A homemade bench is a great way to add extra seating when you're sitting by the fire, relaxing by the pool or simply spending time outside. Here, Eric Stromer shows you how to make your own outdoor storage bench, which will stand up to the elements and last for years to come. With a small set of materials from your local home improvement store, you'll have a practical seating option in just a few easy steps.
For your base, you’ll need to cut a piece of ½ inch OSB board that is 40 ½ by 18 inches. OSB, or Oriented Strand Board, is cheaper and stronger than plywood. Now to create the basic frame, screw a 19-inch 2x2 head first into each corner of the OSB. Next, add a shorter 16 ¼” long 2x2 in the center of the front and back edges. You should have an upside down table by this point. As far as hardware, Eric recommends using polymer coated deck screws because they won’t corrode.
The sides of the bench are made of ½ inch thick tongue and groove redwood. Redwood is gorgeous and stands up to the elements. Cut 8 pieces at 41 ¾” and another 8 pieces at 18” long. Starting at the bottom, attach the tongue and groove boards to the outside of the 2x2’s with the tongues facing up. Two screws per joint will do the job and it’s always a good idea to drill pilot holes first to prevent splitting. Before adding the top layer of boards, rip off the tongues with a table saw to make them nice and flat.
Everything should be taking shape by this point. Next, cut two pieces of 2x2 at 37 ¾” and screw them perpendicularly across the tops of both 16 ¼” 2x2’s already inside the box. These new pieces should fit between each corner and will act as extra support.
For the legs, you’ll need 6 pieces of 4x4 redwood cut into 1 ¾” lengths. Screw them into the OSB board with one in each corner as well as in the center of the front and back edges. This will keep the bench off the ground and away from water.
To create the lid, cut 4 pieces of our tongue and groove redwood 43 inches long. Be sure to rip the tongue off the board that will be used for the front of the lid. Then link them together with two 16 ½” 2x2’s set twelve inches in from the sides. Attach the lid to the bench box with a three-foot piano hinge.
As a final touch, add a comfy 43” x 19” cushion. Now you have extra seating and valuable storage for your outdoor entertaining.
Items You'll Need
- Drill, screwdriver, circular or table saw
- 1 ½” polymer coated red deck screws
- 40 ½” x18” OSB board
- Four 2x2’s cut to 19”
- Two 2x2’s cut to 16 ¼”
- Two 2x2’s cut to 16 ½”
- Two 2x2’s cut to 37 ¾”
- 8 pieces of ½” thick tongue and groove redwood cut to 41 ¾”
- 8 pieces of ½” thick tongue and groove redwood cut to 18” long
- 4 pieces of ½” thick tongue and groove redwood cut to 43” long