There’s nothing better than relaxing on our deck with a good book, listening to the birds singing and the leaves rustling in the breeze. But outdoor lounge furniture is so expensive, we’ve put off buying it for the last two summers and sat at our uncomfortable outdoor dining table instead. If I had known it was so cheap and easy to build your own outdoor sofa and loveseat, we would have been enjoying them years ago!
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Last month I wrote about five options for outdoor sofas I was considering building for our deck. In the end, I went with the first one on my list, with plans by Ana White. The video that goes along with this build shows just how quick and easy this sofa is to make, which instantly crowned it the winner.
I also loved the simple design and modern lines, which are almost identical to this crazy-expensive one I found at Wayfair.
Build Your Own Outdoor Sofa and Loveseat
Ana White’s plans called for 24″ x 24″ cushions, but the ones I had were 22″ x 22″, so I had to do a little math to customize my dimensions. Then I subtracted the width of one cushion to create the two-seater version. You can find the plans for the loveseat version in my woodworking plans library!
All the wood used for this project are 2 x 4 cedar boards, which are rot resistant and will hold up to the Seattle rainy season. Here you can see the natural color, which I was tempted to keep as is. But remembering how gross our cedar deck became after letting it “weather” for six months changed my mind quick!
One change I made to the original plans was to use pocket holes whenever possible to increase the strength of the joints. It took a little extra time to drill the pocket holes in each piece with my new Kreg K5 jig, but these couches are rock solid and will take plenty of abuse!
I used weather resistant Blue-Kote Kreg screws for the entire project (even when I wasn’t using pocket holes), so they won’t rust in the rain. I was getting nervous that I would run out of screws towards the end of the project, but I squeaked through with four left in the box. Whew!
I assembled the base and legs of the sofa and loveseat in my workshop, then brought them up to the deck to put them together. Since I was by myself, I employed a little bit of help from my deck railing to hold the pieces upright for me. I clamped the base to the leg, which fit perfectly under my deck railing and held it in place while I attached the two pieces. My neighbors probably thought I was crazy, but I didn’t have the sofa falling on my head, so I call that a win!
Apply Outdoor Stain to Your Outdoor Sofa and Loveseat
After both the couch and loveseat were assembled, it was time to stain. I tested out a few different samples on scrap cedar to help me decide which one would look best with the cushions.
In the end, I chose the darkest color, Behr semi-transparent exterior stain in Coffee (mmm . . . coffee). Don’t be alarmed if the stain in the can looks gray! I was worried that they had tinted it the wrong color at the store, but after testing the color on a scrap piece of cedar, it was perfect. I put down a tarp to protect the deck, and got to work. This step took longer than building them!
Two coats later, I had a rich dark espresso brown color that contrasted nicely with the light colored cushions.
Finding Cushions For Your Outdoor Sofa and Loveseat
Speaking of cushions, they can cost more than the rest of this project put together, so it pays to shop around! I bought these on clearance over the winter from a Pier 1 that was going out of business (these cushions are no longer available, but you can find similar ones here). Inexpensive cushions can be found at places like Target, World Market or even Amazon.
Don’t pass up a good deal on clearanced or yard sale cushions because the print is crazy or the fabric is stained! You can re-cover them with outdoor fabric using a tutorial like this one from Confessions of a Serial Do-It-Yourselfer. You could even make your own cushions with outdoor upholstery foam like these from A Beautiful Mess.
Add a few cute throw pillows like these, and you’ve got the perfect outdoor retreat!
Don’t let the cost of outdoor furniture keep you from enjoying your deck or patio! The lumber, screws and stain for both these pieces added up to less than $200. It took about 4 hours to build my own outdoor sofa from start to finish, and the loveseat went even faster. Staining them both took another day, and I could have saved even more time if I had stained the boards before assembly. You could easily finish this project in a weekend and spend the whole summer relaxing on your new outdoor furniture!
Want more ideas? I’ve rounded up my five favorite outdoor sofa builds so you can choose the best one for your space!
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