7 Budget-Friendly DIY Outdoor Sectionals

seven budget-friendly diy outdoor sectionals

Is the weather starting to warm up in your neck of the woods? If you’re ready to spend more time outdoors, you probably want some nice, comfortable furniture to lounge on; I know I do! I’d like to make our backyard a little more welcoming, and a build-your-own sectional sofa will be the perfect project.

An Outdoor Sectional Sofa may seem like an intimidating project to tackle, but fear not! With the right tools and equipment, you can custom build the perfect outdoor sectional sofa for your space. I’ve gathered seven of my favorite plans from trusted sites for you to choose from.

Having furniture in your backyard that you’ve built yourself will solidify your position as most awesome Dad/Mom/Kid around. It’s a great project to tackle with a family member. A well-constructed outdoor sofa will be around to enjoy for years to come! Read on and pick the plan that appeals most to you.

Ana White’s Sectional Sofa is actually two separate plans on her site. The first piece is the Outdoor Sofa that could stand alone on its own. The second piece is a One Arm Outdoor Sofa that, when constructed, butts up against the Outdoor Sofa to create an L-shape. She explains this in her YouTube video that walks you through the process.

  • Cost will vary according to the material you use and the cushions you purchase. Ana used cedar for longevity, but you could also use pressure treated 2x4s to save a little money.
  • Also note that you need to know the size of the seat cushions (Amazon affiliate link) you are going to be using in order to know how long to make the sofa. My advice: buy the cushions before you build the sofa.

Verdict: Ana’s plans are always well thought out and easy to follow. And free! Plus this one has no pocket holes, which is great if you don’t own a pocket hole jig.

Shanty 2 Chic’s plans are basically a series of boxes with optional backrests. 

That is nice if you want to be able to move the pieces around depending on your space or amount of guests. It is a very versatile option.

If you are planning on using these seats as an outdoor sectional sofa, you will also need to construct the corner seat

This seating project will also need to factor in the cushion size. And the team uses a pocket hole jig (Amazon affiliate link), which not every DIYer will have. (I don’t have one, but so many projects use them that I think I will need to get one soon!)

Verdict: This plan is great if you want flexibility in your seating arrangements. You will need a pocket hole jig, and to me, it looks a little unfinished without arms.

This sectional plan is perfect for you if you would like for your sectional to be all one piece. The L-shaped frame is completely connected, which is appealing if you don’t want any gaps exposed as sofa occupants shift around in their seats. The back is slightly reclined also, which ups the difficulty level but should also make the sofa a bit more comfortable to sit in.

Bob only uses a miter saw, jigsaw and drill to put this sofa together, but he did use a Kreg jig (Amazon Affiliate link) for screw pocket holes. Man, I’ve got to get one of those things!

Verdict: Great tutorial with a downloadable plan. It’s nice that it’s one piece, but that also may make it difficult to move! You’d probably have to build it where it’s going to be used. Also, pocket hole jig needed.

This outdoor sectional is pretty cool because the frame extends well past the cushioned seating area to create an end table effect on either end. That’s a great idea, if you don’t mind swapping out armrests for a place to put your drink.

I hesitated to include this sectional because Paul, the builder of this magnificent DIY, did not include any plans. Man, that is kind of painful! However he gave some step by step instructions and plenty of pictures, so if you’re a veteran DIYer, you could probably figure out what to do. And I just love the look of it. Be warned that if you’re a newbie, you probably don’t want to start with this project. Choose one of the other options that has plans and really detailed steps.

Verdict: This outdoor sectional is more inspirational than practical, since there are no plans. Still, a savvy DIYer could probably figure it out.

Courtney & Brent from Grey House Studio have created a really sleek, minimalist outdoor sectional sofa based on an inspiration piece they saw at West Elm.

Don’t you love the clean lines and the angled backs? This sectional is a great option and super cheap. Their secret? They used cedar dog ear fence pickets for the building material. Genius! This sectional is indeed sectional – three separate pieces – but certainly intriguing. You can look through Courtney & Brent’s step by step instructions here at their website or head over to Etsy to purchase a 22 page PDF digital download of their plans.

Verdict: clean, minimalist and thin lines. Worth the $6 to buy their plans and try it out!

This little sectional from Jenna at Rain On a Tin Roof is super cute. It’s unique because instead of a corner seat, they put a table. While that limits your seating, it still makes for a fun look. And aren’t the cutouts for drink holders pretty genius? This build looks like a party waiting to happen.

It even has an optional cutout for a drink cooler and an umbrella, which is a great idea if your sectional is going to be in a part of the yard with no shade. Jenna links to complete plans in her blog post.

Verdict: Corner table, drink cooler, umbrella holder and sofas all in one! This is the Swiss Army Knife of Sectionals. Free plans from Home Depot.

Do you have access to pallets? It wasn’t too long ago that pallet furniture was all the rage. While the love affair with these warehouse necessities has cooled off, this YouTube tutorial from ProfRobBob was too amazing not to share.

This guy does not give any written instructions, but his video walks you through every step of the process. He definitely made this video with the beginner carpenter in mind. It’s pretty amazing. Be sure to read through the comments after you watch the video; you can find some more ideas and tips there from people who used this tutorial to create their own outdoor sectional from pallets.

This project has the potential to be the cheapest of all the options if you can scrounge up some pallets without paying for them. And the look is very fun and industrial; your friends will be amazed!

Verdict: Great if you have pallets, and like a cool, industrial look. However no written plans may make it difficult to follow.

Which Sectional Plan Appeals to You?

Out of these seven plans, which one do you think you will try? 

I’ve presented a variety of plans, because different factors will drive your decision:

  • Materials used
  • Skill Level
  • Desired Aesthetic
  • Where It’s Going in Your Yard

The materials in these plans range in price from $100 – $350, depending on your material choices and what lumber you may already have on hand. 

Keep in mind, though, that price only includes the materials for the frame.

Those cushions (which really make the sectional complete) will probably add another $250 or so, depending on the quality and availability of your cushions. In general, you will want at least a 20 inch x20 inch (20″x20″) square cushion with a five inch (5″) height. Five inches may seem like a lot, but if your cushions are not deep enough, it will substantially affect the comfort level of your outdoor sofa.

And you also may end up purchasing some tools that may impact your overall expenditure. Or if you have a handy friend, see if they will let you borrow their tools or even help you with the project! This is a great way to get your feet wet with a DIY furniture project as the look and feel does not have to be as refined as something that would go inside the house.

Regardless of how much you spend and the plans you choose, you will have a sturdy piece of furniture for all of your family to enjoy for years at a substantially smaller price point than if you had bought the same item ready made. Plus you get the satisfaction of telling all of your friends and family, “Yeah, I made that myself.” 

I can’t wait to see what you make! Let me know in the comments how it goes and good luck on creating the backyard oasis you’ve always wanted.


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