DIY Outdoor Storage Box / Bench

DIY Outdoor Storage Box / Bench
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The deck was always a mess. It rains here almost every day and I would have to grab the cushions off the chairs and lean them against the overhang so they wouldn’t get wet. Cushions and pillows were everywhere. This was not working. I shopped around trying to find an affordable and stylish storage box and was aghast at the prices! Ridiculous! It was time to make my own. It was pretty easy and turned out just as I planned. I’m excited today to be partnering with  as one of their 3MDIY Experts and share my instructions on how to make your own DIY Outdoor Storage Box & Bench!

How to Build a Storage Bench

Step 1 cutSTEP 1: To make the storage box you will need the following items:

  • (1) 4’x8′ sheet of quality pine plywood 3/4″ thick 
  • (6) 2″x1″-8′ pre-primed trim board
  • (1) 5/8″ x8′ PVC quarter round trim
  • (2) 3.5″ galvanized utility hinges
  • (2) 2.5″ rubber wheel swivel casters
  • (2) 2.5″ rubber wheel swivel casters with locks
  • Finishing nail gun
  • Skil saw or table saw
  • miter box or miter saw
  • 3M Marine adhesive
  • 3M Advanced Abrasives SandBlaster Sand paper with No Slip Grip Backing
  • 3M Wood Filler in White
  • 3M Tekk Protection Work Tunes Hearing Protectors
  • 3M Tekk Protection Holmes Premium Safety Glasses
  • quality primer
  • exterior paint
  • ScotchBlue™™ Painter’s Tape  & Drop Cloth

Let’s get started! To keep the cost of the box down we worked hard on our dimensions so that we would use only one sheet of plywood, yet be able to build a box that would hold all of our cushions. I drew out a diagram for you below. Cut each panel to these measurements  and you will have minimal waste left over. (Just don’t mess up or you’ll be buying more plywood!!!)

Storage Box Bench Measurements

Now I used our table saw but you can easily use a skil saw also. Always have someone else help you when cutting, for safety and accuracy. Wearing proper 3M Tekk Protection eye wear is a must! The sawdust will be flying everywhere. I’m wearing my 3M Tekk Protection Holmes Premium Safety Glasses. We always have several sitting around so we never have the excuse not to protect our eyes. They look good and fit just like sunglasses. I am also wearing the safety ear buds that come with the glasses.

Cutting wood with table saw

Below are all the panels cut and laid out. Measure twice and cut once. Whew! No cutting mistakes!
Make a Storage Box from 1 sheet of plywood

 Step 2 Assemble  STEP 2 ASSEMBLE: Now because I will be using this storage box/bench outside on my deck, I want it to be as weather resistant as I can make it. We were going to use liquid nails, but decided to use the 3M Marine Adhesive Sealant. We’ve used it on our boat and know how very effective and strong it is, so why not use for an outdoor storage box? 3M Marine Adhesive Sealant

You will lay your base panel on an elevated surface and be sure to let it hang off the edge a bit. You’ll see why in a minute. Run a bead of adhesive near the edge of a long side.
How to make a storage bench

Next, stand the back panel along that edge you just laid the adhesive on. Have someone hold it steady for you and secure with nails every few inches. Use a nail gun with finishing nails for this. Make a storage box

You will be doing a lot of nailing and it gets loud! Protect your ears with ear buds or this awesome 3M Tekk Protection WorkTunes™ Hearing Protectors. I can hook it up to my iPhone or use the radio with over 50 pre-set channels. My kids all fight over the WorkTunes™ when they mow the yard, so we got a second one for them.

Continue around the box, next with the sides, applying sealant to the every edge where the panels meet, and then nailing.
3M WorkTunes

Make a storage box

Apply sealant to the side edges and base edge and then nail in the final front panel.

Caulk all the seams, inside and out, with the same sealant. You could always use paintable caulk for this part, but the 3M Marine Sealant takes care it all. All to dry.
Seal box

Caulked edges

Step 3 Detail and PaintSTEP 3 DETAIL & PAINT: Congrats, you just made a box. But a box is boring. Let’s add a bit of pizzazz to it with some simple trim. Cut your trim board with straight cuts, gluing and nailing the top and bottom trim boards first, then measure the sides and cut those trim boards to length.  TIP: For easy and accurate measuring of the trim, hold the trim board in place and then mark with a pencil where you have to cut. (see the lower left pic below). This method will give you an accurate cut and save you the hassle of pulling out the measuring tape every 2 minutes! Add trim to storage box

Finish the edge of the lid with PVC quarter round molding. It’s lightweight, easy to cut, and yet strong and super smooth. Glue and nail it to the box. Add Decorative Trim

For added strength and rigidity, cut two 1×2″ trim boards and nail to the underside of the lid. (See the knots? This is why you want a really good piece of plywood. These knots were the only one’s on the entire sheet, so we purposely chose to hide them on the underside of the lid. They could always be filled with wood filler if you prefer.)

support strips

Fill all nail holes on your storage box with 3M Wood Filler and then lightly sand where you patched with 3M Advanced Abrasives sandpaper.

How to get a professional look

Place the box on a ScotchBlue drop cloth and prime every surface of the box with 2 coats of quality primer, even the underside. Next give your box at least 2 coats of good exterior latex paint.

DIY Storage Box

Screw in the 4 casters to the bottom corners of the box and also attach the galvanized hinges to the lid first and then the box.


For a fun pop of color I painted the underside of lid in “Provance” Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. I didn’t want to get the turquoise paint on the underside of the quarter round molding trim of the lid, so I taped it off with ScotchBlue™™ Painter’s Tape and then painted on the accent color.

Outdoor Storage Box

The outdoor storage box fits all of our cushions easily and we have been using it both as a side table and as extra seating. I love it!

Build a Storage Bench

Find out more awesome projects at and be sure to visit their “Experts Corner” where you see me featured along with some awesome DIY-ers.

Check out my other 3M DIY projects!

         DIY Deck Repair          Installing Hardwood Floors     Installing Board and Batten 

DIY Deck Repair  Installing Hardwood Flooring  Install Board and Batten

Connect with 3M DIY Twitter Page3M DIY Facebook Page, 3M Pinterest Page.


This post is a collaboration with 3M DIY. To keep up-to-date on projects, products and sampling visit

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  1. WOW! That’s great! You did a great job – the storage and the whole deck look fabulous. (And so do you in your cool glasses! ) Julia

  2. This looks great, Kim! We could really use something like this on our patio. I can’t wait to try to make one!

    • Thanks Michele! It took us just the afternoon to make and then I painted it the following day. It was far easier than I thought it would be. (thankfully!)

  3. You amaze me every time! One because you are super talented, two because you manage to always look so darn cute while working with power tools! grin! I laughed out loud at “now you’ve made a box.” Great tutorial and love all of the 3M products!


    • Awww, thank you sweet Heather! It was about 97 degrees and 80% humidity. (Note how the hair QUICKLY went up into a clip!). I think I drank about 6 bottles of water during that afternoon project! Construction seriously only took one afternoon. I painted it the next day. Even I was surprised at how easy it was (and was kicking myself for not doing it sooner!). $120 vs. $900 retail…. ummmm. yah. No brainer.

  4. I love how this turned out Kim! The pop of color on the inside is fabulous. And your tutorial is awesome. Thanks!

  5. Kim, I just love this, perfect for patio pillows. I’m an Annie Sloan chalk freak, and I love the color you choose.


    • Thanks so much Denyse! I’ve had an entire quart of Provance, but I’ve only used it in a few places (like my front door). This was a fun project to utilize the gorgeous paint!

  6. Love how it turned out! Awesome! Great job.

    • Thank you Erin! It was sooooooo needed on my deck. Pillows were laying everywhere getting dirty and targeted by bugs.. eww. It’s nice to have everything all in one protected place now.

  7. You make this look so easy! I really like the pop of color

  8. Awesome job KIM! That came out great. So smart using the marine adhesive too. That would work great here in wet Oregon. lol. I love the extra decorative/detail touches you added. Looks wonderful :)))

  9. What a great DIY ~ not only does it look great but it is so useful. Love it!

  10. This is a smart project in a lot of ways. I love that it’s frugal on the plywood and watertight. Just the thing I need. Can’t wait to give it a try. I might even try it from scraps. Great tute. Jo @ Let’s Face the Music

  11. Perfect for storage! 🙂

  12. This is such a great idea. I love the storage but have to ask about your rug too. Where did you get that?

  13. I love how it turned out. You did an amazing job! I love the pop of color on the inside.

  14. Look at you using those tools! Love this project and it’s one that you’ll enjoy for years.

  15. Wish you wrote this 2 years ago before I bought one at Costco! Super cute and functional, thanks for the directions, they were simple to follow. Pinning it now.

    • Thanks so much for pinning it June! I wish I had built it a few years ago! It was simpler than I thought it would be and only cost $120 in supplies!

  16. Great job and great tutorial! Well done! From your neighbor in Newport News!

  17. I have the same problem- what a great solution! I would love to link to your tutorial if you didn’t mind.

  18. Love the bench! I’m curious, how thick was the plywood you used?

  19. Kim, this is awesome, color the storage box, it is very chic and classy for your deck. And I L-O-V-E how you made it look like a piece of cake. Haha, I’d give a leg and arm to look that amazing/hot while working! 😀

    Great work!

  20. You really know how to rock a nail gun! Love this – was just talking to the hubby that we need a storage box for our cushions (the giant cardboard box the cushions came in just isn’t cutting it!

  21. I keep pinning things that are coming from your blog, I think it’s time to start following you!

  22. Great idea! Only question is what thickness is the plywood? Looks like half inch but not sure.

  23. Hello. Very stylish. How thick was the plywood used?

  24. LOVE this! Next on our Summer DIY to-do list for sure!!! I can’t wait to share it with my favorite projects for the summer tomorrow at! Wishing you a lovely weekend!

  25. Brittney says:

    Looks awesome! I love the colors you used. Where did you get the chevron rug? I’m having a hard time finding one that has all my favorite colors!

  26. Wow! What a beautiful job you did on making this box..Is that cushion/pillow box going to be staying outdoors in the elements? Shouldn’t iyou have used pressure treated lumber? You were very wise to put on the casters/rollers..We have one of those “like fiberglass” ones but it is not as pretty as yours. A nail gun is about the only power tool my DH doesn’t own..He is not able to physically do projects like this now because of back surgery and I keep wanting to have him to teach me how to use some of his tools, especially the compound miter saw. I have no way of transporting the plywood unless I hire somebody which I’m seriously thinking of doing just that.

  27. Kim, have you ever thought about teaching workshops at some of the Home Improvement stores? You’d be great at it or offer some small workshops at your home and charge a fee?

    • Hi Betty,
      I actually have been invited by Home Depot once to help out with a workshop but I had scheduling issues and couldn’t do it. Thanks for your vote of confidence! 😉

  28. Hey its great! I really luv it , try to make further one . Outdoor storage in essential for my fmly too.

  29. Just wondering how the wood has held up. I’m trying to convince my hubby to build this but he says it’ll just fall apart front the rain/snow. Do you move it when the weather changes? Thanks so much! I LOVE this bench!

    • Hi Heidi! It has held up just fine but like I mention on the post, we keep this on our deck and move it under an awning if it rains.It is protected from getting drenched but it does get wet. It’s survived through several storms and snow though.

  30. A few days passed after I cut the pieces for the storage box…by the time I got around to putting them together, the plywood had begun to bow a bit. This was not a problem for the sides and bottom because I could force the wood back a bit back before attaching. However, the top/lid is only attached by the hinges so I can’t fix the warping…any suggestions on a fix for this problem? Is it because I didn’t finish the box the same day I cut the plywood? Thx

    • Hi Tim! I’m not sure why your plywood warped. It shouldn’t have unless it got wet or was a lesser quality type or thinner plywood. We used 3/4 inch thick plywood. Have you attached the two 1×2 trim pieces to the underside of the lid? That adds extra strength and should prevent warping. If you haven’t yet, then go ahead and add them. It should help straighten the lid out hopefully.

  31. Are these waterproof?


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