If you’ve suddenly decided your home (or garden) is in need of a bench, why not try making one yourself! In this tutorial, I’ll show you how to build a bench – THE EASY WAY!
I have always wanted one of those rustic looking wooden benches for my entrance (you know the fancy kind you might find in West Elm or Anthroplogie) but the amount of zeros I see in their prices has seriously put me off fulfilling that need.
When it comes down to it…. I’m only really left with four options
- Win the lottery (very slim chances of that happening for someone who never takes part)
- In the words of Dory, ‘just keep swimming’ (in my case, just keep waiting….waiting!)
- Relieve my current tired old IKEA bench from TV display duty – to bum duty
- DIY IT!
I’m pretty sure you can guess which option I went for right?
Mind you, I didn’t want to try building something too complicated. I’m fairly new to woodworking and the fear of losing an eye or finger (or more) is still always at the forefront of my mind .
So this is what I pulled together. (MAKE SURE TO SCROLL RIGHT TO THE BOTTOM OF THIS POST IF YOU WANT TO SHOP SOMETHING IN THIS PHOTO!)
It does the job …. looks great in my hallway (although not photographed there yet but you can see how far I’ve got with the makeover here ) and is super easy to build!
I’m not kidding about the super easy part (even if I did kinda cheat by buying pre-made legs).
MATERIALS NEEDED TO BUILD A BENCH
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- Hard wood timber – I bought this from my local hardware store Wickes – my go to place for all my wood projects!
- Jigsaw or circular saw – I’m a huge fan of the Ryobi cordless selection!
- Wood stain – this is my favourite but its a European Brand. Here is a good alternative!
- Sanding machine
- 2 x Heavy strap tie
- 4 x hairpin legs – 40cm (16inch) in height
HOW TO BUILD A BENCH
I’m fairly certain that if I were in the US the sized wood planks I used would be 2″ x 4 “? Am I right? In any case, here are the exact measurements of the bench that I built (see image below)
As you can see, we like to use the metric system here in the UK. But I can google..so I also converted some of these measurements for my US readers. L 39.3″ X D 10.3″ X W 1.4′)
Its a very simple design.
I cut the wooden planks to a length of 100cm (39.3″) with a jigsaw, and sanded each plank for a smooth finish.
I then connected the three wooden planks together using 2 heavy strap ties – one at either end of the bench seat for support (see image below). Each strap tie was secured in place with 3.8cm screws (1-1/2 “)
And that might have been the hardest part of this whole tutorial. All I had left to do was stain the wood, seal and attach the hairpin legs.
I used Ronseal Medium Oak varnish to stain and seal this bench. Here is a great tutorial on how to stain raw wood by the way . (I decided not to stain the underside of the bench seat because no one would see it)
As for the legs, I found an awesome selection on Amazon. Here are just a few of those options:
I also sanded the wood back a little after staining to give it a slightly weathered look. I’m a huge fan of the new but old and battered style.
So whats the verdict? Do you think this bench is something you might try building? If you have any questions about anything, please leave me a comment below. I’m always happy to help!
I get a lot of questions about where everything in this picture is from, so I thought I’d list all the shops below:
- KIPLING BAG – bought here in the UK, bought from here in the US
- LAUNDRY BAG – bought here in the UK, bought here in the US
- BENCH made by me – see tutorial here
- PAPER PLANT BAG – bought here in the US
- RUG – bought here in the UK, bought here in the US
- THROW – bought here in the UK, bought here in the US
Building this bench was definitely fun…and a learning curve! Here are some other building projects you might like!