Simple Outdoor Dining Bench

Submitted by Ana White on Thu, 04/23/2020 - 20:27
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Build your own dining bench - matches the Simple Modern Outdoor Table

diy bench plans

This easy to build DIY bench can be used alone, or pair with our matching modern outdoor dining table

diy dining table

This plan has been updated.  The original plans are available here.

modern outdoor bench plans
Dimensions shown in diagram


Shopping List

Shopping List is Per 1 Bench

  • 2 - 2x4 @ 8 feet long
  • 2 - 1x4 @ 8 feet long
  • 20 - 2-1/2" long exterior screws (look for the star bit ones)
  • 50 - 1-1/2" long exterior screws (look for the star bit ones)
Cut List
  • 2 - 2x4 @ 12-7/8" - Frame ends
  • 2 - 2x4 @ 44-1/2" - Frame sides
  • 4 - 2x4 @ 17-1/4" - Legs
  • 12 - 1x4 @ 15-7/8" - Bench Slats

Tape Measure
Speed Square
Safety Glasses
Hearing Protection


Step 1

Build the basic frame for the bench with the longer screws.  The cut list is correct with the ends at 12-7/8".

Adjust the frame for square by taking opposite diagonal measurements and making sure the two opposite diagonals match.  

Step 2

Screw the legs to the frame with the longer screws.  

Step 3

Lay the slats out on top with a 1/2" gap in between.

Screw down with the shorter screws.


mollymadd (not verified)

Sun, 05/09/2010 - 16:57

Hey Ana! I am about 70% done ... I just wanted to say 1 - you are a genius for creating this simple modern design knock off and 2 - I laugh that I am such a novice- seriously - I never used a saw or a drill until today... but I kept making mistakes on the drilling - especially on the ends. I would start to countersink where it looks like the drills should go and then realize my drill is not moving because there were already screws from my last fasten ... I probably made that mistake 5 times before I finally paid more attention. Both end slats have like 10 holes because I kept hitting screws and or I kept missing the wood that it was to attach to. I feel like a dummy...and my husband laughed when he saw the warped wood that I brought home the first time from lowes... anyhow, I should be finished tomorrow and I am super excited to post the pics. I just wanted to mention those comments for the super green novices like myself... thanks again for your big brain and the easy laid out plans!!

Lukesf (not verified)

Tue, 02/14/2012 - 10:32

Hello mollymadd,

It's great that you are trying! Trying and fouling it up is the only way to learn. Keep in mind that everyone is an "dummy" when doing something for the first time. Keep at it and you will get better. Meanwhile, if your husband keeps laughing at you, make him sleep on the couch. Meanwhile, always wear your safety glasses. Eyes are hard to fix, and even harder to replace!

Sandy H (not verified)

Sat, 05/22/2010 - 02:49

This is my first completed project. I just made one bench to sit on my pool deck, so it is out of pressure treated lumber. It came out great!! The plans were super easy to follow - all thanks to Ana! I had the same problem as mollymadd that I put screws and the wood wasn't there. I will have to do a better job of measuring. I also think a chalk line would help to keep the screws straight. I'm using solid stain on this, so it won't matter that much for me. Thanks again Ana!!

Ellen (not verified)

Tue, 05/25/2010 - 15:52

I cannot believe I've never seen your site until now. Amazingly well done.

One question about this particular plan: what length boards are the 1x3 and 1x4's? You specify 4 of them, but not their length. Have I missed that somewhere? Thanks!

fhmaughan (not verified)

Fri, 05/28/2010 - 03:05


I would be almost sure they are 8' long boards - that is pretty much the standard length for buying boards of this width.

Iceberg (not verified)

Sun, 05/30/2010 - 06:53

I have a question: How well does the junction between the seat slats and the side pieces hold up? Where the ends of the slats butt up against the sides, I can't see that they are actually attached to each other, just sort of floating next to each other. How does that hold up to warping, expansion/contraction, etc? Is this a potential splinter place? Should I get some small screws and pocket screw the slats to the side pieces? I expect it's pretty stiff since they meet midway between the two lower skirt pieces, but is that enough?

Drama Queens (not verified)

Wed, 06/30/2010 - 11:56

Just finished building this!! Great project! I love it out on my front porch--just need to sew a few pillows to go at the back of it! Thanks for a great pattern! The only trouble I had was attaching the seat slats in the right spot--the directions were a little confusing because it said to mark 1" on the main directions but on the bigger diagram it said 1 3/4"--but i could have been reading it completely wrong--I don't know!

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