How to Make a Wooden Bench from Just 2 Boards

Updated: June 13, 2021

Come learn how to make a wooden bench. This simple build requires just two boards (2x8x8′) and takes less than an hour!

More to build using structural lumber:  How to build space-saving benches for a small deck  –  How to build a hexagon planter  –  How to build a garden arbor/wedding arch

How to Make a Wooden Bench

from just Two Boards

By Crystal at The Weathered Fox

I love a good structural lumber tutorial because the material is generally inexpensive and easy to find. 

The gray, distressed paint, the rough wood, and the cathedral style/gothic arch legs on this bench make it the perfect for a wedding or to add to any garden or porch! 

See more DIY ideas for an outdoor wedding.

So, let me show you how to make a wooden bench for yourself! 

This post contains affiliate links. Read our full disclosure here.

Materials needed

Cut List

  • 4 – 2x8x18″ – cut two from each board (Yes, that’s it!)

Step 1: Cut

Cut two 18-inch pieces from each board (4 total 18-inch boards for the legs). The remaining boards will be the seat. These cuts are easily made with a miter saw or circular saw. Or, make it even easier and have the hardware store cut the boards for you.

How to make a wooden bench, Easy Outdoor Farmhouse Bench The Weathered Fox 11

Step 2: Create a Pattern for Leg Openings

Create a pattern so both legs will match. Using a scrap of cardboard, draw one half of the opening you wish to have on the legs.

To match mine, draw a half arch that is about 13 inches at its peak and about 5 inches wide at the base.

How to make a wooden bench, template for curved legs, Easy Outdoor Farmhouse Bench The Weathered Fox 13

Trace the pattern onto each leg.

How to make a wooden bench with arched legs from 2 boards - trace leg template

 

Step 3: Cut the Leg Openings

Using a jigsaw, carefully cut along your marked path.

Cut leg shapes, How to make a wooden bench, Easy Outdoor Farmhouse Bench The Weathered Fox 12

 

You can sand out any imperfections now or wait until after the bench is assembled.

Sand leg arches, How to make a wooden bench, Easy Outdoor Farmhouse Bench The Weathered Fox 18

 

Step 4: Assemble Each Leg

Lay the leg pieces out as they’ll be on the finished bench.

a. Add 4 pocket holes to one piece of each leg using a Kreg Jig or other pocket hole system, as shown below (and according to product instructions).

use pocket holes to attach leg arches together, How to make a wooden bench farmhouse style

drill pocket holes on 2x6 bench legs, How to make a wooden bench farmhouse outdoor bench

 

(It may have been overkill to add as many as we did, but we wanted it to be sturdy!)

pocket holes to join legs, How to make a wooden bench

b. Add a line of construction adhesive where the two leg pieces will be joined.

construction adhesive to attach outdoor bench legs, How to make a wooden bench

c. Clamp the two leg parts together.

how to make an Easy Outdoor Farmhouse Bench The Weathered Fox 10

d. Wipe any excess adhesive from the joints. Easy Outdoor Farmhouse Bench The Weathered Fox 19

e. Drive the Kreg screws through the pocket holes.

attach curved legs with pocket holes, How to make a wooden bench

Repeat the steps to create the other leg. (The same steps will be repeated to create the seat and attach the legs to the seat: drill pocket holes, apply adhesive, clamp, insert screws)

Step 5: Create the Seat

Inspect the long boards and choose which surfaces will be best for the top of the seat.

Turn the boards over and drill pocket holes 6 inches apart along the length of one the boards.

make the bench seat, How to make a wooden bench from 2 boards, step 5

Apply adhesive, clamp the boards together, then put in the screws. how to build an Easy Outdoor Farmhouse Bench The Weathered Fox on Remodelaholic

Step 6: Attach the Legs to the Seat

Measure and mark 7 inches from the end on the underside of the seat on both the left and right sides.

Then, with the pocket holes facing to the inside, attach your legs using the same process: create pocket holes, add adhesive, clamp into place…

attach legs to seat, step 7 Easy Outdoor Farmhouse Bench The Weathered Fox 9

…and join with screws. Easy Outdoor Farmhouse Bench The Weathered Fox 8

Step 7: Sand and Wait

Sand the entire bench to your liking. Wait for the adhesive to dry before moving on to the finish. how to make an Outdoor Bench, The Weathered Fox on Remodelaholic

Planning to paint your bench a light color? Don’t let the knot holes bleed through! See How to Permanently Cover Knot Holes

Step 8: Choose your finish!

For our bench, I went with a chalk style paint in a light gray.

I painted one coat, varying the thickness of the coat to create a distressed finish. In some areas I painted on an opaque coat, in other areas I used a drybrush technique to very lightly apply the paint just to the high areas of the wood.

Easy Farmhouse Bench For Remodelaholic

 

Once the paint was dry, I rubbed in a bit of a weathered wood stain all over the surface. This pulled out the grain of the wood, but also gave a bit of age to the color of the paint.

For this technique, you don’t want to have too much stain on your paper towel, a little goes a long way! And rub it in sort of like you would a wax. You don’t want any extra stain left over on the surface.

Easy Farmhouse Bench Rubbing In Stain

More finish ideas:  5 Ways to Paint Wood Furniture  –  How to Color Wash Unfinished Wood  –
How to achieve Restoration Hardware weathered oak finish

Step 9: Apply Sealer

Once your stain has dried, apply an outdoor sealer to the bench if you’re using it outdoors. If you intend to use it inside, a water-based poly will do just fine.

Two to three coats of the outdoor sealer will make sure your bench lasts for years. Allow the sealer to dry completely and you’re done!

Easy Farmhouse Bench Spraying All Weather Poly

 

I love having my bench in my garden!

Easy Farmhouse Bench From Inexpensive Lumber Remodelaholic The Weathered Fox 3

It makes for an inspiring place to sit, have a cup of coffee, and listen to the birds chirping. I think this easy wooden bench fits right in!

Easy Farmhouse Bench From Inexpensive Lumber Remodelaholic The Weathered Fox 5

 

If you love this easy farmhouse bench, I’d love for you to head over to my blog, The Weathered Fox, for more, such as my farmhouse bathroom remodel and my thrifted candlestick makeover!

More from Crystal: how to build an easy rustic wall rack and how to turn a thrifted chandelier into a farmhouse-style chandelier with just some paint!

More Benches to Build:

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DIY Wooden Bench With Gothic Arch Legs By The Weathered Fox On RemodelaholicOriginally published 07.05.2017 // Updated 04.21.2021

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About Crystal Fox