For almost as long as we’ve been married, the Coach has had two dreams. One was a couch to nap on outdoors, the other is an outdoor shower. Well, this project fulfilled one of his two dearly held dreams. So today I’m going to show you how we built our outdoor sofa for the screened porch.
Naturally, when we started talking outdoor furniture I did what any sane woman does nowadays and hit up Pinterest for inspiration. And oh, did I find it.
To the tune of a $5000 couch. Um, yeah. Seeing as our budget for the ENTIRE PROJECT was less than that, it was time to get creative about DIYing something.
And this sofa was the result.
Unlike a lot of the outdoor sofas I saw (which were often slatted or woven backed), this one has that same one piece of wood minimalist back and clean lines. Though we had to use plywood, because a huge part of the cost of the inspiration sofa is those large slabs of solid wood. Not only are those expensive, they’re also harder to work with because they’re so thick.
My original sketch for this design had pipe for the legs and arms, but one of the many trips we made to Home Depot I realized that would still cost more than I was willing to spend.
So I changed this to have 4×4 lumber for the legs. All told, the frame for this sofa cost under $75. The expensive part was the turquoise seat cushions from Target, which brought the total price of the couch to $300 (they had free shipping and were on sale when I bought them) and makes it the most expensive project on this porch. You’ll want to find your own cushions and adjust your frame dimensions to the sizes of your exact cushions.
The complete supply list:
- 3 1x4x8 pieces of lumber (frame)
- 1 piece of 3/4 inch thick cabinet grade plywood (back)
- 1 piece of 3/4 inch thick B/C grade plywood (seat)
- 1 4x4x8 piece of lumber (legs)
- 4 flat corner braces (frame)
- 1 1x10x8 (back angle braces)
- wood screws, 3 inch and 1 1/4 inch lengths (we had these on hand)
- Gray wood stain
The assembly process wasn’t hard; we mitered corners of the 1x4s and cut them to length to make the frame (see my sketch for dimensions) then screwed them together with the corner braces. We cut the plywood to size and screwed that to the frame, then added the center support and the legs (which were 13 inches tall).
Once that was done, we cut the 1×10 to 23 inches tall, then cut the 23 inch piece diagonally to create 2 right triangles that form the back braces. Those were screwed in from below set 8 inches in from each side, then we cut the back plywood to size and screwed it on. Finally, we made a template for the arms using a piece of cardboard (so we didn’t have to do math to get the angles) and traced that onto the remaining part of the 1×10 to create the arms. Then I stained the wood and sealed it with Thompson’s water seal before adding the cushions.
And yes, the Coach has taken a nap on the new sofa.
I have a highly irrational fear of power tools (I work in physical rehabilitation and people have done a lot of dumb stuff with them!), but you ALMOST convinced me to drop everything and run to Home Depot for supplies to make an outdoor couch. I love this!
I love your couch. It would look great on our covered deck. I am going to show this to my husband. Thank you for all of your tutorials.
I’m so inspired! Thank you!
Wow! Love your sofa. Now you have me inspired. Thanks for sharing.
We made 2 sets of sofas indoors – one for the “formal” living room and one for the family room. The construction was very similar to yours however ours were fixed to the walls so there weren’t any back legs. Instead, we had a cleat along the wall securely screwed into studs and each sofa was attached along the cleat. We also found that the cushions were the most expensive components; e considered mattresses as well. In the end, we built one so that we could re-use the cushions from an old sofa we were getting rid of and for the other, we purchased and to size, large foam. Yours came out looking SUPER! Congrats!
Awesome!!! I love it!!!
Great project and inspiring team work!