How To Build An Outdoor Bench

During the summer, you will want to spend time out in the garden so you can enjoy your own time in the sun. The summer offers a great opportunity to invite family and friends around for a BBQ or a party. When spending any time in the garden, you’ll need furniture to sit and relax on. While some may buy a bench or build one from a set, there are ways in which you can get creative and save money. Take a look at how to build an outdoor bench.

Creating a pallet bench

Creating pallet garden furniture has become a popular trend in recent years. Turning a pallet into an outdoor bench is a “life hack” which can create quite a unique look in your garden. When selecting your pallet, try to choose one entirely made from rot-resistant oak (or one partially of oak with larger cross-beams made from pressure-treated 2x4), with slats at half an inch think.

Tools and materials you’ll need

  • Pallet - Ideally made of sturdy oak or combined with pressure-treated lumber)
  • 8ft pressure treated 2x4
  • A box of star-headed (Torx) no-drill-needed (self-tapping) 2½in deck screws
  • Circular saw
  • Hammer
  • Drill/Driver or Impact Driver
  • Tape-measure
  • Carpenter’s square
  • Marker

Step 1: Turn the pallet Into a bench seat and back

Take your pallet - a 48-in x 42-in oak pallet is recommended - and remove the slat in the middle. From this you can make six saw-cuts to turn the pallet into a bench back and a bench seat.

Measure 17 inches on the slat for a comfortable seat back. Next, mark off the same 17 inches from the end of each of the four major cross-members where you will make your cut. Set your saw to cut 2 inches deep and cut along the marks. Flip over the pallets to complete cuts on the other side as the boards will be too deep for one cut.

Take the shorter pallet section which will be your bench back and stack it vertically on the long section. You will see the bench taking shape.

Step 2: Make the legs and armrest supports

Use the 2x4 to create your legs and armrests supports. Cut the 2x4 into four pieces at a size of 21 ¾ inches.

Step 3: Attach legs to the bench

Next, you should raise the bench on blocks with the rear of the seat’s bottom 8 inches from the ground and the front of the seat’s bottom 10.5 inches above. This is only a recommended level, so you can set the height to your wishes.

Now your bench is in position, fasten the legs using your cordless drill. Ensure you have enough power to drive the 2 ½ inch self-tapping deck screws through the boards and into the sides of the bottom back.

Run the screws through the leg boards into both the seat back portion and the bench seat. This will fasten the two bench sections together. We recommend four screws in the bottom section, four in the top and then two in the bottom of the seat back - make this close to the set to give your bench added support and strength.

Double check your measurements to ensure they’re right for your bench. Run four screws into each of the front legs and fasten them to the front of the bench sides. Your bench should now be self-supporting!

Next, for added strength, toe-nailing a screw (at an angle to join two pieces of wood) into each of the two sets of supporting beams of the seat and back. This joins the two sections together which will prevent the bench from bowing down from weight put on it in the centre.

Step 4: Create and attach your armrests

The pallet slat you removed at the beginning of the process can span over the bench legs front and back to make armrests. Cut off at an angle and run two screws into the arm and into the rear leg and front leg to fasten it. Use another pallet slat to create an armrest for the other side. If you don’t have another slat free, take one from the rear of the back or the underside.

Your bench is complete! For added comfort, add a cushion that people can sit on. For extra comfort you add a cushion to pad the back rest.

Sit back and relax on your new bench and enjoy the summer. You can also start thinking about your next DIY project and Ryobi have all the tools you need to get it done. Get all your power tools and garden tools from us.