Introduction: Garden Love Seat

Picture of Garden Love Seat

This slatted garden bench makes the perfect love seat for a garden. It's very easy to make.


1 of 900 x 900mm 16mm marine plywood*

7 of 20 x 94mm PAR pine - cut to 1040mm length

12 of 20 x 69mm PAR pine

- 3 cut to 1000mm length

- 9 cut to 1040mm length

5 x 50mm cut screws

Wood glue

Wood filler (tinted for finished colour)

Wood sealer

Mineral turpentine



Drill / Driver plus assorted bits

Jigsaw and clean-cut blade

Orbital sander plus 60-, 120- and 240-grit sanding pads


Tape measure and pencil

*Marine plywood is a better option than laminated pine, which may split along the seams over time if left outdoors.

Step 1: Cut the Sections

Picture of Cut the Sections

1. The sides and centre supports were cut from the 900 x 900mm piece of marine plywood. The curves were drawn using the lid from a bbq. Any large circular item can serve as a template.

2. After cutting out the sides the remaining piece was used to cut the centre section. There wasn't enough to cut a complete section, so pieces were cut to make a whole section and these were joined together using a biscuit joiner and wood glue.

NOTE: If you prefer not to do this you need to order a second sheet of 900 x 900mm marine plywood.

3. Along the back of each support 3 slots were cut for mounting the 20 x 69mm back supports. One slot 100mm from the top - one in the centre - and one at the bottom.

4. Drill 4mm pilot holes through the pine into the plywood supports and secure with 50mm screws - two screws at each join.

Step 2: Add the Slats

Picture of Add the Slats

5. Secure the first 20 x 94mm plank at the top of the bench, making to allow a 20mm overhang on both sides. Drill pilot holes before securing with two screws at each join. Repeat this at the front (bottom edge) of the bench to ensure the supports are equally spaced from top back to front.


You should need to countersink the pilot holes but may find that some pine is quite hard and will need a countersink to ensure the screw head is below the surface.

6. There are two 94mm planks at the top back and front bottom, as well as three 94mm planks on the seat, the remainder of the planks are 69mm. Dry fit the seat planks as best as possible and then use spacers to make sure the gaps are equally spaced before securing to the supports.

7. For this project insufficient 69mm wide planks were ordered and offcuts were used to create a full plank span. To allow for this blocks of marine plywood were secured to the centre support to allow for the screws for mounting the split planks.

8. All the holes can be filled with wood filler. Match the colour of the wood filler to the final colour that you will stain the bench. Let the wood filler dry.

9. In the meantime you can use a jigsaw to trim any edges if necessary. However, this shouldn't be required if the supports are aligned and the planks are cut to the same length.

10. Use 60-grit sanding pads to sand away the sharp edges between the slats. You want the finished seat to be as smooth as possible.

11. Also sand away any rough edges on the sides, and round off the edges of the slats.

Repeat the sanding process with 120- and then 240-grit sandpaper for a smooth finish. Use a cloth lightly dampened with mineral turpentine to wipe away all traces of dust.

Apply wood sealer according to the recommended instructions. Three coats are applied with a light sanding between the first and second coats.

Apply sealer to all sections, including the underside. You want maximum protection for the bench if it is going to be continuously exposed to the elements. You should also re-apply the sealer as soon as the finish starts to fade, or annually. Pine is a softwood that requires sealing regularly to ensure it stays looking good.

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Step 3:


felicitasvonmoeller (author)2017-04-27

Why are the dimensions of the supports not being provided?

sorbas1 (author)2016-07-26

Which length do the bottom and the backside of the supports have? I can't imagine to get 3 supports out of on 900x900mm piece.

dezine (author)sorbas12016-10-25

Since posting the project, we have made 11 of these benches at our DIY workshops - and have only use [2] plywood supports. So you can easily cut [2] sections from half a sheet of plywood.

JoshuaR45 (author)2016-08-01

Curious on the person height range you designed the love seat for....i notice you say youre "short" anyone have any basic guidelines?

dezine (author)JoshuaR452016-10-25

Have had plenty of people sit on the bench - of varying heights - and they all say it is comfortable. I thought that perhaps a taller person might find it uncomfortable.

dezine (author)2016-10-25

Next time, just pop on to to see the full, unedited list of materials, supplies and instructions. Also, I did advise that the lid is approx. 55cm in diameter, which makes a big difference.

sleepy58 (author)2016-08-02

I upgraded to get the plans for this project and talk about being disappointed. I was wanting the measurements for the lay out of the curves and there was nothing on it just use a BBQ lid. Don't upgrade to get these plans they are worthless and left me feeling ripped off

Rebeccafrith (author)2016-04-15

Hi Dezine,

I`m an eleven year old and thinking about doing this as a woodwork project. It looks really fun to make and my mum thinks it will look great in the garden. The only thing I am unsure about is the shape of the side panels. It says in the instructions to use a BBQ lid however I don`t know what diameter or how far round to go.

dezine (author)Rebeccafrith2016-04-15

The lid just gives you a curved shape and you can use any circular template that is about 60cm in diameter. Best idea would be to make a paper template first and use this to draw all 3 panels. That way you can make any adjustments before you cut.

dezine (author)2016-04-11

My family is short, so I went for a seat height (highest point at front) of around 300mm, but obviously you can adjust the height and length of the bench to your own preference. I do mention in the instructions that the centre piece had to be cut in two sections and joined together, but that you needed an extra sheet if you want to avoid this.

DanielaK5 (author)2016-04-05

I tried to figure out how the 3 parts fit on one 900x900 board. What are the measurements of each piece? Is there any sketch available?

OaL (author)2015-07-12

Very informative. Thank you!

Mojd80 (author)2015-05-04

We're putting up a deck this summer, these should fit nicely. Thanks!

vanessakeith (author)2015-04-15

great work!

MacCupcake (author)2015-04-01

Superb! I will definitely be making these - at least three for seating around a fire pit. They look comfy and straightforward to create. Would you forsee any issues with painting them instead of varnish?

dezine (author)MacCupcake2015-04-04

As long as you apply wood primer and exterior paint there should be no hassles.

Trishymouse (author)2015-04-03

Is there any easy way here on the website to convert a set of instructions from metric to English measurements (inches, feet, etc.)?

dezine (author)Trishymouse2015-04-04

ElshadayA (author)2015-04-03

hi ay nad tee nae

Donna Billings (author)2015-04-02

Wow, this is beautiful. I am going to try to make at least one and if I shorten, could make some chairs too. Thanks so much for sharing.

LesB (author)2015-03-31

Beautiful design. Makes one want to sit.
Since you're recommending marine plywood for better resistance to the elements, there is also the alternative to coat it with marine varnish. Much more durable than the water-based varnishes available at home improvement stores.

dollarseed (author)2015-03-30

I like it. Very easy project that anyone can do with reasonable skills. I would however make this using pressure treated wood, as it will hold up to the elements better, and is cheaper in both price and finishing time. I would also use a round off bit in a trim router to round out the slats, saving time. A dab of Titebond 3 wood glue would also be preferred for longer durability on all joints. Thank you for sharing.

sbrown9578 (author)2015-03-30

You can simply change the design to a higher seating height. Just make sure all three sections are the same. I love this. Wish I saw it before I just bought a new couch. I would had used it with couch cushions. Nice instructable. beautifully made. This is a definite save.

DIRKFOUR (author)2015-03-29

I think it is a great design and terrific project.

However, Me? I couldn't get myself off the bench once I set down lol Too low it is.

I'm thinking adding some legs to the bench will help me a bit

DDW_OR (author)DIRKFOUR2015-03-29

yep, it is hard to get up when your knees are higher than your hips

DIRKFOUR (author)DDW_OR2015-03-29

when you're my age it is :) I never could get in and out of a corvette! lol

CityGirl70 (author)2015-03-29

Its beautiful, its art :)

pbourget (author)2015-03-29

Excellent work!

jacrook22 (author)2015-03-29

So cool! This looks like a project I can handle. With a little (quite a lot, truly) help from my friends!

blueaxe (author)2015-03-29

Simple and effective. Very nice!

Ron White (author)2015-03-28

Great looking bench. Would be a welcome addition to any home.

dricker1 (author)2015-03-26

What kind/brand of wood sealer did you use?

dezine (author)dricker12015-03-26

It's a local brand here called Woodoc - a water-borne wood sealer, but any quality exterior sealer is suitable.

shazni (author)2015-03-26

This is lovely! Saving this

ClenseYourPallet (author)2015-03-24

Love this. Wow! I will definitely be building one of these. Thank you for sharing

NathanSellers (author)2015-03-24

This looks nice. The finish looks perfect by the pool side. It has a nice comfortable look. Thanks for sharing.

mtairymd (author)2015-03-24

Nice job. I really like the shape - looks very comfortable.

jpayne21 (author)2015-03-24

Nice looking bench

About This Instructable



Bio: Easy and affordable DIY projects and ideas.
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