Happy day 14th of social distancing! This week, I’ve been working on this bench for our entry. The entry isn’t done, by any means, but it’s coming along nicely! So far, it’s gotten a fresh coat of paint all over the walls and trims, and the door also got a paint job. The flooring went from sun-bleached wood flooring to a sleek and modern marble hexagon tile. I wanted to put an entryway bench where we can sit down to put on our shoes, or as a temporary drop zone. I scoured the internet for something in my style, and I came across this gorgeous bench from Crate & Barrel. The only problem? It costs $799.
I absolutely love the clean lines of this bench, the wood tones, and the cleverness of using a shelf on the bottom as shoe storage. I figured I could recreate something really similar for a small fraction of the price. Another reason why I love building my own furniture is the ability to customize the size so that it fits your space perfectly.
With that said, I went to Lowe’s and bought a piece of 2×12 pine board. The store only sold them in 12- and 16-ft sections, and for my project, I needed less than 12 ft (in the end, I used a little over 9 ft). I had the store cut the board in half so I could fit it in my car.
The good thing about this project is that since I had pretty much every other material and tools, the wood was the only thing I had to buy for this project, putting my total at $25!
The dimensions I used for my bench was 36″ (length) x 18.5″ (height) x 12″ (depth).
I studied the pictures from the Crate & Barrel website pretty carefully to figure out how they attached everything so that it’s sturdy. If you’re an avid woodworker, you’ll know that a miter joint isn’t known for being the strongest, and I want to make sure that people sitting on there won’t just come crashing down! I noticed that the bench had some sort of wooden plugs near the top, which tells me that the miter joints were probably glued and then screwed in (then plugged to look more seamless). A few things I did differently: 1) I wanted one seamless piece of wood instead of two smaller pieces joined, so that’s why I went with the 12-inch width boards, 2) I used some scrap 1×3 to make little trusses as additional support on the underside of the bench seat.
This project was fairly straight forward. I first measured out the overall length I wanted (36 inches), I then cut 45° angles for the top piece. I then cut the 2 leg pieces, using 45° angles on one side. For the legs, I made them to be 18.5″. Finally, I cut the shoe rack piece using the measurement of the inner corners of the top piece. For me, this was 33.25″. I assembled by using wood glue on both sides of where the pieces would come together. After checking for square, I attached them using a nail gun. I decided to use the nail gun as a form of clamping after failing to drill into it without everything shifting. After the wood glue has dried overnight, I drilled 3 screws on each side, for the top piece and bottom piece, for a total of 12 screws. I used 2 5/8″ screws for this, and I countersank them in for a cleaner finish.
Using a putty knife, I put some wood filler over each hole. After allowing the wood filler to fully dry, I sanded the entire piece down with a fine-grit sandpaper. Then it’s time to finish the piece! I decided to shop my own workshop and use paints and stains that I already had on hand. For the stain, I chose Minwax Special Walnut. For the storage shelf, I used Sherwin Williams “Caviar”.
Materials & Tools Used
– 2×12 pine board
– Wood glue
– Wood stain
– Wood screws
– Wood filler
– Putty knife
– Orbital sander
– Miter saw
– Nail gun & compressor