How to make a modern outdoor sectional sofa?

It's the middle of summer and I've finally tackled the DIY outdoor sectional sofa project 🙂 It's so perfect for our patio that today I'm going to show you how to make a sofa for your outdoor space.

diy outdoor sofa

I divided Tutorials for this outdoor sectional sofa into three parts. In this section I will explain step by step how to make a single arm outdoor sofa as part of this section. Click below for other sections.

How to make a corner unit for outdoor sectional

DIY ottoman

As many of you know, I entered the One Room Challenge in Spring 2021. If you don't know, you can read it on my blog here.

While remodeling our porch, I looked for outdoor chairs that would fit perfectly there. I found These beautiful chairs from West Elmbut the price tag was far from ideal. I decided to do it myself. I asked my lovely readers this: instagram Should I make 2 chairs or a sectional to fit most of the space and most of you voted for a sectional.

I was convinced, haha, And then I saw An outdoor lounge chair from West ElmSame as the collection with chairs. My heart skipped a beat and I knew I would make it!

This is how I started making an outdoor sectional sofa. Quite a story 😁

You can do download a printable PDF Plan with a materials list, cutting list, and step-by-step instructions on how to build this sectional modular outdoor sofa.

Thank you for your support!

A few words about timber

I used regular pine. I'm thinking of keeping them on the screened porch and they won't be exposed to the elements as much. Ideally, the perfect wood for outdoor furniture is hardwoods like teak, cedar, redwood, cypress, or if you're on a budget. pressure treated pine.

Hardwoods are expensive and I don't particularly like working with pressure treated wood. It is softer and working with it is quite different. Playground, kids sandbox picnic table, raised garden bed etc. I have done many projects such as. This just doesn't feel right, especially if you plan to square the edges to create a more tailored look.

Construction lumber that comes in 2×4″ size has rounded edges. There's nothing wrong with that, but if you're going for a more professional custom look of the furniture, you'll need to rip off the rounded edges (basically cut them off).

Then sand it very, very well. This part will take some time, but it is so worth it.

Trust me on this.

Above is the wood I sanded and stripped the edges/ Below is store bought ones

All this being said, the cost of this DIY outdoor sofa will depend on the wood you choose. I plan on coating this sofa with lumber oil, but I realize this outdoor sofa probably won't stand the test of time. But considering lumber prices these days, this is a cheap solution for those who screen our porch.

I also reused some 2×4″ and 1×3″ I had around (from the Montessori Floor home bed to be exact). I used it for support under cushions where the wood wasn't already exposed.

This is a great way to save money on lumber; Using the lumber you have to lay under the cushions.

About design

I had the option of making something similar to the West Elm sofa that inspired me. It consisted of two parts that could stand side by side: a lounge and a single-arm sofa.

While I liked this layout, I thought it would be better to split it into 3 parts. It would consist of a single-arm sofa, corner unit and pouffe. I think this is more convenient to move and can also be put as a long sofa if you move the ottoman between the other two.

And let me tell you, I am so happy with this decision!!!

I also decided to make my sofa deeper. Most of the plans I've seen have no backing. The fact that this plan leans back and pushes the seats a little further forward makes this DIY outdoor sofa so comfortable and relaxing that you won't want to put it down.

You can find the exact measurements I used downloadable plans. Fits Home Depot's standard 24×24″ pads.

I highly recommend you buy pillow first and I adjust my plans to accommodate them.

So let's create this DIY outdoor sectional!

As I mentioned before, for the convenience of the reader, I will divide this structure into 3 parts and here I will tell you step by step how to make a single arm outdoor sofa.

My name-B.y-step how to build this outdoor Sofa

If you just want to make a two-person sofa, you can do that with these plans. Just set the plan and do it two long armrests.

STAGE 1. To cut and assemble the armrest of the sofa

There are probably many ways to assemble the sofa, but I started creating the sides first.

To make the armrest for the sofa, I cut 2x4s 27 ½” long on two sides and 30 ½” long on one side. And two 20 ½” long boards from 2x4s.

Since I realized I didn't have pocket hole screws with me, I started using screws to assemble it. (Why didn't I check before I started? We'll never know)

If you are using regular screws you will need to use wood filler afterwards.

The thing is, you can use both methods. I find the Kreg jig is much easier to use and the screws are hidden. If you are using regular screws you will need to take an extra step and then use wood filler. So whether you decide to use screws or assemble it with the Kreg tool is entirely up to you. Just make sure it's galvanized.

Once you create a basic frame, you need to add a 2×4 inch patch board in between. This is basically where the seats will be.

The seat of this outdoor sofa is 12″ off the ground. So I mounted the board 8 ½” off the ground. Make sure you install it in the right place, i.e. inside the sofa.

Reminder: Before building, determine which side will have one arm and which side will have the hall. It will make a difference when you install this fitting.

After this add 2×2″ to the bottom of the armrest. I used screws and wood glue to do this.

STEP 2. Cut the other side (the short one it will be attached to) and assemble it. with corner piece)

Cut one 2×4″ at 20 ½” and one 2×4″ at 12″, join together with two 2x4s cut at 27 ½”.

At this point I started using a Kreg jig and found it more useful, but again it's completely up to you. This Kreg jig clamp was very helpful in helping me hold this build together while assembling it.

When assembling furniture always check for squareness.

Also, don't forget to add wood glue to make it stronger!

STEP 3. Connect the sides with support

Cut two 45″ boards from 2x4s.

This part will depend entirely on your cushions. Therefore, it is very important to buy a cushion before building this structure.

My cushions are 24×24″ so the width of the sofa is 51 ½”

I used the Kreg tool and drilled pocket holes and was a little nervous putting it in as I was worried it would go through the other screws on the other side. But everything went well! Wow!

Because it would make sense to turn the sofa upside down and install it from the inside to prevent the screws of the back piece from being visible.

STEP 4. Add brackets for seat support

Cut two 2×2″s at 27″ and add them to the sides of the sofa. This will serve as a support for the slats of the cushions.

Make sure these supports are slightly longer than the depth of the pillow so we can attach the backing later. So I cut the brackets to 27″.

If you don't want to buy an extra board, you can also disassemble the 2×4″ to make a 2×2.

I used a piece of wood I had after the Montessori bed.

Use wood glue and screws to attach.

Cut a 2×4″ at 27 ½” and attach it to the middle. Use pocket hole screws or just regular screws if you don't want it to be visible from the outside, but then don't forget to use wood filler to cover the holes in this DIY outdoor sofa.

STEP 5. Add the slats

You can use almost any wood for the slats. I still had wood left over from the Montessori bed, mostly 2x3s and 2x4s. They were already painted, but who cares what's under the cushion? That's right, there is no one. So it worked great!

I cut the slats to size 46 ½” and attached them to the 2×2″ bracket with screws.

These slats used to be a Montessori bed 🙂

STEP 6. Cut and attach the back

I used 2×3″ for the back.

Cut two 2×3″ at 46 ½” and three at 13″.

Drill pocket holes in a shorter board and attach them to the longer ones.

After I was done, I also added 2x4s to the middle for better support.

Attach the rear section from below using galvanized screws.

STEP 7. Sand and apply wood oil

After you finish assembling the entire unit, sand it well with 220 grit paper.

Immediately afterwards wipe the entire access and apply wood oil. I bought the clear cider at first but it didn't work at my place. It's a lovely color, but with so many colors on the patio, the bright orange feels a bit over the top. So I moved on to the clear coat of siding and think it's a perfect choice for our DIY outdoor sofa.

diy outdoor sofa
diy outdoor sofa

I prepared something for you downloadable plan Along with the lumber list, recommended cuts, and 3D step-by-step instructions on how to build this DIY outdoor sectional sofa.

Making this DIY outdoor sectional sofa was such a rewarding experience. Now I can enjoy warm summer nights in beautiful patio settings.

As always, let me know if you have any questions. I'm always happy to help.



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