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DIY Outdoor Bench

By Heidi Cardenas ; Updated July 21, 2017
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What better way to relax at home in the summer than to sit on an outdoor bench that you’ve made yourself? A seat in the garden or back yard provides a finishing touch to an outside living area. There are many different styles of outdoor benches for decks, patios, gardens and other areas. Backless benches, mission-style benches, circular and octagonal benches surrounding trees, and bent twig benches are among many creative styles of do-it-yourself outdoor furniture.

Backless Benches

Minimal carpentry skills, pre-cut lumber from a home center or lumberyard, and simple tools are all you need to make benches for a deck or patio. Five planks of treated wood or cedar in whatever length is desired, framed and mounted atop four to six sturdy 4-by-4 posts, provides sturdy, long-lasting seating. Stain or paint the bench to match surrounding decking or house woodwork.

Mission-Style Benches

Intermediate carpentry skills and building plans for the mission-style bench you want, plus a weekend of construction time, are what you need to make a useful outdoor bench. Use high-quality wood like oak or teak to build this bench.

Benches Surrounding Trees

Surround trees with circular or octagonal benches. Measure the tree trunk and plan the dimensions of the bench to be 2 to 3 feet larger. Get plans from books at the library or from online sources (see References) and have seat parts cut at a lumberyard or cut them yourself with a table saw.

Bent Twig Benches

Bent twig furniture is creative, unusual and particularly suited to a rustic or garden area. Build a garden bench completely from sapling trees and branches or convert wooden garage sale or salvaged furniture into twig creations by replacing backs and arms with bent twigs and branches.

Simple Bench Construction

Build simple outdoor benches for the back yard or garden with found or salvaged materials. Salvage tree trunk pieces when removing a tree or from municipal or utility tree removal services and use them as bench bases with planks of wood. Chisel out parts of an old tree trunk to fit large rocks under it for a really rustic bench. Remove wire handles from old utility buckets, paint them brown or green and use them as bench legs with old closet doors or fence sections for the seat. Screw together three or four armless wooden chairs (found at a garage sale or salvaged) for a quick and easy bench.


About the Author


Heidi Cardenas specializes in human resources, business and personal finance, small-business advice, home and garden and home improvement. Her professional background includes human resources and business administration, technical writing and corporate communications. She has studied horticulture and business administration, and enjoys guest blogging for publications including Herb Companion Magazine, Natural Home Living Magazine, and Mother Earth Living.