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DIY outdoor furniture inspiration: the sleeper edition

Summer is the perfect time to get outdoors, enjoy the sunshine and make the most of the warmer weather.

Whether it’s sitting in the garden and soaking up the summer rays, alfresco dining or simply finding a shady spot to take in the summer breeze whilst getting stuck into a good book, every garden needs furniture to complete its look and provide a functional purpose.

If your outdoor furniture is outdated or does not fit your needs, it might be time to treat yourself to some new furniture. Before you rush out on the search for new pieces to fill your space, have you considered making your own DIY furniture?

What better way to make the most of the summer weather than creating and relaxing on your own DIY outdoor furniture?

In this blog post, we’re giving some inspiration on how you can do just that using the humble sleeper.

sleeper seating
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Why sleepers?

Sleepers have become a popular DIY garden material choice in recent years. And, there’s a good reason for that.

As a high-quality, structurally hard-wearing material, sleepers offer superb value and are fantastic for creating outdoor furniture pieces that stand the test of time.

They are also an attractive, natural-looking material that can be painted, stained, and shaped for complete customisation.

And, above all, they really are so versatile. There are so many different ways you can use garden sleepers to create showstopping, yet highly functional furniture pieces that are entirely exclusive to you and your garden.

If you’re a fan of DIY, and in need of new garden furniture, this is the perfect project for you.

So gather up some materials and get started!

Bench seating

sleeper beds with bench

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One of the easiest, and most effective ways to use sleepers is to create bench seating in your garden. If you feel that you’re a bit of a DIY novice, this is a great project to get you started.

There are a few ways you can approach making a garden sleeper bench.

A basic sleeper bench

Firstly, you could make a standalone bench that can be moved around the garden, to provide additional seating at family BBQs. Paint the bench, or enhance the sleeper timber’s natural look using stains or oils.

Raised sleeper bed with an integrated bench

If you want to create a permanent structure, a sleeper bench seat is a superb addition to a raised sleeper bed structure, and a great way to create ever more depth and aesthetic appeal.

This approach also works well if you are limited on space, and are looking for a smart way to integrate more purposeful zones in your garden, without losing too much square meterage.

As a multifunctional garden feature that works as both a growing patch and a seating area, your raised sleeper bed seating bench will be completely unique to your garden and can be created to a size and height that works for you.

Double up your sleeper bench as a storage area

If you’re feeling extra adventurous, you could create a raised sleeper bed bench that also doubles up as a storage area, perfect for storing away garden tools, toys, and materials.

Use plywood to create the bench top, and attach it to the sleepers below with hinges. Paint or stain the plywood and cover with scatter cushions to add a finishing touch.

sleeper bench seating

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Create a curved garden bench seat

Because sleepers can be used on both the vertical and horizontal angle, they are the ideal material for creating a curved bench seat like the image below.

curved garden bench seating

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Dining table

Sunny summer evenings are to be spent outside. There’s no better way to do that than with a little alfresco dining. Whether it’s a BBQ with family and friends, or a date night with your other half, there really is something lovely about eating outdoors.

To do that, you’ll need an outdoor dining table. If you’re looking for a new garden dining table that’s both stylish and practical, then why not try making your own using sleepers?

Sleepers are durable, easy to work with and provide a natural look that will complement any garden.

To make your own outdoor dining table, simply secure the sleepers together with screws or nails, then sand and paint them to your desired finish. You can also add a layer of varnish to protect the table from the elements. For a touch of style, try using sleepers of different sizes to create a rustic-chic mosaic top.

We love the fact that using sleepers enables you to create a table and chair set that works entirely around you and your garden space.

Big family or frequent host? Make a long banquet-style table and bench set.

Just the two of you or a smaller space to work with? Create your own little dining corner with a smaller sleeper table.

The choice is completely yours.

Cutting the sleepers down will enable you to work with your space. There’s no worrying about having to find something that will be too big, or too small. With a DIY sleeper dining table, you can get it just right.

Here are a few design ideas and inspiration from around the wider web to give you some ideas:

sleeper table
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garden table made using sleepers

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Looking to buy some new garden sun loungers this summer? Why not make your own?

Sleepers are a great way to build an instant, durable sun lounger.

Because they have a long, flat surface, they are an ideal material for building a DIY sun lounger. Their heavy-duty structure means that they will last a long time with little maintenance.

Once you have built the sunbed structure, accessorise with cushions and throws!

Campfire stalls

Fire pits are becoming an increasingly popular garden feature. They are a great natural way of heating up your outdoor space on cooler summer evenings and over the winter months and creating an ambient outdoor social space for when putting on get-togethers.

When sitting around the firepit with family and friends enjoying the warmth of the fire – maybe toasting a marshmallow or two, you’ll of course need something to sit on.

For the perfect natural look, sleepers are a fantastic material for creating non-fixed seating around your garden firepit.

There are a number of ways you can do this, but one highly effective method is to create individual camp-fire-style stalls. Start by placing two wooden sleepers in a V-shape. Then, lay a third sleeper across the top of the V, forming a triangle.

You could make as many stalls as you like, store them away in a shed or garage outside of the summer season, and even take them on your next camping trip.

Alternatively, you could create benches, just like the image below!

camp fire benches made from sleepers

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Sofa and coffee table

bench seating made from sleepers

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For many of us, the garden is one of our most preferred places to relax. Garden furniture is an absolute must-have if you want to make the most of your outdoor space.

A garden sofa set provides the ideal space for kicking off your shoes and putting your feet up for some much-needed R&R. However, garden furniture can be expensive.

It’s not always easy to find the right furniture that works around your budget, garden shape and size as well as personal preferences. Instead of opting for mass-produced garden furniture, why not create your own unique set using sleepers?

Sleepers are sturdy and weather-resistant, so they’re ideal for garden furniture building. Plus, they’re easy to work with, so you can create whatever style you like.

Whether you want a rustic garden sofa or a sleek and modern coffee table, sleepers are the perfect material to use. With a little bit of creativity, you can turn sleepers into a stylish garden sofa and coffee table set that will become the focal point of your relaxation zone.

Best of all, making your own garden furniture is a fun and rewarding project that you can enjoy with the whole family.

sofa made using sleepers

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Bar, workbench or food preparation area

A bar is a fantastic addition for any garden owner who loves getting cocktail creative or hosting garden parties. Garden bars work to provide a purposeful, attractive space to entertain and sit and relax with friends while enjoying a cold drink.

If you’re looking to add an outdoor bar to your patio or deck, sleepers are an excellent choice of material. They are sturdy and can be cut to size easily, meaning you can create a food prep area or build a countertop to suit your specific needs. You could even integrate a BBQ, pizza oven, and fridge into your sleeper bar design, to create a complete outdoor cooking and drinks serving area.

When choosing sleepers for your outdoor bar, be sure to select those that have been treated for outdoor use. This will help to protect them from weathering and rot.

With a little elbow grease, you can easily transform sleepers into stylish and functional outdoor bar.

bar made from sleepers

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Shop online for sleepers

Looking for sleepers for your next DIY garden furniture project. Shop online here.

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