If you’re an avid gardener and work within a limited space, you’ve probably come across the conundrum of how to add storage to your garden, without reducing your precious space. While sheds are brilliant and can hold all the tools you need, we don’t always want such a big structure looming over our beautiful garden.
The growing trend of building a garden storage bench helps to offer a practical solution to your storage needs. Not only do they finally give you a space for you gardening bits and bobs, but they also serve as a functional piece and are much more aesthetically pleasing than a bulky shed.
Garden storage benches can serve as an ideal outdoor storage option for your smaller garden essentials such as weed killers, bird netting and other regularly used garden tools. Bigger size storage benches can also store lawn spreaders, if you invest in one large enough.
But what about if you’ve not been able to find the bench that’s just right for you? Building your own bench is the perfect solution and it doesn’t require a professional hand.
Have you recently torn down an old dilapidated shed? Why not use the wood to create your storage bench? Upcycling is all the rage nowadays and that rustic used wood feeling will be very on-trend.
To build a garden storage bench you’d usually need some form of experience with working on DIY projects. If you have successfully managed DIY projects in the past this one shouldn’t take you more than a day or so to complete, assuming you have all the tools and materials with you.
If you don’t have much experience, this is a great time to learn. It is recommended you draft in a family member or friend who has some experience. If you can’t, the internet is a fabulous place to find videos for any techniques you have not heard of before.
- Seat Back and Front/Back Slats – 5 pc 120 cm x 10 cm x 1.8 cm
- Side Slates – 4 pc 60 cm x 10 cm x 1.8 cm
- Front/Back Slats, Seat and Seth Back – 5 pc 120 cm x 14 cm x 1.8 cm
- Hinge board and back seat – 1pc 108.4 cm x 20 cm x 1.8 cm
- Seat back and seat – 2pc 120 cm x 17 cm x 1.8 cm
- Side Slate – 2 pc 60 cm x 14 cm x 1.8 cm
- Front legs – 2pc 42 cm x 5.8 cm x 5.8 cm
- Inside Support – 2 pc 20 cm x 4.8 cm x 2.4 cm and 1 pc 116.4 cm x 5 cm x 5.6 cm
- Back legs – 2 pc 90 cm x 20 cm x 4 cm
- Cleats Seat 3pc 34 cm x 4.8 cm x 2.4 cm
- Deck screws
- Circular saw
- Hand saw
- Carpenter’s square
- Measuring tape
- Paint brush
Steps 1: Start With the Legs
With this storage bench, most of the cuts are straight other than the back legs which need to be cut diagonally which is why we are starting with it first. It’s always good to get the trickier part over and done with first.
- Start by laying down the pieces for the leg, ensuring the 20cm wide side sits parallel to the ground.
- Use your measuring tape and mark 42cm from the base of the leg and 12cm from the opposite edge. Follow this up by drawing a line joining these two.
- Next, you need to measure 42cm on the opposite end of the wood and draw the line.
- Measure 42cm from the base on the other side edge, draw a line across. You won’t use this line for the cut, but you will need it later.
- Cut along the mark you made for the diagonal line using your circular saw
Steps 2: Work on the Sides
Put the sides together and start by marking the placement for the side slates.
Since the back legs have been cut diagonally in the earlier step, you will need to take the markings for the back legs by laying them down and ensuring that the edges that are straight face each other.
Pick up one of the front leg pieces and make markings from the top downwards – 14 cm, 10cm and 2 cm and follow this up with drawing lines across. Repeat the process for the other leg. For the back leg, you need to use the same measurements from the line which is 42cm high
Steps 3: Fixing the Sides
Now, we are all set to fix the sides of the bench. Start by laying a piece of the back and front legs on a flat surface.
Then make sure that you are flushing the slate over the leg. Follow this up by screwing the diagonally opposite corners of the slate, ensuring they are straight and well fastened.
After you are done screwing all the four corners of the slate you need to add in two more screws – one for the side edge and one for the edge of the back leg.
Move on to adding the inside support. Attach the 20cm support to the back leg. The top portion of the support would be fixed at the 42cm mark as is the case of the top edge in the side slat.
Steps 4: Fixing the Front Slates
After completing the 3rd step, you should start to see your storage bench beginning to take shape. Start by marking the screw placements on the edge and on the side of the legs for two screws.
Now you need to attach the front slats to the back legs and for this, you need to place the sides/slates on a flat surface and align them to the back legs. Once done, you then need to screw them in.
Steps 5: Fixing the Back Seat Support
Now we move on to attaching the back seat support for the bench. Take the 116.4cm piece and align this along the bench’s back.
You need to make sure that the support sits over the front-facing side of the back leg and the top edge of this is flushing against the top edges of the side slate.
Secure in place with screws once they are aligned.
Steps 6: Fix The Back Support Slat
Once we are done with fixing the back support seat, we then need to attach back slats.
Turn the bench holding both the sides firmly (to prevent causing any misalignment) and screw the board into the structure.
Once we are done with fixing the back support seat, we then need to attach back slats. Turn the bench holding both the sides firmly (to prevent causing any misalignment) and screw the board into the structure.
Steps 7: Fixing Hinge Board
Nearly there! Pick up the 20cm wide board and place it alongside the inner support of the frame. Make sure this board doesn’t extend beyond the front edge of the back legs in your bench.
Once aligned, secure with the screws.
Steps 8: Fix The Seat Back
Flip over the bench so that the back of the bench is flat against the floor, then attach the 17cm wide slat.
Make sure there is a little overlap of the seat back over the frame, this will make the frame of the bench stronger. Once you’ve aligned it perfectly, secure it with screws.
Next, pick up the 14cm wide board and screw it to the top portion of the back legs
Flip over the bench so that the back of the bench is flat against the floor, then attach the 17 cm wide slat. Make sure there is a little overlap of the seat back over the frame, this will make the frame of the bench stronger. Once you’ve aligned it perfectly, secure it with screws. Next, pick up the 14 cm wide board and screw it to the top portion of the back legs.
Steps 9: Fix Seat Board To the Cleats
You now need to take the 14cm seat boards which and attach them to the seats with screws. Repeat this with all boards until you have a fully built storage bench..
Steps 10: Paint job and Fixing the Hinges
Finally, apply a coat of paint or wood coloured varnish to the bench. You can choose any colour you like! But keep in mind that it will become a bit weather-worn over the years so a bright colour may not be the best for the future.
Let it dry before attaching the hinges and this will transform your bench into a storage bench!
Apart from offering ample storage space for you to store your tools, a garden storage bench can also double up as additional seating for any garden parties you may wish to throw in the summer. Add an outdoor bar table and suddenly your garden will be the perfect place to host the evening’s entertainment. If you wish to add more to the ambience, install few bird tables and hear them chirp as you enjoy your time in the garden.
If you wish to read more about outdoor storage benches, then check out https://www.familyhandyman.com/project/how-to-build-an-outdoor-storage-bench/