A wooden bench with a summer vibe: add a splash of colour to your garden with this DIY garden bench
- Cost85-170 £
- Duration1 d
Fed up of the dreary grey of winter? Well thankfully spring is just around the corner and it’s nearly time to get back in the garden. That makes it the perfect opportunity to add that little something extra to your garden or terrace. How does a new bench with eye-catching colours that exude summer vibes sound? We’ll show you how to build one of your very own.
It should go without saying that your safety is paramount throughout every step of the project, so make sure you take the necessary precautions to protect yourself. You can find an overview of the correct protective clothing you need when using each type of tool here.
- ear protectors
- face mask
- adhesive tape
- ear plugs
- pocket rule
- safety glasses
- work gloves
- Rough-sawn planks (W: 100 mm x D: 24 mm) in various lengths
- Side panels (foot supports and arm rests): 12x 760 mm
- Tops of arm rests: 2x 705 mm
- Seat and backrest frame: 2x 650 mm
- Side rests of the bench: 2x 660 mm, 2x 600 mm, 2x 100 mm
- Centre strut: 2x 190 mm, 1x 600 mm
- Crossbars: 2x 1420 mm, 1x 1372 mm
- Seat: 5x 1420 mm
- Backrest: 13x 764 mm to 590 mm (up to you)
- MDF wooden boards: 700 x 750 x 4–6 mm
- Approx. 170 screws 4x45 and 4x60
- 2 carriage bolts minimum 110 mm
- 4 carriage bolts 80 mm
- All-weather, water-based wood paint
- Optional: brush
Let's go - step by step
Saw and sand the planks
You need: NanoBlade saw, Multi-sander, grit sandpaper for the multi-sander, NanoBLADE Wood Speed 65, g-clamps, pocket rule, pencil, Rough-sawn planks (W: 100 mm x D: 24 mm) in various lengths, Side panels (foot supports and arm rests): 12x 760 mm, Tops of arm rests: 2x 705 mm, Seat and backrest frame: 2x 650 mm, Side rests of the bench: 2x 660 mm, 2x 600 mm, 2x 100 mm, Centre strut: 2x 190 mm, 1x 600 mm, Crossbars: 2x 1420 mm, 1x 1372 mm, Seat: 5x 1420 mm, Backrest: 13x 764 mm to 590 mm (up to you), MDF wooden boards: 700 x 750 x 4–6 mm
You need to saw a few planks to the right length for your new garden bench. Get hold of enough wooden planks with a width of 100 mm and a thickness of 24 mm. Transfer the measurements and saw them to length.
You should have all the planks in the lengths specified in the list of materials above once you’re done.
Then, thoroughly sand the edges and surfaces of the planks.
Use the template
You need: pocket rule, pencil, Wooden board measuring 700 x 750 x 4–6 mm, wooden plank (at least 700 mm in length)
In the first steps, you will deal with the foot supports of your bench. Start by drawing a template so that the two side panels are exactly identical when you build them.
You’ll need a simple wooden board for the template. You can find all the measurements that you will need to transfer to the board in the diagram, which we have made available for download. You can use the planks you have sawn in the previous step to help mark out the lines.
Download the diagram here .
Screw the side panels (foot supports and arm rests) together
Now, take the template you made in step two and position the planks you sawed to length in step one in the right places.
Then, drill holes in the four overlapping corners.
Saw off the protruding ends
You need: NanoBlade saw, g-clamps
Saw off all the protruding ends. You can also sand the cut edges for an extra degree of fineness.
Widen the side panels (foot supports and arm rests)
Now, turn the side panel over. Place two more planks with lengths specified above at the top and bottom, drill holes in them and screw them together.
Saw the protruding ends off again here so they’re level and sand them.
Now, simply repeat the last three steps (three to five) to build a second foot so your bench can actually stand up
Build the side rests
In the next step, you will build the two side rests for the bench.
To do this, you’ll need the template you made in step two once again. Position the planks needed for the first side rest.
Make sure the overlapping ends are at the right angle.
Now, pre-drill holes into the planks, screw them together, saw the ends level and sand them off following the same process as you did before.
Repeat this process to build the second side rest. But watch out: don’t forget that second side rest is the mirror image of the first!
Sand the edges
Pre-drill the foot supports and side rests
Grab the template you made in step two once again. First, position a foot part in the correct spot and then position a pre-assembled side rest on that.
Now, drill the holes for the screws in the centre of each of the three overlapping points. However, make sure you drill through all of the planks this time.
Repeat the step for the foot part and side rest for the other side. Again, don’t forget that the other side has to be back-to-front (mirror image)!
Build a small central support strut
You’ll need a small central support strut as the seat of the bench needs to be very stable. To make this, position three more planks (two small ones and one large one) on the template you made in step two. Drill holes into them, screw them together and saw off the protruding ends.
Build the frame for the seat
Now, grab the long wooden plank, the two side rests and the central support. Put everything in its correct position on your work surface and clamp them together securely. This forms the frame of the seat.
Join the parts together by drilling holes and screwing them together.
Build the frame for backrest
Now, stand the screwed-together frame of the seat up so that the backrest is lying on the work surface. Secure two more boards to the backrest to add stability to it.
Once all the planks are in the correct position, drill holes in them and connect them to the other parts using screws.
Attach the planks for the seat
You now need five planks to make the seat. Position them and secure them to the frame.
Please note: Let the foremost plank protrude by about 10 mm and leave a little space between each of the other slats Use a spacer to help with this or make do with a suitable alternative.
Then, screw them all down.
Attach the planks for the backrest
You’ll need 13 more planks for the backrest. You can saw the top ends of the bench in different ways to suit your style and taste, giving your bench its own unique look.
First, position the two outside planks level with outside edge of the frame. Then, lay down the rest of the planks using a spacer to help.
Now, drill holes in the correct positions and screw all the slats down.
Attach the foot supports
You need: Cordless drill/driver, g-clamps, Both foot supports, 2 carriage bolts minimum 110 mm, 4 carriage bolts 80 mm, spacer, hammer
Now, attach the two foot supports to the bench. You already drilled the holes needed for the carriage bolts in step eight.
First, use a hammer to get the bolts into the correct position and then tighten them with a spanner.
Use the longer bolts at the top and the shorter ones at the bottom.
Attach the arm rests
In the penultimate step, position the planks for the arm rests on both sides of the bench.
You should also attach another plank to the front of the side rest to improve stability and appearance.
Well done! Your bench is finished and ready for its first test sit.
Add some colour
You need: paint spray system, Finished bench, Paint, Optional: brush
Needless to say, your bench will look even snazzier with a splash of colour. Depending on how creative you’re feeling, you can really go to town here. You can use a paint spray system to cover large surfaces with a unique colour. If you want to use various different colours and add some detail, it’s best to grab a paint brush or, if you’re happy to, simply get a second paint container. This saves you from having to constantly clean out the container after using it.
Once everything is dry, all your bench needs now is somewhere nice to go in your garden.