DIY : RECLAIMED WOOD RUSTIC MODERN OUTDOOR COUCH
As part of our major outdoor renovation project we built our own modern rustic furniture out of reclaimed wood. LOT’s of furniture to be exact. We built a couch, chair, double-wide chaise and dining table with benches. This post details how we built the couch. Our space is long and narrow so we needed a fairly unique size for the couch, which is the main reason it made sense for us to build our own in addition to wanting something very high quality and an heirloom piece. If you’re interested, you can also read the double-chaise DIY post.
My go-to cushion maker is Natural Home by The Futon Shop so I knew getting the perfect all natural cushions made would be easy. I made a drawing showing the length, width, depth and within just a couple weeks they landed on my doorstep in the perfect outdoor black fabric. Everything they make is all natural and, when possible, organic. (NOTE: Since I love their products so much they gifted us the cushions in exchange for documenting our build.)
Let’s get to it!
A few quick notes. You can build yours any size so I will give measurements guidelines, not specifics. Next, we use a Kreg Jig for all of the screws so that they’re hidden, and glue every connection point to avoid squeaks. Once cut to size, and before assembling, we sand the wood so that we’re able to easily get everything sanded uniformly. Trust me, it’s a lot easier than sanding once it’s built. And lastly, we used all reclaimed wood so the measurements are actual (aka a 2x8 is really 2” thick. This is important for stability).
First up, build the base. For the ends and middle we used 2x6s, and then the front and back are 2x2s (2x6s ripped down). You can make it however long and deep you’d like. Clamping helps you to pre-drill and screw the middle pieces to the end. You’ll want to screw and glew the middle pieces so they’re flush with the top of the 2x6s.
Second, build the top of the base. The perimeter is 2x6’s and the middle is 2x6s ripped down to about 2x3. Note that your middle pieces will vary depending on how deep you build your couch. Make sure you leave 3/4-1” gap between the middle pieces for moisture to escape. We made the top 6” longer on both sides and overhang it from the front and back about 3/4”.
Third, Build the back angle pieces. Weather got the best of us (hey, we live in the north and snow came!) so I don’t have too many pictures of the build process. I will just walk you through it instead. Set a 2x6 upright on the ground behind the back of the couch then mark how high you’d like the back to be. Then cut it to that length. In order to get the angle of the back you’ll draw it out on the face of the 2x6 then cut it with a jig saw. How to draw it you ask? Refer to the diagram as I walk you through these next steps. We want it to be a 2x2 when it’s done, so starting at the bottom left corner go in 2” from the side (aka to your right). Then from that point draw straight up for as long as your couch base is tall (in our case the couch is a 2x6 with a 2x6 sitting on top of it for a total of 8” in height. So our straight line is 8”). Now, from the top right side corner, make a point 2” down. Now simply connect those two points with a diagonal line. That is your back line. Now take a straight edge and go from the top-right corner down to the opposite side ensuring it’s 2” from the first diagonal line that you drew. My drawing is really out of proportion but it gets the point across. Now cut it out with a jig saw. Make however many you need. Simple, right!?
Attach the back pieces to the base of the couch. Ensure you pre-drill so you don’t crack them. We used a spade bit to drill a larger hole in the back and then washers with bolts as we wanted it to be as secure as possible. We did three for the length of our couch. You may need more or less depending on how long your make your couch.
Fourth, build the back support pieces. Doing the same as you did with the bottom, just rip down some strips and attach them to the back ensuring you leave some gaps for moisture to escape. 1x material is fine here. The width of your pieces and the gaps between them will differ depending on how tall you've made your back. Since the cushions will always be on the front we chose to screw from the front to back so that when you see the couch from the back you don’t see any screws.
And that’s it! We chose to do 2 base cushions at 3” thick and 2 back cushions at 6” thick. As mentioned above, they’re all natural, which is important to us and our brand. We went with Sunbrella fabric in black and Natural Home by The Futon Shop will handle it all for you and make whatever dimensions you need. Tell them Hello Norden sent you!
We take custom orders so if you’re interested please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org for a quote.
If you’d like us to custom-build a double-chaise, beam chair or couch please reach out to email@example.com.