A garden bench is an oasis for sitting and enjoying pastoral downtime -- to contemplate, meditate, read a book and sip some lemonade. Unfortunately, benches are often expensive or heavy and difficult to move, but we know one do-it-yourself guru who's made it easy to build your own.
Sarah Hamilton, eHow contributor, shows us a way to make a garden bench you can personalize to suit any personality and decor. Purchasing every single item required to make it will cost about $80, but most do-it-yourself types have many of these things on hand. Best of all, it's simple enough to build right in the location it will be placed, so there's no need to move a super-heavy bench!
To create your garden getaway, gather 14 cinder blocks, six 6' 4x4 posts, concrete adhesive, paint for the cinder blocks and stain for the wood. You'll also need these items' tools and accessories, such as a caulking gun, tarp, sandpaper, etc. Try to work as close as you can to the final location of the bench.
First, you'll build the sides of the bench by using the adhesive to glue cinder blocks into two sets. Then, you'll paint the cinder blocks and sand and stain the wood in the colors of your choosing.
The final step is to place the sides about 5' apart, then slide the wooden slats into place to create the bench and its back. Detailed instructions can be found in Hamilton's eHow post, along with a full list of things you'll need to complete the project.
Variations on the wood-and-cinder-block bench theme include stacking the blocks beneath a solid piece of plywood; an artful arrangement of the blocks produces a simple bench that's pleasing to the eye. Or eliminate the backrest for a bench with charming simplicity that's very easy to build.
The cool thing about these benches is that they can be personalized with different colors of stain on the wood, different colors and patterns of cushions, and different colors of paint on the cinder blocks. Chantal Aida Gordon of The Horticult recommends painting cinder blocks to seal them against weather elements and to make them much easier to clean.
Final tip: Wherever you are placing your bench, ensure that the ground is level for best results. Exactly how to do this varies depending on the conditions in your garden, but it's crucial for ensuring that your new bench remains stable for years to come.
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