2x4 Outdoor Sofa

Submitted by Ana White on Sat, 03/16/2019 - 13:11
Difficulty
Beginner
| Print this plan

Build your own outdoor sofa with just 11 2x4s.  Ana White plans include step by step diagrams and shopping and cut list.

We also have a plans to convert this sofa to an outdoor sectional, a matching outdoor coffee table plan, and outdoor wood finishing secrets.

outdoor sofa sectional made from 2x4s with blue cushions
outdoor sofa stained chocolate brown with white cushions and matching coffee table

This website participates in affiliate advertising links that share commissions on links clicked.  This helps us keep our plans free, but at no cost to you.  Thank you.

Build your own outdoor sofa!  You'll just need some 2x4s and screws!  This plan uses standard 24" x 24" "Deep Seat" cushions, available at most retailers, like these from Target.

More Plans in this Collection / Sectional Pieces

Turn your outdoor sofa into a sectional with these plans:

We also share our outdoor wood finishing secrets in this post.

Pin For Later! 

2X4 Outdoor Sofa

Dimensions
dimensions diagram for outdoor sofa
Dimensions shown above. Recommend: Build to suit cushions

Preparation

Shopping List
Cut List

RECOMMEND: Build to suit cushions.  

9 - 2x4 @ 72”  (or cushion width x times 3)

13 - 2x4 @ 25-1/2” (or cushion depth plus 1-1/2")

2 - 2x4 @ 28-1/2” (or cushion depth plus 4-1/2")

Tools
Tape Measure
Speed Square
Pencil
Drill
Miter Saw

Instructions

Step 1

Cut the seat framing boards with compound miter saw or similar.

Screw together with self tapping screws.

Step 2

Now for the arms.

Cut the boards.

Attach longer 2x4 to two of the shorter 2x4s with screws.

Step 3

Screw together with screws.

Step 4

Screw together with screws, also attach to board from step 3.

Step 5

Step 6

Attach seat boards to top of seat frame with 2-3/4" screws.

Step 7

Screw back piece at an angle into the arms with 2-3/4" screws.  You can also use pocket holes.

Step 8

Some builders add a middle row to the back/sides to help keep cushions in line.

Comments

RASMALICE

Fri, 05/24/2019 - 08:11

Hi! I previously made two of these sofas into a sectional (amazing, easy, everyone loves them) and I'm planning on adding a third this weekend to make a u shape sectional.  My question is: Do you have a cut list for the 11 2x4's?  I used more than 11 each time. and I also had alot of waste...

Steph84

Mon, 08/05/2019 - 00:58

Hey Anna just a quick one , how many 2x4s do I need to build both the two arm and one arm pieces????

emiliemag

Fri, 07/12/2019 - 21:03

Cut your 9 2x4x10 at 72” first, then use scraps for 25 1/2

use the 10th 2x4x10 to cut the 4 other 25 1/2

the last 2x4 could be only 6” as you will cut your 2 last at 28 1/2

That’s 10 - 2x4x10 and 1 - 2x4x6 with 11 scraps (9x 22.5 - 1x19 - 1x15)

it is plenty! 

 

nickus

Sun, 06/23/2019 - 12:09

Your cut list is deceiving. If I’m building to suit specific cushions I don’t need 13 pieces that length. 4 of them still need to be the length of the height of the arms. Kind of a pain in the ass when you’ve pre stained/sealed based on the cut list and then end up with pieces that won’t work.

Davidmarks

Sun, 07/19/2020 - 00:18

Hmmmmm.... did you use 2x4x10? Because the only way you would end up with 13 unusable pieces would be if you used 2x4x8 . One thing about Ana I noticed is all her plans Minimize scraps, if any at all.

carpenter_eagle

Sun, 08/25/2019 - 07:03

Thank you for this build. I just built the couch last night. My only question is this:

Step 5 doesn't have any instructions. It's kind of self explanatory as to how to connect the arms in Step 4 to the seat base of the couch, but what isn't clear is how many screws to use?  I only attached the arms to the seat with 3, #10, 2 1/2" wood screws. So that's 3 wood screws on each arm holding up a lot of weight when you take into account the weight of the top of the couch and anyone sitting on the couch.Is this enough to hold the weight?.... or should I find a place to bolt the arms to the seat.

That particular piece of wood in Step 4 already has a ton of screws in it. It has pocket screws in each end and pockets screws in the side to attach it to the board in Step 3, and then it has 3 wood screws attaching it to the seat base. 

Any help?

phil1964

Fri, 09/27/2019 - 09:26

First, I would not use pocket holes for this project. Second, when you are attaching the seat to the arm/leg assembly trying driving two screws at an angle into the legs. This will give you a lot more holding strength. 

judie h

Tue, 06/30/2020 - 20:22

Did you ever figure it out? I just bought a few boards to see if I can get the pocket holes right and then I would decide if the plans were both easy enough for me and also if the plans were correct. I can see how that corner can get messy with three boards intersecting. I would appreciate any suggestions before I get into it too deep. I didn't see a reply to your post.
Thanks!

judie h

Mon, 07/13/2020 - 21:01

Did you ever figure it out? I built the couch (with two arms) and used pocket holes on everything. I didn't think it would be strong enough screwing into the ends. I think I may be running into the same issue with corner intersecting screws for the decking. I will have to look at it with a fresh eye this week.

carpenter_eagle

Sun, 08/25/2019 - 07:04

Thank you for this build. I just built the couch last night. My only question is this:

Step 5 doesn't have any instructions. It's kind of self explanatory as to how to connect the arms in Step 4 to the seat base of the couch, but what isn't clear is how many screws to use?  I only attached the arms to the seat with 3, #10, 2 1/2" wood screws. So that's 3 wood screws on each arm holding up a lot of weight when you take into account the weight of the top of the couch and anyone sitting on the couch.Is this enough to hold the weight?.... or should I find a place to bolt the arms to the seat. 

That particular piece of wood in Step 4 already has a ton of screws in it. It has pocket screws in each end and pockets screws in the side to attach it to the board in Step 3, and then it has 3 wood screws attaching it to the seat base. 

Any help?

oc man

Wed, 09/04/2019 - 18:36

Hi 

 

That's exactly I was thinking about as there is not much info provided for step 5. Even if we are using pocket holes, that is a lot of weight for 2x4s to lift (considering if 3 people are actually sitting on this sofa) 

Hope to get some assistance on this topic 

dktoronto

Mon, 08/10/2020 - 20:59

I just built this sofa using pocket holes and had the same concern.
I decided to add a few extra legs to the middle section - it's very sturdy now.

crazyascarl

Sun, 09/29/2019 - 10:32

Does anybody have a feedback on the comfort of having the seat completely flat and the back completely vertical?  I feel that most couches have a slight angle to both the seat and the back...  Obviously that makes construction more difficult, but if I'm going to spend time/money on a project I want to make sure it's comfy.

Thanks!

aliasak

Sun, 01/12/2020 - 09:24

Hello, I want to build this but with a slant back.  Has anyone tried this?  I made the simple outdoor furniture (loveseat and two chairs) many years ago and I love the slanted back.  Should I adjust the depth of the overall plan and add a cleat to attach vertical boards to create a slanted back?  Any recommendations are appreciated!

Pcreson

Wed, 03/25/2020 - 07:10

Why do I need to buy 10ft length's?

Can I get away with 8th lengths?

My local store only carries 8ft and 12ft long boards.

ralfey

Wed, 04/01/2020 - 09:39

I have 24.75 cushions, should I build this to 26.25” instead of 25.5”?

GoDevils

Sat, 04/11/2020 - 08:05

My kids (10 and 13) had a great time building this set while on lockdown at home. We painted it all white. Now the challenge is getting cushions. We live in Arizona, so the sun destroys most material that is outside. I will likely purchase cushions that are made from Sunbrella material. Very expensive, but they will last longer.

lknolan2

Sat, 04/18/2020 - 20:13

Loved this plan! Super easy to follow and easy on the wallet. Only complaint is the amount of waste, but not really much could be done about that.

trfountain22

Sun, 04/19/2020 - 16:49

Hi Ana,
I am getting ready to build this. I bought all the wood today. I have a couple questions though. For some reason I thought this planned called for pocket holes. (I have the Kreg kit). I guess I'm confusing it with another plan. So my question is it says to screw pieces together with the self tapping screws....but don't you see those after it's complete? I'm confused on why you wouldn't use pocket holes.
My next question is how hard would it be to make the back slanted? I saw a plan for a sofa that had a slanted back but I went this this plan because I am making a U shaped sectional. I would really like the back to be slanted though...but I don't think I could just wing it. I would need step by step directions and exact cuts. I'm a beginner!

Thanks for the help!

kellya72

Fri, 05/01/2020 - 14:36

Can anyone tell me why the sofa and the one arm sofa that you put together to make the sectional are 2 different lengths? The cushions would be the same size so wouldn't you need the same length. One is 72" and one is 70 1/2". Unless I'm reading it wrong.

jupiter7

Thu, 05/21/2020 - 22:06

If you look closely at the diagrams for each sofa, on the sectional piece without the arm on one end, the back corner wood piece is turned differently since there is "no arm" attached on that end. It's turned sideways. So, that probably explains the slight difference in length.

mattstriker

Thu, 05/14/2020 - 10:13

Hi there. Just building this for our garden.
Having an issue with the arms. The 28 1/2” cut seems to be an inch too short for the frame and to get the 25 1/2” support in also.
As 25 1/2”+ 2”x 2 for both legs is 29 1/2”. Does this make sense? Has anyone else had this issue please?

jupiter7

Fri, 06/19/2020 - 23:10

You may have figured it out by now. A 2 X 4 board is not actually 2 inches depth. It's 1 1/2 inches. So, the two 1/2 inch differences account for the 1 inch you are asking about.

Alfiepon

Wed, 07/08/2020 - 13:52

Yes @mattstriker you are right. It's happened to me building the first sofa (not the sectional) and now I change the 28 1/2" for 29 1/2" and it's work perfect for the sectional part. @Ana White need to update the plans or make a comment to confirm this issue.

Joel Brown 1055

Mon, 05/18/2020 - 05:25

Hi Ana, I notice a lot of the time in the project you’re drilling into the end grain. Does this have much impact on how robust the whole project is? Would it be better to use pocket holes?

MACMAN

Fri, 05/29/2020 - 13:30

Nice project. I still have to sand and stain. I changed the 2x4 backrest and added another 2x4. In the process of getting cushions. Thank you!
MAC

Beryl

Tue, 06/02/2020 - 11:40

Looks nice and I'm planning to build it, and probably the sectional and table as well as soon as I get done with some things that I "must do" before I get to the "want to do" list. I was curious why you used regular wood screws on the butt joints, screwing into end grain, when you so often talk about pocket screws in that kind of application. I'd appreciate your insight.

jupiter7

Fri, 06/19/2020 - 23:13

I have seen her state that she wanted to keep it simple for beginners to be able to build it, but that you could use pocket holes if desired. The one arm sectional piece that goes with it does call for two pocket holes.

jennilausiva

Tue, 06/02/2020 - 16:04

I just made the couch and table - I cannot find cushions anywhere that fit the couch. I'm looking for three that are 24 x 27 - can anyone make some suggestions?
amazon, target, home depot, lowes...all don't have the size I need. thanks.

cocoloco182

Sun, 06/07/2020 - 10:26

I am a VERY beginner wood DIY builder and this project was super simple, easy and very clear with directions. My son and I completed the building in 5 hours and that was because I measured 5X and cut once! I used Valspar Black Midnight wood treatment so that I could still see the grain. Great time with my son and I saved mucho dinero $$$$$$$ since something like this at a place like "Clay Shack" without naming specific brands would have been out of my budget for now. THANKS SO MUCH for the plans and easy to follow diagrams! The next project is the outdoor outdoor Bar Table.

kanga

Fri, 06/19/2020 - 10:50

My HD carries 2x4x104 size boards, much easier for me to transport and much less waste in cutting. Once you cut the 72" and a 25.5" for a board you only have 6.5" of waste.

cassmae

Fri, 06/19/2020 - 18:23

I just finished it! This was my first big project. I spent a couple hours yesterday cutting and then a couple hours today assembling. Super easy and can be done in half a day.

I didn’t have a miter saw, so I just used a circular saw. It worked, but it would have been MUCH easier with a miter saw.

judie h

Tue, 06/30/2020 - 20:36

Did you run into any issues or problems? I see those corners that tie in with the newly added back piece = being a bit messy with so many intersecting screws. And do you think seat is strong enough to hold weight of 2-3 people?
Thanks

judie h

Tue, 06/30/2020 - 20:32

I am new to this site but I don't see replies to questions posted and why is an escort service post allowed? Very odd. Is this site professionally managed? I am doubting these plans and see lots of potential holes in the engineering especially if there are no solutions or replies to the followers/builders. I would rather have answers and corrected as the project is appealing but still not convinced it is worth doing.
Thanks if anyone has good answers.

Free Plans Made Possible By Our Sponsors