Introduction: HomeMade Modern DIY Outdoor Sofa

Picture of HomeMade Modern DIY Outdoor Sofa

Modern outdoor sofas can be quite expensive. I made this sturdy DIY couch from solid wood 4x8s, 2x8s, outdoor sofa cushions from IKEA and grey Minwax wood stain for a nice finish.

Step 1: Supplies + Tools

Picture of Supplies + Tools

4×8s + 2x8s

L-brackets

Lag Screws

Ikea Outdoor Cushions

RYOBI 18 Volt Cordless Drill

RYOBI 18 Volt Circular Saw

RYOBI 10" Sliding Compound Miter Saw with Laser

RYOBI Orbital Sander

Step 2: ​Cut the 4x8s

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Cut the 8 foot long 4x8s into 32” long pieces with a compound miter saw.

Step 3: ​Cut the 2x8s

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Cut the 2x8s into pieces that are as long as the 3 sofa cushions. I cut 3 pieces for the bottom and 1 piece for the back.

Step 4: ​Sand the Pieces

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Sand all of the 4x8 pieces with an orbital sander. I rounded over the edges using 80 grit sanding pads before sanding everything smooth with 220 grit pads.

Step 5: ​Assemble the Panels

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The 8” lag screws I got weren't long enough to connect the 4x8s, so I had to drill 1 1/4" diameter holes about 3 inches deep in the 4x8s so that the lag screws could be recessed. I used a socket attachment on my driver to drive the screws through the bottom of the holes and into the 4x8 below. I didn’t want the screws or holes to show, so I started with the top of the panels and assembled them upside down so that the screw holes would be on the bottom of the panels.

Step 6: ​Screw on the L-brackets

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I laid out the two side panels and screwed the L-brackets along the seam between the bottom 4x8 and the middle 4x8.

Step 7: ​Screw on the Bottom Pieces

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I screwed the 2x8s to the L-brackets from the underside. It would've probably been a better idea to flip the panels over and assemble it upside down.

Step 8: ​Screw on the Back Piece

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I used a speed square and a pencil to mark the location of the L-brackets I used for the back rest. I screwed the brackets to the side panels at a slight angle and then screwed in the last piece of 2x8.

Step 9: ​Stain

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I chose to finish the frame with Minwax grey stain because this piece is going outside and will turn grey in the sun anyways. We applied the stain with a brush and let it sit for 15 minutes before wiping off the excess stain with a clean rag.

Step 10: ​Place the Cushions

I threw on some outdoor cushions I bought from IKEA and tested out the new sofa. It's super comfortable and really sturdy.

Step 11: Done!

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Good luck making your own coffee pot upgrade and please email or tweet photos to @benuyeda or ben@homemade-modern.com. For more DIY ideas and projects, visit us at HomeMade Modern.

Step 12:

Comments

y2j514 (author)2017-06-14

I decided to build this, but I couldn't find 4x8s anywhere. So I contacted my nearest sawmill and contracted them to make me the lumber. I'm going to adapt the design a little and make a sectional sofa with 2 single seater arm chairs. But I have 2 questions/concerns.

1) Does anybody find the actual seat height is too low? I read a comment in the comment section and it has me wondering.

2) Cushions are so damn expensive! Any suggestions on where to look? I'm in Canada.

Thanks!

Bigglieboo made it! (author)2016-09-29

I went big for my outdoor sofa. I used 4X11X8s. I liked the big chunky look it gave it. Also I added an extra 2x8 support beam in the back. For the finish I used a propane blow torch and torched it before sealing it in with a spar urethane to give it some UV protection. I also waterproofed the outdoor cushions with 303 Fabric Guard as well... https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00KMYYQ36/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o09_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

mkhutchins made it! (author)2016-09-15

Thank you so much for these plans! Months ago we bought a futon, only to have it fall apart in three days. I packed it up, returned it, and vowed I would build my own. I read dozens and dozens of plans for couches, and your simple angled-bracket backrest is utterly BRILLIANT. We could actually make this with our very minimal tools (I've got a circular saw, an orbital sander, a drill, and a pocket jig).

I adjusted this to fit out needs. I did the arms slimmer, like in your box sofa, then wrapped one arm with a bookshelf because I love saying "my bookshelf couch" and since we always need more bookshelves, it seemed a great way to maximize our use of space. We sized it for a futon, because I wanted the option to pull the futon mattress onto the floor for extra sleeping space for guests. And we angled the brackets so it would hold the futon mattress right.

I can't tell you how excited I am to have this couch. It's very sturdy and very comfortable. Thank you again for your plans.

dpoehlman (author)2016-09-12

Seats are only 9" off the ground? Seems kinda low.

therustylink made it! (author)2016-06-07

i made 2 couches and 1 chair

3agle1357 (author)2015-09-24

Great idea! It was very easy and only took about 4 hours. I had to use 4 by 4's because I couldn't find 4 by 8's but worked just as good. I tilted the seat a few degrees and added a higher back, but otherwise filled the steps. Cushions are in order. Btw Walmart had cushions much cheaper than these.

jeanniel1 (author)2015-09-18

I love the elegant design - so simple and graceful. Well done!

bevin.chu (author)2015-09-17

Dear HMM,

Did you consider angling the seat slightly downward at the back to fight the tendency of some sofas to make users slide forward when they lean back?

It's not always a problem, but sometimes it can be. Just wondering whether it was in this case.

impied (author)2015-09-10

Gorgeous! It looks so clean and modern!

_diyMATT (author)2015-09-07

Not to be a party pooper but is this just a covert ad for Ryobi tools?

JuniorMint (author)2015-09-07

As a carpenter and wood worker I have to say....this is really awesome. Easy to do and the finished product looks incredible. Well done.

pmshah (author)2015-09-03

Going by cross section one would need 4 of 2"x4"x8' for every 4"x8"x8' they would replace. One might try cross attaching them - plywood style - to come up with the same rectangular block sizes as 4"x24"x32" for the sides. Even screwing / bolting them together would be much easier.

mid_life_crisis (author)pmshah2015-09-04

2x4 wouldn't look anywhere near as nice IMHO. 2x8 is readily available and would look much better. The problem with turning one set 90 degrees from the other is that you would end up with half of each side piece having end grain on the ground, which wicks water quite readily. Not a good idea for outdoor furniture.

t800 (author)2015-09-04

Really nice indeed! Proper job!

Katzsta (author)2015-09-03

Could you use 2 2"X4"X8' instead of the 4X8, it would make it less expensive. Perhaps my math is wrong. But overall I really like this & would use it inside.

Am6ercat (author)2015-09-03

really great! might try this one!

Mat49 (author)2015-09-03

the simplicity makes it nice and looking good

MStewart2208 (author)2015-09-03

Love it! Only problem is those 4x8's they are insanely hard to come by and they are expensive as all get out. Almost 60 bucks a piece. You only need 2 so its not that bad but with the other material its a $200+ sofa. Still awesome though. What type of wood did you use? Cedar?

kerns (author)2015-09-03

Awesome looking project and nicely shown - thank you!
Have you noticed any issue with sag on the bottom bench?

ibrahim20 (author)2015-09-03

Thank you for sharing.

bevin.chu (author)2015-09-03

Sofas are so expensive.

A relatively simple to build, yet nice looking DIY sofa is definitely one of the most useful and desirable instructables one can possibly offer.

Thanks for this!

garagegraphics (author)2015-09-03

Love It. I'll be doing this on the patio for next spring. Very Simple and easy to disassemble when I need to move. Great Job!!!

max757 (author)2015-09-03

I like it........you could add a side chair, loveseat, coffee table Fantastic idea

and looks incredible. Thanks for sharing.

bnaivar (author)2015-09-03

I just finished my new deck and was wondering what to put on it. This is it! Thanks.

TizianaZ (author)2015-09-03

I really, really like this sofa and I really hope one day I will have a place where to put it! The only thing I would change is the large space on the back. I know myself I am afraid I would push the pillows down and behind the sofa. I would solve this issue just making that hole smaller.

alan_cx (author)2015-09-02

That fantastic, I'd have that in doors. Plus a couple of similar arm chairs. Very nice.

Penolopy Bulnick (author)2015-09-02

Super fancy! I really like it grey with the black cusions :)

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Bio: HomeMade Modern is an online design source that publishes easy-to-follow, DIY recipes for creating modern home furnishings. We provide creative ideas for making affordable alternatives ... More »
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