Build A Bench, Outdoors

Create a place to sit and enjoy the outdoors with this easy-to-build wooden bench. Then use the same technique to make a matching planter surround.

Box Crib-Style Outdoor Bench and Planter (
Garden bench and matching planter

DIY~ Outdoor Couch/Bench

Outdoor Furniture - Free Build Plans


Cut List & Wood Selection

Select treated lumber so your sofa bench can stay in the outdoors year round. Pre-cut all your boards, or have them cut for you at the hardware store to save time. It is important to consider whether you have a saw that can handle 2″x 6″ and 2″ x 8″ boards…if not you will want to have them cut at the hardware store. The armrest and backrest is built solely from 2″x4″ wood, while the seat is framed out with 2″x6″ wood but I will reference the actual rather than nominal sizes moving forward.Save


Build Seat Frame

After making all your initial cuts, start by framing out your seat base. Using a Kreg Jig place pocket holes in either side of two 1 1/2″ x 6″ x 22.5″ seat frame pieces, and attach to inside of the 1 1/2″ x 6″ x 72″ seat frame pieces. Use a little wood glue when attaching all pieces moving forward, and a carpenter square to ensure all joining pieces are square.Save


Complete The Frame

Add pocket holes on either side of three of your 1 1/2″ x 4″ x 22.5″ boards. Attach them within the frame, spaced evenly apart. Attach each one flush with the top of the frame. This is your seat base where the slats will lay across later.Save


Assemble Armrest Frame

Place pocket holes at both ends of four 1 1/2″ x 4″ x 22.5″ boards. Screw one 22.5″ armrest boards between the two 1 1/2″ x 4″ x 32″ armrest boards, flush to the top. Mark 12″ from the bottom of either arm/leg piece, then attach the second 22.5″ board flipped on it’s side, with the top at that 12″ mark. Follow these steps again to create the second armrest.Save


Prepare To Assemble

Put pocket holes in either end of the 1 1/2″ x 4″ x 72″ backrest board. Then position the seat frame, armrest frames, and backrest to prepare for assembly. Place pieces so the sofa is oriented on it’s side for easier assembly.Save


Attach Armrest To Seat Frame

Attach the armrests to the seat frame while on it’s side. Screw directly through the armrest frame into the seat frame, and do the same from the seat frame side into the armrest. Stagger where you place your screws. Set your seat upright.Save


Attach Backrest

Once upright, attach the 72″ backrest piece (pocket holes facing back) flush between the two armrests.Save


Add Seat Slats

Evenly space the four 3/4″ x 6″ x 72″ wooden seat slats atop your seat frame, and nail down to the seating frame.Save


Optionally Add Decorative Slats

Optionally nail evenly spaced 3/4″ x 8″ x 25.5″ decorative slats to the outside armrest, and the single 3/4″ x 8″ x 79″ slat across the inside back. These are not necessary for support, but give a modern appeal to the bench. Sand the entire bench well, and stain!

Optionally Add Decorative Slats