If I have an empty space, I fill it with decorations or furniture..or both! Which is exactly what I had been wanting to do with my screened porch on the back of my house. Since summer is just about ending, I thought I would share my outdoor space.
We moved into our first house about a month after our November wedding, and I had everything furnished and decorated fairly quickly…again, a lot of time on my hands! But the one space that was empty was the screened porch. I wanted to find a nice wicker patio set, something cute that would fill the space well, but nothing too expensive.
I was scrolling through Pinterest on my phone (as I usually do when I’m bored), and I came across a pin from Ana White. It was plans to build your own outdoor sofa made completely from 2x4s, and then there was an additional set of plans to build a sectional piece to add to your sofa. I knew that is what needed to be in my outside space. However, my space isn’t that big, so I needed to downsize the sectional plans, and that’s exactly what I did
Here is the link to Ana White’s 2×4 Outdoor Sofa
The first thing I did was make all of the cuts I would need for the wood. If you took a look at the original plans from Ana White, you’ll notice that it calls for 2x4x10 on the shopping list, but I didn’t have a way to get those home, so I purchased 2x4x12. I had them cut in half at the store, bought a couple extra to make up for the difference, and managed to get everything home in a few trips. By doing this, I did have a little more waste, but I used some of the leftovers to make the wooden pumpkins, and I will certainly find a way to use what is left.
Side note: it was SO hot outside the weekend I made this, which is only natural considering it was the middle of July. I was covered in saw dust, and was referred to as “sawdust queen” for the entire weekend by my husband.
After the cuts were made, I chose to stain the wood. This was a good and bad decision. It was good because I was able to make sure every single spot was stained, but bad because it would have been a whole lot easier had I just stained the entire sofa after the building was done. I used Minwax Dark Walnut. I purchased a quart, which was more than enough, but I always use wood stain, so the remainder has not gone to waste.
Next came the fun part! Building! The first step was to build a simple frame structure. I did ask for the helping hand of my husband for this step, because sometimes you just need a little extra strength and a few more hands!
Everything was attached with 2.5 inch exterior decking screws. My square was very helpful throughout the entire process.
The next step was to build the arms.
Featuring the neighbor’s runaway dog, and my huffy beach cruiser.
With every step, I got more and more excited to see the finished product. It was always a relief when everything worked out and fit as it should.
After I built the arms, I attached them to the seat frame.
As you can see, I did not stain some of the wood, but that is only because it will never be seen. I decided to save some time and some wood stain. This is where the sofa began to get heavy, and I solicited the help from my husband when I needed to move it.
This next step is when it started to become a sofa. The slats. I screwed the slats on each end, with four screws per slat…until my drill died. If you can’t tell, it is now dark, and getting late. I took the drill dying as a sign to take a break until the next day.
As soon as I woke up, I went back to work. This is when things started to get a little tricky. The plans called for a pocket hole jig to attach the back support. I adjusted this a little, since I do not own a pocket hole jig. I still drilled the screws in at an angle, just without the jig to help me. It did work out, but the second I purchase a pocket hole jig, I will fix my back support!
I adjusted the plans for the sectional piece to fit into my space. Building the sectional piece was just like building the actual sofa, but for me, a lot smaller. Yet, just as heavy! So again, I built the frame, I built the arm, I added slats, and I added two legs.
My outdoor mini sectional stayed like this for about one and a half months. During those months I searched, searched, and searched some more for the perfect cushions. I had a feeling that I should not settle, so I was patient and waited until the day I found the absolute perfect cushions. The best part? They were on sale! I wasn’t too bothered by the fact that I didn’t have cushions right away, because it was, and still is, way too hot to even sit outside and be comfortable.
I ended up finding the cushions on sale at Lowes. My local Lowes was sold out, but during my online search, the Lowes about 22 miles away had 8 sets in stock, and I needed four. I ordered online for “in-store pickup” and picked them up the very next day. Originally $65 per set, I scored them for $49 and change per set, plus an additional 10% off. I was, and still am, SO EXCITED!
Oh, that rug? $25 at Bed Bath & Beyond after store markdowns, a coupon, and a gift card. Cha-ching!
And there you have it! My story on building an outdoor sofa. I was extremely proud of myself for this. It would be extremely rare to find an outdoor sectional at retail price for less than $500. My outdoor sectional? Just under $100. This whole look was completed for about $365. That is a good deal if I’ve ever seen one!
Since then, I have also used my building skills to build a bench for a nearby friend.
If you want to build an outdoor sofa or sectional, I encourage you to give it a try! Ana White’s plans are so easy to understand, and it will be the perfect addition to your outdoor space!