Saturday, 26 July 2014

How To make A Garden Bench

As we enjoy this glorious summer our previously unused gardens become a focal point for entertaining and relaxing and if you have even a small gathering providing enough garden chairs can be a problem. The inexpensive end of garden furniture tends to be an ugly plastic style free zone while stylish wood or metal seats can be wildly expensive.  Let me show you how to make a fabulous garden bench, which will be a lovely addition to your decking or lawn, look a million dollars but cost only pounds to make.

You will need:
Three old dining Chairs. Two of which need to be the same and all of which need to be the same height. They can be either wood or metal. I found three discarded metal dining chairs at the local tip, they had seen better days but I knew they would be perfect.
Some wood to create the seat. These can be old floorboards or sleepers (ensure they haven’t got any old coatings on as these can be toxic) or in my case I found an old cupboard door, also at the tip, which was the perfect width and length. These need to be cut so they are the same length as the three dining chairs put together and the width should be just over the width of the dining chair seat.
A drill
A Screwdriver
A pencil
A dustpan brush
Exterior Metal or wood paint
Stanley knife

Step One
Clean down the metal or wood frames of your chairs with your brush. If they are particularly dirty wash them down with sugar soap. Use your knife to cut through the foam padding of the existing seat and then use your screwdriver to remove the wood base. You will just be left with the wooden or metal frame.

Step Two
Paint your chair frame. I chose white metal paint, as I wanted the bench to look bright and clean. You will probably need two coats.

Step Three
Undercoat the wood, which will form the seat of your bench. I usually favour white. Undercoat may seem like a waste of time but it is really vital when painting items, which will be out in the elements. The undercoated layer ensures your coloured paint adheres properly to the surface and will cut down on flaking, it will also ensure your colours go on really evenly and look bright and fresh and is also very forgiving if you use inexpensive paint.

Step Four

Once your undercoat is dry apply your coloured wood paint. Using two contrasting colours is a great trick for making the bench look quite vintage in flavour. Ice cream colours work particularly well and weather really nicely too, if you have three boards you can even go for classic red, white and blue union jack chic  .I used a pink decking paint and an egg shell blue exterior paint as I wanted my bench to have a sea side feel to it as I was quite inspired by some beach huts I had seen on a recent trip to South Wales.

Step Five
Your chairs should already have holes from where the previous seats were fixed. Use these as a guide to where you will fix the wooden board. Mark the board with a pencil and then drill holes in it so it can be attached to the chairs.

Step Six
Place the board on the three chairs and from underneath. Use your screwdriver to fix the board to the chairs. The chairs themselves will be held together by virtue of the board being attached so need no further reinforcing

Step Seven
Sit on your bench with a cup of tea and enjoy the lovely feeling of accomplishment, which comes from making something both beautiful and functional out of items, which were deemed junk.

If you enjoyed this I have plenty of other craft projects over on my crafts page
*Disclaimer- I bear no responsibility for any craft related injuries you might receive in the pursuit of handmade loveliness. As with any craft or DIY project the reader undertakes it at their own risk.
All Photos by Nicky Rockets

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