Outdoor furniture makes the most of your living space, giving you more ways to enjoy your home.
It’s also perfect for DIY projects of all skill levels; even beginners can make simple, useful, beautiful outdoor furniture with easy techniques and affordable materials.
Here are some great DIY outdoor furniture ideas to spark your creativity and help you make the most out of your outdoor living space.
- DIY Outdoor Furniture: Fast and Easy Projects
- DIY Outdoor Furniture: Intermediate Projects
- DIY Outdoor Furniture: Advanced Projects
DIY Outdoor Furniture: Fast and Easy Projects
1. DIY Outdoor Bench from Cinderblocks
For this project, you can take advantage of the fact that ordinary 8x8x16 cinderblocks have an opening that is the perfect size for a 4×4.
By stacking concrete blocks at the ends, and then placing a row of 4x4s in the openings to create a seating surface, you can build a fast and easy outdoor bench.
Add homemade or store bought outdoor pads and cushions and you have a quick and comfortable outdoor bench.
Not only is this project incredibly fast and easy, but it’s also versatile, so you can quickly create extra seating for a party or gathering, and then remove it when it’s not in use.
2. DIY Outdoor Seats from Logs
If you have some extra logs in your backyard, it’s not hard to turn them into cute and functional additional seating.
These small stools can also be used as an ottoman or side table, so they are versatile and useful. The best way to make use of logs as occasional seats is to look for logs that are the right size: when stood on end, they should be approximately 18-28 inches in height, and 15 or more inches across to serve as comfortable seats.
Sand the logs to remove splinters, and level the base to keep them from being uncomfortably unstable. You may also want to add leveling feet to make it easier to stabilize them. Then add a cute cushion to the top, and you have fun and simple outdoor stools that can be used in all kinds of ways.
3. DIY Outdoor Patio Table from Cable Spool
A cable spool is a staple of simple DIY outdoor projects. Wooden cable reels are rugged, weather-resistant, and easily converted into shabby chic outdoor furniture.
Sand and finish a cable drum with an outdoor stain and varnish to protect it from weather. The best thing about cable spools for outdoor furniture is that they have a center hole perfect for a patio umbrella.
A patio umbrella creates protection from rain and sun, and makes your outdoor living space usable in a wider range of weather conditions.
4. DIY Outdoor Convertible Coffee Table from Apple Crates
Apple crates are a great way to make an outdoor coffee table that doubles as storage space, and can easily be configured in a variety of ways for different needs.
For this project, take four apple crates and paint, stain, and/or varnish them for weather resistance. Place each crate on its side, to create a flat top and an interior storage area.
Add four caster wheels to the bottom corners of each crate. The collection of four wheeled crates can then be quickly configured in a group as a coffee table, or rolled individually into place to act as individual side tables.
DIY Outdoor Furniture: Intermediate Projects
5. DIY Outdoor Nesting Table and Seating Group
For a bit more of a challenge, combine a low coffee table with four smaller tables that can be used as side tables or for additional seating. This is a great outdoor DIY for people without a lot of extra space, because the seating group is incredibly compact when not in use.
For this project, 1x4s are used to build a coffee table that conveniently tucks away four side tables/stools underneath, creating a cute and convenient little seating group.
6. DIY Rustic Outdoor Bar with Barstools
Outdoor furniture is a great way to work with discarded wooden pallets or reclaimed timber, because they give a rustic quality that is welcome in a casual garden setting.
A simple garden bar and stools is a great project to reclaim old building materials, and to create a welcome party atmosphere in your outdoor space.
More advanced woodworkers could consider adding additional work surface or storage behind the bar, to make it a more useful space for making and serving drinks in the garden.
7. DIY Porch Swing
Porch swings are a gorgeous way to add comfortable seating and make a porch or patio more beautiful.
Porch swings are simple DIY projects, whether you opt for the classic bench-style porch swing or a larger daybed-style.
The most difficult part of DIY porch swing projects is making sure they are hung safely and securely, so choose the highest quality hardware, the right size chains, and the strongest joist to hang your swing.
8. DIY Lounge Seat with Storage
Reclining in the sun is one of the pleasures of the outdoors, and it’s not that difficult to create a wooden outdoor lounge bed. It’s even better when your lounge seat has a hidden storage area, perfect for seat cushions, covers, and other outdoor gear that should be protected from the wind.
Think of this outdoor lounger as a long box. The hinged lid is placed halfway along the box, and then can be opened and propped up at an angle to recline against in warm weather.
Inside, you can easily store your lounge for safety in the off season. It’s a relaxing design that incorporates storage, and is a great DIY project.
9. DIY Outdoor Cooler Table
Outdoor furniture that can also keep your drinks cold is a great way to save space and make entertaining easy.
While this looks like an ordinary wooden coffee table, it has a secret: a hinged lid opens to reveal an ice chest, where your drinks can stay cold and convenient, saving you trips to and from the kitchen.
Make sure to build the table with easy access to the drain hole of your cooler or ice chest, so you can easily empty melted ice before trying to lift it from the table.
For even more convenience, add a fun bottle opener to the side of the table.
10. DIY Outdoor Storage Bench
It may seem as though we are obsessed with outdoor storage, but the fact is that it’s simply the best way to use your space.
When you are using your yard or garden to the fullest, you end up with a lot of items (outdoor lights, firewood, cushions and covers, party accessories, planting supplies, barbecue equipment, etc.) that need to be stored in the off season.
Incorporating storage into your outdoor furniture keeps these items safely stored but conveniently close at hand, so you can respond to sudden visits from guests, rapidly changing weather, or other spontaneous situations.
The easiest and best solution is an outdoor storage bench, which creates generous storage space along with comfortable seating space.
Simply lift the seat like a lid, and access all the items stored within. To make your DIY outdoor storage bench more comfortable, add arms and a back for improved seating.
Add cushions, and consider adding a storage ottoman as well, for a versatile coffee table/footrest.
DIY Outdoor Furniture: Advanced Projects
11. DIY Outdoor Bar with Built-In Ice Bucket
This handsome outdoor bar has a flat top for serving, lower shelves for storage, and a built-in compartment for an ice bucket (or simply use the space as a planter).
Creating room for storage makes the outdoor bar more versatile and useful, and the ice bucket keeps drinks cold. You can customize the ice chest/planter to the size of your favorite cooler or ice chest, but remember to allow space below for drainage, and allow air circulation to remove condensation and prevent mold or wood rot.
Adding an under-cabinet wine glass rack is a great way to use space and keep your stemware safe and conveniently located at your outdoor bar.
12. DIY Picnic Table and Benches
A DIY picnic table is a great project to use reclaimed boards.
The classic picnic table design uses angled boards for support for the table and benches, and the benches are attached to the table to create a single piece of outdoor furniture. This helps to create stability for all the components, but does sacrifice some versatility, making the piece more difficult to move, and fixing the distance between the seats and the table.
Picnic tables and benches are easy to build, although these are larger projects that require more structural support, and it’s easy to make the table and benches as long as necessary to accommodate your whole family or friend group.
13. DIY Outdoor Seat with Hidden Arm Storage
Instead of simply building a wooden outdoor seat, consider turning your chair arms into deep boxes with hinged lids.
Concealed storage in the arms can be used to store outdoor cushions or covers with an opening lid, or make the arms open from the front for convenient access to beverage racks. Line the inside of the arms with sheets of Styrofoam or aluminum to preserve cold temperatures, and allow condensation to drain from the bottom.
Building cold drink dispensing or additional storage into the arms of your outdoor chairs saves space and makes outdoor entertaining even easier.
14. DIY Outdoor Sectional with Planters
An outdoor sectional is a fantastic way to maximize outdoor living space and entertain family and friends in comfort. It naturally creates a seating area that fits comfortably around a coffee table, fire pit, or dining table, and promotes conversation and interaction.
Adding planters in the corners not only helps integrate your outdoor furniture into your garden landscape, but it makes a sectional more beautiful. You can also take advantage of planters to plant larger trees or shrubs that will naturally shade the seats, keeping them more comfortable in hot weather.
You can use foam and outdoor fabric to create your own comfortable cushions, or purchase ready-made cushion sets to save time.
15. DIY Outdoor Pergola with Bench
Speaking of creating cooling shade, a pergola is a fantastic way to incorporate plants into your outdoor furniture, making comfortable, shady spots to sit.
Combining a comfortable garden bench with a pergola is a wonderful piece of statement furniture for your outdoor space, and creates a cozy conversational nook in any landscape design.
Train trailing plants up the pergola, and consider hanging outdoor lanterns or solar string lights to make your garden even more appealing, and allowing use of the bench area at night as well as during the daytime.
There are a huge range of DIY outdoor furniture projects for builders and makers of every skill level.
Whether you are a skilled builder with an entire shop full of tools, or a hobbyist with a few hand tools, you can easily make DIY outdoor furniture that makes your lawn or garden more functional, more versatile, and more beautiful.
These projects can easily be adapted to the size of your family or friend group, your available outdoor space, and your local climate and landscape.
Whether all you have are a few old wood pallets and some used cinder blocks, or you have top of the line materials, you can make the most of an outdoor lifestyle with these DIY furniture projects.