Outdoor Bench with Arbor

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Free arbor bench plans from ana-white.com

Hello DIY Friends!  Happy Monday!

What happens when you mix two of your favorite DIY projects together, and partner up with one of your favorite DIY blog friends?

This happens!

A long while back - like last summer - my friend Gina saw this child's arbor bench project I posted (worked on with my good friend Kirsten from The Crafting Chicks)

And asked me if we could make an adult sized plan too!

Well, bringing a new baby in the mix has put everything into sloooooow motion, so it took me months to work on the plans (wish I was one of those super talented moms that can work and feed the baby at the same time, but I'm just not that coordinated).

Like it was May by then ....

And my friend Gina from Lady Goats saw this pergola I designed for the Home Depot/Ryobi commercial (plans are available here) and asked if we could style the arbor bench like it.

I so love how this turned out!

Gina from Lady Goats (with a little help from Mr. Goats) did an amazing job building this arbor bench!  Those tails, that lattice work .... swoon!

Of course, we've got free plans below, but make sure you read Gina from Lady Goat's full building post - she's got TONS of tips and tricks to help you through your own build!

Thank you Gina!

Plans follow!

XO Ana + Family

PS - Congrats to ED over at RYOBI Nation for winning BIG by submitting this Pergola for the May Project Challenge!  (The May Challenge was to build a project from the RYBOI Pergola commercial and share on RYOBI Nation for a chance to win $500 in tools).

The June Challenge is up - check it out for a chance to win up to $500 in tools!

Dimensions shown above


Shopping List

4 - 4x4 posts @ 84" (legs)
4 - 2x4 @ 21" (side supports)
2 - 2x4 @ 91" (bottom seat front/back aprons)
4 - 2x6 @ 91" (top lower rafters)
7 - 2x4 @ 48" (top upper rafters)
4 - 2x4 @ 28" (seat supports)
2 - 2x4 @ 60" (back support framing)
5 - 2x4 @ 15-1/2" (back support framing)
7 - 1x6 (or 2x6) @ 60" (seat boards)
6 - 2x4 @ 33" (side shelves)

NOTE: Recommend exterior screws

Common Materials
2 inch screws
2 1/2 inch screws
Cut List

4 - 4 x 4 x 8
12 - 2 x 4 x 8
1 - 2 x 4 x 10
3 - 2 x 6 x 10
5 - 2 x 6 x 8
1 - 4 x 8 lattice panel

Tape Measure
Speed Square
Safety Glasses
Hearing Protection
Kreg Jig
Circular Saw
Power Sander
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

Start by building the two ends by attaching with pocket holes the side pieces to the posts.

Step 2

Next, attach the front and back seat aprons to the outsides of the posts.

Step 3

Attach lower rafters to tops of posts.

TIP: Predrill holes and start screws on ground first.

Step 4

Cut the upper row of rafters and notch and place on top. Screw down.

Step 5

Step 6

Build back seat framing and attach between posts and top of back seat support.

Step 7

Place seat boards on top of seat, and to back seat framing.

Step 8

Add lattice to inside of the sides - you may wish to add additional wood trim supports around the lattice panels.

Step 9

Finish off ends with boards (perfect spot for a plant!)

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



Sat, 06/14/2014 - 05:23

Awesome plans as usual Ana! I can't wait to make this someday. Thank you for all the time and inspiration you provide on your site!

One small side note though: the shopping list and cut lists are swapped in this plan.


Fri, 07/10/2015 - 07:13

The cut list calls for four 2x4s cut at 28 inches. The diagram on Step 5 highlights seven 2x4s cut at 28 inches. The choice is yours, I went with seven.

Rafters - I don't own a table saw, so I held the rafters together with clamps, measured and marked the cuts for notches, then set my circular saw for a depth of 1.5 inches. I knocked out the wood cleanly between the cuts with a hammer and chisel. While the cuts were exactly the same for all the rafters, I did have to make a few minor adjustments to a couple of notch cuts to compensate for slight bows in the 2x6 boards the rafters sat on.

Relatively minor issues for a great weekend project. You should try it! I was very pleased with the results. Thank-you Ana!!!


Thu, 01/21/2016 - 07:50

Hi Ana! This Arbor is beautiful. I was wondering if you think this is sturdy and suitable for a swing base instead of doing an A frame. I would omit the inside bench so the children's swing(s) can go there, and maybe keep the small outside benches on each side. Please give me your thoughts. Thank you so much!

Aiden Eagle Scout

Fri, 03/02/2018 - 14:24

We used the design to make a bench for an Eagle Project for the Rescued Pets Movement. I did the work with my Grandfather purchasing, measuring, and cutting all the wood. It took one day to purchase and cut the wood and another day to build it. I had some members of my scout troop come by to help sand and paint the bench. That took about 4 hours with five scouts. After making it some of my family members want one of their own!