Easy outdoor DIY bench

Want to add some comfy lounge-type seating to your balcony or outdoor space like this?

Make a bench using plastic storage bins as the base. Add ½ inch water-sealed plywood on top of the bins and hide the sides with panels made from reed fencing or lattice, attached to the plywood. Finish the edges with corner molding, throw on a few cushions and you’ll be lounging in style in no time. This how-to video shows how easy it is to make – no power tools needed!

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17 Comments

  1. Marrie

    Wow such a good idea…have to ask m’y husband to make it for us. Thanks

    • Isabelle

      Great to hear! Let me know how it turns out – I love seeing pics of projects inspired by my ideas!

  2. Alysse

    I really like this, and your other balcony seating episode! Could you give some ideas on what to store in those bins? I can’t think of much that would be long term enough to have sealed in like that, but I’m sure you have all kinds of great ideas. Also, could you provide a few more pictures of these balconies? I can’t quite get a feel for what it looks like overall.
    Thanks so much – love your site!!

    • Isabelle

      Here’s a picture of the vines after one summer – it a small balcony and I’m limited in the angles for pictures… As for what to store, maybe camping equipment, seasonal decorations? I’ve used my bins to store painting supplies, like rollers, pans, tarps, etc since I don’t use those things very often.

  3. Suzi

    Great place to store my emergency kit supplies!

  4. Karen

    I love the idea1!! What would you say the weight limit would be on the benches or should I say for the plastic bins? I ask because I have some family members and friends that way over 250lbs.

    • Isabelle

      I can’t really say what the weight limit is – from my personal experience, I’ve had 2 people sit on both the plastic bin benches and the wood benches without any problems, which may have had a total weight of about 250-275 lbs. Hope that helps.

  5. Maddy

    Gorgeous! still deciding between this bench and the other corner bench you made… this one is obviously way easier. I’ll probably do the entire balcony but I’m wondering if It will hold up with 3-4 people sitting on it! What do you think? What if I fill them first? That might help no? Also, what else do you think would look pretty in place of the bamboo? I’m not a fan of bamboo! Ur awesome! -maddy

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  9. Karla

    Is it easy to access the storage bins? This seems like a great idea for outdoor storage. Thank you!

    • Isabelle

      The side panels are attached to the plywood so it is somewhat cumbersome to get to the items in the bins. I only stored things there that I rarely needed to access so this wasn’t a problem for me. If you want an idea for a storage bench with easier access to things, you can take a look at this bench that I built for my LA balcony: http://www.engineeryourspace.com/diy-outdoor-storage-bench/

  10. Danielle

    Hi,
    love your bench!!! I was actually thinking about using it in my classroom. I have made seats from milk crates but never a eubbermaid storage bin. Do you think it would support a student or two if it is self standing in the
    classroom?

    • Isabelle

      Hi Danielle, Thank you! Once you put a piece of wood on top of the bin, it’s perfect for one person to sit on. At least that was my experience with the bench set up. Hope this helps! Isabelle

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