Outdoor DIY Sofa

Holy crap.

I built a sofa!!

Can you believe it?!

I continue to peek outside to make sure it's still there.

I can take zero credit for the design. This beauty came from Angela Marie Made. I am linking her website here because she not only has this design, but many more, including a matching chair and coffee table. However, her couch was a two-seater, and used cushions that had different dimensions than mine, so some significant adjustments had to be made.


If you are planning to venture down this outdoor DIY sofa path, the first place you should start is with your cushions. You can't really do anything until you have them in hand. I did a TON of research on cushions. I needed eight of them (four for this couch and four for the chairs I will be making next), so I didn't want to purchase

ones that were significantly expensive. After hours and hours of research, reading reviews and Q&As, I settled on these bad boys. They were the only ones I could find under $100 that weren't riddled with reviews that said something like, "they looked great, but after one sit session, they have a permanent impression of my booty." The last thing I wanted was to end up with something that only looked great for five seconds. For what it's worth, this was a consistent complaint across all price points.


Even though they had their dimensions listed, I waited for them to arrive before I proceeded with modifying the sofa plans, just in case the dimensions were not accurate. Luckily, they were, and the quality is fantastic!


Once the cushions arrived, I worked on modifying the cut list and shopping list in the plans. If you want to replicate mine, here are the adjustments you will need to make:

Adjustments to Shopping List:

  1. 11 - 2x3 Boards (each 8' in length) -- instead of eight

  2. 2 - 1x3 Boards (each 8' in length) -- this is listed in the shop list as optional

  3. Two boxes of 2.5" Kreg Screws -- the shop list doesn't tell you how much you will need, but you will need two for this sofa

  4. 2 - 2x4' plywood sheets

Adjustments to Cut List:

  1. 2 - 2x3 at 25.5" -- instead of two at 30.25"

  2. 12 - 2x3 at 22.5" -- instead of eight at 27.25"

  3. For the five at 57.5" cuts, you don't need to do anything because with the adjustments, you need five at 96" (the length your boards already are)

Adjustments to the Instructions:

1. Follow steps 1-5 as is.

2. After step 5, add the two middle legs (you will need it for extra support with the added length). Do this by measuring the distance from the bottom of the existing legs to the bottom of the couch. Using your leftover 2x3s, cut two pieces that length and add two pocket holes. Attach to the bottom of your couch.

3. After the last step, add the extra support to the back of the couch (pictured below). I did this by measuring, one-by-one, the distance between each of the back boards and cutting my extra 2x3s to those measurements. After they were cut,

I added one pocket hole in one direction, and another pocket hole in the other direction. Attach using Kreg screws. For extra help with this, watch my DIY sofa story on Instagram here. Remember, this part of your sofa isn’t seen, so no need to worry about it being pretty.

4. Next, test the cushions on your couch and determine if you will want the extra bottom support. If you do, cut them to size and attach using 1.5" to 2" brad nails. You won't have enough to fully cover the whole couch, so leave a little gap in the center. I promise, you won't feel it.

To finish up the couch, I opted for the same type of finish Angela used on hers. It's Valspar's Semi-Transparent Deck Stain. After some research, I decided this was my best bet because it offers full weather protection in one coat and comes in a million colors. Well, not a million, but you get it. I went with the color Reindeer.


Helpful tips:

1. Buy more wood than you need. If you don't need it, great, return it. If you do due to a cut mistake (happens to all of us), you will be thankful you don't need to make an extra trip to the store.

2. Since you are using framing lumber (2x3s are the 'studs' in your walls), they're

not always the prettiest. Dig around and pick out the best looking, but most important, straightest boards. Don't worry if not all your boards are perfect looking. A lot of this sofa's lumber will not be visible, so you can use the uglier ones for the hidden parts and prettier ones for the visible areas.

3. If you use the Valspar stain, beware, it's not like most stains! It has more of a liquid paint texture. Make sure you mix it very well. In fact, I left a long stick inside it and would give it a good stir every ten minutes or so to keep it well mixed the whole time. Paint it on, then wipe it down with a lint-free rag (an old t-shirt works well for this).

4. Make sure you stain all areas of your sofa - not just the visible parts. It gives your sofa protection from the elements.

Ok, here's the fun part.... the cost breakdown:

Cushions - $70 x 4 = $280.00

2x3s - $3.50 x 11 = $38.50

1x3s - $4.40 x 2 = $8.80

Kreg Screws - $6.50 x 2 = $13.00

Deck Screws - $9.00 x 1 = $9.00 (a lot leftover for my chairs)

Brad Nails - Had on hand

Dap Plastic Wood Filler in Golden Oak - $5.00 x 1 = $5.00

Deck Stain - $37.00 x 1 = $37.00 (I bought a gallon of this - they offer much smaller sizes for a lot less, so if you are only making this sofa, you can definitely get away with a pint)


Grand Totals: $111.30 w/o cushions $391.30 w/cushions However, keep in mind the stain and screws will be used for my chairs as well!

If you've been in the market for outdoor furniture, you know how expensive it is, so those totals really blow my mind!! Not only did I get an amazing couch for my backyard for much less than if I had purchased it at the store, but it's also custom made to fit our space and design style.


Shoppable links: Cushions (in Charcoal Grey) Striped Pillow Case (Black Stripe) Polka Dot Pillow Case (Design 111) Blue Pillow Case (Dark Blue) Throw Blanket (Emerald Green)

Wood Filler (in Golden Oak) Valspar Semi-Transparent Deck Stain (in Reindeer)

Alright ladies, it's your turn! If you try this out at home, make sure to tag me. I can't wait to see your custom outdoor furniture!


-Melissa


P.S. Be on the lookout for my matching outdoor chairs coming in the next couple of weeks!

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