You can find some excellent outdoor wood furniture like the items on this upcycled furniture online store, but building outdoor garden furniture yourself is a good way to save money and add your personal touches to your lawn, patio, deck, and outdoor living spaces. There are a variety of types of outdoor furniture pieces and accessories to choose from, and no two are made the same way. To get started, here are some things you should know.
Planning Your Yard Furniture Project
- Draw a sketch plan of the outside garden or yard space you plan to decorate and furnish. Draw existing plants, architectural and terrain features, and any new items you plan to add, like flowerbeds, walls, or decks. Be sure and mark directions on the drawing and indicate in which direction the best views can be had.
- Identify areas where such items as lawn chairs, recliners, and tables should go. Observe the area for a full sunny day to see where the sunny patches are located. Place things like chaise lounges for sunbathing in these spots. Identify where there are shady spots during times of day you will most likely want to sit out in the back yard. It does little good to have shade on your lawn chairs in the morning if you’ll be sitting in them when they are bathed in the blazing afternoon sun. Especially identify places to sit that afford the best views.
- Draw arrows on your plan to indicate where foot traffic will most likely tend. If you wish to preserve grass or plants by rerouting such traffic, use walls and hedges, and footpaths to redirect foot traffic in the directions, you want it to go.
- Draw up a list of the types of lawn furniture and accessories you will need. Go through lawn furniture plan catalogs and websites to identify types of furniture that best “fit” the spot where they will be setting. Choose materials that lend themselves to the look and feel you like best. Keep in mind your skill level as an amateur furniture builder. For furniture, your skin will be in contact with simple, low-cost pine lumber with thick enamel paint or stained and varnished to a smooth finish that works well. Adirondack chairs and other such simple designs can, with the right color finish, be quite comfortable and elegant in the shade of your oak trees. Rougher woods like cedar or pressure-treated lumber will serve as planters, retaining walls, low fences, gazebos, and lining pathways. Concrete poured into molds can be used to make multiple copies of stepping stones, birdbaths, or even simple chairs and benches.
- Purchase your plans, gather your materials, and set up your workspace. Don’t rush the job. Each piece you finish and set out on the lawn will add to your family’s excitement about the backyard project. Let the kids take turns carrying out finished pieces and setting them up where they belong. As your garden accessories take their place in the garden, you’ll find that they mean a lot more and are appreciated far more than if you’d bought everything at the home improvement store and simply set it out in the yard. Besides, you not only will be able to build just the perfect piece for that exact spot under that old maple tree, but you’ll also be able to point to it and say, “I built that.”