Learn how to make an easy DIY garden bench seat using materials to hand.
We have reached the point where the children no longer play on the extensive play equipment left by the previous owners of the property. The area the play equipment takes is about a 1/5 of our garden. We decided to take it down and reconfigure this part of the garden, with the aim of creating a seating area with fire pit, plus a swing seat.
As my husband carefully dismantled the equipment we realized just how rotten the base pieces set into the ground are.
He carefully took out the screws and set aside for reusing.
With the area cleared and wood sorted by size, it is time to start building, here is the finished result. A large bench seating area faces both the morning and afternoon sun, focussed around a fire pit/coffee table. A DIY pallet swing faces the direction of the afternoon sun. Three new beds have been made, one has some evergreen plants, another is seeded with wildlife seeds and the last we plan to grow corn on the cob in (the one at the back).
The project has to use the salvaged wood and have a minimum cost – we have no budget set for the garden. The size and measurements for this seating area are based on the salvaged wood, all the wood from the raised beds had to be cut down with a table saw to remove the rotten sections (it turned out the raised beds had no lining so the wood facing the soil inside the planter was rotten).
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DIY Garden Bench Seat
Here is a rough sketch for the DIY Garden Bench Plan for the build of the bench seat. As the materials are all upcycled from the former play equipment and raised vegetable beds.
Start by building the base of the bench seat. You will need a good drill, countersink drill bit suitable for wood and super long screws.
Create the back piece with three legs measuring 37 by 6 by 3″, screw them together with two cross pieces measuring 66″ by 4 by 2 3/4″.
Next create the front legs, these are 16 by 3 by 6″ with one cross piece measuring the same as the back cross pieces 66 by 4 by 2 3/4″.
Join the front and back legs together with four pieces of wood – two either side of the central leg and one each on the inside of the outer legs. These pieces measure 29 by 3 1/2 by 1 3/4″.
Now lets create the seat. We have pieces of wood measuring between 2 1/2 – 6″ wide, 25″ long and depth of 3″.
Then add the back panel pieces to form the back of the bench, these measure 18 1/2 in height.
To create the long side bench the same steps were repeated, this time with long joining pieces of 91″ in length, four legs, plus an additional fifth leg on the side so it can but up to the first bench.
The final step is to protect your hard work, we applied several coats of teak oil to preserve the wood.
I love the variations in tones of the wood – we are torn about creating cushions, part of me doesn’t want to hide the beautiful wood.
Lastly, sit back and enjoy your hardwork – as previously mentioned this is all rescued wood, some of which has been trimmed with a table saw to remove rotten edges. If buying wood you may need to adjust your measurements.
The fire pit sits on what was the base of a raised bed, with stones to cover the rough land. A lightweight coffee table has been made to sit on top, to create a multi functional space. Read DIY wood coffee table to find out more.