner on each side.

Next, and you are almost done, add the seat boards.
They fit oh so nicely inside the frame you built.

Simple DIY Outdoor Bench - screw in the top seat pieces - #diy #outdoorbench #outdoorfurniture #diybuild

Drill your holes, then screw in the screws……

Simple DIY Outdoor Bench - finishing up! - #diy #outdoorbench #outdoorfurniture #diybuild

These are screwing down into that 2 x 2 ledge piece that was first placed onto the frame boards.
Aren’t my “painting pants” fancy? ;)

Simple DIY Outdoor Bench - screw in seat - #diy #outdoorbench #outdoorfurniture #diybuild

Do that all the way down the length of the bench until finished.
I did two on each side of the boards.

All done! My very own, DIY Outdoor Bench, yay!

Simple DIY Outdoor Bench - SO easy!!! - #diy #outdoorbench #outdoorfurniture #diybuild

Simple DIY Outdoor Bench - Super easy!!! - #diy #outdoorbench #outdoorfurniture #diybuild

Well almost…..painting next.

Oh…and this is what my husband was doing while I was making the bench…..

Simple DIY Outdoor Bench - tractor riding - #diy #outdoorbench #outdoorfurniture #diybuild

…..playing in the back yard on a tractor.

Big boy toy, for sure! ;)

All painted and in place.

Simple DIY Outdoor Bench -

Not fancy but serves our needs out here!
And it’s very sturdy.

Simple DIY Outdoor Bench -

PIN this DIY Outdoor Bench for later!

You can make it too!!! Simple DIY Outdoor Bench -

By the way, I didn’t bother filling the old holes (from it’s previous life as a deck) since it’s just an outdoor bench.

I might get or make a seat cushion for it though. :)

Is this something you might try? It’s totally do-able, I promise.
If I can, YOU can!


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  1. Hi Nancy ~
    Wow ~ That came out so good.
    You are like my sister ~ she can build anything.

    I love how it looks with your table.
    Have a great day

    1. Thanks so much Rose! :)
      Not all things work out but I do try! ;)
      Hope you are having a wonderful week so far.

    1. Hi Colleen,
      Thanks so much!:) I refuse to pay that too! lol I will make something as some point!

  2. I love it, Nancy! You did a great job! But then you ALWAYS do a great job!

    BTW, are the two blacks are the same color when painted? xo

    1. Thanks Karen! :) So sweet!!!
      No, the blacks are slightly different. They actually look a bit more alike in real life though. The photos pick up the base shades of each, I think.

  3. Nancy,

    I love the way this turned out. Nit sure that I have the right place for it now, but I am bookmarking it to my “honey do” list.

  4. Thanks so much for the wonderful bench plans. I love this design and when a friend asked if I wanted the excess cut boards from his deck floor, I said “yes”! I wish I could post a picture because what I did is paint the frame gray and made the top boards into a piano keyboard. All eight boards equals an octave, mine is in the key of C. Just a lovely place to sit.

    1. Thank you so much for these instructions for a fabulous bench! And – for Sue Hill – did you post a picture anywhere online? I love your idea so so much, but can’t figure out how I would put the black keys in there with them only attached on one side. (And whenever I look up “bench that looks like piano keys” online, all I get are ads for piano benches, of course.)

  5. I made this bench using all the measurements listed. It came out really great. I used 5/4 x 6″ deck boards in stead of the 1×6’s.

  6. Your measurements are off. The two boards that are 17″ should be 19″ (15″ board x 2″ on each side) I should of checked before I screwed them in :((((

    1. Oh gosh, Lisa, I’m sorry it didn’t work out for you but my measurements are not off. There is not 2 inch on each side.
      I stated 2 – 1 x 6 x 17 inch (for the short ends) along with 9 – 1 x 6 x 15 inch (for the inside bench area) and 2 – 1 x 6 x 52 inch (for the long sides). So the boards should indeed be cut to 17 inches otherwise you would have an overhang on each side. The boards are 1 bys, not 2 bys. It sounds like you might have used 2 bys for the long sides. The only 2 by is the small brace piece screwed to each 1 by, 52-inch long piece. (see the cut wood photo in the post)

      1. Ahhh okay! Yes I see it now. I think I can save this bench by cutting the 9 top boards shorter and try again with a new bench! Thanks!!

  7. Nancy, girl, that bench is bomb!!!!! That is exactly what that table needed. It makes me want to build something. I like to watch you and Christy thrift shopping. It makes me think of my sister and me. We always make each other laugh.

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