Backyard Decor DIY House New House Sponsored Post The Home Depot

Summer DIY Challenge with The Home Depot // The Build

August 22, 2013

summe-rdiy-challenge

This all started with a desire not to be plain and boring, and as you would have seen in last week’s post, my awesome cedar bench turned out far from plain and boring. It was the exact statement piece I wanted for our front porch. But it didn’t come easily. There was some sweat, elbow grease, and maybe even a little blood put into this project.

It all started the July long weekend. After weeks of researching, sketching, and planning we were ready to get down to business. I think we spent nearly 45 minutes picking out our cedar boards at The Home Depot. I wanted ones that had a beautiful grain, while “J” just wanted ones with no chipped edges. Yeah, we’re picky like that. We decided at that point not to get them cut in-store, but rather rent a Home Depot van to get them home. By the time we had shopped, shipped, unloaded, and returned I was itching to get started!

Cedar-Bench-Wood Cedar-Bench-supplies

This was definitely one of those projects where you have to be ok doing a repetitive task. I have the attention span of a 3 year old, so four cuts into our 48 required cuts I was about ready to bail. Twenty cuts in and I was ready to unplug the saw. By the last cut I was a twitching. At that point I realized I had to sand all 48 of those suckers! (what had I gotten myself into?)

Cedar-Bench-Measureing-Cuts Cedar-Bench-Making-Cuts

Then came the assembly. While I finished sanding all 48 pieces, “J” began assembling the planters. We decided on a modern looking planter (something that wasn’t too boxy), so we opted to stagger and alternate the boards. Down went the first two boards for the base. The next two boards were arranged on top, slathered with some Gorilla Glue, and then screwed in place. Again, a repetitive task.

Cedar-Bench-Building-Base Cedar-Bench-Gorilla-Glue Cedar-Bench-Building-Planter2 Cedar-Bench-Building-Planter

Once the planters were assembled (20 boards high each), “J” began to build the frame for the bench. With the frame built and securely attached to the two planters it was time to make a decision… Did we want an asymmetrical bench (like the one that originally inspired me), or bench that was flush all the way across? In most cases I would choose symmetry, however I wanted this to be a statement piece and have unique qualities…

Cedar-Bench-Building-Frame Cedar-Bench-Framing

So we added an additional 3 layers on the right-hand side creating a nice, raised planter. “J” even dressed it up with some perfectly cut cap pieces…

Cedar-Bench-Building-Framed

Once the build was complete I filled every single screw hole with wood fill, sanded the entire bench, and applied a coat of clear Varathane. As much as I love this bench, this is the point in the project when I swore I would never do this again. And then I had a celebratory beer.

Cedar-Bench-Bench-Boards Cedar-Bench-Finished3

// Project Breakdown \\

For those of you who are interested in the materials and cost breakdown of this project, you can find everything listed below. We choose to buy every thing new, so your total costs may vary based on what you already have on hand. Going with pine vs. cedar would also be a great option, and it would considerably lower the price of materials.

  • 15 Cedar 2×4’s (8ft long)
  • 6 Cedar 1×6’s (8ft long)
  • Gorilla Glue
  • Duragrip 8×2-1/2 Cedar Deck Screws
  • Duragrip 8×3 Cedar Deck Screws
  • 4 bags of Alexandria Moulding Hardwood 3/8 Birch Head Plugs
  • 1 package Norton MultiSand 9 inch x11 inch Sanding Sheets Fine-150 grit
  • Elmer’s Tinted Wood Filler Natural Tube
  • Varathane Diamond Wood Finish – Outdoor (Water, Satin)
  • Paint Brush
  • 2 8inch diameter clay pots
  • Ferns (or plants of your choice)
  • Potting soil
  • 3 decorative pillows
Total Project Cost $480.67

Click here to buy the project drawing & rending!

Looking for more summer DIY inspiration? Check out the other talented bloggers that took part in The Home Depot’s #SummerDIYChallenge:

Disclosure: I was provided with a gift card from The Home Depot in order purchase supplies to complete the Summer DIY Challenge.

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21 Comments

  • Reply Don March 30, 2014 at 11:12 pm

    Do you have any dimensions you could add? Like overall length, the width & depth of the planters? I would love to make one but just can't figure these things out.

  • Reply Amanda April 11, 2014 at 7:32 pm

    Want to make this but I think I'll recycle pallets for the wood to keep the cost down. Great job

  • Reply Britt April 11, 2014 at 7:33 pm

    Great thinking Amanda! Good luck with your project!

  • Reply MultiTestingMom May 14, 2014 at 4:42 pm

    This looks BEAUTIFUL!

  • Reply Darla Graham June 23, 2014 at 4:50 am

    Are the pots suspended by the edge of the planter
    or do you have something under them to get them off the ground?

  • Reply Britt June 23, 2014 at 11:01 am

    Great question Darla! We secured a 2×4 in place on the inside of the planter so the planter sits on top of that. We did have a larger pot that was suspended by the edges of the planter, however we thought it looked better having the planter "invisible."

  • Reply Amy @ Amy Krist June 27, 2014 at 3:46 am

    Gorgeous and it looks pretty painless to build [I'm sure I'll eat my words]. I just love this and you've inspired me to make one.

  • Reply Tara VanThomme July 28, 2014 at 3:15 am

    Hey! I was wondering what length to cut the 2x4s? The ones you stack 🙂 and also, how do you make the bench part?

  • Reply Britt July 28, 2014 at 4:17 pm

    Hi Tara, thanks for stopping by! The 2×4's on this bench were cut to 15 inches. As for specific directions on how to build the bench, I do not have them at the moment. I am working on a engineered drawing for download, and it should be available in the coming weeks! Cheers!

  • Reply Alan August 13, 2014 at 5:50 pm

    This is a very impressive piece. What's your climate like? I'm in Ireland, and not sure it would survive the weather too long. Will study the drawings when available.

  • Reply Britt August 14, 2014 at 12:58 pm

    Hi Alan, thanks for you kind words. The climate here in Ontario, Canada is pretty much a muck of everything – humidity, rain, really hot, really cold. We have a saying here: just wait 10 minutes. Sometimes you can experience, what feels like, all our seasons in one day.

    That said, I have had the bench out on our front porch for almost a year now – through sun, wind, rain, and a very cold winter, and it has done just fine. Cedar tends to stand up to weather better! Stay tuned for the drawings!

  • Reply James Groover October 1, 2014 at 2:09 am

    Working on the 3D, Sketchup design right now, putting the seat area at 48 inches wide for maximum seating potential. Give me a day or so to fix some things I will post a link then.

  • Reply DeAndra Young April 9, 2015 at 7:24 pm

    Do you have the specific dimensions or engineering drawing? I would love to make this over the weekend

  • Reply kaleb April 28, 2015 at 4:19 pm

    You said the 2×4s are 15 inches but if the boards on top are the 1×6s then they would need to be 18 inches not 15

  • Reply Darrell Hamlin May 6, 2015 at 12:54 pm

    We can't figure out how to attach the bench to the two stands. Bought the blueprints but they were of no help.

  • Reply Britt Stager May 8, 2015 at 11:49 pm

    Hi Darrell, I'm sorry you didn't find the rending + materials list helpful. I'd like to help you as much a possible get your bench built to your satisfaction. The two stands were attached to the horizontal bench frame with screws on the inside of the frame in a slanted fashion. This is known as toenailing. It also keeps the screws hidden. 6-8 screws were used (toenailed) to attach the frame to the towers. Hope that helps clarify! If you need anything else please let me know!

  • Reply Adam Ries August 13, 2015 at 1:00 am

    I just started this today and hope to finish tomorrow. How did you do the cut out at the top where the shorter planter and the bench meet?

  • Reply Britt Stager August 13, 2015 at 5:19 am

    Hi Adam! Thanks for so much for downloading the plans for the bench! The planter hole on the short side of the bench was easy to cut out. Simply stage the boards as though you are attaching them and using a square tool draw a square that will accommodate a planter. Remove each board and using a jigsaw cut out the square. The middle board will obviously need to be cut right out, while the two side boards will require more of a notch type cut. When you stage the bench boards on top you'll be able to clearly see the planter hole. At this time I advise you try inserting your planter to make sure the hole is large enough. If not, take the time to make more cuts, shaving off an inch or so as necessary. Once your are satisfied, attach the boards to the frame with screws. I hope that answers your question and doesn't seem too overly complicated. It's actually quite simple! Let me know if you need any more guidance!!! Good luck tomorrow!

  • Reply Adam Ries August 13, 2015 at 9:00 am

    Ah. That explains it! Thanks. I'm new to this, but it is quickly becoming my new obsession. One more question: how deep did you place the boards that the planters rest upon (#7 and #8) and how were they fastened?

  • Reply William Daughtry October 2, 2015 at 2:35 am

    We just finished our bench inspired by your blog. We stained it dark and added lighting. Also made it into an L shape to fit as a corner bench. Would love to send you pictures. Thanks for the inspiration!

  • Reply Brianna Connelly February 10, 2017 at 7:25 pm

    making this! love your blog 🙂

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