My husband is very good at building and repairing stuff so he has been weighing up whether or not it is worth making the pergola and bench or buying a second hand one from eBay. Sometimes the price of wood means it is not worth starting from scratch but you can pick up some good pieces if people are moving or bored with them that might just need retreating and a bit of attention.
I found this gorgeous idea on instructables ....
Follow the link above to see the original and full instructions
How fabulous is that bench! It is made from ordinary dining chairs that have had their padded seats removed, secured with batons at the back, arms added and panels across the seat tops. This is what the chairs looked like before..
I'm sure a lot of people have old furniture in their family that gets thrown out or donated as it is not the current fashion. If you have something similar it could be something you could use in your own garden rather buying expensive garden furniture. If you are not skilled enough to tackle the arms I'm sure it would be fine without and the straight bits of wood you could have cut for you at the DIY shop. ( Make sure you measure correctly first) It would also need to be treated with appropriate outdoor protection.
I also think this piece of furniture would look good inside the house, you could have thick foam cut (Dunhelm Mill do this, I've had it for seating before) and make a cover for it.
If you have not looked on the instuctables site have a look now there are ideas for all kind of things.