How to build a simple bench seat

Updated April 17, 2017

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.


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.

Things You'll 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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About the Author

Meghan McClain started writing in 2001. She primarily writes home and garden articles for eHow. McClain studied creative writing and journalism at Morehead State University.