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Garden Bench Upcycling Ideas – Making the Most of Recycled Materials

To relax in the garden area during the summer days, you can consider a garden bench upcycling from old materials. A stylishly designed seat could be the perfect starting point if you want to update your garden furniture. With a matching paint job and delicate details, you can transform your outdoor environment into a great relaxation area. So create a special place where you can sit back and relax. DIY garden benches can be paired with a variety of materials to give your lawn an eye-catching addition. Welcome the perfect place to reflect or entertain outdoors.

Creative options for garden bench upcycling

light blue garden bench upcycling with decoration from flowers and cushions positioned outdoors

Maintaining your garden requires several things, from designing ornaments, to a pond, to growing flowers and much more. Keeping track of them can sometimes get expensive and challenging. If your budget is a bit tight and you are wondering how to spice up your garden a bit, you can think about a garden bench upcycling idea.

use car parts like lids of trunks and rear lights as materials for garden bench upcycling

However, before you upgrade an old bench, you should first put it in a good condition. Regardless of how you renew it, you must first make sure that your piece of furniture is sturdy. Depending on the quality and condition of your garden bench, you may then be able to go ahead with your new project. So here are some simple steps you can follow to help you get started.

Preparation of the DIY project

paint old chairs white and use as base for garden bench upcycling ideas to arrange tree

First, remove any old paint that may have cracks. Use a hardener to treat any wood rot or wet rot with it. Repair any broken pieces of wood first to prevent future breakage. You can sand down the rough spots. Finally, apply a primer to all the wood. Garden bench upcycling is also known for breathing new life into your old items with fresh splashes of color. People often limit themselves to the colors they can choose from in stores. It is best to grab an unusual color that you can use for your garden bench upcycling to create a unique piece.

headboards from old bed as backrest and seating area for garden bench upcycling colorful and fresh painting


The upcycling of your bench can thus get a cheerful color. After the paint dries, take some time to draw or paint some handmade designs, for example. If you’re not very good with a paintbrush, buy a stencil for your bench. Allow your handiwork to dry completely before applying a top coat or wood varnish.

garden bench upcycling ideas with matching comfortable cushions for more comfort and relaxation

Your new bench will look great on its own, but for a special touch you can add some accessories. If the weather is nice, a few comfy cushions will be the comfortable solution for any seating. If your garden bench upcycling was a success and you enjoyed it, you could also renew a table in the same way. Match it to your new bench and enjoy your afternoon tea there while sitting alone or with company.

Simple instructions for garden bench upcycling

diy project for wooden garden bench with pergola garden arbor with climbing plant and cushions in the backyard


  • Lightly sand your bench if it is old and has been in the garden all winter. This will remove any old or loose paint or varnish. Make sure the bench is completely dry before painting.
  • Treat the surface of the garden bench with a primer and let it dry. Then apply one or two coats of your chosen paint. For example, you can use a satin oil-based paint, which you then allow to dry.
  • Cut out large leaf shapes from decorative paper, for example.
  • Use glue to secure each flower in place, choosing a waterproof variety, for example. Five or six petals per flower work best. Each petal should be positioned over a few strips of wood on the bench.

Other tips

garden swing upcycling ideas with backs of old chairs and natural rope beautifully decorated

  • Think about your style and how you can incorporate it into your garden bench.
  • Combine colors and patterns for added quirkiness.
  • Visit a flea market or other similar stores to get garden accessories for your new bench.
  • Style the rest of your garden with some new plants and flowers. When you look at your new bench, these will enhance your mood and make the work you’ve done worthwhile.
  • For example, consider building or buying a canopy over your bench so you can sit there no matter what the weather.
  • Ask local salvage yards if they sell or give away materials that could help you build different areas of your bench.
    Ask friends or children to help you build or decorate to spend time together.
  • Leftover paint usually ends up in the trash, so you can probably use it for your DIY project.
  • You can also create a bench for your little ones in the same way you would upgrade it for adults. Get the kids involved by painting fun pictures or patterns on the bench so they have a place of their own in the garden.

Consider robustness

rustic old bench with flower pots about to break

For something that looks very authentic and antique, you can consider an old and rustic look. However, you should be careful not to break your wooden bench, as many old wooden items may not be sturdy and safe enough for the garden. If you don’t take proper care of old wooden furniture, it can be severely damaged in bad outdoor weather. So for something that looks like you’ve revitalized it, consider a wooden garden bench that is sturdy. You can paint them with different colors to beautify your garden.

Various ideas for garden bench upcycling

creative ideas for old doors into bench and integrate into the garden design

If you are one of those people who have an old piece of furniture and want to turn it into something wonderful, this can be a great way to build a new bench without spending a lot of money. One idea would be to take old chairs and fix them appropriately to create a garden bench out of them. You can also make garden benches out of old tables. Think outside the box for a unique garden bench where you can realize your creative upcycling ideas. Many people love to have quotes such as symbolic tattoos on the accessories as well. Benches have also always been known to be dedicated to a loved one. Moreover, writing a quote or dedication on your bench can be a very personal way to impress your favorite person with it or just be original.

use two connected white chairs outside as garden bench

The most exciting thing about upcycling is that there is no right or wrong way. Look at other garden benches, or just go to the park to get inspired by different colors and models. Let your creative side run wild when designing a special garden bench. Regardless of the pattern, material, or color you choose for garden bench upcycling, you’ll end up with a piece of furniture that is sure to look great and achieve the desired effect, as long as you adapt it to your own taste and style.

Use old furniture as materials

old crates as materials for garden bench upcycling with wooden boards and colorful cushions

Whether indoors or out, a project like this can be the perfect solution for any leftover bed frames, doors, or chairs you have lying around. Or you can even get the materials from a flea market or antique store. If you also put old crates under a bench, for example, they will not only give you extra outdoor seating, but also a new place to store tools or toys in style. So there’s no better way to breathe new life into worn-out furniture or items.

antique cast iron bench behind a playing dog in the garden

If you’re looking for a more durable alternative to wood, there are many antique garden benches made of iron and other metals. As one of the strongest materials for benches, a cast iron bench often features intricate detailing on both sides to add antique character to your garden. These sturdy benches are usually long enough to seat three people and are very elegant. Another sturdy alternative for your garden bench upcycling is steel. Because of its sturdy properties, steel has often been used to make furniture. Steel garden benches often feature a curved back for added comfort, designs like swirls and decorative leaves, and enough space to add cushions or blankets.

Simple designs

old concrete blocks and wood as materials for a bench in the garden with flowers design

Just a few bricks or concrete blocks and a wooden board can also make a pretty, natural-looking garden bench. For the construction of a stylish DIY bench, which currently competes with designer versions on the market, sometimes even no screws are required. Recycled wooden slats or pallets work just as well as a base for such seating.

comfortable seating in the garden from old concrete blocks and wooden slats build garden bench yourself