How To Build An Outdoor Sofa In 12 Simple Steps

I am a DIYer at heart. My hands are tools and made to create. As I mentioned in my Wood Sign DIY, I’ve made tutus, sewed blankets, remodeled my kitchen, painted furniture, and installed outdoor lighting. You name it; I’ve probably done it.  My goal is to share all the DIYs I’ve gotten my hands on so that you can see the difference and hopefully give you a little encouragement to go ahead and try it.

We chose to build an outdoor sofa on a hot Texas summer. Why? Because it was cheaper than buying a set.  Let me tell you, it was an adventure and great experience.  Excitement! That’s the word I would use to describe how we felt about creating our very own outdoor sofa and saving money.  We were thrilled to put it together ourselves.  Cecil and I had our fun hammering, cutting and cursing when we accidentally hammered a finger or two. Ouch! We talked through every step and cracked jokes. Serious marriage bonding!  For those that like to make furniture and get your hands dirty with a DIY project, this outdoor bench will challenge you. In a good way though. If you’re willing to be patient and work for about 8hrs total (not counting the planning and shopping), then I think you’ll have yourself a beautiful wooden bench in the end.

We got the sofa idea from Anna White‘s website.  Have you heard of her?  She is AMAZING, and built her house and everything in it from the ground up.  Her website has plans for anything that can be built with wood (including measurements and the list of supplies needed). Here are the plans for the Outdoor Sofa we built.

Budget: $400 

Tools – *We used what we had on hand and didn’t buy any new tools.

Supplies

  • Treated wood (so it will last outside)
  • Nails (finishing nails)
  • Screws
  • Paint
  • Cushions (if you don’t have any)
  1. The day before we started our outdoor bench adventure, we went shopping and bought all the wood at Lowe’s.  We thought “yeah we are handy, WE CAN DO THIS!” It’s going to be a piece of cake.  Boy, we had no idea. At one point, during the hammering and drilling, I remember thinking, what did we get ourselves into? Looking back, that day was hard work but I wouldn’t change a thing because we learned a lot.
  2. Mark measurements.  Before cutting the wood we measured and re-measured. By we, I mean Cecil (grinning cutely). He wanted to make sure it was all the perfectly measured. We took our time cutting the wood (and this time I helped).
  3. Once the cuts were made, we drilled holes in the pieces of wood that would be the legs. The size of drill bit is noted in Anna White’s website.
  4. Then we put the legs together. Once that happened I could see progress. Progress made me giddy! 
  5. Then we put together the other side. It was exciting! Charlie’s helping paw was an encouragement. At every turn he was right there like “Hey mom, what are you building?” Then he would wag his little nub with approval. 
  6. Once the legs are put together, the base of the sofa comes together.  At this time we moved the bench building party to the back porch because we didn’t want to carry a heavy wooden bench through or around our house. 
  7. Then added the back support. 
  8. Once the base and the back support are in place, the seat support can be installed. On the side we had what would be the back and the seat laid out. We started to put that together once we installed the seat support.
  9. Then it is time to sand that baby! Woo hoo…wait we’re not done! Oh who cares celebrate and take a small break. Which by the way are crucial if you want to survive eight hours of this. Breaking the project into two days would have probably been better but patience is not our strong suit. 
  10. Paint comes after it is all sanded and dusted.  We chose a oil based white because the color popped more and it would last the outdoor heat. Plus white is a classic color.  Tip: Cover the couch after use so it doesn’t get dusty. Here is one we had. 
  11. After the paint dries, add another coat if it needs it.
  12. Once the paint is dry and you’re happy with the paint job, put your cushions on there! We got ours from Lowe’s. Find similar ones here

The finished product turned out fantastic, and we built it. WE! I am so proud of us. We passed the handy/DIY test with flying colors. In the beginning, we were starting to doubt if we had taken on more than we could chew because it took longer than expected.  But, it was because we are not experts in DYI sofaing :-).  We were resilient &  stayed the course, and I’ll tell you this, it was well worth the results. We got an outdoor sofa, stayed under budget, and it looks absolutely beautiful.

Have you built outdoor furniture before? Or just worked with wood in general? What DIY project do you have your hands in right now? Your stories inspire others so feel free to share.  Cheers!

With gratitude,

Abril

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