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Day bed

DIY project from NZ Gardener magazine

This project is a perfect addition to any outdoor seating arrangement or relaxation zone.

How to make a day bed for your outdoor area

You will need


  • 6 linear metres of 45mm x 45mm treated timber, cedar, macrocarpa or reclaimed timber
  • 7 linear metres of 200mm x 25mm dry cedar, macrocarpa or oregon. Do not use treated timber for the slats. Dressed timber is best or dry rough sawn timber sanded down.
  • 12 x 75mm stainless steel screws
  • 36 x 50mm stainless steel screws
  • Your choice of Resene finish

Cut list:

  • 4 pieces at 350mm
  • 2 pieces at 400mm
  • 2 pieces at 1800mm
  • 9 slats at 700mm of the 200mm x 25mm
    • These sizes can be adjusted to suit your space requirements.


  • Measure tape and pencil
  • Mitre saw or hand saw
  • Drill with 4mm bit and square bit
  • Sliding square
  • Exterior wood filler if required
  • Sandpaper
  • Paintbrushes and roller

Resene products:

Cost: $110 for timber and fixings (excludes Resene products.) The timber slats were finished in Resene Woodman Penetrating Oil Stain in clear.


Learn how to make a day bed:

Day bed - Step 1 Step 1
Measure up and cut your timbers to size, using a drop saw or handsaw, and sand edges.

Day bed - Step 2 Step 2
Prime and paint the timber for the frame. Resene experts always recommend priming timber before top coating. I used Resene Quick Dry Waterborne Primer Undercoat and Resene Lumbersider in Wild Willow for the top coats.

Day bed - Step 3 Step 3
Measure to the centre of the 350mm timber and mark out for 2 screws, and pre-drill.

Day bed - Step 4 Step 4
Screw together the H-frames using the 75mm screws. Fill the screw holes with exterior wood filler if required. Once dry, sand and paint.

Day bed - Step 5 Step 5
Measure 300mm from each end of the 1800mm timbers, mark out and pre-drill for two screws. Install the timbers on top of the H-frames with the 75mm screws.

Day bed - Step 6 Step 6
Oil the timber slats on all sides.

Day bed - Step 7 Step 7
Measure 125mm from the short edge of the slats, and 30mm in from each side and mark up for two screws. Pre-drill ready for the screws.

Day bed - Step 8 Step 8
Starting from the centre of the frame screw the slats to the frame with the 50mm screws, with a 100mm clearance from the side of the frame to the edge of the slats.

Day bed - Close-up Close-up
A close-up of the finished daybed.

Project by: Jane Horne


Jane Horne and partner Simon Bartholomew design and develop projects from their studio in Christchurch, managing projects throughout the South Island.

Download the PDF of this project

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