Garden Bench

Submitted by Lady Goats on Tue, 03/22/2011 - 18:51
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This is a great, deep bench to lounge on outside. I built it to the measurements of my love seat. If you're going to paint, it's easier to paint this before assembling.

40" H, 50" W, 27" D


Shopping List

7 - 2x3x8

1 - 2x4x8
1 - 2x6x8
2 - 2x2x8 
Common Materials
2 inch screws
3 inch screws
120 grit sandpaper
Cut List
4 - 2x2 @ 21'' (seat supports)
1 - 2x2 @ "about" 29 1/2'' - measure YOURS before cutting

8 - 2x3 @ 47'' (7 seat slats and 1 bottom support beam)

4 - 2x3 @ 19'' (2 side aprons and 2 bottom leg supports)
2 - 2x3 @ 27'' (arm rests)
2 - 2x3 @ 40'' (Back Legs)
2 - 2x3 @ 30'' (front legs)
2 - 2x4 @ 47'' (front and back apron)
2 - 2x6 @ 47'' (back beams)
Cutting Instructions

Most cuts are self explanatory, but note that a seat support beam needs to be "worked with".

Tape Measure
Speed Square
Circular Saw
Miter Saw
Drill Bit Set
General Instructions

Please read through the entire plan and all comments before beginning this project. It is also advisable to review the Getting Started Section. Take all necessary precautions to build safely and smartly. Work on a clean level surface, free of imperfections or debris. Always use straight boards. Check for square after each step. Always predrill holes before attaching with screws. Use glue with finish nails for a stronger hold. Wipe excess glue off bare wood for stained projects, as dried glue will not take stain. Be safe, have fun, and ask for help if you need it. Good luck!


Step 1

Attach supports to front and back aprons, half an inch from the bottom. The two middle supports should be 21'' apart. I didn't measure the other two, but you could put them at the ends. That would probably have been the smartest thing for me to do.
I forgot to measure a half inch up in the diagram above, but the 2x2s need to be half an inch up. I used a 1/2'' square dowel to support it as I drilled in from the front and back apron.

Step 2

Measure the diagonal of YOUR bench and cut the diagonal support beam to fit. Parallel 45 degree angles would have been easier, but I did two 45 angles at each end to fit into the corner.

Step 3

Attach the seat slats from the bottom with 2 inch screws. Space approx 3/4'' apart and then eyeball their spacing from there.

Step 4

I repeated the first part of this step - oops! The aprons are already there, so ignore that part and just attach the legs. Measure 20'' from the bottom of each leg and that is where the top of the seat should go. Use three 2'' screws per leg (two into the seat and one into the apron)

Step 5

Step 6

Attach bottom leg supports by pre-drilling through the front of each leg. Measure 10'' from the bottom, and the top of the beam should sit there.
Use two 3'' screws per leg.

Step 7

Screw the bottom beam to leg supports using 2'' screws. Use 2 screws per side (grab a stray kid to help)

Step 8

Notch out the arm rests as shown above. This should be to the exact dimensions of your 2x3, so measure your board first. Mine happened to fit perfectly into the dimensions shown.
Pre-drill through the side and screw into the back leg using two 2'' screws. Screw from the top into the front leg (2 screws).

Finishing Instructions
Preparation Instructions
Fill all holes with wood filler and let dry. Apply additional coats of wood filler as needed. When wood filler is completely dry, sand the project in the direction of the wood grain with 120 grit sandpaper. Vacuum sanded project to remove sanding residue. Remove all sanding residue on work surfaces as well. Wipe project clean with damp cloth.

It is always recommended to apply a test coat on a hidden area or scrap piece to ensure color evenness and adhesion. Use primer or wood conditioner as needed.
Project Type



Thu, 09/08/2011 - 06:01

I would like to make my bench longer and remove the arms. What changes should I make to these plans and materials list? Should I add any extra legs or bottom supports?
Thanks in advance.

guest (not verified)

Sun, 09/25/2011 - 20:41

I think my mom would love this for her yard or patio. I am planning on making this for her for Christmas. I'm excited to get started! Thank you for the wonderful plans! Are there more pictures of ones others have made. I'd love to see everyone's version of this bench!

In reply to by Rob (not verified)

Lady Goats

Thu, 09/29/2011 - 12:19

I didn't get any finished phtotos of my original OR second bench (both were gifts), but I just ended up painting them and thinking they were just "ok". Yours is GORGEOUS. I really am just... awe struck!

Rob (not verified)

Thu, 09/29/2011 - 12:26

Aww shucks, thanks! Hopefully my dog won't eat it up.
I really appreciate the plans, your time and this website.
I wonder what my next project should be?....


Lady Goats

Thu, 11/03/2011 - 08:13

for those of you looking for staining inspiration!

he left the link above so you can click the full sized photo.

Coley (not verified)

Thu, 12/08/2011 - 19:36

What kind of wood did you use? Cedar is great but expensive. Would staining or painting help untreated pine last outdoors? The bench is awesome looking, can't wait to get started on it.

In reply to by Coley (not verified)

Lady Goats

Fri, 12/09/2011 - 18:07

Hi Coley, I used douglas fir and spruce (which are what the studs and furring strips in my area are made from - so, in other words, "the cheap stuff"). Both of the ones I've built are holding up VERY well with paint. Staining and finishing with a deck sealer, linseed oil or poly would definitely help it last. With anything untreated, I'd just recommend that you inspect it annually (every spring, when it's finally warming up enough to go outdoors, just do a quick look-over). If it's showing signs of wear, you can refinish it. Or do what a friend of mine does, and slap more poly on top of the older stuff (no sanding required!). Hope this helps!


Sat, 12/10/2011 - 07:22

Not that polyurethane isn't wonderful stuff, but it breaks down quickly under sunlight.

I've heard that you can get a similar effective clear-coating by using the straight deep color base for oil paint. That's the paint before they mix any color in.