DIY Outdoor Storage Bench (with Hidden Storage Containers!)

8 Materials
$60
3 Days
Easy

Build an outdoor storage bench with a twist – the hidden storage can hold two rubber totes! This backyard storage box is ideal for storing pool toys, kid’s outdoor toys, gardening tools, patio cushions, and more.
diy outdoor storage bench with hidden storage containers
I’m excited to share this DIY Outdoor Storage Bench. It’s both purposeful and beautiful. Having a storage bench that can withstand the weather is nice, but one that can hold a couple of sturdy totes and add style to our backyard? That’s functional!
diy outdoor storage bench with hidden storage containers
Here’s a video that shows the whole build – I’ve tried to fill in a few details below.
I began by building the frame of my storage bench. Using 2×4″ boards, I attached (2) 63 inch boards to (3) 17 inch boards.
diy outdoor storage bench with hidden storage containers
Then I added the 18.5″ legs to the frame. I wanted the box to sit up off the ground, so I laid down 1″ scrap wood spacers under the frame before placing the legs in to screw them on. 
diy outdoor storage bench with hidden storage containers
Then I flipped this piece upside down and screwed it to the top of the frame.
diy outdoor storage bench with hidden storage containers
Finally I ripped down a 2×4″ board to 1.5″ x 1.5″ and attached them to the bottom of the frame.
diy outdoor storage bench with hidden storage containers
Here's the completed frame:
diy outdoor storage bench with hidden storage containers
Next, I made the lid for the storage bench by laying the (6) 65″ – 2×4″ boards down and adding three supporting cross boards. When I tested the cross support beams, I realized that it was going to be a tight fit, so I cut a 45 degree angle on each end of the 17″ support boards.
diy outdoor storage bench with hidden storage containers
I attached these boards to the 65″ boards to make the lid. The two end boards were 4″ in from the ends of the lid and the center support was slightly off-center to accommodate for the center beams of the box. Using a square, I secured two screws into the end boards. Then I added two screws in each board, alternating them for extra strength.
diy outdoor storage bench with hidden storage containers
I painted the frame and the lid white. This was partially because I thought it would look nice, but mostly to protect the wood from the elements. That’s why it’s important to choose an exterior paint.

Then I added some 1×4″ cedar planks to the bottom of the storage box to form the floor. Because I have the sturdy totes, I’m not relying on the floor of the box to keep out critters. They really just needed to keep the totes up off the ground.
diy outdoor storage bench with hidden storage containers
I added cedar planks to the outside of the frame to create the box.
diy outdoor storage bench with hidden storage containers
We bought these  t-strap gate hinges that had the countersinking on the wrong side, but we made it work by using a router to cut a grove in the back of the box to fit the hinge. 
diy outdoor storage bench with hidden storage containers
Then, I attached the hinges to the lid and to the back of the box. Finally, I tucked the rubber tubs into the storage bench and it was complete!
diy outdoor storage bench with hidden storage containers
What do you think?
diy outdoor storage bench with hidden storage containers
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Megan Harney | Our Handcrafted Life

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!

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Have a question about this project?

3 of 5 questions
  • Joy Elrod
    on Sep 22, 2018

    Love this! Have a cedar chest t’was my mom’s. Don’t really have anyplace it “fits” inside. Could I use it for this project outside?

    • Kate Garrett
      on Mar 12, 2019

      Joy


      No matter how much you weatherize a project, there are risks with putting it outside. Cedar is a hardy choice, but inspect it & verify that none of the less noticeable parts are weaker woods. You will also probably want to switch out the hardware for rust proof oftions.


      If you still want to go forward, clean everything like it has never been cleaned before. You probably will need to remove years of anti-dust sprays & such.


      If you like the look of the existing finish, cover the outside of everything with multiple coats of a clear outdoor water sealant after removing the old hardware. Replace the hardware with outdoor options.


      If everything is going in outdoor safe storage totes (that fit with room to spare) that is probably all you need.


      On the other hand, if you plan to store items loose or if your totes are a snug fit that could damage their lids over time, you need to do more to keep out rain & critters.


      You will probably want to add a gasket seal (like for exterior doors) to the lid. Drill a few holes in the floor for any stray precipitation, then layer on some window screening (sold by the roll) over the entire floor. Staple the screening along the sides & trim the excess. Add an outdoor friendly glue along the edges of your drainage holes to give it a good seal.


      Good luck

  • Joelene DeFranco
    on Mar 12, 2019

    Nice work and great idea. Although the galvanized pots do look cute, I'm thinking one would hit their head on them. Maybe on hooks on each side?

  • Deb
    2 days ago

    What size tote fits inside?

Join the conversation

2 of 67 comments
  • Janet
    Yesterday

    I think this is perfect. Couldn't ask for a nicer storage system. I would even use this inside of my house as a bench for putting shoes on and inside of.

  • Marilo Gomez
    31 minutes ago

    This idea is perfect for my gardening tools , I like it

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