If you’ve been looking for DIY outdoor sofa plans with a slanted back, you’re in luck! This outdoor couch was designed to be COMFY (and also pretty considering it’s a Pottery Barn knock-off).
Before you dive into the project, make sure to buy your cushions! We got ours from Lowe’s–the bottom cushion measures 25×25 and the top cushion measures 25×21. It’s important to get the cushions FIRST to ensure that you won’t need to alter the plans to fit your cushions.
Don’t want cushions? That’s great too! I’d recommend making the couch slightly less deep. It’s great for cushions, but feels a tad too deep without them.
Alright, let’s start DIYing!
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What You’ll Need
- 6- 2x3x8 boards*
- 2- 2x2x8 board
- 1- 1x8x6 board**
- 5- 1x4x8 boards
- Wood glue
- 3/8″ wood plugs
- 1.25″ exterior wood screws
- 2.5″ exterior wood screws
- 3.5″ exterior wood screws
- 1.25″ exterior Kreg screws
- 2.5″ exterior Kreg screws
- Stain + sealer (we highly recommend Spar Urethane)
- Leveling feet
*We built our chairs using 2x6x8 pine boards and cut them down to be the size of 2x3s. You can do either. Cutting down 2x6s will give your wood a more squared-off look.
**1 – 1x8x6 will be enough for your couch and two additional chairs.
*See detailed cut list in printable plans
How to build an outdoor sofa
STEP 1: CUT
Cut your boards according to the cut list provided in the printable plans.
We also have printable plans for a 3-cushion option as well.
STEP 2: DRILL POCKET HOLES
Pocket holes are the foundation of most DIY furniture. Become a pocket hole pro in less than an hour in Pocket Holes: Explained.
Drill pocket holes as specified in the printable plans.
All of the pocket holes will be drilled using the 1.5″ setting, except for the seat back slat. That will be drilled using the 3/4″ setting.
STEP 3: SAND
Sand your boards down with 120 and 180 grit sandpaper. We’ll sand everything again once it’s assembled, but we always find it easier to knock out the majority of our sanding before assembly.
STEP 4: ASSEMBLE SIDES
To assemble the sides, we’ll start by pre-drilling and drilling countersink holes into the leg tops. Begin by marking 3/4″ in from each end and each side. Then pre-drill all the way through the board using a 1/8″ drill bit.
Using a 3/8″ countersink bit, drill a countersink hole that’s 1/2″ deep. We’ll be covering the hole with a wood plug, so we need enough space for the plug to fit.
Attach the leg top to the leg front/back using glue and 2.5″ screws through the countersink holes. Place a dab of glue into each hole and then place a plug to cover the screw head. You might need to hit it in with a rubber mallet if the plug is tight.
Next, attach the leg slant using glue and 2.5″ Kreg screws. The highest point of the slant should be 14″ from the bottom of the leg and it should be flush with the inside of the leg. Make sure your pocket holes are facing towards what will be the inside of your leg as well.
Finally, mark 2″ from the bottom of the leg and secure your leg support using glue and 2.5″ Kreg screws. Make sure your pocket holes are facing down towards the ground.
STEP 5: ASSEMBLE BACK FRAME
To assemble the back frame, repeat the pre-drilling and countersinking process. The holes will be placed 3/4″ in from each end and each side of your 49″ boards.
Attach the seat back sides to the top/bottom using glue and 3.5″ screws. Place some glue and a wood plug over your screw heads.
Note: in our couch, the top doesn’t go all the way across–instead we attached our top through the sides. We mis-cut some boards and were making do with the situation. You can see how it’s supposed to be in our DIY Chair Tutorial.
Now we’ll add in the center support. It should be placed 23.25″ from each end. To attach it, you’ll again repeat the drilling and countersinking process through both the top and bottom of your back.
STEP 6: ASSEMBLE THE BASE
It’s time to make this thing resemble a sofa! To start, use glue and 2.5″ screws to attach the 2×2 seat supports to the leg slant. The 7-degree side should be lined up with the bottom of the leg slant and the seam where the leg slant meets the leg front.
Using glue and 2.5″ Kreg screws, attach the front and back to the legs. The top of both the front and back should be 14″ from the bottom of the legs.
Using glue and 2.5″ Kreg screws, attach the flat side of the additional seat supports to the 46″ long seat support. They are placed 14″ from either side. Now we’ll attach this structure to the rest of the couch using glue and 2.5″ Kreg screws.
STEP 7: ATTACH THE BACK
Time to attach the back! First slide in the back until the bottom is in line with the bottom of the 2×2 supports. Secure in place using 2.5″ Kreg screws through the pocket holes on the bottom of the 2×2 supports.
Next, mark where your back overlaps with the arms. Then mark for two holes on each side that will go through the back and into the arms. Pre-drill using a 1/8″ drill bit and then drill countersink holes that are 1/2″ deep.
Attach the back to the arm using 3.5″ screws. Cover the screw heads with wood plugs if you want to.
STEP 8: INSTALL BACK SLATS
Now that the back is installed, we can go ahead and add in the final back slats. The 1x8s should be placed 9.25″ from the outside of the back. Install using glue and 1.25″ Kreg screws.
Note: 2×8 boards would be more sturdy for this. We are fully expecting our 1×8 boards to develop a curve or warp slightly over time. We were trying to keep costs (and weight) down by opting for the 1×8.
STEP 9: STAIN
Stain your couches using your choice of stain. We stained ours with Minwax Water-Based Semi-Transparent Stain in Weathered Oak. You want to make sure to get the water-based, not the oil-based. The oil-based will leave your pine looking extra yellow.
STEP 10: SEAL
If you’re wondering how to waterproof your outdoor couch, here’s your answer:
We highly recommend using Helmsman’s Spar Urethane to seal your chairs. It’s great for outdoors and can withstand water. Whatever sealer you choose, follow the instructions on the back of the can in terms of how to apply, how long to wait between coats, and number of coats required.
As for the cushions, I’d recommend Scotchguard Sun and Water Shield.
STEP 11: INSTALL BOTTOM SLATS
Evenly space out your bottom slats on the seat. No need to measure precisely, we just eyeballed it. Once you have them in place, pre-drill and secure them using 1.25″ screws.
STEP 12: ADD LEVELING FEET
Mark the center of the bottom of each of your legs. Using a 3/8″ drill bit, drill to the required depth as specified by your leveling feet and screw them in.
There you have it! Now you know how to build your very own outdoor couch. Be sure to check out the plans for the matching chairs as well so that you have a spot for all of your friends and family to sit back and relax!
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