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All you need to know about building a DIY bench for indoors at home. Read this before you even start planning your project.
There are plenty of DIY projects that will be both decorative and functional around your house. One of our favorites is a DIY bench, which is always a great way to provide a practical and decorative accent both inside and out. Benches are appropriate both, indoors and outdoors, and can be used for storage, for decoration, or just to sit on and reflect.
A DIY bench can follow many styles and types, from the casual farmhouse or rustic to a more modern decorative look. The tutorials below will give you ideas for a wide range of DIY benches, most of which are both easy to make and affordable.
How to Build a Bench
Before you go shopping for wood boards and wood stain for your new bench, we highly encourage you to consider several key points. This will save you time and money.
What Materials Will You Need?
A bench may not necessarily be made of wood. While most projects are using wood, you may not necessarily want to get into woodworking to build a bench. Here are your all options:
- 2×2/2×4/2×6/2×8 wood boards
- Reclaimed wood boards and scrap wood
Other materials that you will need:
- Hairpin legs
- Balustrade legs
- Fabric for upholstery
- Fiber filler
- Wood stain and paint
- Pockets screws, grabber screws
You can also reuse some items for this DIY project:
- Rugs for upholstery
- Old doors
What Tools and Skill Will You Need?
It’s not a complicated project so if you’ve ever done any home improvement yourself at all, you are likely to have all you need:
- Some type of saw (ideally miter saw, or circular saw)
- Sander (with sandpaper of multiple grit)
- A power drill
- Kerg Jig hole system
- Paint brushes
Obviously, you will nee to know how to operate each tool. If you’re not fully comfortable yet, leave some room for error – get materials in surplus. You’ll use what you have left for other projects.
The Process of Building a Bench
Here’s the basic process in 4 easy steps:
- Choose a material – usually it’s wood (3 boards are enough for a simple bench).
- Measure and cut the boards.
- Attach the boards with wood glue and screws.
- Sand, stain, and paint your new bench.
It’s that simple, and you can follow basic bench plans to build it. If you want to get fancy, we have a bunch of tutorials that you can choose from next.
DIY Farmhouse Bench
A farmhouse style bench can be used inside or outside on the porch. Such a piece of furniture is the centerpiece of farmhouse decor. So if you’re after this style, you have to build this bench.
This project uses the farmhouse bench plans from Ana White. It’s size is 76 inches long, which is ideal to seat four people. The cost to build such a bench from lumber is around $20.
What you will need for this project?
- 7 2×4 wood boards
- 2.5-inch grabber and pocket screws
- Wood filler and glue
- Wood stain and paint
- Power tools
The project in steps:
- Cut the wood using the cut list
- Build the legs
- Build the bench seat
- Fill all holes with wood filler
- Sand all parts
- Stain and paint the parts
- Put it all together with grabber screws
Where can you use this bench?
- The porch or deck
- Dining room
DIY Entryway Bench
Here’s a bench that’s so simple to make that you can do it while your toddler naps. It also helps to create a neat and tidy space for storage underneath.
For this rustic entryway bench you will need:
- 8 foot 2×8 wood board
- 6 foot 2×8 wood board
- Screws and wood glue
- Wood stain and paint
- Power tools
The cut list:
- Cut the 8 foot board in half for the bench seat
- Cut the 6 foot wood into 4 parts for the legs
What about the shoe storage?
Entryway benches usually have storage space for shoes – that’s what makes them fit the place so well. This design is simple but functional to store shoes underneath. There’s plenty of room to add storage boxes as well.
DIY Upholstered Bench
For an extra cute and comfortable bench add upholstery. Not only will this upholstered X-bench serves as a comfortable seating place, the addition of padding means you can customize the pattern and colors for any space in your home. This X-bench makes a great accent piece in any room.
Here’s what you will need:
- 2×4 wood boards
- Polyester fiber fill
- Polyester padding
- Fabric of your choice
How to make the X base for this bench?
- Cut the 2×4 wood boards to measure the legs and the top base per the plan.
- Put it together with pocket screws and wood glue
- Stain and paint the wood to get your desired look.
How to upholster the bench?
- Cut the batting and fabric to measure the bench top. Leave some extra traffic to wrap the padding.
- Wrap the required amount of fiber fill to get as much padding as you need.
- Cover everything in fabric.
- Secure the fabric underneath the bench top with a staple gun.
Where would this bench fit?
The bench has a nice rustic look which will work in just about any room inside your home.
- End of the bed
- A cozy nook
2×6 Bench with Balustrade Legs
One simple to make, and always the welcome addition to your home, is the country styled farmhouse 2×6 bench. This DIY project will teach you how to make this classically country designed bench with a minimum amount of fuss and labor. Plus it’s an amazingly affordable way to add some country flair.
What materials you will need?
- 2 2×6 wood boards
- 2 2×4 wood boards
- Balustrade legs
- Screws and wood glue
How to put it together?
- Cut the 2x6s to three parts at 41 inches for the top.
- Cut the remaining 2x6s into 15 inch parts for the ends.
- Cut 2x4s into 2 parts of 43 1/4 inches and 2 parts at 7.5 inches for the apron.
- Cut the legs to the desired height.
- Place the legs in the corners of the top and square them off with the apron.
- Glue everything together and secure with screws.
- Stain and paint the bench.
The tutorial shows you how to use biscuit slots and small wood blocks to secure the frame, but you can use pocket screws as an alternative technique.
Where could you use this bench?
- The balustrade legs make it a classy piece of furniture in the entryway or the mudroom.
- The farmhouse look makes it an ideal addition to the kitchen or dining room.
Rustic Wooden Bench with Storage
This rustic bench has the X-base style. It provides extra storage, and it looks special with the addition of woven baskets.
Here’s what you’ll need for this project:
- 8 2×4 boards
- 1 2×2 board
- Pocket hole screws
- Brad nails
- Wood glue
- Wood stain
All in all the wood will cost you around $30.
How to cut the wood:
- Top – 5 parts 51” of 2×4
- Shelves – 8 parts 20” of 2×4
- Frame sides – 6 parts of 18” of 2×4
- Frame bottom and top – 6 parts of 11” of 2×4
- Braces – 4 parts of 20” of 2×2
- X-legs – angle cut 4 parts of 16” of 2×4
How to put it together from these materials:
- Create the frames from the sides and bottoms/tops from your cut list. Attach the parts with wood glue and pocket screws.
- Add the X-legs. This is the tricky part. The key is to measure the angles before you cut and do it in increments. Secure them with brad nails and wood glue.
- Build the shelves by putting the wood together with glue and pocket holes.
- Attach the shelves to the frame (also using glue and screws).
- Add the braces for the top.
- Build the top.
- Attach the top.
- Stain the wood.
Where could you use this rustic bench?
The picture shows the bench being used on the porch. This isn’t the only lace for such an attractive piece of furniture. It can easily be placed in the entryway (it has ample of storage for it) too. The bench will find a place in the kitchen as well (more storage space is always welcome here).
DIY Kitchen Bench
If you entertain a lot or have a big family, you need to check out these rustic kitchen benches. Not only do they look fantastic, but they also provide plenty of seating space without taking up loads of room.
You will need these materials:
- 4 posts of 4×4 wood at 22” for the legs.
- For the top:
- 4 boards of 2×4 wood at 35”
- 2 boards of 2×4 wood at 13 3/4”
- For the frame:
- 2 boards of 2×4 wood at 31”
- 1 board of 2×4 wood at 33”
- 2 boards of 2×4 wood at 5”
- Pocket screws
- Wood stain
How to put it together:
- Build the H shaped sides. Use pocket screws to attach everything together.
- Attach the sides together with the 33” 2×4 piece in the middle and the 2 boards of 31” at the top.
- Put the top together.
- Attach the top to the frame.
- Stain and paint the bench.
- Use a sander to get the weathered paint look.
Woven Bench Seat
For a unique conversation piece, you try making this DIY woven bench seat. You’ll be amazed at how easy it is to make, and your guests will be impressed by your sense of style and creativity when they get their first look at your unique bench.
Here’s what is needed for the project:
- 2 boards of 2×2 wood at 45”
- 4 boards of 2×2 wood at 16”
- 2 boards of 2×2 wood at 14”
- Wood screws
- Wood stain
How to build it:
- Cut the 2×2 wood as per above list.
- Put together the frame – it’s pretty straightforward. Use wood screws.
- Apply wood stain.
- Weave the seating using the clothesline. The technique is simple – you can just wrap the rope around the frame crossing it like you would do shoelaces.
Where can you use this bench?
This bench is mostly decorative with the intent to be used as a small coffee or side table. It can hold some weight but we wouldn’t recommend it as a heavy duty bench. I will hold the weight of an average person a while, though.
In place of clothesline you can use other types of rope to get a different look.
DIY Kilim Rug Bench
To make a real statement, and brighten up any room, this modern kilim rug bench is just the thing. If you’re looking for a bright and colorful accent piece that doubles as a useful piece of furniture in your home, then look no further. Kilim rug is an excellent fabric for upholstery and heavy duty. The design features trendy hairpin legs for the mid-century modern look.
What this bench is made of:
- A Kilim rug – sized 3×5 feet.
- Particle board (or plywood) – sized 16×48”.
- Upholstery foam or batting and fiber fill to match the size of the board.
- Hairpin legs.
- Spray adhesive.
- Staple gun.
How do you put it together?
- Spray one side of the board with the adhesive.
- Add the upholstery foam. Apply some pressure to let it stick for a few minutes.
- Put the Kilim rug over the foam and center the pattern.
- Flip the board with the Kilim and fold the edges over the board.
- Use the staple gun to secure the rug.
- Add the hairpin legs.
Where does it fit in your decor?
While this bench can be used anywhere from the entryway to the kitchen, the mid-century style best fits a living room or a bedroom.
DIY Fabric Covered Bench
Brightly colored and patterned fabric benches seem to be all the rage these days, but they can be so expensive to buy or make. That’s not the case with this DIY project, which can be made for as little as $10 according to the tutorial.
- A wood board of the size you want the bench to be.
- 4 legs of your choice – they can be balustrade, hairpin, or just 2×2 boards of required height.
- Cut the batting and fabric for the size of the board. Make sure the fabric is bigger enough so you can fold the edges over the board.
- Place batting on top of the board and cover with fabric.
- Alight the pattern of the fabric the way you want it to look.
- Fold the edges of the fabric and turn the board over.
- Secure the folds with a staple gun.
- Stain/paint the legs if needed and attach them to the board with screws.
- Enjoy your new bench.
This simple bench will make a great addition to your entryway or mudroom.
DIY Corner Bench
From a cozy reading nook inside your home to a special place on the porch or patio for relaxing, this corner bench is a hands-down winner. The addition of a built-in table makes for the perfect place to rest your drinks, a book, or to display some lovely spring or summer flowers.
Want one? Here’s what you will need:
- 2 boards of 2×6 wood at 8 feet.
- 7 boards of 2×4 wood at 8 feet.
- 1 board of 2×2 wood at 6 feet.
- Pocket screws and a Kreg jig.
- Wood screws and glue.
How to cut the wood?
Here’s the plan for this bench:
Consider this plan and the cut list to cut the wood boards for the frame and the tops.
How to put it together?
This bench is a bit more complicated to build compared to some others on the list. Follow the instructions carefully.
- Cut the wood for the frame and the three tops.
- Put it together as per the plan using wood glue and pocket screws.
- Cut the 2×4 wood for the legs at 16”.
- Attach them to the inside of the frame using wood screws.
- Sand and paint the wood frame and the legs.
- Make the built-in table box and its top.
- Attach it with pocket screws and wood glue to the bench frame.
- Make the bench tops.
- Sand and stain the tops.
- Attach them to the frame with wood screws.
- Fill any holes with wood filler and put more stain over them.
Where you can use this bench?
Any corner will fit. Think about creating a small reading nook or a banquette in the kitchen. This bench will be an excellent addition in a covered porch as well.
DIY End of Bed Bench
Here’s an end-of-bed bench that will serve to pull your master bedroom together, while serving as a focal point for the room. It will also help take up that space at the end of your bed, giving the bedroom a complete look.
What do you need to make one?
- 1 board of 2×6 wood at 10 feet.
- 5 boards of 2×2 wood at 8 feet.
- Foam mattress topping.
- Upholstery fabric.
- Cover button kit.
- Construction adhesive.
- Wood screws.
You can understand the cut list by looking at this picture:
Be sure to refer to the measurements on Angela’s site.
And here’s how to put it together:
- Cut the wood.
- Put the frame together using wood screws.
- Put together the top.
- Cut the foam and batting to measure the top.
- Secure them with construction adhesive.
- Cut the fabric to measure the top and enough to fold it over the edges.
- Secure it with a staple gun.
- Add cover buttons.
- Paint the frame and distress it with a sander for the rustic look.
- Attach the top to the frame with wood screws.
This turns out to be a gorgeous tufted bench to take complete the look of your master bedroom. It will serve as a cozy place to sit down or leave a blanket on.
This bench is beautiful, stately, and functional. It takes an old headboard and turns it into a grand bench that also has a built-in storage space. And since you can use pretty much any old headboard, you can make it as simple or ornate as you like, and it’s inexpensive as well.
This cute Outdoor Bench sports a double X pattern to make it stand out. It can be perfect outdoors to provide a focal point but is equally at home indoors where it can be used to fill a space. Best of all it is very affordable and easy to make as the tutorial will show.
The Farmhouse Bench is becoming increasingly popular both indoors and outdoors, and the benches shown in this tutorial become even more impressive when paired with a farmhouse table. You might think you aren’t ready to DIY the table, but these benches are merely a smaller version of one, so once you make the bench, the farmhouse table will be a breeze as well.
Discarded pallets are easy to find, making this Pallet Bench very affordable. It is also quite distinctive, with a herringbone pattern, although other designs are possible. With a few discard pallets, some 2x4s and a few tools you too can have one of these unique Pallet Benches.
If your idea of comfort revolves around things that are soft, warm and furry, then you’ll love the plans for this Furry Bench. It seems great for when the weather turns colder and would go great for animal lovers or just those who appreciate the furrier things in life.
If you need a simple, functional bench look no further. Here’s an easy DIY Bench that anyone can make. It’s perfect for filling in empty spaces and would go great in a child’s room as it is not quite as tall as some other benches.
Here’s a nice little bench project that meets two critically essential benchmarks: It’s easy for you to build one and it looks like you didn’t DIY. Very professional and understated little bench that appears to be something you’d find in a high-end shop.
You can make this sturdy, familiar bench out of very ordinary materials, even things you have lying around or can find in scrap heaps. That makes it a very earth-friendly option for those who are into repurposing old materials.
West Elm Knockoff
A great example of how much markup is found on even the simplest of mass-produced items. You can buy this bench in the West Elm catalog for a mere $699, or you can make one yourself for practically a song and have it finished in the color that will complement your current décor.
Weathered Gray Finish
How about building a tremendous antique-looking creation that is sturdy enough to carry any load but looks like it came out of Amish country? You can do it easily with this project, and you’ll learn a lot about antiquing finishes to boot.
Of course, benches are made out of other materials than just wood. This simple little plumber’s pipe bench is a great way to get involved in the art of bench making without needing a lot of woodworking skills or tools.
When you’re ready to try a DIY bench project that incorporates some comfy cushioning on top, this is the one you’ll want to do. Just beautiful, so practical, and you’d never guess it wasn’t professionally built.
Now here’s a great way to build benches without having to, you know, make one. Why not update a perfectly functional, yet dull, item you already own and turn it into something utterly you and unique?
One of the best ways to beat the high cost of retro furniture is to do your retro-ing. This fabulous fifties Mid Century Modern bench is such a perfect match for the era, and it will make all of your other period pieces look even better. It is, however, more about upholstery than it is about bench-making.
Finally, someone who understands that mistakes can happen and provides solid coaching on how to avoid making them yourself. Oh, and it’s a tremendous little X-legged bench project that you’re going to love as well.
Speaking of benches from the Atomic Age, this little jewel is not only a perfect ringer for something out of that era, but the materials only cost about as much as you’d spend in 1963. If that isn’t good enough, it also is a very quick and easy project to create.
Looking for something a little more avant-garde and creative than your classic wood bench? Why not try out this daring departure that features some charmingly bold artwork on the fabric? There isn’t a wrong way to do this sort of impressionistic designing so give it a shot.
The great thing about hairpin legs on benches is that they are so easy to install and look so great. Plus, of course, you can paint them to match practically anything. Add in a fabulous repurposed kilim rung on top, and you’ve got a sure winner on your hands.
Many spaces, particularly in older homes, are best suited for very natural-looking accessories. This woven topped jute bench is simply perfect for those instances where glass and chrome are not going to cut it.
End of Bed
One of the most significant advantages of DIY furniture is that you can adjust the dimensions of the piece to perfectly suit your specific requirements. Unlike factory items, which tend to come in standardized sizes, you can produce the perfect fit for your own imperfect spaces.
Who needs old junky coffee tables? Anyone who wants to make fabulously stylish new benches for their homes. The best part is that virtually all of the woodworking is already done for you. Just add style and away you go.
Some of the best and most simple DIY bench ideas come from people who are not typically involved in such things. Here is an excellent and straightforward project that looks great.
The thing about benches is that so much of the project is built around the legs that go underneath that big slab of wood which otherwise comprises the unit. So check out this variation on the prevalent Mid Century Modern theme.
Looking for an idea that is whimsical and just plain fun? This is the one for you. Oh, and fun also means easy to do, doesn’t it? Sure does.
Who doesn’t love the idea of a DIY pallet project? Costs are low, creativity is the prime ingredient, and you end up with something that nobody else will ever be able to match if they tried for a thousand years.
People seldom realize the value of excellent directions until they stumble across a project that features them. For those who are just starting on DIY bench building, this is the perfect place to start your quest.
For those who are better endowed with woodworking skills and equipment, this is a great project that will produce a fantastic replica of a modern classic piece that has never gone out of production since its introduction in the 1940s.
Some DIYers love the slat wood look but lack the expertise to tackle a Nelson Bench knockoff; this is a great compromise that is much easier to construct and still retains much of its panache.
When it comes to turning old items into new ones, it is good to keep in mind that the old items and the new items do not have to belong to the same species of thing. Here, a couple of castoff dorm stools are turned into a classy, yet easy to make, bench.