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simple bench made from 2×4’s




reclaimed lumber


Just to refresh your memory . . . this is the lumber I used.





The only lumber that was salvageable were the vertical 2×4’s that made up the spindles. See those thin little horizontal pieces? Those were put up by moi a couple of years ago to keep this little fella in–




I think he’s already figured out that he can’t escape the new deck!





This is the simple construction of these little benches. I made a box as long as the longest board.  I made the end pieces so that the benches would be about 14 inches wide.




The little scrap piece at the end is a guide. I made the bench so that it would have an overhang the width of a 2×4 thickness. While I had my box laid out, I put a 2×4 on each of the 4 sides to measure to see if everything was going to fit correctly.




I cut the seat slats 11 inches long.  You can see here that it is resting on the scrap piece. I was very fortunate that I did not have to rip any of the slats. I did not take a table saw and I didn’t really want to use Handy Graham’s saw that is kept in Jamie’s garage.




It was very hot, and I am so accustomed to working in the yard, so that is how I worked at Jamie’s too. I didn’t have an extra table, so I just put the saw on the ground. Jamie took these photos.




I constructed the box with screws and glue. I also used glue and screws on the inside brace pieces. I didn’t use a countersink bit because typically 2×4’s are soft enough to sink the screws. However I did make pilot holes for EVERY screw. The wood was brittle and I didn’t want to take any chances of splitting it. That is why you see 2 drills. One was manned with a drill bit, the other with a screw bit. That makes things go so much faster. If you only  have one drill, I suggest investing in a second one. Pawn shops are great places to shop for small power tools.


Meanwhile, Jamie left and I didn’t take anymore pictures of the construction process.


100_8538I attached all the slats first. I screwed the end one on, then used glue and my nail gun to attach the rest of the slats. When I got to the last one (the other end) I used screws again. Being away from home, I didn’t have a good supply of screws, and I was afraid I would run out.



After attaching all the slats, I worked on the side pieces to box in the slats.


Because I used the longest board to make the box, when it came time to “box” the slats in, I didn’t have a board long enough to have “overhang”.  Handy Graham used this type of system to connect the top rails of the deck. So I decided to give it a try. I made a 45 degree cut on two boards. Then on one board I made the straight cut. After I had that laid out, I then measured where the other straight cut needed to be made on the other board. These boards laid directly on top of the outside board (of the box).  That means they overhang the thickness of a 2×4 all the way around. I used screws on these boards also.


DSC01791 After I added both side boards, I attached the legs.  Because there is an overhang, the legs fit perfectly under the side boards. I used screws on the legs. These benches are VERY heavy. I can move one by myself, but to carry one from the very back of her yard to the deck was nearly impossible to do by myself!


2x4 table


I am not a math whiz! I came up with the simplest way to make this table!  Jamie wanted it to be a square, the same size as the bench. I cut enough boards to make it that size. Then imagine  laying all of those boards down  on a table (upside down), laying those small scraps on each of the four sides. That is what I did, then I measured the inside dimensions to figure out what size box I needed to make. Remember, I needed the overhang to allow the legs to fit perfectly on each side. This table would have been made so quickly had it not been for a sudden downpour. It delayed me for a couple of hours, forcing me to finish the construction inside the garage.


2x4 bench
As I mentioned yesterday, the wood had some rough places.  Jamie used my orbital sander to smooth them out some. I love the way these benches and that little table turned out! Blue is my favorite color, and I love how aged they look. I also love the fact that she now has some of her original deck. Of course we did not build the original deck, it was there when she bought the house.

We built the deck on Saturday, and I made these benches on Sunday. Monday (Memorial Day) we went to Andy’s mom’s (Phyllis)  for a cookout. It was her birthday!  Monday evening after the cookout we added the lattice to the bottom of the deck.  All in all it was a fabulous weekend! I love it when I get to  visit Jamie and help her improve her home. Louie was very excited to see his momma!



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A teacher at heart, Gail relishes the chance not to show off her projects, but to help others find their inner handywoman, step-by-step. Her blog, MyRepurposedLife.com, chronicles her scrap-saving adventures and has been featured on countless DIY magazines and websites, including Women’s Day, Design*Sponge and Apartment Therapy. She is a longtime influencer for both Krylon spray paint and Gorrilla Glue. With a tribe of more than 400,000 followers, Gail is inspiring a new generation of DIYers to pick up some tools and get to work.
About gail@myrepurposedlife.com


    Speak Your Mind


  1. Javier Reza says:

    Excelent idea thank you for sharing , If you add a small chamfer in the bottom of the legs it will help to prevent tear out

  2. Wow Gail – way to make those scraps into great. I love the benches!

  3. Wow Gail! Way to clean up the wood pile :)

  4. Very thorough tutorial! Can’t wait to try this…like Donna…got some pallet wood ready to go!

  5. girlfromwva says:

    looks so nice!!!! great how to’s!

  6. Love these and thanks for the great tutorial! Quick question–What size and type screws did you use?

    • gail@myrepurposedlife.net says:


      I almost always use drywall screws, which wouldn’t be the best choice for these outdoor benches. So I would go with deck screws, 2.5 inches, countersinking the screws slightly to get more bite into the second board.
      Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to leave a comment.

  7. Just a thought about not having two drills….you can also buy a drill/bit to do the job of two drills. They are so easy to use, I use them all the time and it saves a bunch of time.

  8. Ooo!! Looks great and easy, thanks for the How-To!

  9. I love this bench, it looks like its a very solid one. I may have to try making one this summer. WONDERFUL

  10. Came across your blog when looking for picture ideas for 2 x 4 furniture. This is awesome! You have definitely inspired me! I will have to check back often.

  11. That is SO awesome!! 😀 I just made myself a bench for the pool area, and I love it, but I think I could DEF find a use for another bench like that one! 😀

  12. Amazing job on the benches! I just love the color! Congrats on all your features this week, this project was certainly worthy. Wonderful project.

  13. these came out so beautifully! what an amazing job. i love how aged they look.

  14. Hey, I found you over at Someday Crafts…I love your little benches! I laughed as I started to read your post because I have a HUGE pile of wood just like that in MY backyard. SO FUN! I can’t wait to try something like this. Thanks for the idea.

    Jennie @ Cinnaberry Suite

  15. This is awesome! I love the color! I am featuring this at somedaycrafts.blogspot.com

  16. Great carpenter work, love the benches.

  17. I totally wanna work alongside you. What a riot that would be! I need to go reread this again VERY SLOW to let it sink in. I found a ton of old palette wood I need a good use for… hmm.. :)

    Thanks for linking up to SNS!

  18. Its really great that you can find ways to use old wood…saving so much money and still get to enjoy your hobby makeing useful items….your good. Trish

  19. Great job Gail! Way to recycle! The color really is fantastic and the sanding is perfect!
    PS The mouthwash tips are great!

  20. Great reuse of those old boards. The bench looks so good. And the blue is so pretty!

  21. Love it. That looks so cute.

  22. Fabulous green project! And I love the color!

  23. How am I ever supposed to remember all these great ideas you put on the bottom? I just called my daughter and told her that she needs listerine. She wanted to know how I could smell her breath over the phone. LOL

  24. That’s definitely a great use for that old ,otherwise destined to landfill,wood. I love the blue! That’s a great job.

  25. I LOVE the bench – and I’m going to buy some listerine!!!

    Have a wonderful week-end!!!

    😀 robelyn

  26. love the bench, and the way the blue paint looks! you’d think that bench had been around for years!

    also love the lists of other uses for household items – although being a hair stylist i would recommend against using listerine in your hair! ph is too acidic, would not be good.

  27. Nice job!

  28. I love these! I want some!!!

  29. Stopping back to say thank you for your kind words on my Alzheimer’s post.

  30. Yeah! I’ve got this little alcove in our front porch that has been begging for a bench… thanks for the great tut!

  31. Love everything about the bench. It’s amazing how you repurpose wood — such an inspiration!

  32. Giiiiirrrrl, you are GOOD!! I just love the bench & table! And the weathered look is perfection to a “T!”

    Have a great weekend. :o)

  33. AWESOME tuturial and I LOVE the re-use of the wood! CHEAP and GREEN! The bench is so sweet and a great color! Hey, is your little guy a Brussels Griffon? I can’t tell from the photo but he sure looks sweet!

  34. well done! perfect colour too! Have a great weekend ~Stacey

  35. They look great! I don’t think I could’ve done as well.

  36. I LOVE the look of this bench, the wash of blue is perfect. Thanks for the tutorial, I will be making use of it. All the best, Lori
    Is your dog a Griffon?

  37. Great job on the benches and table. Louie is adorable. I’ll bet he’s already missing Jamie.

  38. Great tutorial on how you made the benches. I really love the way they look!
    Great tip on splicing the wood together. You can’t even see it until you pointed it out!

  39. They have turned out really good and you are very clever :) I wish I had a clever person like you living in this house :)

  40. You are amazing! Lovely!

  41. Your woodworking skills are solid! Well done! I love the way you’ve repurposed the wood into this simple faded blue bench; it’s awesome!

Thanks for sharing your thoughts with me! I read and appreciate every word!