Friday, September 23, 2011

Build A Bench

I've had a few inquiries on the bench we built for our big open room.  We call it our Shoe Bench.  I originally wrote about it here.

I thought I'd give you a few more detailed directions than I did before and hopefully that will help someone.

We use this bench to sit on.  Yep, sit on.  I know, it's crazy to sit on a bench? No?  The kids would rather stand on it or jump off of it.  We sit on it and put our shoes on.  It's near where we always come in from the garage.  We keep our shoes in bins under the bench.  Each family member has their own bin.

It's fairly economical to build. We used a large pine board for the top because I didn't want seams that would get sand and junk in them.  (You should see the amount of sand in my boy's shoe bin!)  If you used 1x4s or 1x3s on the top it would be a lot cheaper.

  • 4x4 untreated wood, cut 4 legs at 18" long
  • 1x4 boards to make the apron, mitered 45 degrees at the ends, 2 boards at 70.5 inches (long mitered end to long mitered end), 2 boards at 15.75 inches (long end to long end)
  • 2x3 boards for support, 1 board at 59 inches long, 2 boards at 14.25 inches long
  • 8 metal L shaped supports (if you don't want screw holes on the top board).  2.5 x 2.5 inch metal brackets work well.
  • 1 pine board 72 x 17.25 inches long (We used paint grade wood, which is cheaper than stain grade).
How to:
1) Cut legs and apron pieces.

2) On a level surface, put together your apron without nailing or screwing yet.  Put a 4x4 leg in a corner and nail or screw through apron into leg.  (We used a nail gun).

3) Square up every leg post as you go until you have all four legs attached.  Make sure everything is level and square.

4) Assemble your I-shaped support piece by screwing the 59 inch long 2x3 to the middle of each smaller 2x3.

5) Screw the small 2x3 pieces to the legs.

6) Attach the seat using the metal L brackets.  The seat will overhand 1/2 inch on all sides.

7) Sand and finish how you desire.  I painted the apron white and the leg and seat were painted a cream color.

A few more things about the bench:
  • The metal baskets are from Lowes.  You can find them in the garage organization/storage area.  They're about $14 each.
  • Our bench is usually covered in child stuff.  It's the dumping ground for the kids when they come home.  I guess that's better than the kitchen table or the counters.  On any given day you'll find a blanket or two, a few books, a few toys, a pair of sunglasses.  Right now there's a toilet paper roll decorated with tissue paper, a book, and a pair of tiny jeans on the bench.
  • I used eggshell paint.  The top gets dirty from our shoes and I just wipe it clean. 
  • I like it.  I really do. 
Any bench building or finding stories?  Where do you keep your shoes?  Or where are your dumping grounds?

Have a great weekend!

Updates (2016):  The bench has since been painted white.  We also used a router to get round the sharp edges and corners.  The shoes bins are still holding up great.  The pillows got new covers and a fake gray sheepskin from my photography days now cushions the bench.


  1. I found you blog today while trying to find a model for a bench for our mudroom and I am so happy that I am able follow your clear explications (this will be my first wood working project with my hubby, who's away this week).
    Later, when my children are in bed I'll have good read of you blog that looks great.

  2. Maria, Thanks for stopping by! If you have any questions about the bench just ask away. I'd love to hear how it works out for you. Good luck building it!

  3. How many people does the bench sit?

  4. 4 adults fit on it comfortably. We usually only have 2 adults and 2 kids on it at the same time. Thanks for the question.

  5. Love this! Pinning it and building it!

  6. Thanks Katie! This is still one of my most favorite pieces of furniture in our house that we have built. It's heavily used! I'd love to hear if you end up building it!

  7. Chrissy I built this bench today!! I had to shorten it because I didn't have that much space but it turned out great! Pretty proud of myself too. Thanks for posting!

  8. Hey JJ! Awesome job on building the bench! I'd love to see it! Enjoy using it!

  9. Thanks so much for the plans! I built the bench this weekend. Everything was very straightforward. We really like it!

  10. Rich, Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Glad you like your bench!


Thank you for taking the time to comment, I appreciate it. Comments will be moderated eventually. Computer use only occurs when kiddos are asleep or otherwise occupied. Thanks for your patience.


Related Posts with Thumbnails