15 Ways To Make A DIY Garden Bench

If you enjoy spending your free time beautifying your garden, don't forget to create a space where you can kick off your gardening shoes, toss aside your gloves, pour a cold glass of white wine, and relax. All you need is a garden bench! Luckily, there are many ways to create one that is unique, special, and a perfect companion to your outdoor oasis.

Building a do-it-yourself garden bench that suits your needs, landscape, and budget is quite straightforward. Wabash Valley recommends giving some thought to the project before diving in with the first idea you have. They advise considering where you want to put the bench, how big you'd like it to be, the level of comfort you expect from it, and what it should be made from. Read on for 15 great DIY bench ideas and tips on how to make them.

1. A classic wooden bench

For many people, nothing beats the classic wooden garden bench. Wooden bench designs can be as simple as a sturdy board resting atop two supports or may feature a back and armrests. Additionally, a wooden bench can be stained to match your deck or existing furniture. The Spruce Crafts offers numerous simple designs that require little experience, including a traditional garden bench, a mid-century seater, and a shoe storage bench. You will need some basic tools, such as a hammer, drill, nails, and sander.

2. Upcycling wooden pallets

Reusing and repurposing existing materials can satisfy both your environmental goals and the need for a place to sit in your garden. Reworking items like wooden pallets into garden furniture encourages a measure of sustainability in an increasingly throw-away world. Technology company, R. K. Black, describes how they turned their excess delivery pallets into versatile garden benches in five easy steps.

3. Concrete block garden bench

While it might not sound like the ideal garden bench material, the humble concrete block (also called a cinder block) provides an excellent base for an outdoor seat that is simple to make. Somewhat Simple presents this easy-to-follow guide for creating a concrete block garden bench. Clocking in at only 20 minutes and costing about $30, a concrete block bench can be attempted by nearly anyone. The design is easy to customize to the space available and requires very few tools and materials.

4. Outdoor log bench

For a truly rustic look that will blend into a tree-shaded backyard, nothing beats an outdoor bench made from logs. One method is to use a chain saw to carve out the seating area while leaving part of the log for the back and armrests. This is a great idea if you recently removed a large tree and don't need it for firewood. Cabin Life provides an alternative design for a log bench, which uses leftover logs from a construction project, however, it can also be made from any logs you have laying around the garden.

5. Timeless stone bench

A rock-solid idea for a garden bench is to create one using stone. While the process can involve using slabs of flagstone (which could require equipment to move), river rocks are much easier to maneuver and allow for a variety of designs. A stone garden bench will likely become a permanent fixture in your yard, so you should plan its placement carefully. Home Steady provides simple instructions for creating a beautiful rock bench, secured with mortar, and built to last for generations.

6. Wood and stone garden seat

Artistically combining two natural materials together may be the perfect aesthetic for your landscape. Wood and stone create a look that can blend into the scenery or stand out in a unique and creative way. One very simple yet attractive design is to use large boulders with wooden planks affixed to the top. Another option, notes Total Landscape Care, is to build gabions (cages filled with rocks) capped with wood for the seat.

7. Beautiful brick bench

Bricklaying isn't the easiest DIY skill to learn, however, with Dave's DIY Tips you can certainly teach yourself the basics, allowing you to create an eyecatching backyard bench that will enhance any formal garden setting. For a more rustic-looking bench, Homestead Lifestyle recommends a design that doesn't require mortar. Rather, it uses chunkier bricks that offer greater stability. In addition, bricks are available in many colors and are highly durable.

8. Patio brick bench

Lowe's shares a simple design to build a garden bench using patio bricks, which can be a great way to tie your backyard to a theme. If you have a few extra bricks leftover from a construction project, they can be used to build matching benches anywhere in your garden. The bricks can be stacked in any pattern you choose, while the seat of the bench is made of timber, which can be stained to complement the rest of your home. 

9. Chairs make a creative bench

Mismatched old chairs can be repurposed into a stylish, creative garden bench. Those who aren't afraid to do a little dumpster diving or curbside shopping will often find the perfect materials for a unique garden bench. Starting out with kindergarten chairs (the sturdy wooden variety) can provide a good garden bench base, explains My Repurposed Life. After cleaning the chairs and removing some of the rungs, large planks are added to form the back of the bench, with additional planks serving as the seat of the bench.

10. Upcycling old furniture

Upcycling old items for new uses is a great way to put your personal stamp on a garden, showcase your ingenuity, and do some good for the environment. Old furniture can be repurposed into one-of-a-kind pieces for your yard. Country Living showcased several ways to do just that, including making a DIY garden bench out of an old bed. Scour attics or browse antique shops to discover vintage furniture items, which can then find a new life as the backbone for a unique garden bench.

11. Wine barrel bench

Cheers to using an old wine barrel as a creative outdoor garden bench. There are a number of different ways to repurpose old wine barrels into seating. Some people take them apart and use the staves (the long slats) to form the backrest or seat of a garden bench. Others opt to chop the barrel in half and make a pair of chairs. The Cheeky Chicks created this novel handmade design that is big enough for two.

12. Whimsical toadstool seats

You may have seen brightly-colored DIY toadstools in a neighbor's yard or at a garden center. Often they aren't very large, generally using a large salad bowl turned upside down to form the mushroom cap, like this design from Craftaholics Anonymous. So long as you are careful to firmly secure the item that forms the cap (and thus the seat) to the stump, you can create a wonderfully whimsical seating area that would look perfect in a tree-shaded corner, or group a few together for a seating arrangement for the whole family.

13. Plant yourself a bench

One of the nicest parts of relaxing on a garden bench is enjoying the flowers, herbs or other plants growing nearby. Make the flora even easier to enjoy by using planter boxes as integral parts of your garden bench. HGTV outlines the steps for making wooden planter boxes with a bench seat connecting them. The project is great for small yards or decks, takes only a day to make and is inexpensive. Stain it to match nearby trees and bushes if you want it to blend in or add a pop of color.

14. Knock on a door bench

An old wooden door can open your mind to great outdoor décor ideas, such as a DIY garden bench with the door providing the framework. This design by Love Grows Wild explains how to convert the door into the bench pieces. Many front doors have windows, crown molding, carvings, or other decorative details that enable you to incorporate design elements into your do-it-yourself project. Alternatively, Dumped and Discovered suggests using a door with panels and painting it for a truly special bench.

15. Mosaic garden bench

A mosaic garden bench is as much art as it is furniture. There's no reason why all your art should be on the inside of your home, nor should art be non-functional. This is a perfect project to showcase your artistic side, and it even lets you get out your aggression by breaking tiles or pottery. Create a bench with your own personal artistic panache front and center. With easy-to-follow steps, Running with Sisters shows you how to take a flea market bench and transform it into a personalized, colorful bench to love for decades to come.