How to build a simple bench seat

Written by meghan mcclain
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How to build a simple bench seat
Save money and build your own bench seat. (The Bench image by lynnmohd2 from

Whether you need a simple bench for your garden, patio, or even your indoor entryway, you can build one yourself with a few inexpensive materials, rather than buying an expensive bench at your local department store. With a few tools and pieces of wood that you may already have at home, you can make an attractive, simple bench seat for your home or garden.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • 3 2-by-4-foot pieces of wood, 6 feet long
  • Circular saw
  • 8 framing spikes
  • Hammer
  • 1/4-inch plywood, measuring 2 by 8 feet
  • 0.227kg. 2-inch nails
  • 6-foot plywood, 1 by 12 feet
  • 0.227kg. 1-inch screws
  • Tape measure
  • 3/4-inch plywood, 4 by 4 feet
  • 0.227kg. 3-inch nails
  • Sandpaper
  • Wood filler
  • Wood stain or paint
  • Medium paintbrush

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  1. 1

    Cut the 2-by-4 piece of wood into two pieces measuring 47 inches long, using the circular saw. Cut two more pieces of 2-by-4 measuring 9 1/4 inches long. These pieces of wood are the bench frame base.

  2. 2

    Make a rectangular shape with the pieces cut in Step 1 by laying them out onto a flat surface. Attach the ends of the pieces of wood with the eight framing spikes and a hammer.

  3. 3

    Cut the piece of 1/4-inch plywood into a rectangular panel measuring 9 1/4 by 50 inches. Attach it to the frame, using the 2-inch nails and hammer.

  4. 4

    Cut the 1-by-12 piece of plywood into a panel measuring 53 inches. This will serve as the bench seat. Connect it with the 1-inch screws through the bottom 1/4-inch plywood panel. Allow a 3/4-inch overhang on the front and back edges, and a 1 1/2-inch overhang on each end. Use a tape measure to ensure correct measurements.

  5. 5

    Cut the 3/4-inch piece of plywood into two rectangular panels each measuring 11 by 17 1/4 inches for the bench ends. Attach each end with one 2-inch nails into the 2-by-4 brace.

  6. 6

    Cut the piece of 3/4-inch plywood into four right triangles, each with 8-inch sides. These will be the braces for the bench end panels. Attach a brace to each corner formed by the top and side panels of the bench, using four 2-inch nails for each triangle.

  7. 7

    Cut the 2-by-4 piece of wood to a rail measuring 50 inches long. Measure 4 inches up from the floor, using the tape measure, then attach this rail in between both end panels with four 3-inch nails.

  8. 8

    Sand all rough edges and spots, using the sandpaper, and fill all holes with wood filler. After sanding and filling, paint or stain the bench to suit your taste, using a medium paintbrush.

Tips and warnings

  • Use stencils when you paint or stain to make the bench more decorative.
  • Wear safety gloves and goggles while using power tools.
  • Wear a face mask while staining or painting to avoid harmful fumes.

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