6 Simple Free Garden Bench Plans for your Outdoor Space

Free DIY garden bench plans

You can build wood projects for any part of your home, including outside. The garden bench plans that follow include projects that will challenge your skillset without breaking the bank. Each one offers unique features that should match most hobbyist’s tastes.

Free DIY Garden Bench Plans

2 x 4 Outdoor Bench

Outdoor benches are a popular craft item, and this design uses commonly available framing lumber as building materials.

This design should fit two adults comfortably or three children. It provides approximately 20-inches in-depth, which is plenty of room for your posterior with some room to spare.

You will use eight-foot lengths of 2 x 4, which is one of the most readily available building materials out there. Depending upon your region, these boards will come in Douglas Fir, Pine, or Redwood. The latter is a great species for outdoor furniture since it naturally resists bugs, moisture, and wood rot.

Wood screws and pocket screws manufactured for outdoor use is the only hardware you will need. Using exterior grade lumber or applying an outdoor protective coating on interior wood will allow this project to last for a few seasons before it needs maintenence. The exterior materials cost more and place this project in the moderate price range.

Novice woodworkers will appreciate the easy to source materials and limited hardware. You will only need a couple of tools to build this bench. It stands out as an excellent beginner woodworking project.

At-A-Glance

  • Complexity Level: Beginner
  • Tools Needed: Outdoor Wood Glue, Hand or Miter Saw, and Pocket Hole Jig
  • Time Needed: 2.0 hours or more
  • Cost: $$ (Moderate)

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Chesapeake Outdoor Banquette

You may want to create something that looks more elegant than a simple bench with a uniform appearance. The outdoor banquette (or outdoor bench) in this set of plans showcases multiple board directions as well as curves.

The timber used on the seat portion runs from front to back, instead of the length of the seat. These slats sit within a boxed frame that adds visual height to the wood in this area.

What stands out here is the curve in the legs. The jigsaw allows you to cut the leg pattern, taking the project from simple board assembly to shaping the wood.

A variety of dimensioned lumber adds to the overall look. You will need 1 x 2, 1 x 3, 2 x 2, as well as 2 x 4 lumber. One detail you will notice with this set of plans is the easy to read list for cuts for these boards (something that is lacking on a few internet plans).

Woodworkers, with some shop experience, will not struggle with using a jigsaw to cut the legs. New woodworkers might feel intimidated, but they can produce good results by taking their time with the cut.

At-A-Glance

  • Complexity Level: Intermediate
  • Tools Needed: Drill and bits, Jigsaw, Pocket Hole Jig, and Tape Measure
  • Time Needed: 3.0 hours or more
  • Cost: $ (Cheap)

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Outdoor Deck Bench

Deck and patio furniture can be functional without a backrest. This bench does not use a backrest, but it does provide a robust leg and seat structure that stands out to the previous bench designs.

This design is screwed into place on your deck, providing a rigidity that mobile benches can not offer. The railing on a deck or patio can be used as a make-shift backrest if it is close enough to the rail.

You will get into making shoulder cuts with this bench. These will allow the seat portion to rest securely on the legs. Lag bolts hold the foot pedestals securely to each set of legs, while nails fasten the rest of the project together.

Using thicker lumber will increase the cost to mid-range for this project. You will want to take the time to sand and finish this bench, as the wood for the legs will likely be rough from the store.

This project creates a low-profile seat for two adults or three kids. If you don’t fasten it to the deck, it can be moved around and used to display plants during the summer.

At-A-Glance

  • Complexity Level: Intermediate
  • Tools Needed: Drill and bits (including spade bit), circular saw or a table saw, hammer, random orbital sander, and driver/wrench for the bolts
  • Time Needed: 4.0 hours or more
  • Cost: $$ (Moderate)

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Budget-Friendly Outdoor Bench

This design takes a bit from the previous three plans to make a simple bench that will fit even the smallest shop budgets.

It uses a simple 2 x 4 material list and a boxed seat design. This bench does not have a backrest, either. A feature that adds to the strength of the seat is the dowels that run through it.

Outdoor paint provides protection and adds to the look of this budget-friendly design. The painting will also increase the build time here, but it will allow you to match almost any siding or exterior fencing that you have.

Another element this plan includes is a thick bench seat. You will get that thickness by standing the 2 x 4’s on edge instead of laying the boards flat. More wood is required for this seat design, but it will add to the furniture’s weight and keep it from being easily moved around.

This project is ideal for beginners. It uses cheap materials that are pre-dimensioned. It does not require cutting curves or intricate supports. You can also cover-up any mistakes with a nice coat of paint!

At-A-Glance

  • Complexity Level: Beginner
  • Tools Needed: Drill and bits, Circular or miter saw, sander, as well as exterior paint and paintbrush
  • Time Needed: 4.0 hours or more
  • Cost: $ (Cheap)

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Modern Outdoor Bench

While a traditional style bench is functional, you might be looking to make something that has a modern feel to it. This outdoor project provides multi-person seating with a minimalist appearance.

You will be using 2 x 4 framing lumber and glue to create thicker boards for this build. The wood glue needs to be a product that can handle moisture and outdoor conditions (something like a Titebond III). It will prevent the elements from breaking down the bond and increasing longevity.

One thing you will notice right away with this set of plans is the use of a variety of power tools. This bench will make use of your woodshop’s power tools.

It is not as deep as other bench seats at approximately 12-inches. The boards are placed on edge and combine to make one solid surface. Finger joints are used at both ends to connect the seat boards to the leg sections.

A novice woodworker can build this bench, but most hobbyists that are just starting lack the tools suggested in the plans. Most intermediate and advanced shops contain all the tools needed (and then some).

At-A-Glance

  • Complexity Level: Intermediate
  • Tools Needed: Clamps, Exterior Wood Glue, Jointer, Thickness Planer, Miter Saw, Sander, Speed Square, Exterior Wood Stain
  • Time Needed: 4.0 hours or more
  • Cost: $$ (Moderate)

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Garden Love Seat

This love seat is possibly the most shapely of the designs we have reviewed. It snuggly fits two adults or two kids with extra room. Unlike the other bench plans, this project does not offer clearance under the seat.

It calls for marine-grade sheet plywood for the build. This type of sheet goods will offer better resistance to moisture and rot, but you will also pay a bit more for this material. The pine slats suggested in the materials list are thinner than framing lumber and will provide a more refined appearance compared to thicker stock.

What distinguishes this bench from the others is the curved surface. The boards follow the curve from the top of the backrest to the ground. Your lower legs will be supported by the slats, unlike the standard bench design that terminates at the seat.

This project is a dedicated furniture piece. Staining it will make it stand out on your deck or patio, and it is supposed to be a conversation piece in your backyard. You will want to sand the slats and plywood thoroughly to create the smoothest surface possible.

The jigsaw work, sanding, staining, and assembly make this a nice challenge for intermediate woodworking.

At-A-Glance

  • Complexity Level: Intermediate
  • Tools Needed: Dril/Driver and bits, Jigsaw, Sander, and Exterior Wood Stain
  • Time Needed: More than 5.0 hours
  • Cost: $$ (Moderate)

Read Full Plan


More Than A Place To Sit

These garden bench plans will improve the enjoyment of your yard as much as they improve your woodworking pleasure. They make use of a variety of tools, fasteners, and top coats. It is also the kind of project that others will enjoy as well.

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