I love furniture that tells a story. When I saw this sweet little bench on Casa Chic Designs it was love at first sight. Get this – Mary was lucky enough to find this treasure.
Seriously, does this happen to anyone else?! I must live in the wrong area or something.
This is one of those pieces that you imagine someone’s grandpa made years ago. Okay, so that doesn’t say much for whoever tossed it out, but the point here is that aged pieces are a special kind of awesome. This one looked simple enough, so I decided to make up my own copycat version.
Now, I realize that for everyone that says “hey, cool!” there may be two more that think it’s crazy to create something that looks like it has sat outside for the past decade. To those people I say, “Well, ya, it kind of has.” This little piece of rustic goodness was created using wood I picked up on the side of the road.
Some people find benches, and others find wood to make benches.
The cost to make this was basically the cost of the Kreg screws and some glue. If you have those things already on hand you have yourself a free project. Of course, you could make it out of fresh lumber, if you like.
*I should add that while Kreg Tool graciously supplied the amazing K5 Master System I’m pretty well raving about, I am not being compensated for my opinions, which are entirely my own.
**I should also add that this post will contain a few affiliate links, which basically means I earn a small commission on purchases made through the links I include. That doesn’t cost you anything extra, p.s. My full disclosure statement is here.
- 2×6 – 16 1/2′
- 2×8 – 2 1/2′
- 2×4 – 1′ 3″
Jigsaw (or bandsaw)
2 – 2×6 @ 30″ (bench seat and backer)
2 – 2×6 @ 32″ (back post/leg)
1 – 2×8 @ 30″ (seat)
1 – 2×4 @ 15″ (stretcher)
4 – 2×6 @ 17 1/2″ (legs)
Templates and plans
Here are the templates for the front and back curvy sections. The pages overlap and both go top to bottom. Simply tape them together and trace. But really, you can make these curve however you like.
How to build a rustic outdoor bench
This thing is pretty simple, and can be done in an hour or two.
Start by tracing the template onto the two 32″ 2×6 pieces. The template doesn’t show the notch where the seat comes in. Make that at 17 1/2″ from the bottom. Cut the pieces out using a jigsaw or bandsaw.
Cut the middle piece using a miter saw or jigsaw. Trace the second template onto a 17 1/2″ section of 2×6 (twice, one for each leg).
This is what the legs should look like.
Be sure to have them oriented the way you want them to show.
Add pocket holes for the seats at the top. It’s crowded, but I also pocket-holed the leg pieces together at the top. Add a couple more pocket holes where the stretcher will be, about 7 or so inches up from the bottom. If you put the pocket holes in just the middle board they will actually meet at the ends. This doesn’t hinder your ability to use the pocket holes going both directions, and it makes it so the stretcher board will entirely hide the holes.
Attach the stretcher via pocket holes from the underside. A second person is really useful to hold everything in place while you drill that second side, by the way.
Adjust the notches as needed so the backer sits snuggly. Run some glue in the notch and clamp it up tight for a bit.
I work with assistants on pretty well all my builds. They are also quality control. Thing 1 has dubbed this the “boot bench” because I told him it was taking off your boots before you go in the house.
One final detail: If you built this thing out of salvaged wood you will have fresh cut areas that will need some masking. You can use a little steel wood and vinegar concoction or some gray stain. I ran some Weatherwood Reclamation Stain on it because I had some in the cupboard and I love it.
Whether you made it out of salvage boards or shiny new lumber, set that beauty outside and let the elements do their thing. Gray is beautiful, folks.
Our front porch is quite small. I like that this works in a small area and makes the whole thing look a little more cozy and inviting.
One last peep at the rustic-y goodness…
What do you think? A little too weathered, or just right? Happy building!
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