Outdoor Sofa - Modern Comfort Collection

Submitted by Ana White on Tue, 03/03/2020 - 14:48
Difficulty
Intermediate
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Build your own outdoor sofa.  Modern style, reclined seat and back for increased comfort.  Fits standard 25" x 25" deep seat cusions. Free step by step plans from Ana-White.com

Matching loveseat plans available here and matching chair plans available here.

outdoor sofa with reclining back rest
Photo by AMIEALEJANDRO

What Type of Wood to Use?

We recommend cedar wood for building this sofa.  You can also use standard 2x lumber if it is fully sealed (painted or stained with an exterior grade finish.

Where to Get Cushions?

There's alot of great options for cushions.  You can easily modify this plan to fit almost any size cushion, but we recommend "deep seat" cushions.
  • This plan is based off a 25" x 25" x 5" deep seat cushion and a 25" x 22" x 5" deep back cushion (most popular option Amazon affiliate link).
  • You can also use a 24" x 24" deep cushion with minimal modification, but will need to make the distance between the arm rests 3" less.
  • If you use 24" deep x 22" wide cushions, you will need to make the distance between the armrests 9" less.
  • Back cushions should match width of the seat cushions, the pillow height should be between 18" and 25" to cover the wood back rest.

Updated Plans

This plan has been updated from the Simple White Outdoor Collection to feature wider arm rests, easier to build, and a sturdier 2x construction.  
Dimensions
outdoor sofa dimensions
Dimensions shown in diagram

Preparation

Shopping List

3 - 2x2 @ 8 feet long

4 - 2x6 @ 8 feet long

6 - 2x4 @ 8 feet long

2 - 1x4 @ 10 feet long

(50) 2-1/2" self tapping exterior wood screws

(50) 2-1/2" pocket hole screws

(20) 1-1/2" self tapping exterior wood screws

Cut List

4 - 2x4 @ 22" - legs

2 - 2x4 @ 34" - arm rests

2 - 2x4 @ 31" - arm supports

2 - 2x6 @ 31" - arm supports

2 - 2x6 @ 75-1/2" - bases

1 - 2x4 @ 75-1/2" - back

1 - 2x2 @ 75-1/2" - back rest top

9 - 2x4 @ 23-3/4" - back slats

1 - 2x6 @ 79-1/2" - back base

2 - 2x2 @ 79-1/2" - seat slat cleats

10 - 1x4 @ 23-1/2" - seat slats

Cutting Instructions

Cut boards with a compound miter saw.

Tools
Tape Measure
Pencil
Safety Glasses
Hearing Protection
Kreg Jig
Drill
Circular Saw

Instructions

Step 1

Drill two 1-1/2" pocket holes on top of each of the legs.

Attach to the arm rest from underneath with 2-1/2" pocket hole screws.

Leg is shown upside down.

Step 2

Drill two 1-1/2" pocket holes on each end of the 2x4 side supports. 

Attach to the insides of the legs with 2-1/2" pocket hole screws.

Leg is shown upside down.

Step 3

Drill two 1-1/2" pocket holes on each end of the 2x6 end aprons.  Also drill three 1-1/2" pocket holes along one edge.

Attach inside the leg, flush to the outside, pocket holes hidden on insides, with 2-1/2" pocket hole screws.

Leg is shown upside down.

Step 4

Drill two 1-1/2" pocket holes on each end of the 2x6 and 2x4s shown.

Attach with 2-1/2" pocket hole screws to the legs, all pocket holes are on the insides, or facing downward.

Step 5

Attach 2x2 to the back slat pieces with 2-1/2" exterior self tapping screws.  Two screws per joint recommended.

TIP: Attach ends and middle first, then evenly space remaining, to avoid uneven gaps between the back slats.

Step 6

Attach back to the base with 2-1/2" self tapping wood screws, with a 2" gap on each end, keeping the same spacing as the top.

Two screws per joint recommended.

NOTE: There is an error in this diagram, the base should be 79-1/2" long and the overhangs on the ends should be 2" long.

Step 7

Place the back inside the sofa frame and attach at the base 8" inward with 2-1/2" self tapping screws.

The top leans on the back (see next step).

Step 8

Attach a few of the back slats to the back with 2-1/2" self tapping screws.

Step 9

Attach 2x2 to 2x6  with 2-1/2" self tapping screws, screws about every 12".

Step 10

Add the front cleat with 2-1/2" screws to the front, about 1" down from the front top edge.

Step 11

Place seat slats on top of the 2x2s and screw down with 1-1/2" screws (only one per joint is needed).

Help Improve This Plan

We apologize if there was an error in this plan. Please help us out and report any errors here.

Comments

Vicky (not verified)

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 05:41

Love the sofa! It's exactly what I'm looking for. I was already in the process of trying to design one for my Dad & I to build together and this saves us a lot of work! Just a few questions, though.

I actually want 4 2-seater love seats. Originally I wanted armeless love seats so I could push 2 together to make an extra long sofa. Any ideas for a very very simple way to do armless (or 1 armed, so they can be pushed together)?

I am a little worried about the weight of this furniture because we will have to carry it up to our deck and then down again to be stored for the winter. This makes me consider a whole bunch of single seater chairs pushed together.

How about a design for a removable back so they can easily be stacked for winter storage? I was inspired by my boys wagon that has the wooden sides that lift off.

Sorry for all the questions, I'm just really excited to get started on something.

Guest (not verified)

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 18:29

I was wondering if anyone has any suggestions for assembling the back for people who don't own a Kreg Jig? I want to make this in time for a party in a couple of weeks but I won't be able to order one in time so I'll have to make it without.

Guest (not verified)

Mon, 01/02/2012 - 15:56

Same here. I don't own a Kreg Jig and was wondering whether I can use plain screws and patch up the screw holes. For the back, I am thinking that a solid back to eliminate the need for Kreg Jig holes. Appreciate any suggestions and feedbacks on how to revise the plan without using the Kreg Jig tool.

In reply to by Guest (not verified)

MikeB

Mon, 01/02/2012 - 20:02

You can use a dowel jig and glue. I picked up a self centering dowel jig for less that 15 bucks at Harbor Freight. Not a top of the line jig, but I have used it a lot for attaching slats, just like in the back of this bench. Hope this helps...

Thomas (not verified)

Sat, 06/18/2011 - 14:20

Can you give any more advice on attaching the back? Since the back is at an angle and the back support and bottom support are both square (to gravity, anyway), do they just attach as best they can?

Guest (not verified)

Fri, 07/08/2011 - 17:02

Plus, where the back attaches to the bottom cleat will form a V. Water will well up in there, won't it?

guest (not verified)

Wed, 07/13/2011 - 11:02

I made an easy modification that I think will help with drainage. I have yet to actually build this, but am in the process of it.

http://sketchup.google.com/3dwarehouse/details?mid=92373022868b812fe9aa…

There's the Sketchup model for details. Remember that my nominal 2x4 was actually 1 5/8 x 3 5/8!

I moved the back cleat up 1 inch and shortened the seat slats by 1 inch. I also added to the back bottom corners of the back cleat some 1 x 2 (cut 1 5/8" long to be square). This is actually what the back attaches to, leaving the middle wide open for drainage. It does create 2 small v's, but they're open on the inside. (And as I type this, maybe not having them against the outside edges, but in 1" will alleviate really all problems.)

Hope this helps!

Maidelin (not verified)

Sat, 07/09/2011 - 19:41

Son hermosos todos tus trabajos. Siempre aprendo algo en tu Blog!