DIY a statement piece for your garden with the free building plans for this DIY Lutyen’s garden bench – made with pocket holes in lieu of fancy joinery – so it’s perfect for the self-taught builder (like me!)
I like creating plans and coming up with solutions to fit my specific needs at home but there are so many fantastic plans already out there – many for free – that you really don’t have to reinvent the wheel with every build. You don’t even have to use plans; if you need a bit of inspiration you could just look at pictures of things like these teak garden benches to give you some ideas of what to build.
This Lutyens garden bench from Shara at Woodshop Diaries and Build Something is case-in-point. I could not have designed anything prettier than this bench and the fact that it is made almost entirely with pocket holes (versus fancy joinery) means that it is well within my skill level as a self-taught builder.
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The most time-consuming part of the build is the back. You’ll need a jigsaw or a bandsaw to cut the scrollwork from a 2″ x 8″, and then every little slat may need to be cut individually (versus cutting 6 at the same measurement at once) to account for slight variations between the central perpendiculars.
Then, if you’re like me, you’ll want to get as much of the sanding done before you actually install any of the pieces so that you can easily reach all those hard-to-get-at areas.
Not difficult, just time consuming.
But once you have the back of your DIY Lutyens bench done, the rest flies together!
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I’m not sure where I went astray, but the measurements for my DIY garden bench are slightly larger than Shara’s over at Build Something. The overall width of my bench ended up being 55″ – a nice love seat size.
I made my DIY garden bench from construction grade lumber – just pine from the home improvement store – but if you want your bench to gently patina over time (and last much longer) then I’d suggest building it from pressure treated lumber or cedar. I took the less expensive shortcut knowing that I was going to seal the bench with an outdoor appropriate paint in the end.
There is one other disparity between my Lutyen’s garden bench and the plans from Build Something; I am missing a slat on the two outer sections of the bench back. These were to be custom-cut to line up with the lower side of the scrollwork and (if I’m being completely honest) I didn’t have the patience to futz.
Hopefully you didn’t notice until I pointed it out?
I took a few photos of my DIY Lutyen’s garden bench without paint or stain on it so you can have a visual of what it looks like unfinished.
The total cost for the wood for this DIY bench came to $90 Cdn. This bench was a fairly cheap, challenging and fun project to make. If you are looking to do some woodwork, but don’t fancy making this, then you could always head over to joinery plans for some inspiration and step-by-step instructions aimed at a variety of skill levels.
I love how the side slats wrap around the arms of the bench. I sanded these to round them to follow the shape of the ‘roll arm’ to make them comfortable to rest on.
I love this bench!
While construction-grade lumber won’t last as long outside as pressure-treated or cedar, there is a way to prolong the life of the wood and that’s with an outdoor-appropriate paint or sealer.
Rust-Oleum Canada very kindly sent me quarts of paint for a wagon makeover I did about a year ago, and I’ve had the leftovers sitting in my She-Shop ever since. Seemed like as good a time as any to bring out the Painter’s Touch Gloss Navy Blue to bring a bit of colour to the garden.
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I used my HomeRight Super Finish Max Paint Sprayer and Medium Spray Shelter Paint Booth to save hours of time and a ton of mess (I do have the large spray shelter, but the medium pops up and down so much easier that it tends to be my go-to).
I would NOT have wanted to paint this DIY Lutyen’s garden bench by hand.
It’s so BEE-U-T-FUL!!!
Definitely a statement piece for any garden!
Today I’m showcasing my DIY garden bench in front of my garage, but I’m working on a side yard makeover for my parents, so later I’ll show you how it looks in an actual garden setting.
The colour of the Painter’s Touch Gloss navy is a mix between a navy blue and a royal blue. These photos make it look quite royal, but I upped the exposure on the photo to remove shadows so the finish is actually a bit darker.
Not that I would have minded the Lutyen’s garden bench in a royal blue – it’s gorgeous!
What I used: