I bet you’ve never considered building a tree bench before – but what a great DIY weekend plan. And what a great place to sit, under the shade of the old Oak tree.
Or Elm. Or Maple, or Sumach or Apple! You can do this no matter where you live – a tree’s a tree! You can do it around the base of a palm tree if you live in a tropical climate. Or a big old Mesquite. Or a Weeping Willow – a hidden tree bench.
And can you imagine how many people could sit on a bench built around a Giant California Sequoia? Have a look in your own backyard. What kind of trees do you have? Which offer the daytime shade? And then have a look at the 11 great plans we found.
11 DIY Plans
We start with the most famous free plan!
The skill level on this tree bench is moderate for DIY – not a total beginner project but This Old House has some of the most extensive and fool-proof instructions for you to follow. They estimate the cost at $770 and the time required as 20 hours.
The creators spell it all out for you – the template making, the cuts, the type of wood, the stain – it’s all right there for you. So while it may look complicated, you’ve got a lot of help.
There’s a lot of drilling in this design and the results of this DIY project will last a very, very long time. All you need to bring is some tools, some supplies and some elbow grease. And before you know it, you’ll have a spectacular tree bench in your own backyard.
This tree bench is built 100% from pallet wood and is much simpler and less expensive – you might want to give this one a try if you’re a relatively new DIYer. You don’t need any special tools, really. The biggest requirement is 4 – 6 pallets.
And Instructibles.com makes a very good point here – pay attention. They’ve built the bench a few inches out from the tree trunk – so it has room to grow. Do not forget that part, a tree is a living thing and will always get bigger.
There’s also a video, which always helps with DIY projects. The one part of this project that will require some effort, as you will see, is breaking apart the pallets. Not as easy as you might think. But worth it. And then it’s a matter of building chairs out of the pieces with a hexagonal main pattern. Sound complicated? It’s not. Check it out.
This hexagon cedar bench from addicted2diy.com is one of the nicest styles we’ve seen. Cedar is always such a rich, luxurious wood once you add the stain. And holds up so well against the elements. The base is actually built from Redwood but the seat and back of the bench are both Cedar.
This is another project that is really not for beginner DIY enthusiasts. Get a few projects under your belt before you try this gorgeous design. There are a lot of angle cuts, and that’s a tough thing for beginners to master.
If you’re a medium level DIYer, give it a try. There are a lot of cuts on this one, but there is a detailed plan for downloading and there are videos. As they point out, it doesn’t even have to go around a tree. Put a pot in the top with nice flowering plants.
As Ron Hazelton points out in his DIY tutorial on this gorgeous tree bench – it provides sitting space while protecting the tree, acting as sort of a guard around the trunk (thinking about teenagers just getting their driver’s licence … ). This gorgeous plan is a hexagonal shape – that seems to be a popular shape in this milieu.
But what makes the look outstanding is the wood – California Redwood to be exact. The rich red is unmistakable and adds a level of sophistication to this DIY project.
He’s got all the instructions – broken out into different steps so you can deal with it bit by bit. Sections like, cut the inner seats, cut the middle & outer seats, supports, joins, how to level the bench and, the last step – apply sealer. It’s a great place to learn to build a tree bench. And a nice one, at that.
This has got to be the smartest idea of all, from Farbart DIY. If you start this project with chairs instead of raw wood, a lot of the work has been already done for you. Not only is this a simple DIY project but it recycles old chairs. Maybe you’re replacing your kitchen chairs, or dining room chairs and don’t know what to do with the old ones. Paint them up (white is nice but you could always use bright colors for a funkier look) and assemble as shown. Voila, new life!
Even if you have to buy an old set of kitchen chairs at a yard or garage sale, it will keep your costs way down. The estimated cost for building this plan using old chairs is only about $100. Once you take the seats off the chairs, all you need is a bit of extra timber, and some paint and you’re on your way.
And have we mentioned how simple this one is? A real beginner’s DIY project. And it will take less time, too – another bonus! So, keep your eyes open for six used kitchen high back chairs, and start planning your new DIY tree bench.
This is one of the simplest DIY tree bench projects you will ever find. Another set of plans that are perfectly suited to beginner level DIY. You can see how simple it is in the illustrations above – nothing to be afraid of, time to get out your tools.
There’s a PDF for downloading and that always helps – you can print it out and have a hard copy as well as the instructions on your phone. The list of materials and tools is relatively small. With the exception of the wood, you should have everything you need in your workshop.
There are really detailed instructions and illustrations – and it’s really simple design with only two planks and one leg per section. You can’t get much easier than that! And it will give you lots of room under the shade of your favorite tree for those lazy Sunday afternoons. From kaboom.org.
As this Canadian woodworking site notes, one of your first steps should always be figuring out the diameter of the tree. This particular author started by measuring the circumference and going from there – you’ll have to call on your high school math! Once you know the diameter, add another few inches for growth and wiggle room.
Aprons, labels, feet – this plan goes into it all, and in great detail. It’s easy to follow and the author’s voice is fun. As this project should be! There’s nothing more rewarding than building something with your own hands that your family can gather round. Especially under the shade of one of your favorite trees.
Don’t let all the cuts scare you – while not a simple project, this is certainly doable. And look at the attention to detail – he’s even got brackets on the legs to fancy them up. And the lessons he learns? Always commit your plan to paper – before you start. And use right angles – they’re easier. And you, too, can have a bench worthy of a family gathering.
Wow. This bench is made from an old wood fence – leftover material. You’d never know it! They do lots of recycling and reclaiming DIY projects over at HomeTalk. It’s a great place to find home improvement projects that can be done on a budget.
This particular example was a fence they lost in a windstorm and they turned it into a tree bench around a maple tree in their yard. Despite it being outdoor wood to begin with, it’s still a smart idea to seal it.
The instructions are easy to follow and simple – they list all the tools and materials so you can follow along. You’ll still want to be sure that the wood you use will hold up to weather – which for the most part this fence did until it fell down.
From the HowToSpecialist, this is a perfect weekend project – a simple tree bench that will provide years of pleasure for you and your family. This one is an easy to build construction that even a beginner can do and likely in one weekend! And good point they remind us of right away – always build your outdoor DIY plan out of quality wood – such as Pine or Cedar. It will be exposed to the elements and a good wood will hold up much longer.
And another tip not to forget – use waterproof glue. It will rain on your creation (and possibly snow on it, depending on where you live). The first step, as always is to build your frame. By now, you know if you are going to add back support or not. It depends on your time, your budget and your needs.
When you’re ready to finish your project, be sure to treat it properly. Several coats of stain will help protect your bench from bad weather. And not just snow and sleet and rain – sun can damage wood as well. Applying several coats of good quality stain and sealer will ensure that your work holds up for years of family fun.
This is a planter box, with seating, from 231 Designs. The redwood box wraps around an alder tree and provides a family tree bench in the backyard.
The box helps protect the tree, provides seating and provides some texture and alternate colors in the yard. The first thing they did was to mark out the dimensions on the ground, which will help with most projects you start. And then, in this case, they sunk support poles right into the ground.
They used pressure treated wood as siding to the redwood – to protect it from the wet earth and extend the life of the project. And don’t forget to sand and stain the redwood to bring out that beautiful color! See also page 2.
From My Outdoor Plans, we have our 11th plan. It’s a simple idea, using common materials and basic tools. The author claims you can even get it done using hand tools – no power tools required.
A six-sided design will add a lot of umph to your backyard or patio for little cost and effort. And provide a great place for family and friends to sit in the shade. Add a few cushions and bring that paperback you’ve been meaning to crack open.
These 11 FREE DIY plans should be all you need to create your tree bench – whether you are a beginner, looking for a simple project or a pro with a garage full of power tools. Why not give it a try?