An Arbour Bench made from recycled wood

Having just installed some decking (recycled from a neighbours garden), I thought I would surprise my wife by building her an arbour bench with planters for some climbing plants. I saw a similar design on the internet and adapted it for this arbour.

Arbour bench from recycled wood

Construction of the trellis and the planters is shown separately, click on the images further down the page to see how these were made.

The first lot of pallets and waste wood to be used for the arbour bench

The photo above shows the first lot of pallet wood reclaimed from the industrial estate for the arbour bench. This will need to be dismantled and cut to size.


The various pallets have been dismantled

The pallets have been dismantled.

The posts for the uprights have been sawn to length

The next step is to saw the posts (for the uprights) to the correct length.


Make the first side panel by adding in the cross-beams.

To make the first side panel add the cross-beams. Note the lower beam which will support the bench seat (to the right in this picture) is slightly shorter as an allowance is needed for the front facing panel.


Make the second side panel and then add some aditional support

When both side panels have been made, add a couple of support pieces. These will be used to support the beams going across the width of the bench.


Add the rear bottom and top cross-beams

Add the rear bottom and top cross beams. Screw them in place and...


Stand the frame upright and add the front cross-member bench support

Stand the frame upright and add the front beam which will support the bench seat.


Add some additional supports

Add some additional supports to the frame. Once done, screw in the front facing decking plank.


Add the other decking planks for the bench seat

I bought some decking planks for the bench seat (to avoid unwanted splinters), and cut these to length before screwing in place.


Add the top decorative fascias

Add the top decorative fascia boards - if you use decking planks then you can saw the ends to your own preferred design - I've just gone for a basic design. When you've sawn the first one, use the off-cut as a template for the rest. Add one of the boards to the front and one to the back.


Add the rafters to the top

The next stage is to install the 'rafters' to the pergola. If you are lucky the recycled wood you have collected will have suitable lengths for this step. If not, don't worry, just source and saw some additional lengths.


Next, construct the frame for the back-rest of the bench seat

The frame for the back-rest now needs to be constructed. The wood for this was recycled from an old bed frame.



These pieces were sawn for the back panel

It is up to you how you want the back panel to look, but I thought I would make a more personal panel, and using my jig-saw I created this heart- shaped design from the recycled wood I had available.


just four straps - it's not hards...

Screw four straps to the frame to make the right hand side of the panel...


...and four more to the left side...

...and screw four more straps to the left side...


...add the frame for the floating heart panel...

The next step is to install the frame for the floating heart panel...


Draw the design on some old pallet straps and saw it to shape..

Decide which design is to be used and saw some old pallet wood to the shape. Remember to make allowances for the spaces..



flip the parts over and install some supporting battens..

Turn the pieces upside down and install some supporting battens...


...using some additional straps, screw these to the back of the bench seat...

...using some additional straps, screw these to the back of the bench seat...


...and then screw the back-rest to the bench and uprights...

Now the back-rest is complete, install it by screwing it to both the seat and to each upright post. For more comfort, angle the back-rest slightly as shown in the photo...

To fully complete this arbour bench, some trellis has to be added to each side panel. and planters are to be installed at either end. Click here to see how the trellis was made, or here to see how the planters were made.

And this is the finished arbour bench...

...the finished arbour bench...

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