diy scrap wood outdoor bench seat - garden bench plans - 2x4s and deck boards

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Add a little extra seating with this simple outdoor bench made from scrap 2x4s and deck boards. I built it in one night using nothing but leftover lumber from my DIY floating deck build.

diy scrap wood outdoor bench seat - garden bench plans - deck boards and scrap 2x4s

Since I whipped this thing together as one of my hair-brained ideas at 9PM (please tell me I’m not the only one who does that???), I didn’t take a single picture while I built. So there aren’t any assembly photos. I DO, however, have some awesome gifs K helped me whip up to let you see it in action.

What I like most about this bench is its simplicity: using just two power tools, I created this wooden bench in less than an hour. It uses simple joints and even the screws were a shortcut as they didn’t require pre-drilling and pilot holes! Despite the lack of planning that went into turning a bit of scrap wood into a place to sit, it’s actually a surprisingly comfortable seat!

Leg assembly:

outdoor bench seat - leg assembly

Then bring it all together:

outdoor bench seat assembly - legs and seat

And when you see those gifs, you might already know what that means: there are printable build plans, too! Select the button below to grab the PDF from my woodworking library which includes the cut list and my recommendations for materials. Woodworking plans are available for FREE to all of my email subscribers (and same goes for my cross stitch patterns). And once you have access, you can get all the other free plans I’ve published, too!

How to build this wooden bench seat / garden bench from scrap wood:

Here’s how to build it:

1. Cut deck boards to length – 25 1/2″ each. These will serve as the bench seat.

2. Cut 2×4 boards to length. These will serve as the tops and middle sections of each leg, respectively.

  • 8 boards – 13 1/4″ long
  • 4 boards – 11 1/2″ long

3. Use 2 of the 11 1/2″ boards to form the top and bottom of one leg. Sandwich 2 of the 13 1/4″ boards in between these two to form a box. Screw the 4 pieces together using exterior screws (I like GRX for this because it’s self-tapping and sinks into the wood, so no pre-drilling and it won’t stick out when people sit down).

4. Insert 2 more of the 13 1/4″ boards in the middle of the box-leg structure you created in step 3, spacing them equally. Screw together. I used another scrap 2×4 as a temporary spacer to wedge in between each board as I screwed them in.

5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 to make the second bench leg.

6. Fasten the two deck boards on top, keeping each board flush with the end of each leg. This will create a small gap in the middle of the seat between boards.

7. Finish however you like (stain or exterior paint).

Enjoy! For a little added comfort, you could also make/purchase patio cushions with outdoor fabric or add some pillows, but I’m keeping things simple for a low maintenance option that I can leave out in the rain.

Short & sweet posts aren’t exactly my M.O., but what can I say? I like storytelling. I had JUST enough energy to save these pieces from the burn pile, and I’m glad I did. This scrap wood bench has already come in handy on the new deck, so it’s kind of nice to have a quick and easy idea ready to share. I’m hoping to build a couple more as a set once the pub shed is finished and I have more scraps. Not too bad for about twenty minutes!

Don’t forget to pin it!

outdoor bench made from scrap wood

Update: After first publishing this post, I painted the bench with exterior black paint (Sherwin-Williams Tricorn Black) and have been building more to match the Adirondack chairs for a complete set. They’re all going around the large fire pit and provide a great solution for extra seating and/or places to put drinks and plates when company comes over!

scrap wood garden bench seat with new black paint

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  1. Hi there, I’m curious as to how you attached the legs to the seat as I don’t see screws on top. And the leg pieces seem too close together to have screwed in from below.

    1. Good question, and I’ll update the post to clear that up as well. They were screwed in from below. There was just enough of a gap for my drill to get in there. A lot of common bit sets have either a drill bit tip holder (like this) or a longer drill bit (like here and here that makes things even easier.

  2. It’s very good and very excellent article. I really enjoyed this post and I hope you will keep posting this kind of post in future.

  3. Oooh, I love this! Thank you for sharing your design, I just found your site and have been getting inspired! xx

  4. Hi,

    Can i ask you which kind of paint you used?
    Did you use transparent primer first, or only the colored paint?

    1. Hi Julie,

      I did not use primer on my benches, just paint used for exterior painting. It has held up fairly well. Since I have to repaint my Adirondack chairs every few years, I usually repaint these benches as well so everything stays protected. The other option is to use a solid color stain, which should hold up to the elements well too.