Reclaimed Wood Tree Bench

5 Materials
6 Hours

Using wood from a section of our fence that fell in a wind storm, I built a bench to circle our large maple tree in the back yard.

Here are the weathered fence boards from the storm

The first step in building the tree bench was to decide how large to make the inside row for the seat. I measured around the tree, allowing for growth then cut 4 pieces of wood. Before proceeding, I took them out to the backyard to make sure they were the right size.

Once I had confirmed that the first row for the seat was the correct size, it was time to cut the remaining two rows. I used a thin piece of wood as a spacer to decide what size each piece needed to be to form the next rows.

I found that using my compound miter saw for the 45 degree cuts worked very well! Laying the seat out on the garage floor was a great way to view the size and also provided an even surface to work on.

Now that the seat section of the bench was cut, it was time to decide on the height. Measuring an existing bench, I cut eight 18" sections of a 2" x 4", two legs for each corner of the bench. I also cut eight 18" sections of 2" x 4" to use as supports for attaching the legs to the seat. After all the sections were cut, it was time to create the legs.  I drilled holes in the supports and then attached them to the legs with nuts and bolts. 

Once the 4 legs were assembled, I propped them upright on the garage floor and began screwing each seat board to them beginning with the outer row. Next to be cut was the seat back and the facia.

Seat back cut and positioned. I waited to install it and the facia once the bench was in its place around the tree.

 In order to install the bench around the tree, I needed to leave one side of the seat open. After securing three sides of the bench seat to the legs, hubby and I carried it to the backyard and set it around the tree. With the 3-sided bench in place, I was able to attach the last three pieces of the seat. Next, using a nail gun, I attached the back pieces and facia to the seat to complete the bench. 

The final step in this project was to apply a sealer to the wood to help protect it from the weather.

To build and assemble this bench, in addition to the listed supplies, I used:

  • Drill
  • Skill saw or Miter saw
  • Brad nail gun
  • Weaterproofing sealant such as Thompsons Water Seal
  • Paint brush

Since I had the wood, sealer, and screws, the only supplies I needed to purchase was the 2" x 4" board for the legs and the bolts & nuts to attach them. The cost listed is an estimate for buying new wood, screws, sealer, nuts/bolts


  • Decide how large to make the inside row for the seat
  • Using your saw, cut 4 pieces of wood for the inside row
  • Dry fit around the base of your tree
  • Cut 4 pieces of wood for the 2nd row
  • Cut 4 pieces of wood for the outside row
  • For legs: cut eight 18" sections of a 2" x 4", two legs for each corner of the bench
  • Cut eight 18" sections of 2" x 4" to use as supports for attaching the legs to the seat
  • Drill holes in the supports & attach them to the legs with nuts and bolts
  • Attach 3 sides of each row of the seat to the legs with screws

  • Leave the 4th side open and attach on site
  • Once all rows of the seat are attached to the legs, using a nail gun, attach the seat back and facia
  • Apply sealant with brush to protect the wood from weathering to quickly
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Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

1 question
  • Amy
    on Jun 23, 2019

    how do i use tin cans for flower pots

    • Jeanne
      on Jun 23, 2019

      I have a few metal pot that I use for flowers. I put small rocks in the container for drainage then added the soil. If you're using tin cans, you can always drill a few holes in the bottom for drainage. Sounds like a great way to recycle!

Join the conversation

6 of 48 comments
  • Ivory
    on Jun 15, 2019

    Outstanding! I would love this around this tree in our yard, but I don’t think nys would turn out as beautiful as yours. Thank you for sharing

    • Jeanne
      on Jun 23, 2019

      My kids call me Ma  . I trained myself with the assistance of You Tube videos. The miter saw is small - I bought the 7 1/4" one, so it wasn't intimidating. Watch a few videos and you'll see that you can use one too!

  • Sue Sanders
    Sue Sanders
    on Jun 22, 2019

    Great place to be able to sit under a shade tree when you are working or playing in your back yard. Good job!

    • Jeanne
      on Jun 23, 2019

      How did you know that I do this?  Thanks! We love it!

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