How To Build A Storage Bench

Seems like space is always a problem no matter how big your home or yard is. We’re constantly looking for places to put things and it’s even better to have a place to hide things away that’s nice looking!

A storage bench is a great item that will serve two purposes! You’ll have some where to store things and you’ll have a great looking bench to add to your yard, flower garden or deck!

A rustic bench is the perfect design especially is you’re a beginner. Why? Well, because the whole idea of rustic is that it looks old and is pretty much meant to not be perfect! So, slight flaws and imperfections won’t be a major deal!

Of course, if you’re a little more experienced with making things, you can add cut-outs, scallops or whatever you want to the bench!

You can build a heavy duty bench out of 2 X 4′s or you may want to use 1 X 6′s. I prefer the 1 X 6′s because the 2 X 4′s add a lot of weight to the bench and will make it harder to move.

First of all you need to decide how long you’d like to make the bench. A bench that is four feet long is a great size, it will easily accomadate two people. Just remember the longer you make it the heavier it will be to move.

I also recommend that if you’re going to place the bench in an area where it will be open to the elements, make sure you either buy treated wood or treat it yourself.

You’ll also have to decide how high you want the seat of the bench to be. If you’re using 1 X 6 boards and don’t want to do any extra cutting, then you’ll have to leave the height at either 12 or 18 inches.

You also have to consider that you’re going to be putting legs on the bench and the lid will add another inch. But, your storage space will depend on the height of the bench, so you have to weigh the options.

I’m going to give you the directions for a bench that is 4 foot long, 2 foot wide and and the storage area will be 12 inches deep. No matter what size you want to make yours, the basics are the same. You’ll just need to add the extra inches when you cut your boards.

You’ll need to cut two boards for the front and two for the back that are four feet long. Then you’ll need four boards that are each one foot and ten inches long for the ends of the bench.

The reason the end boards aren’t cut at two feet is because you’ll be using some one inch boards for the legs and this will make the width two feet.

These boards will be put together just like a box. You can either use nails or screws, either will be fine because they will be covered with the legs. You can also use wood glue to strengthen the joints.

Once you’ve gotten your bench frame together you’ll need to cut some of the boards in two inch strips. Measure along the outside of the bench and cut enough boards to attach all along the bottom.

Attach these strips all around the bottom with wood screws or nails. Once the bench is done you’re going to attach a heavy duty wire mesh to them. This will allow you to store water hoses or anything else and keep the bench from holding water.

Now that you’ve gotten all of that done, you’re ready to attach some legs. The legs are just made of strips cut from the 1 X 6′s. Decide how high you want the bench to be and cut eight pieces that are three inches wide.

Remember that the bench we’re making is going to be 12 inches deep. So, if you want it to be 18 inches high, your leg boards will need to be cut at 18 inches.

You will need to attach one piece to the front and on piece to the side of each of the four corners of the bench. These pieces can either be left squared on the bottom or if you’re brave you can angle the bottoms for a more finished look.

Now it’s time to make the bench lid! We need to add a few inches to the lid to make it match up evenly with the legs. So, the lid boards will be four feet and two inches long and you need to cut four of them.

The best way to make the lid is to cut some bracing boards to attach it to. These braces should be cut eight inches long and need to be at least two inches wide. For a four foot bench three braces should do just fine, but you can add four if you’d like.

What you are going to do is lay the boards for the bench lid on a flat surface, lay them out against each other. If you’re using three braces, you’ll lay one right in the middle and screw it into each of the four lid boards. Then do the same with the other two braces towards the ends of the lid.

Make sure that you don’t put the braces right on the ends, you won’t be able to shut the lid. Also, make sure that you don’t attach them in the place that you’re planning on adding your hinges.

Measure the little ledge that you made around the inside bottom of the bench and use wire cutters to cut the mesh to fit. You can  attach the mesh with half inch long heavy duty staples, the kind that holds electrical wiring in place.

Now you’re ready to attach your hinges! This is where you have to be sure to make exact measurements, if the hinges aren’t attached right the lid will end up offset on the bench.

Just decide where you want the hinges, on a four foot bench hinge placement should be around twelve inches from the ends. Measure exactly and mark where the end of the hinge will fit with a pencil. Attach the hinges to the lid and then attach them to the inside back of the bench.

All that’s left to do now is to decide whether you want to just stain your bench or if you want to paint it. Just make sure that if you didn’t purchase weather treated wood that you buy some weather treatment and apply it yourself before painting the bench.

Now, you’ve got a wonderful bench that doubles as a storage place for a water hose, garden tools or any other items you want to hide away! And, you’ve also got a great spot to sit and enjoy your flower garden or the view from your deck!

This type of storage bench is also great for a kid’s room to hold toys. You may even want to add one to a hallway, it’s a great place to hide jackets, hats, gloves or anything else!