How to Make a Bench For Under $20

A few years ago when I first discovered Pinterest, I found the plans to make an outdoor bench. It actually looked pretty easy, so we decided to give it a try. I have to say, it turned out pretty good for our first time woodworking. It was surprisingly easy and only cost about $20 worth of supplies. We also tried to make the matching table, which we still use to this day, but it is more of a working table than the picnic table we had originally imagined it to be used for. We also tried making the matching chairs, but our woodworking skills weren’t up to par yet, and after making a wobbly one, we gave up.

The bench, however, has stood the test of time and since then, we’ve made 3 more as gifts, and each one is a little better than the next. They’re simple, sturdy, and very versatile.

We use ours in the entryway, and I change it throughout the seasons.

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I made a pair for my mom and stained it to match the dining table she currently has. I used this stain. I was so glad, it was almost a perfect match!


We also made one for my dad and painted it white to match the exterior of the house. He wanted it so he could chill on the front porch.


Kobe and Sandy wanted to be included in the picture.

You can find the plans at Ana White’s website here. A couple things I did differently is I use Liquid Nails instead of wood glue. I think it holds much better. Also, I tried using wood filler but I haven’t found one that blends well. I have given up on it and let the screws show instead. I don’t use a primer, I just stain or paint and use a clear coat on top for extra shine and protection. I also don’t cut the wood myself. Home Depot will cut it for you for a small fee. And I think it is well worth it!

Supplies you will need:

I did follow all her general instructions such as:

Sand and finish the wood before constructing.


Mark out the joints before fastening them.


Pre-drill and countersink the holes. Check for square after each step.


And always remember to wear protective goggles and work safe!

What do you think? Don’t you love how versatile they are?


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