A garden bench is a brilliant piece of furniture to have in your outdoor area. It serves a dual purpose. Firstly, a wood bench can add style to your garden and fit in with a specific theme. Second, it gives you a place to sit and relax and enjoy your outdoor space in favourable weather. In this article, we will discuss how to make a garden bench in a range of different styles.
Just finished varnishing the first coat of my DIY garden bench. Let that sink in.
— Justin (@justinlvincent) February 8, 2021
Different Garden Bench Styles
Style 1: Wooden Slab Bench
A sturdy DIY outdoor wood bench is one of the simplest benches to make. For this, you will need approximately 8 wooden slabs. The slabs should be relatively thick, around 4″x 4″, and around 3-4ft long.
For the two legs, you would cut four of the slabs in half. Each leg would then consist of four pieces glued together. On top of this, the remaining full-length slabs would then be joined together and fixed to form the sitting area. This chunky outdoor seating bench will look fantastic, especially when varnished.
Wooden slab bench pic.twitter.com/RtsEPXrYuS
— novakcreations (@novakcreations) March 7, 2017
Style 2: Painted Door Bench
Old doors are some of the best items to use for a garden bench DIY creation. You could use one or more doors to easily create a beautiful bench without spending a fortune on new materials.
Depending on how large the door is, you may have to cut it up into several pieces. Alternatively, you may need two doors if you want to create a bench with a larger seat. The basic premise is that you use a piece of the door for the arms/legs of the bench, a piece for the seat, and a piece for the back.
The different pieces should be cut to size and sanded to remove any sharp edges. You can then fix them together using a drill and screws. You may also want to add additional small pieces of wood to brace the joints where the legs and seat fit together.
— Williams Decorators (@Williams_decor) June 7, 2017
Style 3: Brick and Plank Bench
This is one of the simplest bench plans to use and create. It can also look incredibly rustic and fit perfectly in any style of garden. The basic premise is to create the legs from bricks or breeze blocks and create the bench seat from wooden planks – simple.
Bricks or breeze blocks are incredibly strong and durable and can create stable legs for the project. Also, these are often items you have spare from construction work and renovation projects. For the legs, simply stack 2-4 bricks or breeze blocks on top of each other depending on how high you want the DIY outdoor bench.
You can then simply place treated wood planks across the legs to form the seat. Simple and effective. The best thing about this easy to build bench is that you don’t even need to fix it. The weight of the bricks will create a sturdy base, and the plank should also stay in place.
— mark pattison 🌈 (@markpat84) July 18, 2020
Style 4: Pallet Bench
Old pallets are fantastic for creating a natural-looking bench. You can easily pick up wooden pallets from a garden centre or a DIY store. You could even check at local construction sites and see if they have any spare.
You can then create a bench in a range of styles. For example, you could use an entire pallet for the base of the bench and another pallet for the back of the bench. Alternatively, you could cut the pallets up and use the different lengths of wood to create a frame and the different parts of the bench.
made a pallet wood bench today! cheers to ya pic.twitter.com/uC2NzXoMfZ
— mcmicko (@manoftheforest7) March 10, 2021
Style 5: Repurposed Bed Outdoor Bench
Maybe you have an old bed waiting for the scrap yard? Alternatively, you can also find used wooden bed frames on online sites. These cheap items can make the perfect base for a stylish and rustic bench.
Ideally, you want the full frame of the bed, including the headboard. You can then utilise the different parts and have plenty of material to create your bench. For this, the style varies depending on the type of bed you have. However, the headboard makes for excellent back support for the bench. In most instances, it will already be a suitable height and width. Therefore you will not need to cut it.
You can then use the footboard to finish the arms and the other pieces of wood or slats that the mattress sat on to make the seat of the bench. When painted and treated, this can be an incredibly stylish bench that also recycles old materials.
— Lawrence Hopkins (@LaurenceHopkins) August 9, 2016
Tips for Creating an Outdoor Bench
If you want to create a DIY bench, there are certain things to consider. Also, there are things you can do to make your DIY bench better and last longer. This includes the selection of materials, weather-proofing, and correct measurements. To help, we have listed some tips to help with building a bench.
Utilise Old Furniture and Materials
When looking at garden bench plans, it is tempting to purchase a host of new materials simply. However, there is no need to do this. Some of the best DIY benches are made from repurposed or old materials that you have around your house and garden.
Maybe you want to replace some of your doors? Instead of scrapping the old ones, use them for woodworking projects or make a bench. Maybe you have some planks of wood from another garden project? Or some furniture that you want to replace? Any of these could make fantastic items for your homemade bench.
— Willshee's (@willshees) October 7, 2016
Consider the Style and Decor of Your Outdoor Area
Before creating an outdoor bench, it is important to look at the style of your garden. Maybe you have a specific theme. Perhaps you have used specific materials and colours? Ideally, you want your DIY project bench to match this theme, so it blends in with the rest of your outdoor area.
By looking at the other furniture and garden decorations you have, you can plan a rustic bench that will emulate this.
If you are creating an outdoor bench, you must consider weather-proofing. If you do not treat your DIY garden bench, it could easily become damaged. For example, untreated wood can become damp and rot easily. Alternatively, if you are using exposed metals without treating or using weather-resistant paint, they can rust and degrade.
Consider the materials you are using to put together your DIY outdoor bench, and think about how you will protect them from the elements.
Slowly working on the bench for my folks. I don't usually stain wood but this amber brown is starting to look very nice on it after putting the varnish on. Still need to totally weatherproof it, fix some rot, and fill in some holes so more termites won't try and get in. pic.twitter.com/hnPTCBW2vF
— Scorching Potato (@Dogorooni) June 20, 2019
Look at Ergonomics and How to Make the Outdoor Bench Comfortable
If you intend to make DIY garden furniture, it must be comfortable and not just stylish. The main purpose of garden benches, after all, is to provide somewhere for you to sit. The shape of the seat is therefore important.
Also, if the bench has a back, it should be at a comfortable angle and curved if possible. If you have limited materials to work with, consider investing in cushions for your seating instead.
Find a Suitable Area and Measure the Available Space Beforehand
Do not start making a garden bench without first assessing the area you intend to place it in. If you want to place it on your patio, measure the patio first. You can then look at the available space and the maximum dimensions you can work with.
Before even getting any materials or making any bench plans, decide where you want to place the bench. Measure the area, and base your idea on the designated space. This will save any disappointment once the outdoor bench is built.
Pleased with my garden efforts recently. My DIY bench looks good if I do say so! pic.twitter.com/uDcTuSgIVX
— Nick (@SussexClaretBFC) October 30, 2014
Garden Bench FAQs
Which Type of Wood Is Best to Create a Wooden Bench?
Teak, pine, and cedar are generally favoured as suitable wood types for outdoor usage. Teak, for example, not only looks great but is also durable and resistant to sunlight. Most woods can be used, however, providing you add additional treatments.
What Is the Best Type of Treatment for an Outdoor Bench?
If the bench is made of wood, an exterior oil or varnish will provide excellent protection. Varnish will help protect the wood and give it a beautiful finish and help boost its colours and style.
What Is the Ideal Size for a DIY Garden Bench?
There is no ideal size. First, you must look at how many seats you want it to have. From there, you can gauge an idea of the ideal size for your bench based on the size of your family or people who will regularly use it.
My niece christened my DIY garden bench photo op. 🥺🌺🥰 pic.twitter.com/MbSpnXqwCr
— 🪄 Jada✨✨✨ (@adelana___) April 7, 2020
Your Very Own Little Nook
We hope you have found this guide on how to make a garden bench useful. Creating a DIY garden bench from scratch is a rewarding venture. Firstly, it’s a project you have made yourself – you can be proud of it. Second, you should have also saved money and maybe used some old items cluttering your garden. Finally, if you did a good job, it should also look fantastic.
Which garden bench style do you prefer? Tell us your plans in the comments below.