Build your own DIY Outdoor Storage Bench:
Our backyard ends up looking like any other room in our house once my boys take over. TOYS EVERYWHERE!
So when I signed up for the third Instagram Builders Challenge I was excited to see that we were building a bench following plans by Ana White. YAY!
This is a piece of furniture I could really use and it’s by my favorite woodworking blogger ever!
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The contest expects you to follow the plans but make personal modifications. Since I am desperate for toy storage in the yard it was a simple decision. My change would be the addition of storage.
Since most of the builds I have made in the past have been me following a plan or tutorial of some kind this one took me a while to complete. I made many mistakes along the way and had to go back often to make changes. BUT this DIY outdoor storage bench was so worth the build!
Below I have added my adjustments to make my DIY outdoor storage bench:
First I followed the plans, cutting all the wood needed for the original bench (minus the X’s & bench seat top).
Then I made a second “seat” to be added as the bottom of the storage box.
Attach the base of the toy box 1 1/2 inches from the bottom of the legs. Then add the seat following the original design plan.
Then attach the front legs.
The mistake I made was adding my seat braces early. This made it hard to install the plywood inside the bench. I managed to fit the plywood in through the sides but I recommend holding off on the top seat braces until the toy storage plywood walls are added.
Before adding the arm rests or plywood add 2 by 4’s inside each of the four legs.
This makes the plywood that will be added look flush against the legs.
Once the frame is complete add the plywood to create the toy box. Measure the inside walls to come up with the dimensions needed.
Start with the sides, then bottom and finally the back. I screwed these all in from the inside. When buying plywood for an outdoor project make sure to find the kind that is treated specially for outdoors.
Keep the front piece of plywood inside the bin for staining but don’t attach it yet as you will need it out of the way when you add the front crosses as well as staining them.
The last step before adding the arms is to put a board along the underside of the arms so when the storage lid is shut it is flush with the bench top.
Then finally add those arms and three braces to hold up the seat.
With the frame completed and the plywood added it’s time for the lid/seat.
Using a Kreg Jig put all five boards together for the seat. Make sure these boards are flat. I had two that had a slight arch to them and I cursed a lot making these two boards work. I probably should have just gone back to the store but I was on a time crunch people!
It’s coming together! Time for the pretty part:
Adding the X’s!
I am still a beginner when it comes to building and these X’s made me sweat.
These X’s were cut at 45 and degree angles to create the X’s needed to fit into the front and top.
The original building plan calls for large X’s that fit the three squares in the back of the bench. However I wanted my crosses all to be the same size so I made all six match and added cross bars in the back to create a finished look.
Next is wood filler and sanding…not much for pictures on this step, pretty self explanatory.
Time for stain! Again, since I was on a time crunch I found this 3X stain by Varathane and I have to say it was FANTASTIC! Nice and thick but when wiped away after three minutes of sitting on the wood you could still see some wood grain left behind.
Once this bench is stained add three coats of outdoor polyurethane in clear. This will protect the wood and help the bench last much longer outdoors.
After everything is dry it’s time to add the storage lid with Rust Resistant Hinges.
I am so glad I was able to have this build completed just as the snow melted away.
Now to teach the boys how to keep a neat and tidy yard by using my DIY outdoor storage bench.
Everything has it’s place, right?!
Another great big thank-you to the hosts of this Instagram Builders Challenge: @desertwoodwrks, @toolboxdivas, and @customgrowthcharts_andmore_ along with the judges: @anawhitediy and @chipwade as well as all the sponsors for making this challenge possible: @ryobipowertools, @spax_usa, @dapproducts, @osbornewoodwork, @besseytools_na and more!