Picture of DIY Outdoor Wood Bench

With summer underway, I set out to transform my small 5 ft x 9 ft balcony into an intimate al fresco dining area able to seat 4 to 5 people. Having that many chairs on such a small balcony would have been cumbersome, so instead I decided to build simple wood benches to make a corner booth. I didn't want anything too complicated to build so I came up with a very simple design that only takes a couple of hours to make using basic tools and materials.

I'll walk you through how to make one of them and then you'll be able to customize the design to work with your outdoor space. You can also watch the video where I show how I made the benches (you can fast forward to 3:28 min)

Bench dimensions: 56" long x 16 1/4" wide x 17 3/4" high

Materials needed: 6 x 1" x 4" x 6 ft pine boards (~ $4.50 each), 1 x 2"x 3"x 6 ft stud (~$2.00), weather proofing stain or paint, decking screws (1 1/4", 2")

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Step 1:

Picture of
Cut the pine boards and stud to size (I had mine cut at the hardware store):

Cut list:

Frame (1"x4"): 2 x 55", 3 x 13 3/4"

Top (1"x4"): 4 x 56"

Legs (2"x3"): 4 x 17"

Step 2: Paint or stain the wood

Picture of Paint or stain the wood
I stained the wood using a semi-transparent weather proofing stain from BEHR (coffee color) and applied 2 coats. For a small project like this, an 8 oz sample is more than enough.

Step 3: Build frame

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Use corner clamps to hold the pieces together (adding wood glue before doing this will make the joints stronger but skipping the glue will allow you to easily disassemble the bench later). Drill two pilot holes and put in screws (use 1 1/4" screws). After the four sides are put together, add the middle piece for extra support.
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vanowen made it!29 days ago

This project was very easy to do, I say that because my boyfriend actually did it and I instructed and watch. The benches were finished in two hours and we made matching planters for the railings to match. Absolutely love the benches!

Vanowen Patio 1.JPGVanowen Patio 2.JPG
EYSpace (author)  vanowen29 days ago

They turned out great, thanks so much for sharing! And I love the planters you made too - great use of the railing space without risking anything falling over!

claytonjwalsh made it!3 months ago

Took me a little over an hour without the use of glue or a corner clamp, but i did use some metal brackets underneath to give some strength to the legs.

I used a solid piece for the top, instead of 4 pieces.

EYSpace (author)  claytonjwalsh3 months ago

Thanks so much for sharing! Looks good!

invisiblemonkey made it!9 months ago

I made a more compact version of this for our smaller balcony. It's a little slimmer and I wedged left-over blocks between the legs for more stability (with wood glue). Thanks for the instructable! :)

EYSpace (author)  invisiblemonkey3 months ago

Just saw your comment! Love it :)

pchervin11 months ago

built these three other weekend, great instructions. I was able to make them in just under an hour each.

EYSpace (author)  pchervin11 months ago

Your benches and balcony look amazing!! Thanks so much for sharing!

I can't wait to build these! Once it warms up a bit, that is. :p Question: what kind of drill do you have? I'm wondering how much drill I'll need for some fun basic projects, and if cordless would be powerful enough, too. This will be my first project! Very excited to use the table saw I got in the fall, too.
EYSpace (author)  seftonypony1 year ago
I use a Dewalt cordless drill (DCD710) and I love it! It's light weight and has more than enough power for all the projects that I do. And the Lithium ion battery lasts a long time. Have fun with the project and I hope you'll share pics when it's done!
gorgeous! i need this for my balcony! btw, what do u think the weight limit on this would be? I come from a family of rather "heavy" gals... i don't want us all to fall over when I have girls night! haha :)
EYSpace (author)  I_love_cookiez1 year ago
Thanks! I'm not sure what the exact weight limit is but I've had 2 average sized adults sit on the benches without any problems. You could always add some more cross-bracing to the top of then bench and more screws to the legs to make the bench extra sturdy!
zaaid1 year ago
Lovely benches !
EYSpace (author)  zaaid1 year ago
nmoses11 year ago
That is amazingly simple and beautiful. In fact I am going to get supplies for it now.
EYSpace (author)  nmoses11 year ago
Thank you! Hope you'll share pics of your benches!
good job
drizzydraw1 year ago
how many screws did you use in the bench?
EYSpace (author)  drizzydraw1 year ago
I used 8 x 2" screws and 36 x 1 1/4" screws
poofrabbit1 year ago
Hey congratulations on being a finalist in the weekend projects contest!
EYSpace (author)  poofrabbit1 year ago
Thank you!!
foobear1 year ago
Its not clear how those cushions are attached to the walls. But wow, the finished product is so great.
EYSpace (author)  foobear1 year ago
I hand sewed 4 velcro straps to the back of the cushion and I simply wrapped the straps around the horizontal metal railing of the balcony to hang the cushion (there is no wood behind the cushion). Easy to put on and take off!
serical1 year ago
My first build on instructables. very easy build. My wife loves it and we cant decide on if its a table or bench. Oh well must make another one. Thanks
EYSpace (author)  serical1 year ago
That's great to hear! Hope you'll share some pics of your bench/table - I would love to see it!!
dwillson1 year ago
I now know what I'm going to do with my left over pallets! Thanks for sharing!!
EYSpace (author)  dwillson1 year ago
You're welcome! Hope you'll share a picture of your benches - would love to see them!
LesB1 year ago
I didn't know there was such a thing as weatherproofing stain. Does that work as well for weatherproofing as a weatherproofing clear coating? I have a park bench on a patio that gets full exposure to the sun all day, and I need good weatherproofing.
totszwai LesB1 year ago
How about spraying it with those NeverWet product from Rust-o-lium? I just saw their youtube video about it. There are other similar product out there, just that I think Rustolium made it a little more cheap and more available to public.
Never mind that thing is not UV proof. :(
EYSpace (author)  LesB1 year ago
It's my first time using this product so I can't say yet how well it protects the wood....My balcony faces South and gets plenty of sun all day as well so it will be a good test.
ripperman21 year ago
I appreciate the use of screws too. I use stainless to reduce staining from galvinized, although I hear there are others that work. I'm going to try one of these with some scraps left over from a deck project.
EYSpace (author)  ripperman21 year ago
I really like the "deck mate" screws I used - time will tell how they hold up!
can I use 2"x4" studs in place of the 2"x3"?
EYSpace (author)  thealflores1 year ago
Yes, of course, that would work too!
kjlpdx1 year ago
I used to basketweave the corners on the benches I built. more work, but gives a very high quality custom look.
shazni1 year ago
Looks real easy to do...and so nice too! Thanks for posting :-)
EYSpace (author)  shazni1 year ago
You're welcome :)
Macflame1 year ago
Nice job. It looks great!
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