Sunset Magazine Inspired DIY Outdoor Sectional

A Sunset Magazine Inspired DIY Outdoor Sectional made of cedar boards, with comfortable cushions, offering warmth and texture for an outdoor space.

Sunset Magazine Inspired DIY Outdoor Sectional

Hey, Friends. My husband is guest-posting today! I was so impressed when he took my vision of what I wanted in an outdoor area, did some research, and came up with this Sunset Magazine Inspired DIY Outdoor Sectional for me!

Sunset Magazine Inspired DIY Outdoor Sectional

I’m a lucky girl!

Welcome, Paul!

Hi, I’m Paul, the original reluctant entertainer. Unlike Sandy when we first got married, I didn’t want to entertain. I mean, I hated it. But I saw how much Sandy enjoyed it and said to myself, “At least try.” So I did. I even went to the library and picked up a book on how to keep a conversation going as a host.

Sunset Magazine Inspired DIY Outdoor Sectional

Now I’m glad I came out of my shell and I actually enjoy having people over, with Sandy’s help of course.

Sunset Magazine Inspired DIY Outdoor Sectional

Part of having people over is having a place to sit and relax. (Above, our old back yard with the sectional that we left a year ago for the “new” owners:)

Since moving here, we found that certain parts of our home just didn’t have the right feel in part because we didn’t have the right furniture. (Take a peek at the Pottery Barn Stumps that we’ve made with wood from our back yard.)

Sunset Magazine Inspired DIY Outdoor Sectional

So we started hunting for some, but found that most pieces were just too big for our back patio.

I decided to build a sectional, something I enjoy doing when I have the time because for some reason working with my hands calms my mind and makes me feel better. You know running an anti-bullying organization can be very draining. (My latest article on the controversy regarding this Netflix series, 13 Reasons Why.)

Sunset Magazine Inspired DIY Outdoor Sectional

Sunset Magazine Inspired DIY Outdoor Sectional

We saw this popular sectional in Sunset magazine and we both really liked it. But I saw pretty quickly that it was too big for our area, so I modified it. The photo didn’t come with a “cut list,” a list of wood cut to the right length. But even I could figure out that bench area was comprised of about 36 inches, as the back was around 24 inches. Too big. Time to modify.

We started with the right cushions, which we found on sale at Target.

Sunset Magazine Inspired DIY Outdoor Sectional

Then I built the 2-part frame to accommodate the cushions. I started making the frame with 2x4s, but then figured pretty quickly that this would be a beast to bring upstairs, even for my two big, strong sons. So I ripped the 2x4s in half, and we’re really happy with the result: great support and much less weight. It helped that the frame would be covered with 1×12 cedar planks.

One more modification. See how the Sunset magazine pic has a straight back? They’re easier to build that way, but not as comfortable.

Sunset Magazine Inspired DIY Outdoor Sectional

So I angled it back by measuring the back of our indoor sofa. I also cut the seat part of the sectional down as well, to around 26 inches instead of the original 36 inches.

Sunset Magazine Inspired DIY Outdoor Sectional

It took more than a month for me to find affordable 1×12 cedar planks, but Haggis and I found them.

Sunset Magazine Inspired DIY Outdoor Sectional

I put most of the cedar planks on while working on the driveway, but not all of them, in order to cut down on the weight (the wood was still pretty wet). Then once we got it upstairs, I attached the blanks to the back, which was pretty easy.

Sunset Magazine Inspired DIY Outdoor Sectional

Screws versus nails

Since I’m not a woodworker, I prefer to use screws, which is an ongoing joke with my father-in-law, a custom home builder. You know, one of those guys who can build a mall with a pocket knife. He uses nails because he knows what he’s doing the first time. I feel my way through a project, so screws give me the ability to take things apart and build it even better next time. These screws don’t require pre-drilling. They are a little more expensive, but they’re amazing. (Here’s more details about our new mountain home DIY!)

Sunset Magazine Inspired DIY Outdoor Sectional

There are also mistakes. But the great thing for someone like me and you is that today’s rustic look allows for imperfections.

Sunset Magazine Inspired DIY Outdoor Sectional

The eye isn’t drawn to them they way it is drawn to other styles of furniture.

Sunset Magazine Inspired DIY Outdoor Sectional

People love it. They lounge on it, and like how each end has a built-in end table. They even nap on it when they get the chance.

Let us know if you have any questions about our Sunset Magazine Inspired DIY Outdoor Sectional!

So, have you thought about building your own patio furniture and saving a whole lot of money? :)

Sunset Magazine Inspired DIY Outdoor Sectional

7 comments

  1. With less weight and angled back, your design beats Sunset’s hands down! Nice job! 

  2. Love, Love, Love how this turned out! My hubby would probably say, we need to finish building our house first…lol.

  3. Paul- this is so fabulous. Brian won’t be inspired to build his own, but he might be inspired to hire you to build it for him :) It’s perfect for your outdoor space. You should be very proud of the results. Can’t wait to see it in person one of these days!!!

  4. Thank you for my husband’s next project :)

  5. Hi! Is there link to where we could purchase or download the plans?

  6. I love how nice your project sectional came out. I was wondering if you made the cushions or did you buy them? Looks really comfy!

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