DIY Corner Bench with Storage and Seating

Article Posted By: Caitlin Ketcham

of Desert Domicile

DIY Corner Bench with Storage and Seating

This corner bench is a custom-made feature in the amazing backyard makeover designed by Caitlin Ketcham, author of the blog Desert Domicile. Take a look at Caitlin’s low maintenance backyard to see how this built-in bench and fire pit lounge fits into the overall backyard design.

The bench provides plenty of seating for enjoying the fire pit. Caitlin even included flower planters in each end of the L-shaped bench.

The Home Depot helped her with building this corner bench, as well as some of the other larger projects in her backyard makeover, including the floating deck, a beautiful slatted outdoor privacy screen and artificial grass installation.  (Seriously. You should take a moment to see all the amazing features of this backyard.)

Here’s Caitlin’s tutorial explaining how you can build an outdoor bench like this in your backyard.

DIY Corner Storage Bench

When I was envisioning what I wanted in our backyard, I knew I wanted to include a fire pit/lounge area. I love making s’mores while chatting with friends, and I also love spending time outside at night stargazing.

Because I was tucking the space into the corner of our yard, I had to get creative with seating and storage options. I wanted to include as much seating as possible, but chairs can get expensive and depending on how large they are, they can take up a lot of space. I came up with the idea of an L-shaped corner bench with storage that would have planters built-in on either end!

Moodboard planning for a fire pit lounge with a built-in corner bench

I wasn’t sure of how it would look with everything else in our yard so I put together a moodboard, as seen above. My original plans changed a little bit but the end result is still in line with what I was dreaming of!

The Home Depot brought in some contractors to build this outdoor bench for me, and they worked their magic to turn my dream bench into a reality!

Here’s how they made it happen.


Tools Needed

Materials Needed

That’s the Mondavi 36 in. Envirostone Round Propane Fire Pit you see in this fire pit lounge.

Lumber Used for This Bench

Consulting schematic for DIY corner bench project


Step 1 – Determine bench size and plot interior frame

Determine how long you want your corner bench to be. Measure out the space in your yard or sketch out the design of your bench, making notations regarding its length, depth, width and interior framework.

I wanted to create an L-shaped bench with each side measuring 10 ft. long.

Note: This tutorial will walk you through how to make one side of an L- shaped bench. Repeat the steps to make the other side.


Step 2 – Measure and mark bottom/top perimeter of frame

Use a measuring tape and pencil to mark and measure four 2 x 4 pieces of pressure treated lumber at 10 ft. long. Mark out 12 20-in.-long pieces on two 2 x 4 x 16 pieces of pressure treated lumber.

These pieces will be used for the base and top perimeter of your corner bench’s frame.

Measure and mark bottom/top perimeter of frame for built-in bench project


Step 3 – Measure and mark frame’s vertical supports

Use a measuring tape and pencil to mark and measure out 16 18-in.-long pieces on two 2 x 4 x 16 pieces of pressure treated lumber.

These pieces are the vertical boards within the frame, which give the corner bench its height.

Measure and mark frame's vertical supports for built-in outdoor bench project


Step 4 – Cut out boards for internal framework

Put on your safety goggles and ear protection. Use a compound miter saw to cut each of your wood pieces down to size. Set them aside.

Cut out boards for internal framework of DIY outdoor bench


Step 5 – Assemble base perimeter

Grab two 10 ft. pieces of pressure treated lumber and 2 20-in. pieces of pressure treated lumber.

Use a drill and decking screws to screw one 20-in. board to the end of one 10-ft. board.

Screw the other 20-in. board to the end of the 10-ft. board, and then screw the remaining 10-ft. board into the ends of the 20-in. boards.

Assembling the base perimeter of a DIY corner bench


Step 6 – Add interior supports to base perimeter

Use a drill and decking screws to screw interior supports to the base perimeter every 24 in. on center, or whatever works best for your corner bench size.

Adding interior supports to base perimeter of DIY corner bench


Step 7 – Attach vertical frame boards to base’s interior supports

Once all of your interior supports are attached, you have something to screw your vertical boards into.

Use decking screws to attach them to each corner, front and back.

Attaching vertical frame boards to base's interior supports in patio bench project

Attaching vertical frame boards to base's interior supports for DIY outdoor bench project


Step 8 – Attach top perimeter boards to those interior supports

Flip your frame over onto its side so you can attach the remaining two 10-ft. boards.

This is the start of the top of the frame.

Attaching top perimeter boards to interior supports of corner bench build-in


Step 9 – Attach top perimeter’s interior supports

Flip the frame back upright so you can attach interior supports for the top of the frame.

Use a drill and decking screws to screw the boards between the vertical boards.

Attaching top perimeter's interior supports in corner bench DIY project


Step 10 – Even up front surfaces

You’ll need to even up the front of your corner bench so you have something to screw your cladding into. Measure and mark several 2 x 4 pieces of pressure treated lumber around 12 in.

Evening up front surfaces of corner bench


Step 11 – Cut gap filler boards

Put your safety goggles and ear protection on so you can use a compound miter saw to cut each of your 12 in. boards down to size.

Cutting gap filler boards for built-in patio bench


Step 12 – Attach gap filler boards

Use a drill and decking screws to screw the filler boards you just cut into the gaps along the front of the frame so it’s flush with the base.

Now it’s time to clad the frame with your 2 x 6 decking boards!

CAITLIN-KETCHAM-(WOODEN-BENCH)-PATIO-STYLE-CHALLENGE-12A


Step 13 – Set planter inside frame

Grab one of your planters and set it inside the end of your bench’s frame.

You’ll be adding some decorative trim to the top so don’t worry if it’s not flush with the frame!


Step 14 – Repeat steps 1-13

If you’d like to make an L-shaped corner bench, repeat steps 1-13 to make the other side of the L.

Once you have both frames made, use a drill and decking screws to screw one end of your frame (the one without the planter in it) to the side of the other frame, forming a 90-degree angle.

Make sure both frames are flush and then screw them together to form an L!

Note: Complete this step BEFORE you begin cladding your bench!


Step 15 – Measure and mark decking boards

Use a measuring tape and a pencil to mark and measure your bench’s short side boards and long facing boards.

My bench’s short side boards were 2 ft. long (the depth of my bench), and my long boards were 10 ft. long (the length of my bench).

Measuring and marking decking boards


Step 16 – Cut decking boards

Grab your safety goggles and ear protection and put them on. Use a compound miter saw to cut all your decking boards.

Cutting decking boards for built-in outdoor bench project


Step 17 – Measure and mark decorative trim decking boards

Use a measuring tape and a pencil to mark and measure the decorative trim you’ll be adding to the top of your built-in planters. The trim helps hide any gaps and gives the planters a nice finishing touch!

You’ll be making a mitered picture frame, so measure eight pieces of decking board (four for each planter) at 2 ft. long (the depth of the bench).


Step 18 – Cut decorative trim boards

Grab your safety goggles and ear protection and put them on. Use a compound miter saw to cut your decorative trim decking boards.


Step 19 – Stain and seal decking boards

After all of your wood has been cut down to size, line a paint tray with a paint tray liner. Pour some exterior stain into the lined tray, grab your foam paint roller, and start staining.

Use a rag to wipe off any excess stain as you go, and don’t forget to stain the ends of the boards!

Repeat the staining process until the boards are stained to your desired darkness. Set each board aside to dry according to the time listed on your stain can/bucket.

Note: The stain I chose had a built-in sealer, so I didn’t have to seal my boards any further. If your stain doesn’t have a sealer mixed in it, seal your boards after the stain has dried.

Staining and sealing decking boards for DIY corner bench project


Step 20 – Attach decking boards (cladding)

Use a drill and decking screws to screw the 2 x 6 decking boards to the bench frame. Start on the sides and butt each piece up against each other as you go. Start facing the front of the bench, moving from the bottom to the top, ending with the seat boards.

Attaching cladding to outdoor storage bench project

Attaching cladding to DIY outdoor bench

Attaching cladding to outdoor storage bench


Step 21 – Add decorative trim to planter tops

Use a drill and decking screws to screw the 2 x 6 decking boards to the bench frame. Start on the sides and butt each piece up against each other as you go.

DIY Corner Bench with Storage and Seating

 Our new corner bench has plenty of seating and storage. It can seat a ton of people, which is perfect for entertaining! We added outdoor pillows to add some comfort to the back of the bench and plan to add a thin cushion to the top of the bench soon. I’m so in love with how cozy our new fire pit area looks tucked into the corner of our yard!

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