What Are the Best Tips for Making a DIY Bench?

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  • Written By: Lori Kilchermann
  • Edited By: Lauren Fritsky
  • Last Modified Date: 17 September 2019
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Making a do-it-yourself (DIY) bench offers a chance to bring individuality, creativity and a sense of accomplishment to a home or garden project. Developing a list of needed tools, diagramming the bench's dimensions and selecting quality materials are key in making a DIY bench. Having a pattern or model to copy often makes bench building easier as well.

Organization is key to any successful craft project, including making a DIY bench. After choosing or developing a design, a good tip is to make a list of everything needed to bring the project to fruition. The list should not only include materials, but tools and finishing components as well. Having to stop mid-stream while making a bench in order to purchase or find a tool can be frustrating. Paint, glue and seat cushion materials may be some of the finishing touches needed for a DIY bench.

Selecting sturdy and high-quality materials is a tip for DIY bench building. Whether gathering materials from a wood pile in the yard, a flea market or the local home improvement store, starting a project with the best materials possible will help the project to be more successful as well as easier to complete. Instead of shopping the odds and ends in the lumber bargain bin, it might be beneficial to select top-quality lumber when creating an heirloom quality project. Better-quality wood is often void of large knots and warping, flaws which can hinder production as well as negatively impact the aesthetics of a bench.


It is helpful to determine and write down all aspects of the bench before beginning the building process, especially measurements of the various bench components. By making a diagram or putting measurements into writing before starting the project, there is a better chance of catching errors. This can save time and materials, which often equates to saving money as well.

Another helpful tip for making a DIY bench is to have a pattern or model to follow. For example, measurements from an existing bench can be used to help determine the proper height and width of a DIY bench. If the bench is going to be used with a table, it is best to use another chair or bench to help determine a comfortable clearance space between the bench and the bottom edge of the table so there is plenty of leg room. These measurements can be adjusted when custom-making benches for children or people with shorter legs, as well as those with longer limbs.

Before painting, varnishing or upholstering a DIY bench, any glues or adhesives should be allowed to thoroughly dry. Another tip is to make sure the bench is sanded, sturdy and level at the unfinished stage. This enables any adjustments or tweaking to take place without the danger of harming new paint or fabric.


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Post 3

I have a friend who does metal work, and he made me a DIY bench to put outside for sitting and enjoying the summer days. He used recycled pieces of metal to construct them into a bench that is durable and sustainable.

This is actually an easy project for anyone who knows how to do metal work, and has the equipment to do this type of project. It is also a great feeling to put recycled metal to good use.

Post 2

If you want to make a DIY bench for outdoor use, it is best to use a durable hardwood that will last outdoors in bad weather. I made one for my picnic area, and I used cherry wood. I varnish it every year to keep it protected from the elements. It is holding up quite nicely.

Post 1

I like to find old, torn up benches at flea markets and yard sales. I buy them, repair them, and remove old paint, stains, and varnishes.

Next I paint or stain them so they look like new. Though I'm not starting from scratch, these old benches still make good DIY projects because I'm putting a lot of work into them to make them look totally different and new when I'm finished. I can also customize each bench to fit my needs, whether I plan to use one for working in the garden or place one as an attractive accent piece in a room of my home.

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