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DIY Tutorial - $16 Simple Outdoor Wood Bench

Sunday, May 15, 2016
Do you know what I love about this bench?  It's sturdy, it's cheap and it takes only about an hour to assemble!

We went to a local park where they had smaller-versions of benches like this and I thought it was a genius design!  It came at perfect timing because I was wanting to make a couple benches to put around our fire pit.  These will comfortably sit 3 adults!

All you need is 2 boards, about 6 cuts on a saw and a handful of screws!  Did I mention this only cost me about $16 in lumber!?

61-1/2" wide x 22" deep x 34" tall

2x8 (10-feet)* - legs
2x10 (10-feet)* - seat and backrest
8 2-1/2" screws
14 3-1/2" screws
Outdoor Wood Finish (Optional)

*you can use pressure-treated boards that will last longer but will be a little more expensive

Miter Saw
Wood Clamps
Roller Stands (or someone to help)


Cut your 2x10 so you have 2 pieces, 58-1/2" (seat) & 61-1/2" (backrest).  These boards are really heavy - hopefully you have roller stands to balance the board (or a few nice people).

Because my blade is really small I had to do one cut...

... then flip the board over and line up the blade to finish the cut.

For your 2x8 set your miter to 25-degrees.  

TIP: for these next cuts I set both roller stands to one side to hold all the weight.  Make your first angle by cutting the end of the board.

Again, because my blade is small I had to flip to finish the cut which make for a very tedious process on angled cuts.  Not only do you need to flip the board but you also need to flip it so one end is opposite where it was before.  You want all your pieces to be parallelograms like in the cutting diagram.  Two pieces need to be 36"-long (for the long legs) and two that are 18"-long (for the shorter legs).

Pieces cut and ready for assembly!

For the legs, use a straight edge to butt them up against where they would sit on the floor.  Use a leftover scrap piece under the shorter leg to hold it up in place.  Align boards so corners of smaller leg align perfectly with the edges of the longer legs (see picture below)... no measuring required but make sure the legs are tight against the 'straight edge'!

Pre-drill holes for 2-1/2" screws (I did 4 on each).  I used my body weight to hold boards in place by standing on them while I drilled.  TIP: Drill the first hole and secure with a screw to keep boards from moving while drilling the remaining screws.

Make your other set of legs a mirror-image of the first!

Balance legs upright and place seat resting on the top of shorter legs.  Thankfully I had a long enough pipe clamp to secure everything together.  If you don't have a clamp an extra person can help pull the boards together while you drill.

From here you'll be using your 3-1/2" screws.  Pre-drill and drill 2 screws from the seat into the shorter legs on each side.

Pre-dill and drill 2 screws from the longer legs into the seat on each side.

Lay the bench down and clamp the back on so the edges are flush with the legs.

Pre-drill and drill 3 screws into each end of the backrest.  TIP: because the top edge is angled, I angled the screw so it wouldn't poke out from the other side (see picture).

Give your bench a good sanding with at least 150 grit.

Use an outdoor finish for your bench to withstand the elements.  I've been using Flood brand (cedar-toned) for my recent projects and I am very happy with it!

5 comments on "DIY Tutorial - $16 Simple Outdoor Wood Bench"
  1. Awesome, thanks for sharing! I'm gonna make this tomorrow for the kids' area in my garden.

  2. Helped a local girl scout camp make about a dozen of these. They're SO easy to do! Thank you!

  3. We used three of these for an Eagle Scout project. They worked great!


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