Hi, I’m Amy and I love to build things and share plans at Hertoolbelt! I am excited to be here and share how to build an outdoor bench made from 2×4’s. The lumber for this bench only cost about $13, so you can feel good about leaving it outdoors or it’s cute enough to bring inside. The inspiration for this bench came from this cute one that I spotted on Instagram.
I added an extra X and made it longer to fit my space.
How to Build a DIY Double X Bench
- 4 – 2″ x 4″ x 8′ boards (actual lumber dimensions 1 1/2″ x 3 1/2″)
- 1 – 2″ x 3″ x 8′ board (actual lumber dimension 1 1/2″ x 2 1/2″)
- 8 – 2 1/2″ pocket hole screws
- 32 – 2 1/2″ or 3″ screws
- wood glue
- vaseline – optional
- paint brush
- miter saw
- countersink bit
- corner cat sander
- measuring tape
- Kreg pocket hole jig
- These are the tools that I used, you can substitute for what you have.
- 4 – 1 1/2″ x 3 1/2″ x 15 1/2″ with 15 deg miter cut on both ends
- 1 – 1 1/2″ x 3 1/2″ x 27″
- 4 – 1 1/2″ x 3 1/2″ x 42″
- 1 – 1 1/2″ x 3 1/2″ x 34 1/2″
- 2 – 1 1/2″ x 3 1/2″ x 13″
- 2 – 1 1/2″ x 2 1/2″ x 9″
- 4 – 1 1/2″ x 2 1/2″ x 16 1/4″ with 45 deg miter cut on both ends
Cut all of the pieces for the bench, see the cut diagram for visual reference.
If your boards are rough, you may want to lightly sand them before assembling the bench.
Drill pocket holes for 1 1/2″ material in both ends of the 34 1/2″ and 27″ boards.
Measure and mark the center of the 13″ and 9″ pieces, also mark the center of both ends of the 34 1/2″ and 27″ pieces. Using wood glue and 2 1/2″ pocket hole screws, attach the center of the 9″ pieces to the ends of the 34 1/2″ piece. Repeat for the center of the 13″ pieces and the 27″ piece.
(If you don’t have a Kreg pocket hole jig, you can toenail the screws in.)
Measure and mark 1/2″ in from each 13″ piece end. The legs will inset 1/2″ in from each 13″ piece end.
Use the countersink bit and pre-drill countersink holes for screws to attach the legs to the 13″ pieces. Use either 2 1/2″ or 3″ screws to attach the legs to the 13″ pieces. (Note: the legs won’t fit perfectly onto the 13″ pieces, overhang the same amount on each leg.)
Turn the leg assembly upside down and mark 2″ down on each leg end. Pre-drill countersink holes in the outsides of the legs (I drilled the holes about 3″ down from the leg ends). Attach the 9″ pieces between the legs using 2 1/2″ or 3″ screws.
Measure and mark the center line for the length and width on the 34 1/2″ piece. Mark 3/4″ on both sides of the length center line mark. Repeat the same marks on the 27″ piece.
Slide 2 of the 16 1/4″ X pieces in between the top and bottom supports, trim the 16 1/4″ pieces if necessary. Line up the ends of the X pieces with the 3/4″ marks and the center line mark between them. Drill countersink holes in the 34 1/2″ and 27″ pieces, attach each X piece with a 2 1/2″ or 3″ screw.
Flip the bench over, slide the other 2 – 16 1/4″ X pieces in between the top and bottom supports, trim the 16 1/4″ pieces if necessary. Line up the ends of the X pieces with the 3/4″ marks and the center line mark between them. Drill countersink holes in the 34 1/2″ and 27″ pieces, attach each X piece with a 2 1/2″ or 3″ screw.
Yay, now the base is done.
Measure over about 6″ from the 42″ board ends, pre-drill countersink holes to attach the top pieces to the base.
The top will overhang 1/2″ from the 13″ pieces on the side and about 4″ from the ends. Attach the top boards to the base with 2 1/2″ screws.
The double X bench assembled and ready for finish.
I decided to go for a highly distressed (chippy paint) look. First I stained the bench a dark brown color.
Once the stain dried fully, I used a little petroleum jelly (Vaseline) and applied a small amount on the corners and edges where I didn’t want the paint to stick.
I used a white latex paint and painted the whole bench white and let the paint dry.
Anywhere I put the Vaseline, the paint kind of cracked and didn’t stick. I used a corner cat sander to distress the paint and rough it up.
I’m excited how the bench turned out, it’s looking at home on my front porch!
Make sure to check out lots of other free woodworking plans.
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