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DIY Garden Bench Project

Perfect For Your Porch Too!

Use our DIY garden bench project as a guide to making your own outdoor garden bench. Mary and I constructed ours from cherry but you can use other woods as well. We know you will enjoy making a garden bench whether for your yard, front porch, or home.



We show you step-by-step how we built this bench along with a video showing important elements of construction. Together, we hope to inspire you to build your own for years of enjoyment.

finished diy garden bench on porch
Finished DIY Garden Bench


No matter what wood you choose to use, the process is basically the same. You need a top and two legs. Most garden benches are between 16 and 20 inches tall; however, you can choose a different height if you wish.



resawn cherry for garden bench showing seat and one leg
Cherry Bench Seat and Leg


I cut the legs from the same piece of cherry so our height was determined by that amount of wood I had on hand. Our seat is 44 inches long and the legs are 16 3/4 inches long. The seat's width is approximately 16 inches wide. The height of our bench is 17 inches.

To keep a natural look as feasible I did little to reshape the legs or seat (with one exception) from the original boards. Depending on the wood you choose, you may want (or need) to shape them to satisfy your own needs.



Watch Our DIY Garden Bench Video

This DIY garden bench video is not available on mobile devices due to length.





Work the Wood

Our cherry boards were warped (actually bowed) so the first thing was to square them out. I needed the bottom of the seat square in order to attach the legs securely.



square on garden bench seat shows bowed wood
See the Gap Under the Square at End of Board


If they are not out-of-square too much, you may be able to sand them square. In our case it would have taken considerable effort to sand it square so I opted to use a portable planer.

planing the board square with a portable planer
Planing the Board Square




cherry board that has been squared
Squared Cherry Garden Seat


Next, I cut the ends (which were square from cutting the legs as shown below ) to give them a softer and more natural appeal.

cherry board that has been squared
Preparing to Cut the Ends




Sand the board smooth after planing. My first goal was to prepare the bottom of the seat for finishing coats of polyurethane. The seat would then be ready for me to attach the legs, complete the sanding, and then apply the poly.



Preparing Bench Legs

After the bottom of the seat was prepped for the legs, I then began preparing the legs. I was able to cut the legs from the same board, something you should consider if building your own. Cutting the parts from the same piece of wood allows you to carry the color and grain across the piece making for a more aesthetically pleasing bench.

I did minimum planing for the legs and used a belt sander to take the bulk of wood off to make them square. Depending on the type of DIY garden bench you want, you may want to keep them as natural as possible as I chose to do also.

planing cherry for garden bench legs
Planing Bench Legs


Doweling the Legs

You have several options for attaching the legs to the seat. I used dowels and wood glue which work really well and minimizes screws, nails, or other materials to keep everything as natural as possible.

drilling legs for dowels
Doweling Bench Legs


I inserted the dowels into the legs and used the legs to mark the dowel positions on the bottom of the seat.



I then used a vertical drill guide I made to drill the opposing dowel holes in the seat.

drilling holes in seat for dowels
Drilling Holes in Seat for Legs


I assembled the legs and seat with wood glue and clamped until the glue dried. Note that I did not place the legs at 90 degrees to the seat as is typical.

Angling them gives the bench a more natural appeal and adds lots of interest to a DIY garden bench.

clamping bench legs until glue dries
Clamping Bench Legs




Make The Brace

The next step is attaching a brace between the legs. It is a bit easier if your legs are 90 degrees to the seat; however, in this case they were not which makes it a little more challenging.

Cut your brace a little longer than the distance between the legs. Place your bench with the legs up and position your brace across the legs close to where you want them.

Mark them on each end to get the correct angle and cut accordingly. It is actually easier to fit the brace with angled legs. Just slide the brace into position; it doesn't have to be exact.

fitting the brace between the legs
Fitting the Leg Brace


There are several ways to attach the brace. I opted to use pocket screws.

using pocket holes to attach leg brace
Pocket Holes Make It Easy




using pocket holes to attach leg brace hidden by dowel
Screw Covered by Dowel




Time for Stain

I used a natural clear stain to bring out the wood grain on this DIY garden bench. Depending on the wood you choose, you may want to select a different color.

applying a clear stain for wood grain
Clear Stain Applied




I then used several coats of semi-gloss poly and sanded between coats. Mary and I loved the way it turned out; a beautiful DIY garden bench for the yard or your front porch!

beautiful diy garden bench for yard or porch
Ready for the Garden or Your Porch




finished diy garden bench on porch
We hope you enjoyed our Garden Bench DIY tutorial and video. Thank you!


Be sure to check out our wooden garden benches too!

Please contact us if you have any questions.


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Another DIY Outdoor Bench

Joliene, one of our readers, made this outdoor bench!
One of our readers, Joliene, shares her DIY bench project with us.



Rocking Chairs on the Front Porch



Linda has a rocking chair porch that just says welcome


Wouldn't you love to sit on the rockers on this welcoming porch? Thanks to Linda M. for sharing with us. See more rocking chair porches.





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