Create a Lounge-Worthy Daybed

Enjoy every inch of your outdoor space with a custom-built outdoor daybed. 

An outdoor daybed is a great place to curl up with a book and a glass of tea, or to take a nap. Whether you want to spread out in an open backyard space or tuck away in an empty corner on your deck, the outdoors can provide the perfect setting to gather your thoughts and chill in the breeze. In eight hours and with $325 we created the perfect outdoor spot for lounging.

Build an Outdoor Daybed 02:17

Laurie March shows how to build a simple daybed for outdoor relaxing.

Get Started: Pick a Location, Measure and Cut

Got a corner of unused space on your deck or a nice sunny corner of the backyard? We built a daybed to accommodate a queen-sized mattress, but you can adapt the measurements of this project to correspond with mattresses of all sizes.

Save time and energy by having the wood pre-cut when you by buy it.

Cut 2x3 boards. A standard queen size bed is 60" x 80". Allowing for an extra inch on all sides for bedding, the outside frame for this project is made up of 2x3 boards that are 62" and 82". A third 82" 2x3 board installed down the long center will add more support.

Cut sixteen 1x4 boards at 62" each, to create slatted support for the mattress, which will be installed 3" apart.

Cut 1x6 boards to form the frame and the sides of the bed. Cut two boards at 62" long, and two boards at 83-1/4" long for the sides.

Use extra pieces from the 2x3 boards to make legs for your daybed. Longer pieces can be cut for the middle, mitered on each side. The shorter pieces can be cut to form the legs for each corner, with one straight edge and one mitered cut. These do not have to be any exact length, so use what's left over.

ODOC-outdoor-daybed-measure-board-cut_s4x3

ODOC-outdoor-daybed-measure-board-cut_s4x3

Build the Frame

Lay out two 82" boards, and place two 62" boards, one on either edge, to form a rectangle, with the 62" boards on the outside. Screw 62" boards into 82" boards with two screws at each corner.

Drop third 82" board in the center of the rectangle and install with two screws on each end. This will add additional support down the middle of our day bed.

Attach legs to bottom of frame to raise daybed off the ground. Longer cuts with two diagonal angles support the middle of the frame.

Add the Arm and Back Rests

Construct daybed armrests with two vertical mahogany support pieces at 21" length, and two horizontal slats of mahogany at 31" each. For simple spacing, the upper horizontal slat should be installed two inches down from the top of the 21" boards. Allow for a three inch gap between the two 31" slats and install the second board. Attach them all together using glue and 1-1/4" screws, then attach to the outside of the daybed platform with same screws. Repeat these steps for other side.

To create the backrest, lay out two 74" boards horizontally with a three inch gap between them. To keep the backrest and the armrests aligned, the upper horizontal slat should be installed two inches down from the top of the 21" boards. Lay 21" boards on top of the horizontal pieces 5" in from each end and one directly in the center.

Attach the shorter pieces to the horizontal boards using wood glue and 1-1/4" screws. Once dry, screw to the rear of the daybed platform.

Finish It Up

Secure the 1x4 boards to the frame to support the mattress. Lay out the 1x4 pine, leaving 3" of space between each one, and attach with 1-1/4" screws two on each end.

For this project, we used a Queen bed in a guest room that was unused. Slipping it into a waterproof mattress cover will protect it from outdoor elements. As with any outdoor furniture, consider taking it inside in extended inclement weather.

Tuck a heavy quilt or a beautiful sheet around your waterproofed mattress and some larger throw pillows to lean back against. Relax and enjoy the fruits of your labor.

Check Out 15 Inspiring Ideas for Outdoor Furniture

See All Photos

Blending the Indoors and Out

Don't worry - this wing-back furniture may look like it's meant to stay in a living room, but it's made to withstand rain and other outdoor elements. The Barcelona collection by Summer Classics features upholstered side and back panels in Sunbrella Suntan Textilene fabric.

Photo By: Photo courtesy of Summer Classics

In Motion

Swivel chairs may seem old school, but they are sought after by homeowners, say furniture makers. The swivel rocker in Lloyd Flanders' Nova Collection, which was designed by Matthias Hoffman and introduced for 2015, allows people to join the conversation and soak up any water, mountain or other views. 

Photo By: Photo courtesy of Lloyd Flanders

Contemporary Heats Up

No longer just a tiny fire pit, fire tables are becoming a bigger part of outdoor living spaces. Telescope Casual's fire table is surrounded by its new contemporary Ashbee Cushion sectional sofa set.

Photo By: Photo by Telescope Casual

Teak is Trending

This sectional set shows a number of trends identified by Bew White, president of Summer Classics, whose furniture is sold by Frontgate and other retailer. Trends include deep seating, block-style shapes and weathered teak finishes.

Photo By: Photo courtesy of Summer Classics

Modern Comfort

Contemporary styles continue to be introduced as outdoor furniture options, showing the growing popularity of modern elements. The Nova Collection by Lloyd Flanders, for example, features table and sectional legs finished in a metallic silver. 

Photo By: Photo courtesy of Lloyd Flanders

Clutter-Free Space

Outdoor spaces keep getting more organized, thanks to items such as the new patio storage box by Telescope Casual.

Photo By: Photo courtesy of Telescope Casual

Faux Bois in Fashion

Outdoor tables made of concrete are durable but have the appearance of wood, on galvanized metal bases in a trapezoid shape. It's a blending of modern and organic textures and lines, by Elegant Earth.

Photo By: Photo by Lori Johnston

Prepared for Crowds

Outdoor dining tables are getting larger, showing the emphasis on entertaining and eating meals al fresco, says Bew White, president of Summer Classics, an Alabama-based outdoor furniture manufacturer. Now tables are able to comfortably seat eight or more people, as long as there's space on a porch or patio.

Photo By: Photo courtesy of Summer Classics

One-of-a-Kind Furniture

Wood from Indonesian fishing boats is recycled and turned into chairs and tables by Warehouse 2120, which sells its one-of-a-kind pieces through dealers around the country.

Photo By: Photo courtesy of Warehouse 2120

Reused Materials

Benches made of old wood - such as pieces of boats used by Warehouse 2120 - add a recycled element and a backstory to your outdoor decor.

Photo By: Photo courtesy of Warehouse 2120

Multiple Seating Options

Bar seating remains popular outdoors, around built-in grills, along with ottomans that allow people to prop up their feet and relax.

Photo By: Photo courtesy of Belgard

Artist's Influence

Some companies are partnering with artists to design new outdoor furniture styles. Uwharrie Chair Company worked with North Carolina artist William Mangum to design its new Carolina Preserves collection.

Photo By: Photo courtesy of Uwharrie Chair Co.

Iconic Design

The new Lilly Pulitzer line for Target, which launches in April 2015 with home decor and other items in lively prints, adds to the bold prints seen in outdoor furniture and textile showrooms at AmericasMart Atlanta.

Photo By: Photo courtesy of Target

Playful Patterns

Consider yourself lucky that manufacturers are coming out each year with new patterns and accessories to update your outdoor furniture. The four-leaf clover is the star of the expanded Trefle collection by Fermob, on its white woven Sixties bench, and yes, the accessories can be used well past St. Patrick's Day. 

Vintage Seat

A tractor seat adds a vintage vibe that's always going to be a conversation starter when entertaining outdoors.

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