This is a simple to build, easy rustic DIY seating bench that is perfect for the beginner DIYer or anyone who wishes to add a nice rustic touch to their home decor!
This DIY bench can be used outdoors, in the garden, in your garage, or even as a hallway bench in your home.
What Finish Should You Use for your DIY Seating Bench?
You can use this bench anywhere you’d like and you can put any kind of finish on this bench you wish. You can get creative with painting or staining!
Simply applying a nice wipe on poly will keep the natural wood protected for indoor finished.
You should consider using an exterior finish if you’re going to use the bench in an outdoor environment, like on your porch.
Whichever way you go, this bench is super easy and you only need three boards to build it!
DIY Bench For Mudroom
This bench is a great option for your mudroom. Because it is easy to build and with a nice coat of poly, you’ll have a durable piece of furniture that will last for many years to come.
Because it’s made with 4×4 legs, it will hold up to everyday use in the mudroom.
Whether it’s kicking off your boots in the winter, or putting on your Sunday dress shoes, this DIY seating bench will do the trick!
DIY Seating Bench
- Kreg Jig
- Miter Saw
- RYOBI Cordless Drill (brand optional) but I LOVE my RYOBI!
- Orbital Sander
- One – 8ft 4×4
- One – 12ft 2×8
- One – 12ft 2×4
- 2-inch Kreg Pocket Hole Screws
- Wipe on poly (for interior use) or outdoor wood finish
Rustic DIY Seating Bench
Now that you know what you’ll need for materials and tools, let’s get busy building a seating bench for your home!
Make your cuts:
- Legs: cut 4×4 into four 17 inch legs
- Aprons: cut 2×4 into two 6 inch pieces and two 55 inch pieces.
- Seat: cut 2x8s into two 50 inch pieces and two 14″ pieces
Make sure to sand all the leg and apron pieces with your orbital sander.
The Bench Frame
First, on the 6 inch pieces of 2×4, using the Kreg Jig, drill two holes facing opposite directions, one on each end. See photo for positioning.
Next, attach these aprons to your bench legs using pocket hole screws. Repeat for the remaining two legs.
When installing these aprons, line up the 2×4 so it’s centered on the 4×4 (aprox. 1 inch from the edge).
Then, using the Kreg Jig, drill two holes on each end of your 55 inch apron boards, for a total of 4 pocket holes in each apron.
You’ll want to line up the long aprons along the outside edge of the 4x4s and attach to the leg frames made in the previous step using pocket hole screws.
Like above, attach so the pocket holes are on the inside when building the frame.
The next step, attach the longer aprons to the end leg pieces using pocket hole screws. See photo for how our rustic bench frame should look at this stage.
Creating The DIY Bench Seat
First, on your 50 inch 2×8 boards, you will drill 5 pocket holes with your Kreg Jig at about 8 inches apart on one side of the seating board and 5 pocket holes staggered on the other seating board. See the photo for reference.
Then, connect the boards with pocket hole screws.
Pro tip: Use a flat surface or table while connecting bench boards to assure the seat is level and comfortable!
After you have connected both of the long bench boards together, use your Kreg Jig to drill 2 holes in each of the smaller 2×8 pieces. All 4 holes go on one side as shown in the photo.
The last step for the bench seat is to attach the smaller boards to the end of the already attached longer boards, one on each end, using pocket hole screws.
Your bench seat should be completely assembled at this point. Next, we’ll attach the seat to the frame.
Attach Rustic DIY Bench Seat to Frame
Unlike me, you can plan ahead and drill 6 pocket holes through each long apron, towards the top of the bench, or you can wait until this step and do it on the fly.
Yes, sometimes I do things a little backward when I’m creating stuff off-the-cuff.
First, drill the holes with the frame upside down so the screws are able to attach the bench to the top of the frame. Make sure to space the pocket holes about 8 inches apart. Then, use pocket hole screws to attach the frame to the bench seat as seen in the photo below.
Rustic DIY Bench Finish Coat
Lastly, add a few coats of clear satin wipe on poly to your bench if you’re going to be using it indoors.
Otherwise, paint or stain it to your liking with an exterior finish.
This DIY seating bench will be a great addition to your home’s decor.
The finished dimensions are 64.5 inches long and 14.5 inches wide.
It’s an easy rustic DIY bench that can be finished any way you like to fit your home decor.
Rustic DIY Seating Bench – Reader Submission
I’ve had a lot of comments and messages about this bench and so happy that so many of you love it.
One reader, Andrew and his 10-year-old son made this bench using mostly scrap wood.
However, they used pressure treated lumber for the legs and pine for the rest. But it all looks great!
Applying an exterior oil-based paint to the legs and apron and finishing it off with stain and varnish for the bench seat.
Beautiful work, well done!
Where will you use this DIY bench?
- Kreg Jig
- Miter Saw
- RYOBI Cordless Drill (brand optional) but I LOVE my RYOBI!
- Orbital Sander
- 1 8ft 4×4
- 1 12ft 2×8
- 1 12ft 2×4
- 2 ½ inch Kreg Pocket Hole Screws
- Wipe on poly for interior use or choose an outdoor wood finish
- Begin by cutting your 4×4 into 17 inch legs. You will need 4 pieces of wood at this length, total.
- Sand all 4 legs thoroughly.
- Next, you will need to cut the aprons (shown in photo). These are made from the 2x4s. You will need two pieces at 55 inches each and two pieces at 6 inches each. Sanding is optional for the aprons.
- On the 6 inch pieces of 2×4, using the kreg jig, drill two holes facing opposite directions, one on each end. See photo for positioning.
- Attach your legs by using these holes. Repeat the same thing for the other two legs.
- Now, using the kreg jig and your longer apron pieces, drill two holes on each end of your boards in the same position as you did for the smaller pieces. You will just have two more holes than the smaller pieces.
- Now, attach the longer aprons to the four legs to make the bottom portion of the bench come together. See photo for how it should look at this point.
- Next, you will need to cut two pieces from your 2×8 piece of wood that are 50 inches each in length.
- Now cut two pieces from the 2×8 that are 14 ½ inches in length each.
- You will place 4-5 kreg jig holes about 8 inches apart on one side of both boards. Make sure and stagger your holes just enough that they will not collide when connecting your two boards. See photo if there is any confusion.
- After you have connected both of the long pieces, use your kreg jig to drill 4 holes total on the bottom of the smaller 2×8 pieces. All 4 holes go on one side as shown in photo.
- Attach the smaller boards to the end of the already attached longer boards, one on each end.
- Now your top should be finished so it’s time to attach the top to the frame.
- Drill 6 kreg jig holes through each long apron. This is done easiest when the frame is upside-down. Space them about 8 inches apart and use these to attach your top. Use the photo for positioning if there is any confusion.
- Voila, you have yourself an easy bench! You can easily stain it or add shellac to pull out the wood patterns. Make sure to give it a good sanding if need be.
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Sounds like you’ve got a fun project there. I would suggest making the entire bench wider because as you increase in height, it will get more wobbly. This bench wasn’t designed to be that tall. However, if you were to carry on an modify this design, I would suggest taking the two 6″ 2×4 apron cuts and making them 9″ long. Cut the legs to 25-1/2″, and use two 2×10 boards for the seat. I would also suggest adding additional bracing near the bottom of the legs, similar to the apron cuts that are just beneath the seat. Hope that helps!
We are looking to make a bench for our bar counter in our outdoor kitchen. Our current seat height of the stools are 27″ tall. We would like the same length and maybe a few inches wider on the seat. Maybe 16″ wide or so. What would you recommend for the seat boards and the length I should cut the 4×4 for the legs? Thank you in advance
I believe I used the 1 and 1/2 inch setting for all of the boards. The setting on the Kreg jig corresponds to the thickness of the wood you’re using. So measure the wood and use that thickness as your setting. I hope that helps!
What did you have the keg jig set at?
Thanks for the help.
The finished dimensions are 64.5″ long and 14.5″ wide. Of course you can always make it longer or shorter depending on your needs.
What are the finished dimensions of this bench. We are looking to make outdoor benches for seating at a wedding venue and this looks perfect.
Sounds like you did a great job and have a little more room on your bench with the 2x10s! I’m glad it worked out nicely for you, enjoy!!
We must have purchased a 2 x 10 instead of the 2 x 8 for the bench seat. The end pieces we not wide enough. We just cut new ones. Explains why the bench ended up so heavy! It is perfect for my front sitting area where I like to watch lightening off in the distance from! Thank you!
She may have to set the depth properly on her Kreg Jig, too.
Great bench design. My 10 year old son and I made it from mostly scrap. Treated 4×4 legs for rot resistance and yellow pine everywhere else. Painted the legs and apron with exterior oil-based paint and stain and spar varnish on seat. It’s the centerpiece of our front porch now! Wish I could post a picture in the comment.
Awesome! We love using up scrap wood for projects too. So happy to hear your bench came out great!
Made this bench! I tweaked it a little so we could use the scrap wood we already had. (I used 2x4s for the seat). Our only problem was getting the short aprons in. We ended up having to move the aprons to be flush with edge of the legs. Oh! And the end pieces of the seat didn’t lay flat for some reason so we ended up putting a wood screw from the seat into each leg and it fixed the problem. It still looks great! I stained the top And painted the legs and aprons antique white. It’s great!!
Thanks Andrew! It’s a great little bench!!
Hi Mark, they are 2×8 boards. Thanks for catching that typo, surprised no one called me out on it before 🙂 haha The 2×8 boards (with a true width of 7.25 from the lumber yard) side by side create the 14½” wide bench, which align with the 14½ end boards. Thanks!
Your cut list indicates 2×8” and then the assembly instructions show 2x 6”. Therefore the 14 1/2” end will be too narrow. Please advise is you’re using 2×6 or 2×8 bench width. The bench end pieces OR the bench stick would need to be corrected.
Hi John, Great question. I wouldn’t use pressure treated for seating as it has chemicals in it and a splinter can cause serious reactions. I’d look for cedar or redwood boards at your local lumberyard and use a good outdoor sealer intended for furniture. Hope that helps!
For outdoor bench should I be using treated wood?
Sorry to hear you had the same issue, Wesley. The dowel joint is a great solution!!
I had the same problem. The chuck of the drill was hitting the 4×4. I tried 3 different drills, one of which was made for narrow spaces, as well as 3 different bits, a short, medium and long lengths. Nothing would pass the 4×4, so I used a dowel joint on that side instead of the kreg.
Hi Jill! So sorry you had troubles making your bench. Are you using the Kreg Pocket Jig drill bit? It was long enough for us to drill in the screws. Hmmm I wonder if they made different length drill bits and that’s what is causing the drill to come up short of making the screws tight. Another option would be regular screws and a hand drill or screw driver to tighten them. Wish I could be more help!
So…I had a problem with the screws not going in snug because drill would hit the 4×4, and it wasn’t really tight. How do I make this easier? It seems I would need a longer driver and 2 holes on each end. This is one the simple easy diy seating bench.
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