Building your own furniture is an incredibly rewarding task, and quality outdoor furniture plans are easy to find online and in books at your local library. If you are interested in crafting your own furniture, starting with an outdoor piece is one of the best ways to ease your way into creating beautiful wooden furnishings for your home.
Before embarking on a new task, do a lot of research for the type of piece you want to create. For example, if you want to build a table, look up several different table plans and choose one that fits your design sensibility, as well as your skill level. If you are a novice, start easy and find a mentor who can help you through the difficult parts. If you are more advanced, challenge yourself with a new technique or style that you haven't worked with before.
The most important thing to remember is that building furniture is supposed to be fun and rewarding, not frustrating and stressful. Make certain that you have all of the necessary tools and that you are confident in your abilities. You don't want to start a project and not be able to complete it. There are plenty of different outdoor furniture plans to choose from, so you will find one that perfectly fits all of your criteria.
Choosing Outdoor Furniture Plans
When choosing an outdoor furniture plan to work with, it pays to do your research. Check out your local library, home improvement store, or book shop for woodworking books, or browse through the offerings online. There are several options listed below. Some of the plans are free, some have a small fee.
Adirondack-style furnishings are very popular for the outdoors and Woodcraftplans.com is chock full of several different Adirondack plans. For each of the plans you get:
- A list of materials you need to build your piece
- Exploded diagrams
- Measured drawings
- Instructions for building
For any curved pieces you get full-size patterns. Choose from chair sets, loveseats, rocking chairs, classic Adirondack chairs, as well as an array of other styles, such as English garden benches, park benches, chaise lounge chairs or planters with storage.
Furnitureplans.com offers a wide array of not-so-typical outdoor furniture plans, including trellis arbors, gazebos, bird feeders, playhouses, miniature lighthouses, as well as traditional furnishings such as Adirondack chairs and footrests, and English-style garden benches. Each plan you purchase comes with:
- Exact dimensions
- Concise and clear drawings
- Simple diagrams with easy-to-follow steps
The website also makes it simple to research and purchase the exact plan you need for your project.
There are many websites dedicated to basic outdoor furnishings, but Houseplansandmore.com also offers plans for swing sets, dog houses, birdhouses and feeders, fences and gates, as well as PVC outdoor furniture. Many of these plans are extremely intricate and are more suited for the advanced furniture builder, so be certain of your skill level before purchasing something as complex as a garden swing with a canopy or a wishing well.
While many websites charge for furniture plans, Woodworkingplans4free.com doesn't charge a cent. Check out plans for pieces such as a sunshade sandbox for the kids, a barbecue trolly, which is perfect for the skilled outdoor grill cook, and a garden sink that offers an excellent place for gardeners to wash their hands, rinse off pots or pot up planters.
Woodstore.net is a woodworkers dream. It includes plans for simple projects, such as planters and chairs, as well as more intricate plans for stunning backyard architecture, garages and decks. If your kids are interested in helping you build furniture, start them out with a kids outdoor project, like a simple table or sandbox. Woodstore.net offers just about anything for any level of skill.
There are literally dozens of woodworking books out there to choose from. For a small sample of books on building outdoor furniture, check out Rockler.com, TimberPress.com or Amazon.com for a wide array of styles and skill levels.