My garden as you know, needs tending. And that’s an understatement! Having spent almost 10 weeks working on the front of the house at the start of lockdown it’s time to tackle the inevitable that is our back garden. It can no longer be ignored. But with such a dump to transform at first I didn’t know where to start. I was overwhelmed. And so I started with the smallest area there was. A tiny patio area by the outside tap. With a plan in my head to re create a street cafe vibe in Naples. Ever on a budget and with garden furniture being rarer that rocking horse sh*t I decided it needed a pair of benches. I mean how hard can it be to make them? Turns out it’s relatively easy, so here’s an easy DIY on how to make a cheap but stylish Garden Bench.
And this is how I always tackle all my larger DIY’s, breaking everything down into small manageable pieces. Not only does it help with budget makeovers but it can stop you from feeling so overwhelmed that you don’t even make a start. The ‘I’ll do it tomorrow’ stuck record that goes on and on in circles inside your head. Always finding something else to do instead. So I choose my tiny little patio-et as the starting point. And today is all about needing seating for the area and the lack thereof said seating in the shops. Especially seating that doesn’t cost the national debt of Peru. Here’s how I made a pair of garden benches for just Under £30. Or for free if like me you have some old timber laying around.
What You will need to make a cheap and easy DIY garden bench.
Timber – I used some leftover from when our fencing was put up but this is the same size – For a 75cm wide bench you will need three 2.4m lengths
A circular saw though you can use a hand saw
A set square
large wood drill
How to make my DIY Garden Bench
Firstly we need to cut the timber to size. I wanted my bench 75cm long and 45cm tall which is just the perfect height for sitting. You can touch the ground comfortably but it’s not so low that you struggle to get back up again once you’ve sat down. To make a bench to these dimensions you need to make the following cuts. Use your set square and pencil to ensure a perfect finish. Oh and make sure to collect up your saw dust and pop it to one side, we need that later on.
3 x 75cm
4 x 45cm
6 x 41.2cm
And just like that we have all the pieces and we are ready to assemble our bench. Firstly I connect the seat lengths (75cm) to their uprights ( 41.2cm) using two screws at each end widest sides together. The wood is quite soft so I didn’t create any pilot holes. Just screw straight through the seat section directly into the upright. Do again make sure it is square. An extra pair of hands does come in handy at this point but I managed to do this myself with only the occasional expletive! Repeat this process three times with the other pieces of wood. And don’t worry too much about the visible screws at this point.
Now we can fully assemble the bench. Take one of your seating sections and lay it face down on the floor. Then take one of the 45cm sections. Use your drill with a large size wood drill bit to make a pilot hole in the centre of the thin side approximately half way through the wood so that the screw can hold the two pieces together. Now line it up with your bench section. It should be the perfect height to fit the seating section top to bottom. Now screw directly through the pilot hole attaching the upright to the bench. Repeat with the other side.
Then we add on another seating section. This time though make 2 pilot holes again on the thin side about one third of the way in from each end (see picture above). Then just as before screw down directly into the piece of wood below it. Repeat this process, uprights and then bench section until you have used up all the wood. And there you have it. Your very own garden bench made by your own fair hands. All you need to do now is grab that sawdust we set aside earlier and mix it with some wood glue to make a thick paste. Use this to fill your screw heads. Once dry give everything a good sand and then either paint or varnish with a choice of your colour or stain. And voila! Have a sit down and enjoy the fruits of your labour.
All in all I think it took me around an hour to make, in fact it took longer to work out the lengths and how to make it than it did to actually make it if I’m honest. So there we have it, my ‘how to make a cheap and easy DIY garden bench. What do you think? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Please do leave a comment below.