This easy DIY modern outdoor sofa is the perfect addition to your outdoor space this summer! You can adjust the sofa to your specifications or follow the plans exactly. Add outdoor cushions to your outdoor sofa and give the wood some stain!
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Easy DIY Modern Outdoor Sofa
This month’s At Home DIY Challenge project is all about “Build It Cheaper Than Buying It!” You can check out my other At Home DIY Challenge project posts below!
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This easy DIY modern outdoor sofa is the first large scale piece of furniture that I have built by myself. Actually, it’s the first large scale piece of furniture that I have built at all!
Honestly, I am really proud of myself! I am proud of myself because it’s the first large piece that I have built on my own, but also because it was the first project that I’ve done for the blog since my father passed away last month. Before I get into the details about the sofa, I want to share this.
It physically hurt to move forward with this project. Sadly, I know there are many of you who understand exactly what I’m talking about. To lose my father, my teacher and biggest supporter in life has been difficult, but to lose him during the pandemic has been unimaginable.
He is the one who taught me everything I know about DIY-ing. I find comfort in knowing that I am making him proud and carrying on his love of building and fixing. He always let me work with him and showed me how to use power tools! I hope to do the same for my kids!
I’m dedicating this project and post to him! Now to the DIY outdoor couch!
I have been looking at these wooden outdoor sofas for years! I LOVE them. We don’t have a patio or deck in our backyard, but we do have a side porch where we congregate.
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Two years ago I decided to get THIS outdoor dining table to put on the side porch. I wasn’t sure if I was going to like it on our side porch, but it’s great! The price was amazing, and I love the look of this distressed whitewashed table! I decided to get some gray and white bistro chairs to go with the table rather than the ones that are shown with the table because of the lack of space on our porch. HERE are some similar ones as well as the ones below.
After I got the new outdoor table and chairs, our wicker furniture just seemed outdated. I got new cushions and pillows to help update the furniture. It was an improvement, but still not as pretty as the outdoor dining table.
I wanted to get a wooden outdoor sofa like the ones seen above. However, the cheapest sofa above is $799. Now, that’s not terrible, but more than we can spend! After looking online, I finally found a style of an easy DIY Modern Outdoor Sofa that I loved!
I found the plans at House on Longwood Lane. They are so easy to follow and so well done! Kourtni also gives you plans for two coordinating chairs! I’m planning a porch update in June and I’m going to use some $10 rattan yard sale chairs for more seating, so I did not make the DIY outdoor chairs.
The outdoor sofa was pretty easy to build, although I certainly made a few mistakes. I made some small alterations to the sofa like adding some higher sides to the seat frame to hold my cushions.
The cushions seen in the photos are from Target. I love them, but they are not the cushions I was planning to purchase. THESE Ikea cushions fill the space better, but they are currently out of stock. The Target cushions leave a gap in the back of the seat. I plan to purchase the Ikea cushions when they come back in stock!
How to DIY the Easy DIY Modern Outdoor Sofa:
- compound miter saw
- Kreg jig
- tape measure
- sander or sandpaper
- nail gun
- eye protection
Supply shopping list:
(…if you don’t already have these things on hand.)
- (6) 1x2x8 pine boards
- (4) 1×3×8 pine boards
- (6) 1×3×6 pine boards
- (2) 2×2×8 pine boards
- (10) 2″ wood screws
- (36) 1 1/4″ Kreg screws
- (12) 3/4″ brad nails
- 180 grit sand paper
- Staining pads or paintbrushes
- 1qt Varathane Stain in Sunbleached
- 1qt Rustoleum chalk paint in linen white
- Wood Glue
- Back Cushions
- Seat Cushions
- $5.97-Kreg jig screws
- $8.98-Varathane stain
- $168-cushions (Again, these cushions could work, but you might need to make some alterations to the depth of the sofa or to the cushions. The cushions from Ikea are more expensive and will bring the cost a bit over $300.)
Refer to Kourtni’s plans from House on Longwood Lane for the detailed instructions! Build the arms for your easy DIY modern outdoor sofa. Cut your boards using a miter saw.
You can make all of your pocket holes at once for the bases to save time. I am so lucky that my dad was SUPER organized with his tools. I used his Kreg jig that was all set up on a portable stand. It made everything so easy! Thank you Dad!
Make sure that you place your pocket holes face down on the bottom of the arm so that you don’t see them. I learned the hard way.
Attach the arm base seat mount to your arm base rectangles. Make sure to face the pocket holes inward.
Secure your seat frame to your arm bases. Again, face your pocket holes inward so that they do not show.
Attach your 2×2 slat supports using your wood screws. I used about 12 screws per side.
Attach the middle brace on the bottom of the easy DIY outdoor sofa. Attach the sides first and then the middle piece. For the middle piece, don’t forget to face your pocket holes toward the ground.
Measure the depth of your seat for the slats. Cut the slat length accordingly. Secure your seat slats with the brad nailer.
Attach the back slats. Make sure you line up your back slats with the outer edge of the sofa, not the inner edge. The pocket holes will face inward, because the cushions will cover the holes.
Add back brace to the slates and the small pieces on the back.
Stain your easy DIY outdoor couch the color of your choice. My couch is on our side porch, which is covered, so I don’t have to worry about direct sunlight, rain, snow, etc. hitting my outdoor sofa. However, I did chose to stain it to protect the wood and give it some dimension. I wanted it to match THIS outdoor table that we have on our porch, so I chose to use Varathane stain in sunbleached.
I painted a light coat using a paintbrush and wiped it off immediately.
After letting it dry, I used Rustoleum’s chalk paint in linen white and watered it down to form a whitewash coat. I painted that on and wiped it off right away as well. I let that dry and sanded everything down so that some of the wood showed through.
Finally, I used a small chip brush to add a slight dry brush coat of the whitewash.
I’m planning to apply a top coat for a sealer, but I have not done that yet. I plan to use a clear matte top coat so that it doesn’t change the color.
Like I mentioned above, I am planning to take part in the 555 Room Challenge this June. It is a challenge that I created. You can read more about it HERE! I will be updating our side porch and giving it the much needed facelift that it needs!
Easy DIY Modern Outdoor Sofa
I am so excited that I built this easy DIY outdoor sofa! My dad would have been proud of me, and that makes me so happy!
I can’t wait to build more!
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I have been pinning outdoor sofas for a few months because I want to make one. Your sofa and tutorial is the best that I have seen. Thank you for sharing it.
Thank you so much Sherry! That really means a lot!
I’m in total and completely love with the sofa!! It’s absolutely perfect!! Love the modern feel! Beautiful!
Thank you so much for your kind words Christine! That means a lot to me!
This sofa turned out perfect! It looks like a high-end piece of furniture.