How to Build a Storage Bench

DIY Storage Bench

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Project Overview
  • Working Time: 1 - 2 hrs
  • Total Time: 1 day
  • Skill Level: Intermediate
  • Estimated Cost: $100 to $150

If clutter is threatening to take over your life, get organized with a storage bench for your foyer, hallway, bedroom, or mudroom. You'll enjoy building this easy-to-make, low-cost storage bench. Inexpensive wicker baskets form the drawers, so there is no need to construct complicated drawers from scratch. Because it is also a bench with a soft cushion, it is the perfect place to sit down to pull on boots and shoes. In no time at all, you'll have this storage bench finished and filling up with all of those loose items you've been meaning to tame.

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • Circular saw
  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
  • Miter saw
  • Oscillating sander
  • Fine grit sandpaper (#220)
  • Jigsaw
  • Speed Square
  • Hearing protection
  • Eye protection
  • Wood glue
  • 4 Wood clamps
  • Tack cloth
  • Cordless screwdriver
  • Paintbrush


  • 2 Square wicker baskets, 12x12x12 inches
  • 1 Select 1x12 pine board, 8 feet
  • 1 Select 1x2 pine board, 8 feet
  • White primer
  • White gloss or semi-gloss paint
  • 1 box Finish nails
  • 1 Cushion, 24x12
  • 4 Solid hardwood feet


  1. Cut the Wood

    Using the circular saw and wearing hearing and eye protection, cut off two pieces from the 1x2 pine board. Each piece should be 26 inches long. Follow by cutting three more pieces, each 12 inches long. Set these aside for now.

  2. Create the Cutouts for the Side Pieces

    Two of the 12x12 pieces previously cut will have smaller square cutouts made in the center. These cutouts are solely for aesthetic purposes. If you wish, you can leave the side pieces solid.

    Draw a smaller square with the Speed Square, leaving 2 inches of wood around the perimeter. Cut out this center with the jigsaw.

  3. Build the Bench's Center Support

    Build the basic shape of the bench with the two 26-inch long pieces and one 12-inch long piece. With the materials laid on their side, center the solid 12-inch piece directly in the middle of the two 26-inch pieces: on-center at 13 inches. Add a thin bead of wood glue. Nail into place.

  4. Build the Bench's Side Pieces

    With the materials still laid on their side, add a thin bead of glue and then position the two 12-inch cutout pieces at each end, stepping each one back by 1-inch for a polished appearance. Nail into place. Clamp together with the wood clamps. Let the glue cure for two hours.

  5. Add the Bench Feet

    Turn the bench upside-down. Screw the four hardwood bench feet into place. It may be necessary to create pilot holes before screwing in the feet.

  6. Measure the Cushion Rails

    Remove the wood clamps and set the bench upright. Lay the cushion on top of the bench. Use the cushion as the reference point for marking off the measurements for the 1x2 board railing. Generally, this will be 25 inches for the back railing, with two side pieces that are each about 12 inches. Since cushions will vary slightly in size, these rails should be cut to accommodate the cushion.

  7. Taper the Side Cushion Rails

    Cut the three cushion rails to size. Set the long piece aside. With the miter saw, taper the ends of the two side rails. This is done both to make them look more appealing and to soften the sharp, angular ends.

  8. Build the Cushion Rails

    Nail the three cushion rails into place on top of the storage bench. Be sure to slightly step back the cushion rails (provided you have enough room due to the cushion) to give the bench a cleaner look.

  9. Sand Down the Storage Bench

    Fit the #220 grit sandpaper onto the oscillating sander. Wearing hearing and eye protection, thoroughly sand down the wood at all visible areas. Sand in the direction of the grain. On the cushion rails, sand down the sharp edges and corners for comfort.

  10. Clean the Bench

    Use the tack cloth to gently rub down the storage bench. Do not press down hard on the tack cloth or you risk embedding the beeswax into the wood. Continually expose fresh, new areas of the tack cloth for better adhesion.

  11. Paint the Storage Bench

    Since the bench is made of pine board, which is highly porous, primer is required. With the brush, paint the bench with two coats of primer, letting the primer dry two hours between each coat. When the primer is cured, paint the bench with at least two coats of interior acrylic-latex semi-gloss or gloss paint.