How to make a Garden Bench – (or how to upcycle your Ikea bunks)

Corner bench

Remember when I said I was working on something BIG well I finally finished it this weekend – it has been a challenge but truthfully I am proud of myself for conquering my fear of power tools and designing something for the garden and I made it from things we had around the house – the only things we brought for this project were screws and tile adhesive and grout everything else was up-cycled.

How to Make a Garden Corner Bench

I got this hair-brain idea that a bench for the garden would be great back in May, so I doodled down some ideas and wondered how we could achieve it on as little money as possible.
I also didn’t want any old bench I wanted a corner bench.  I knew we had wood, the girl’s Ikea bunk beds were in the shed covered in scratches and nail polish !! I wasn’t going to be able to sell them but the wood would sure come in handy; Also in the shed were thick foam cushions off an old sofa, which gave me the idea to use them like a mattress.

foam cushions for bench

I measure up the patio area and one sunny day in June pulled out cushions and started cutting.
To work out the width of the bench I had to work out the size of the cushions, the large sofa cushions in half were perfect, so I cut the foam with a hand saw which was easier than I thought it would be except Mixie kept trying to “help” as cats often do.

Bench slats

Once I knew the size of the cushions I could cut the slats off the bed to size, which actually worked out to be exactly in half. Again I did this with the hand saw, as the power saw still kind of freaked me out. Good work out for the arms though 🙂

 I cut the side bars to match the space I had measured out on the patio and re-attached the slats with strong screws, it was me and the trusty drill for this job.

Drillin gthe bench

Then I measure out the legs and finally had to use the power saw, after cutting one by hand and nearly passing out with exhaustion !! The legs were attached with large steel bolts and once they were on we could start staining the wood, using the stain we had done the fences with, a couple of coats were applied indoors thanks to thunder storms.

indoor staining

We assembled two benches and joined them together with a corner section which I decided would make a great little table.
But I’m  never one to do anything the easy way, I wanted to try a mosaic table using old plates.

Mosaic table top- How To

  • Use ply-board as the base of the table.
  •  Edged it with wooden mouldings 
  • Cover the top with tile adhesive. It is a bit like frosting a cake, if I am honest. 
  • Then have a smashing time with the plates. 
  • Stick the pieces into the tile adhesive to cover the top.
  • Wait until it is dry and then grout the tiles. 

How to make a mosaic table top

On wet days and this being Ireland we had a few, I made covers for the cushions using old quilt covers and pillow cases.

making cushion covers

Finally after adding a few finishing touches this weekend it was all done ready for sitting on.

 The great thing about it is it is quite easy to move – in this position it gets the full afternoon sun but if I move it over to the other side of the patio it is perfect for an evening around the bar-be-cue.

It is amazing what you can achieve when you put your mind to it and never again will I be frightened to pick up a power tool. And now you’re all quite welcome to come over as I have somewhere for you to sit.

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