A concrete garden bench adds a hardscape element to your backyard’s lush green landscape.
This simple seating lets you stop and smell the roses — literally! — and can serve as a monument to honor a family member or remember a beloved pet.
Design is all about the details, and I love this garden bench for its simple, clean lines. Here’s how to create it.
Creating a Concrete Garden Bench
- Table saw
- Miter saw
- 1-inch or 1-1/4-inch drywall screws
- Quikrete Concrete Mix
- Garden hoe for mixing
- 5-gallon bucket of water
- Flat trowel
- 2-by-4 at least 20 inches long
- Reinforcement wire
- Drill with Phillips bit
- Caulk gun
- Quikrete Advanced Polymer Construction Adhesive
- Steel rebar pins
- 120-grit sandpaper
- 2-foot level
1. Size Up the Concrete Garden Bench
First, determine your garden bench’s dimensions. Keep in mind that you’ll need to make one slab for the seat and two slabs for the legs.
For this bench, I used five 80-pound bags of Quikrete Concrete Mix. Here are the dimensions:
- Bench seat: 48 inches long by 16-1/2 inches wide
- Legs: 16 inches tall and 15-1/2 inches wide
2. Build the Forms
Next, build forms for your concrete garden bench with pieces of melamine.
Melamine is an ideal material for concrete forms because it’s slick, releases well from concrete and leaves a smooth surface.
Cut the melamine to the dimensions you want for your concrete garden bench.
Use drywall screws to attach the sides of each form to the base. Your forms should look like an open box — the large piece will form the seat while the two smaller pieces will form the legs.
Next, seal the inside seams with caulk, cut reinforcement wire to fit into each form, and set the forms aside.
3. Mix the Concrete
For this amount of concrete, use a wheelbarrow and a garden hoe for mixing. Mixing in a wheelbarrow also makes it easier to pour the cement into the forms.
To get a deep gray finish for the concrete garden bench, add a 10-ounce bottle of Quikrete Liquid Cement Color in Charcoal to the water before mixing.
When mixing concrete, always use impervious gloves to protect your hands.
For each 80-pound bag of Quikrete Concrete Mix, add about 6 pints of clean water. Work the mix with the garden hoe and add water until it’s a stiff, moldable consistency.
Be sure there are no dry pockets of material and don’t leave standing puddles of water.
4. Pour Concrete Mix into the Forms
Pour the concrete mix into the melamine forms until half-full, and then add the reinforcement wire.
Fill the forms and screed off the excess with a 2-by-4 piece of wood.
Tap the forms on all sides to release air bubbles from the mix. Air bubbles would make the surface of your concrete bench look foamy once it’s dry, and nobody wants that!
Let your concrete dry for at least five days in warm weather at 70 degrees Fahrenheit or higher or seven days in colder weather at 50-70 degrees Fahrenheit.
5. Remove the Forms and Assemble
Unscrew the drywall screws from the melamine forms to remove them once they’re dry.
Set the legs upright and drill a hole in the top center of each leg. Then, drill two holes in the middle of the concrete seat to match the legs.
To secure the seat to the legs, hammer steel rebar pins into the leg holes and add Quikrete Advanced Polymer Construction Adhesive to the surface. This adhesive will keep the seat in place and prevent wobbling.
Now, attach the seat by lining up the pins with the holes in the seat. Use a level to make sure the bench is even.
Use a sander with 120-grit sandpaper to smooth out any rough edges.
Finally (and this is my favorite part) enjoy your new concrete garden bench!