Outdoor furniture elevates your lawn and garden, turning your outdoor space into real living space. It gives you more ways to use your home, entertain guests, and enjoy your garden. Even better, outdoor furniture is a perfect DIY project, even for beginners.
Outdoor furniture can be rugged and casual, unrefined and imperfect, so it’s a great way to use reclaimed and repurposed materials, practice your DIY skills, and try new materials and techniques.
Here are nine of the best DIY outdoor furniture ideas to let you maximize, customize, and enjoy your outdoor space.
- DIY Outdoor Furniture Ideas
- DIY Outdoor Swinging Bench
- DIY Outdoor Reclining Lounge
- DIY Outdoor Hammock
- DIY Outdoor Shade Canopy
- DIY Outdoor Bistro Set
- DIY Outdoor Corner Bench
- DIY Outdoor Daybed
- DIY Outdoor Storage Bench
- DIY Outdoor Hanging Canvas Chair
DIY Outdoor Furniture Ideas
DIY Outdoor Swinging Bench
A bench swing is a wonderful way to relax outdoors with friends and family. The swing is comfortable and inviting, and a swing is a great way to create your own cool breeze on hot days. To make a DIY outdoor bench swing, here are the most essential components.
Build the Bench
A bench is easy to make from scratch or assemble and is an excellent project for repurposed wood pallets. Remember that it’s important to know how much your bench weighs to stay within your hanging hardware’s weight ratings.
Swinging Bench Hardware
Always hang your swing from all four corners, using bolts, brackets, and a rope or chain that are heavy duty and exceed your weight limits. You can also choose a porch swing hanging kit to get everything you need at once.
Hanging an Outdoor Swinging Bench
Remember to leave 2-4 feet clearance in front and behind your swing so that you can swing comfortably. If hanging a swing from your porch, look for at least a 2×6 ceiling joist that can support the weight of your swing.
DIY Outdoor Reclining Lounge
Outdoor lounge chairs are a great way to laze away summer afternoons, and they aren’t difficult to build yourself.
They are incredibly versatile pieces of furniture, and making your own DIY outdoor lounger lets you customize it to your preferences. To build a DIY outdoor reclining lounger, here are the key things to know.
Planning Your DIY Outdoor Lounge Chair
Unless you plan on sewing the cushions yourself, start by choosing your cushion. There are many options for cushion sizes and shapes, which will determine your lounger’s size and your hinges’ placement.
Remember to leave space on both sides of the cushion (or build a separate table or fold-out platform) for miscellaneous personal items
Building a DIY Outdoor Reclining Lounger
Choose sturdy hinges that can stand up to outdoor weather.
Before installing your stop blocks, test them to find the recline angles that are most comfortable for you.
DIY Outdoor Hammock
If you don’t have a porch or tree suitable for hanging a swing, consider building your own hammock stand instead. A hammock is lightweight, versatile, comfortable, and easy to install or remove as needed.
A DIY hammock stand is an easy project that can be completed in just a few hours. Your DIY hammock stand needs to be exceptionally strong and stable so that you can safely relax in the hammock, but designs are simple, and they don’t require complex tools. To make a DIY hammock stand, keep the following in mind.
DIY Hammock Stand Materials
A hammock stand needs to be strong and rugged, so you will need:
- 4×4 posts
- 4″ outdoor wood screws
- 8″ eye bolts
- Washers, wood glue, etc.
Choosing a Hammock
Generally speaking, for home use in mild weather, choose a hammock with a spreader bar. A spreader bar provides extra stability in the hammock, makes it easier to share with family members and loved ones, and allows breezes to flow over you, keeping you cool and comfortable.
A hammock without a spreader bar embraces your body, keeping you warm in cold temperatures, and is also easier to pack small and carry, but is not preferred for use at home in your own garden.
DIY Outdoor Shade Canopy
A shade canopy is a great way to enjoy your outdoor living space even in the hottest weather and create a great, beachy feel in your garden.
You may also want to hang mosquito netting from a shade canopy so you can continue to use your garden in the evening hours without being bothered by unwanted guests. A shade canopy is a fast, easy, and versatile DIY project.
To make a DIY outdoor shade canopy, you will need:
- 1.5″ PVC pipe with connectors and PVC cement
- Plastic buckets or inexpensive outdoor planters
- Curtain panels
- Curtain clips
To build a DIY outdoor shade canopy, follow these steps:
- Use PVC pipe and PVC cement to build the framework for your canopy. If your canopy is very large, consider adding support pipes across the top to make the structure more rigid and stable.
- Before gluing all the joints, slip curtain clips over the PVC pipes to hold your curtains. As an alternative, screw eye bolts into the PVC and string cotton clothesline on the framework to hold your curtains.
- Fill buckets or planters with cement, then place the bottoms of your PVC pipes into the wet cement to create a stable base for your structure.
- Hang the curtains from the PVC framework, or drape them over the top and clip them in place to create shade.
DIY Outdoor Bistro Set
For some people, a balcony or patio simply isn’t complete without a bistro set. A DIY bistro set is a perfect place for morning coffee, afternoon cocktails, and evening conversation. Making your own bistro set lets you explore a whole range of options, including:
- Instead of a standard 30″ tall table, consider making a 42″ high pub table for easier gathering around when people are standing
- Consider weighting the base of your bistro table and drilling a hole large enough for a patio umbrella for enjoyment in a wider range of weather
- Get creative and finish the top of your bistro table in a classic mosaic style
A simple DIY bistro table can be made with two circles of ¾ plywood (a small bistro table has a top that is usually 2.5 feet in diameter) and a sturdy 4×4 pedestal supporting them. For a larger table that seats 4, choose a 36-44″ tabletop, and consider adding four legs for stability.
Choosing self-leveling feet protects the base from water and makes it easier to use the table on uneven surfaces.
DIY bistro table stools are the simplest and easiest way to make seating for your table, but adding backs may make them more comfortable for prolonged sitting.
Decorating the back splat to match the tabletop is a great way to tie the design together and make a matched bistro set that’s all your own.
DIY Outdoor Corner Bench
A corner bench is a charming DIY outdoor furniture project and a great way to use a small space efficiently. Corner benches add a comfortable, conversational touch to any space and are simple to build. To build a simple DIY outdoor corner bench:
- Start by building the framework for a traditional bench, with a sturdy exterior base for the legs and connected crossbars at the top.
- Build an additional base, and place it at a 90-degree angle to the existing bench framework.
- Add the side supports, then build the benchtop over both pieces.
For a more stylish take on the classic corner bench, consider placing a large planter, raised table surface, or built-in ice chest in the corner. This makes the corner space more versatile and practical and adds a stylish look to the piece.
DIY Outdoor Daybed
An outdoor daybed is a wonderful place to lounge and relax and can even be an additional sleeping space on warm nights. It’s incredibly easy to make a DIY outdoor daybed from repurposed wood pallets, extra cinder blocks, boards, or spare boards and plywood.
You can also customize your outdoor daybed to fit any convenient space. When making a DIY outdoor daybed, here are some things to keep in mind:
- Chances are, you won’t want to place an expensive mattress on your outdoor daybed. Instead, consider choosing upholstery foam and cutting it to fit your bed. Lined with cotton and covered with outdoor upholstery fabric, you can make a DIY daybed mattress in any size you like without spending an arm and a leg
- Consider adding a canopy or shade to your DIY outdoor daybed. Building a simple framework out of 2×2 boards on three sides of your bed gives you a place to hang curtains to create privacy and shade or add mosquito netting to keep pests away
- Consider making or buying a wooden lattice for a fast and easy back to your DIY outdoor daybed. A lattice filters light to create shade, and can also be a convenient place to train plants, hang plant pots, or string outdoor lights for cozy, welcoming spaces
DIY Outdoor Storage Bench
A sturdy DIY outdoor storage bench is a great way to provide additional seating and storage at the same time. It’s also a DIY project that is incredibly easy to build. Simply build a sturdy box out of 4x4s and 2x4s so it’s strong enough for seating.
Then add a flat lid with a slight overhang on three sides for better looks and more comfort. Finish it off with an outdoor cushion for fast and easy outdoor seating.
Remember that if you plan on keeping a cooler or ice chest inside your DIY outdoor storage bench, it’s essential to add drainage that will allow condensation from the cooler to drip out. You may also want to add more robust drainage so that you can empty the cooler and remove melted ice without having to lift it from the inside of the bench.
DIY Outdoor Hanging Canvas Chair
A canvas chair is lightweight, flexible seating that is easy to hang anywhere. A canvas chair can also be breezy and comfortable outdoors and isn’t difficult to make. You will need a sewing machine, and canvas is a strong, sturdy fabric, so it’s better for a heavy-duty, high-quality sewing machine.
To make a DIY outdoor hanging canvas chair:
- Create a frame out of two 1.25″ dowels and two 5/8″ dowels. If you want, begin by painting or staining the dowels.
- Fold and sew a seam in both ends of your canvas to receive the 1.25″ dowels.
- Thread the dowels through the canvas
- Attach the 5/8″ dowels to the sides of the 1.25″ dowels
- Drill holes through the ends of the 1.25″ dowels and thread the strong rope through them, securing them in place with a knot.
- Attach the ropes to a spreader bar above the chair
- Hang the chair from a tree or a ceiling joist on the porch
These DIY outdoor furniture projects will let you design, customize, and build nearly anything you want to make your outdoor space as useful and versatile as your indoor space. With so many great, easy, versatile DIY outdoor furniture projects, there’s no reason to not start making your outdoor dream space today.
You can make your own table, seats, benches, storage, even your favorite bed or napping spots. These are also great projects for practicing and growing your DIY skills, so feel free to use your imagination and challenge yourself with more complex projects over time.