Create your own concrete bench for under $20

concrete bench, handmade concrete benchWhat better way to greet visitors in your garden than with a bench!

Yes it is possible to create your own concrete bench for under $20. If you have no wood lying around then you are still going to be under $30. The one pictured to the left has a metal Welcome sign that you can find at Hobby Lobby for less than $3 with their 40% coupon. The wood frame/molds for this project can be used over and over to create more benches for family and friends. What a great gift idea for the gardener in your life!

concrete garden bench

Dora enjoying a moment

The concrete mix I used is less than $6 a bag at Lowe’s . I used Sakrete 5000 which  has fibers  and is rated for sidewalks and countertops 2″ thick . One bag does one bench top or base and I feel would be the best concrete  mix for this project. You may also want to add rebar which is sold in the concrete section to reinforce the bench top and the base if your bench will be located where someone may sit. We did benches both ways and sat on each and they did not crack or break (and we are no light weights).concrete bench, homemade concrete garden bench

The bench cures for at least 8 hours before you take off the base and then you can place it in the garden after the concrete has cured for 24 hours. You may want to sand, grind, and remove some of the rough edges underneath the bench. After a week the bench should be ready.

What you will need for this project:

  • 2 bags of concrete mix (easier if you mix one bag at a time)
  • large tub or wheelbarrow to mix concrete
  • water (use hose it is easier)
  • spade or shovel to mix the concrete {if you have an electric drill you could use the large paint stir attachment to stir the concrete-be prepared it will wear you out)
  • 1- 2″x4″x8′ board for the bench top
  • 1-1″x12″x8′ pine board for the base (try to find a straight one)
  • long screws, drill and bit and screw bit and/or impact driver,
  • sander (to vibrate the molds to release air bubbles)
  • 4″ putty knife, grout or concrete float, or concrete tools for smoothing and spreading out concrete
  • rebar – 2-24″ pieces for bench top if you feel the need
  • WD40, spray cooking oil, or other medium to make the wood non stick
  • rubber/latex gloves, mask, and safety glasses
  • need a flat, level surface (the garage floor or sidewalk should work) to work on and plastic, used shower curtain, or tarp to for the concrete molds/frames

Build the molds/frames first and I have put pictures on here with dimensions for easy following. If you do not have a level surface to pour concrete on, then just buy a cheap $8 -4’x8′ of OSB plywood and have your local Lowe’s or Home Depot cut it down to about 4′ so you have 2 pieces-one for the bench top and one for the base. It is easier working on the ground pouring the concrete mix but a pain when you are trying to smooth it out. Try to get the surface you are working with as level as possible-does not have to be perfect.

There is no easy way to mix the concrete so have someone help you. It is so much easier with 2 people and one being strong! Take turns mixing the concrete and just add water slowly so that you do not get the mix too wet. Do not panic if you do and maybe let it sit and dry up some and keep mixing every 15 minutes or so. This project should not take more than 3 -4 hours to do. We have all the dimensions for you and putting it together should be easy. If you do not have a saw, take the dimensions to your Lowes or Home Depot where they should cut it for you. We used the 2nd time around a 1x 12 in pine which made it a whole lot easier.

I use this concrete mix from Lowe's

I use this concrete mix from Lowe’s

A large tub like this works great! Have a helper because 80lb concrete mix is heavy!

A large tub like this works great! Have a helper because 80lb concrete mix is heavy!

The frame and measurements for the bench top

The frame and measurements for the bench top. Screws that are marked are the ones you take out to take the frame off your concrete

whether you use a base cover with plastic and make sure it is level. i now use the sidewalk since it is pretty close to level covered in an old shower curtain which is also sprayed with WD40 before pouring in concrete

whether you use a base cover with plastic and make sure it is close to level. i now use the sidewalk since it is pretty close to level covered in an old shower curtain which is also sprayed with WD40 before pouring in concrete

Use the sander to vibrate out the air-very important otherwise you will get a very rough looking bench underneath

Use the sander to vibrate out the air-very important otherwise you will get a very rough looking bench underneath

Take the putty knife and push the edges in and make them more curved. This is the aggregrate top but the idea is the same. you want to round off top corners

Take the putty knife and push the edges in and make them more curved. This is the aggregrate top but the idea is the same. you want to round off top corners

concrete garden bench top

found these at hobby lobby for a less than $5. after smoothed out top put them on and lightly tapped them in concrete

concrete bench top

this was another bench with the welcome iron piece from hobby lobby

1x12 for the bench

1×12 for the bench

materials for bench

materials for bench

concrete bench #2 016

Use a 1×12 for the base and coat it really well with WD40 or other lubricant so the concrete does not stick

Put in the divider which is just a 12

Put in the divider which is just a 12″ piece of 2×4 screw it in place -only need 1 screw per side

Using the vibration of the sander to release any air bubbles

Using the vibration of the sander to release any air bubbles

Release the frame about 8 hours after you pour-only need to take opposite screws out from 2 corners

Release the frame about 8 hours after you pour-only need to take opposite screws out from 2 corners

bench butterf;u 005

Let cure for a few days in the shade

What a great gift for the gardener in your life.

 concrete garden bench

There are many variations out there for this bench that you could try-using concrete stain in the mix or even using tile to create a mosaic top. Endless possibilities for a one of a kind bench that any gardener will surely love.

Creating. Inspiring. Gardening without the rules!

2014/2015 copyrighted material C Renee Fuller

@ the Garden Frog Boutique

9 thoughts on “Create your own concrete bench for under $20

  1. This is a fantastic idea – thank you for sharing & making it sound & look so doable! I already know who will be getting these as gifts from us this year!

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