Simple Modern Outdoor Sectional Armless Section

The most important piece of our Simple Modern Outdoor Sectional. Featuring armless sides, works with the corner/end piece to create a modern outdoor sectional.


Projects built from this plan. Thank you for submitting brag posts, it's appreciated by all!


Do you need a customizable easy to build sectional for your outdoor space that is affordable and stylish?  But the price is still intimidating to you?

Does this look intimidating to you to build it yourself?

Don't be intimidated.  You can build just one section of this sectional at a time.

And build as many as you need to fit your space. And yes, corners and ends are the same, so there are just two plans to create this collection.

Okay, if you choose to build this many, you might want to hire the neighbor's teenager or invest in a paint sprayer.  And enlist your aunt for some sewing assistance.

Cushion Dilemma
One of the things I am very aware of when designing a plan is making sure you get the complete package.  If I had chosen to keep the exact dimensions as the Wood Slat Sectional from West Elm, you would not be able to buy cushions to match the sectional (West Elm doesn't sell just the cushions).  The seat dimensions for that collection is 27 1/2" x 27 1/2", a full 1x4 wider.  So you would also not be able to make cushions to match because a standard foam piece is 24" wide (like this one from Joanns, make sure you clip your 50% off coupon to score the foam at about $6 a cushion).

You can buy cushions to fit, just make sure they are a standard 24" x 24" like these from Target. For the backs, I like the loose cushions like Room and Board does here, and you can buy matching backs at Target here.  In other words, you don't have to sew box cushions for the backs.  But if you do choose to sew your own box cushions, the dimensions need to be at least 24" wide and 12" tall.

And if you did choose to sew your own box cushions, I've put together a quick post on how I would sew my own box cushions here.

Also note that the pieces to this sectional are slightly smaller (except remain the same height) as the West Elm collection so that you have the opportunity to buy or sew your own cushions to a standard 24" width size.

Shopping List: 

5 – 1×4 Boards, 8′ Long
2″ Screws
1 1/4″ Screws
Wood Glue
Wood Filler

120 grit sandpaper
wood conditioner
paint brush
measuring tape
safety glasses
hearing protection
General Instructions: 

Make sure you are working on a clean level surface. Predrill and countersink you screws. Take a square after each step. Be safe and have fun. And use glue.

Dimensions displayed in the diagram
Cut List: 

2 – 1×4 @ 26″ (Seat Side Aprons)
1 – 1×4 @ 21″ (Seat Front Apron)
2 – 1×4 @ 25 1/4″ (Seat Supports)
2 – 1×4 @ 24″ (Seat Sides)
6 – 1×4 @ 17″ (Seat Boards)
2 – 1×4 @ 14 1/4″ (Front Legs)
2 – 1×4 @ 28 1/4″ (Back Legs)
1 – 1×4 @ 24″ (Back Top)
2 – 1×4 @ 22 1/2″ (Seat Back Board and Seat Back Apron)

Step 1: 

Seat Aprons and Supports
Use 2″ screws and glue to build your seat aprons and supports as shown above. If you are using a Kreg Jig™, first fasten the green board to the blue board, then fasten the purple boards to the green boards.

Step 2 Instructions: 

Seat Sides
Mark your seat boards 3/4″ on one side and the front side. Fasten to the tops of the seat, screwing to both the front and side aprons as shown above. If you are using the Kreg Jig™, It is a good idea to assemble you entire seat as done in step 3, and also you should first drill pocket holes in the side and front aprons before assembling in step 1.

Step 3 Instructions: 

Seat Boards
Use 2″ screws and glue to fasten your seat boards to the seat supports. If you are using the Kreg Jig™, you would already have built the entire seat and now just need to fasten the seat to the aprons and supports.

Step 4 Instructions: 

Front Legs
The easiest way to attach the front legs is from the inside of the seat. Use 1 1/4″ screws and glue. It’s also not a bad idea to add a 2″ screw from the top of the seat and also a 2″ screw into the side apron from the front of the leg.

Step 5 Instructions: 

Seat Back
Use 2″ screws and glue to build your seat back as shown above. If you are using the Kreg Jig™, hide your pocket holes on the undersides of the green and blue boards above.

Step 6 Instructions: 

Seat Back Apron
Use 2″ screws and glue to fasten your seat back apron to both the back seat board and the back legs, as shown above. If you are using the Kreg Jig™, you can simply fasten from the insides of the back apron to hide your pocket holes.

Step 7 Instructions: 

Assembling the Back and Front
As shown above, fasten the seat back to the seat front. Use glue and 2″ screws, except use 1 1/4″ screws when fastening to the back l

Step 8 Instructions: 

Securing Sectional Pieces Together
You are going to want to secure the sectional pieces together. Simply cut 2x4s to fit (shown in purple above) and place between the sectional pieces. Then screw together. You can also screw the legs together using 1 1/4″ screws.

Step 9 Instructions: 

You can go here to see how I would sew my own cushions. See also the above diagram, you may wish to add an additional 1×4 scrap as shown above to keep your back cushions from falling in.

Project Type: 
Estimated Cost: 
Skill Level: 


I don't know how you do it! Amazing. Now I wish I wouldn't have bought those four chairs for my screen porch. This could have doubled as a sleeping porch now that its getting warmer.

A couple comments on the cushions. There are different types of foam - make sure if your sectional is going to be outside (not inside a screen porch) that you buy OUTDOOR foam. It cost more, but it will dry quicker and will not mold or rot after repeated times getting wet and air drying. Same with the fabrics. If it will be outside, invest in outdoor fabric. Regular "indoor" fabric will mold rather quickly and will fade and wear out from sun, wet, dry, weather.

The cheapest place to buy foam is from ebay. Do a search for it and you will find many places that sell it. I bought 2 types of foam (harder foam and memory foam) off ebay and made my own tempurapedic mattress last year. The whole thing cost me about $200 as opposed to a $1200 tempurpedic mattress.

Also, if you make cushions, make sure you add zippers. They do take an extra step, and there is the cost of the zipper, but when your cushions get dirty and you want to wash them you will be happy! Otherwise you will have to take them apart to get them off and then when you wash them that edge you had to take apart will probably fray and you will have a hard time putting them back together (I am telling you this from experience!!!).

Love the plan though and can't wait to see a finished project.

Wow, this looks fantastic! I love how thoughtful you are with your plans (like making sure we could all get the best deal on the cushions).

Thank you thank you! And one question for anyone who makes this or owns something similar: Do you think it would be comfy enough for frequent indoor use? I'm debating between something like this vs. twin daybeds to replace our living room sofas. I'm guessing a solid back would make it more comfortable. This sectional is beneficial over the daybed because it's more narrow and would save some space.

Great plan! I'm also thinking about making this for my living room...we need a new sofa really bad! Can't wait to see if someone else does it first though :o)

I have a giant giant patio with nothing on it because putting out a table and chairs would look ridiculous. So: Aaaaaaaaaahhhhh!!! Thank you!

How would you recommend keeping the pieces together so they don't slide all over the porch?

Another thought I had on the foam is look at foam mattress toppers that you could cut to size. Sometimes buying the whole thing and cutting yourself can save some money!

Thanks for the great plan! We are going to put in a paver patio by the pond and I was trying to think what would go well on there. BINGO! I see the corners are larger to accomodate for the side cushions and arm rest. Will those plans be made avauilible as well? Thanks so much.

ANA- you know how much I love you and your blog BUT this is a hate mail comment!!! COULD YOU NOT HAVE POSTED THIS PIECE prior to me buying a set for my screened porch ............... I BEGGED for a sectional for our screen porch but it wasn't in the budget. I have already made several of your pieces and know for a FACT I could build this for less than I paid for my furniture out there now..... Do you think if I craiglisted the furniture the hubby would notice.... OH well...I have my wishlist prepared for next year!!!! Thanks for all you do...You have inspired me to go beyond where I feel safe! As I say never underestimate a woman who thinks she can!

When your directions say to use the 2" or the 1 1/2" screws - how many am I using at a time? I know this may sound like a ridiculous question, but if I drill pocket holes - do I use one pocket hole or two and what is the spacing between the two? I am just curious about making it as sturdy as possible. Thanks!

Thanks all for your comments! Make sure you read the last two steps, I talk about how to connect sectional pieces and also a simple modification if you are worried about your back cushions falling through (trust me, that was a concern of mine too!)

As far as screws go, I don't give specific information because I trust that you are smart and that you can use your best judgment. You always need at least two screws, and often that's plenty. Your pocket hole jig (at least the Kreg Jig) has two holes on the jig correctly spaced for drilling two at the same time.

Gotta say, I'm dying to build this myself! Ugh!


I am going to build this for our family room husband is having severe back pain and needs a taller higher? seat (from the floor to the cushion) I don't think it would be hard to add a couple of inches to the height would it? I'm gonna paint mine black and cover the cushions in drop cloth fabric :)) It will be next month, but I'm going to get this done. Thanks so much!!!

I thought I'd post this on both parts of the sectional posts:

I modeled this up with an addition - a couple of end tables that could serve as extra seating, tables, or if you built them to size, they could fit into the empty part of a "U" shaped configuration to make a giant outdoor "daybed/lounger" - at least that is how I'm planning on configuring my sectional!!! You can check out my idea (there are two pictures) on the suggestion board of the KOW flickr group:

Ana, I must say, YOU ROCK!!:) I posted something like this on your facebook page for plans request and never thought you would get around to it after seeing all the other plans people had posted. You must feel overwhelmed!! I just wanted to say thank you. I know you hear it all the time but you are so inspiring! I have been thinking about the outdoor cushion thing and someone had mentioned to buy only the outdoor foam to prevent mold and help to dry quicker after rain. I think you could also buy regular foam and then purchase an inexpensive vinyl table cloth and make a cover out of that for cushion first then proceed to make the regular fabric cover. Also, you could sew 3 sides and sew velcro on the end and close up like that. Kinda like wrapping a present... Then they would be easy to remove to throw in wash when they needed it. Just a couple ideas:))
Thanks again for all you do:) I HAVE to check you blog daily. I'm addicted!

I just finished my first armless chair for the set...this has been my first project and it came out perfect! (I was worried that my lack of perfect angles was going to result in an unintentional rocking chair, but it is as sturdy as I'll get out).

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This is going to be my first build, then the outdoor storage benches (we're planning on placing two back-to-back to make a table for the center of the c-shaped sectional)! I told my husband about this website, and he fell in love with it almost as quickly as I did! We have a Sunroom in our new place and this will be PERFECT! Thanks, Ana!

I made a couple chairs working on a few more now. Really not to difficult. I'm not handy by an strech but I did it. I had to alter some of the cuts a bit and measuring out the peices really is the only pain in the you know what of the project. After doing the first one it was smooth saling. I'm going to stain it and buy cushions. Thanks great idea, the directions were good, and it's so basic you can really alter it to fit your needs taller longer ect. This will be much nicer to sit on if the snow ever goes away on ym porch and is a nice change fro mthe traditional patio set.

We're ready to shop & start on this project, but can't seem to find the "READ MORE" section that shows the complete plan for sections with arms. My husband will figure it when he gets to that point, but would rather have all the details beforehand.

Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!!! You've inspired me not only to make this sectional instead of buying it, but now I have so many ideas floating around. The kreg jig is AMAZING!!!! Somehow it ended up a little off in the seat...but maybe the next one will work out better.

Went to several stores looking for cushions, and while home depot had one that fit, I went with the ones at Target. (Nice and thick!! Good fabric)

Like everyone else, I have been frustrated by the cost of outdoor sectionals. I have been contemplating how to build my own but you have saved me a huge amount of time and trial and error. Thank you.

But there is an arm on at least one chair. Where is the step on adding an arm? I'd like to add arms on either end of the sectional. Thanks.

My husband just built the first piece for this amazing sectional (I was at work so couldn't help). I can't wait to see it all built and painted.

These plans were so helpful getting the ball rolling!

Im looking into building a few things that require both foam and batting; the parson's chairs and the padded bench to name a few.
I'm working on a pretty tight budget right now, so I cant dish out the big bucks for the really good stuff; but I dont want to be sitting on just wood either. We're moving and in the move we need to sell our current table and chairs (which lets face it were too small for my family of 5 anyways); and we really dont want to have to eat on the floor until I can afford the foam for the chairs!

Also, what kind of batting do you guys use? I'm only really familiar with quilters batting, is that what you guys are using? (can you tell I've never had to make my own furniture before? lol I've only just changed the fabric!)

I've ordered from before, and thought their prices were really reasonable. You can also do a dacron wrap for not much extra, so no need to purchase batting on your own.

Any ideas on angling the back slightly? I've built one armless chair as my test one, but find I sit up so straight it's not as comfortable as I would like - with or without cushions. I'm debating whether to cut off the back legs at a very slight angle or trying to modify the back legs to be more like the "Simple Stackable Outdoor Chairs". Any thoughts?

Just one question before I try my best to tackle this amazing project! I keep thinking to myself this is probably a rediculous question but I have to says that you need 5- 1x4 boards, so is the 5 boards just for the one piece? I'm pretty sure it is seeing as you get to choose just how many chairs you want to make for your sectional, but like I said just had to ask?

hi luckyapril828,

that's not a ridiculous question. I was asking myself the same thing.. and then I did the math. You are correct, 5 - 1x4 boards is just for one piece. I'm planning on starting this project sometime next week but I wanted to budget myself. I might be a little ambitious, but I'm planning on building 10 pieces! I hope it won't be too expensive. I don't even want to think about the cushions just yet.

Hope that helps answer your question.

Good luck!

Thanks for the reply! What kind of wood do you plan on using? I priced for pine wood and it's pretty pricey considering I wanted to do a larger piece also. Trying to find different options. Let me know how it goes!
Thank you, and good luck as well!

These look awesome and are the perfect answer for my new deck. I'm wondering if the Google Sketchup model is available so I can play around with the layout on my deck and see how many sections I should make.

I have yet to build this, (waiting for warmer weather,) but I just bought my cushions last night and I'm quite excited. I priced around and they aren't cheap for sure and sometimes are made so cheap. I bought what are considered floor cushions at Costco for $20 a piece for the seats. Can't remember if they were 25" square or 24" square, but they are nice and thick (4-5"). Then for the back, they had a pkg of two cushions for $15. Not sure of the size, but they are smaller. Still after looking around in the stores and on-line I'm very excited! I'm a novice at sewing and didn't want to tackle this as a sewing project (doll bedding only, ha!). I have to look again, but I'm pretty sure these cushions did say they were for outdoor use. Can't wait to build and post pics!

S, this sections is just like one for sale at West Elm with cushions specifically made to fit it! The back cushions have a triangular profile, it mimics a recline back, and looks super comfy. My problem is that the dimensions are 27.5"w x 31"d x 29"h on the west elm single unit which is obviously very different from 24"w. I really want these cushions but have little idea how to modify this plan to make them work. Some help would be so wonderful! I want to build them with my father before my hubby gets home from Afghanistan in June as a surprise! Thanks so much!!!

I'm planning out where to drill kreg pockets and I'm getting a little hung up. I'd like to have as many non-visible screws as possible so I altered how I would build it. I'm leaving the seat supports for the last step so I can attach the back with kreg pockets on the inside of the side apron and screw into the back legs from the side apron (STEP 7).

The question is, could this work? And how can i get Kreg Pockets in that corner of the side apron connecting to the back that screw into both the back apron and the back seat top. Would I have room to put pockets in a corner vertically and horizontally? If so, would I also have room to put ANOTHER screw through that same corner of the board into the legs?

This would also apply to STEP 2 where I'm attaching the front apron, that already have pocket holes attaching them to the side apron, to the seat sides (3/4" overhang). It also to the installation of the seat supports to the back as my final step.

In summary How close is too close? Is there enough room? If all else fails I can do a test on some scrap boards before starting. I don't own a kreg jig yet however so that's where my ignorance on the subject comes from.

I hope this isn't as confusing to read as I think it is.

Any help or opinions would be much appreciated. LOVE the site!


First off, let me start by saying this was my FIRST EVER ATTEMPT at BUILDING anything!

These plans were super easy to follow and made woodworking so much less intimidating. Believe me, if I can do it - anyone can do it. You can see my progress through the project on my blog.

Secondly, for everyone looking for cushions to fit these benches I found the best deal to be at Improvement Catalogs:

They have a Deep Seat Cushion Set (17"x24"x4-1/2" back; 24"x24"x4" seat) for $55!
Compare this to Target ($70+), Walmart ($70+), and any other store selling outdoor cushions.

I have tested out Improvements' cushions and they are comfy, fully padded (not thin like some others), and have just withstood their first SF summer rainstorm.

I hope this helps and I look forward to building more things from this amazing site.

HELP - i'm sure that i'm just overlooking something totally obvious, but in step 4 it says to attach the legs flush with with side seat boards. How is that possible if the over hang is only 3/4" but the legs are 1"?? Am i missing something really obvious?? Wont the legs stick out awkwardly?

I love the project and the step by step in instructions are awesome. I do have a question: is there a detailed step by step for the corner seat or did I somehow overlook it?


A post above posed a question regarding the 3/4" front overhang. I had the same question: How can the 1" legs be flush with a 3/4"overhang?
We are looking to start building this, but I would like to get all my ducks in a row first. Thanks! BTW, great wkend project.

The front leg is a "1x" (spoken as a "one by" - I think it's a 1x4, but that doesn't matter right now). 1x's aren't actually 1 inch by [fill in the blank], but are 3/4 inches by [fill in the blank].


A 1x2 actually measures 3/4" x 1 1/2" (approximately, some may vary).
A 1x3 actually measures 3/4" x 2 1/2" (approx)

2x's (or "two by's" are 1 1/2" think, not 2" thick.

So, the 3/4" overhang will allow the 1x front leg to sit flush :-)

I really hope this helped instead of confusing you more!

For the shopping list (Shopping List: 5 – 1×4 Boards, 8′ Long), would this be for one seat, correct?

I plan on starting this project this week and would like to how much materials i would need or if i should reconsider re-thinking the seating amount.

thank you!

Thanks for the great plans. I plan on starting this project soon for my screened in porch. I was wondering if anyone as used or considered using composite decking as the material? I figured it would last just about forever and would eliminate having to paint it. Any thoughts on this?

Thanks for the great plans. I plan on starting this project soon for my screened in porch. I was wondering if anyone as used or considered using composite decking as the material? I figured it would last just about forever and would eliminate having to paint it. Any thoughts on this? What other types of wood are people using?

A mum's day present this year, with our four (almost five) year old helping out with measuring, cutting, drilling, and screwing. Took a bit longer, but he had a great time doing it, and mum really appreciated it.
Still need to stain or paint it, but otherwise great!

Again, thanks for great, easy to follow plans!

My husband and I are pretty new here, and we are attempting to build this sectional. We went to lowes and home depot and ended up buying 5 common boards 1x4x8 for around $6 each. we have a kreg jig but neither store sold 2 inch screwes so we got 1 1/2. After cutting all the pieces for the first chair and assembling, i went to barely move it out of the way in the garage so that we could start looking at the next one and the back boards just cracked and split. I was so discouraged and hate wasting money. My first question is are these not the right 1/4 boards to use because all the others cost so much more. Second, my husband worried that even if we had used 2 inch kreg screws that they would have been too long and poked through the boards. what can we do differently so that we don't have this problem before we waste anymore time and money :(


Has any of the other kreg joints cracked? Did you use glue? Hard to say if none of the others cracked, it could be the wood. $6 is alot for one board. We paid $1.29 for one 1x4x8 at HD and they are basic pine boards. Be sure to pick through the pile carefully and get the best boards possible. It took me about 30 minutes to find 20 good boards that didn't have frayed or cracked edges and not warped. It was so bad I waited 20 minutes for them to bring down a new stack of wood! We didn't use a kreg but countersank all our screws. We used the 2 inch screws for the frames and 1 1/2 for the 14" seat boards. We also added a few more screws to hold the front two legs to the chair base and in the back to connect the back frame to the base frame. Once you stain and add seat covers no one can see all the screws. My coworker also told me to add triangle pieces in the backside to shore up any spots you think may need more reinforcement. I hope that helps.

Has any of the other kreg joints cracked? Did you use glue? Hard to say if none of the others cracked, it could be the wood. $6 is alot for one board. We paid $1.29 for one 1x4x8 at HD and they are basic pine boards. Be sure to pick through the pile carefully and get the best boards possible. It took me about 30 minutes to find 20 good boards that didn't have frayed or cracked edges and not warped. It was so bad I waited 20 minutes for them to bring down a new stack of wood! We didn't use a kreg but countersank all our screws. We used the 2 inch screws for the frames and 1 1/2 for the 14" seat boards. We also added a few more screws to hold the front two legs to the chair base and in the back to connect the back frame to the base frame. Once you stain and add seat covers no one can see all the screws. My coworker also told me to add triangle pieces in the backside to shore up any spots you think may need more reinforcement. I hope that helps.

I was turned on to Ana-White by my coworker. I loved the easy idea of this sectional, printed off the plans and had all intention of building until I had my hubby run by HD to pick up the supplies. As I figured, he took it upon himself with the neighbor, to start building the chairs. I did help build 2 and they are pretty easy once you get the hang of it. Note, the corner and ottoman pieces are on a different set of plans, which I printed because my neighbor mentioned it wasn't on the chair plans. Herein lies the funny story about reading the instructions. Last night the menfolk started building the corner piece. They had the first stage U Shape for the back frame built when both told me the plans were wrong because the top 27 and change board made the frame much larger for the 24 and change board to fit in the middle. (I can't remember the exact lengths of boards). Thinking they had something wrong I quickly glanced at the plans and remembered in my head what the end result looked like and immediately knew what they did wrong. I flipped to the front page of the plans and pointed out the error. The top board overhangs a bit to accommodate the other back frame, making the corner.....a CORNER piece!! (Note, my husband insisted I was wrong until I showed him the end result picture, wherein he blamed his assistant - the neighbor for not reading the plans right!!) I was then asked to email/blog someone so they can update the plans to say....overhang the 27 board by this much.....I think they were trying to save face for not using some common sense and reading/looking at the instructions. Or....they were just mad for being shown up by a girl!! I did hear two thank you's as I walked off and shook my head.

I am using the Kreg Jig on some scrap wood and you can't use 2" screws with it because the depth of the board isn't big enough. It will always go right through the other side.