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How To Build A Window Bench with Storage

Create more seating space and storage with this do it yourself project, window seat.

Hi friends! Today I’m talking about how to build a window seat! One of my favorite spaces in our house is our breakfast area. It is one of the rooms that get the most use. We eat all of our everyday meals here, my daughter plays here, draws here, my husband sits here and chats with me while I cook dinner and in the mornings I even blog from here. I love the big window that allows so much natural light to come in – it’s just a great spot. The big window presented an opportunity to create a window seat, sort of like a banquette style seating area. I was also desperate to get some of the larger, infrequently used appliances off the countertops, so it just made sense to create this window seat with storage.How To Build A Window Bench with Storage - I love this - plus it has a ton of extra storage!!

We built this window seat over a weekend and it really could be pulled off in a day but we were kind of flying by the seat of our pants and that required a couple of trips to Home Depot so we built it over a couple of days. I love it so much, and it was so simple to build that I thought I would share with you how to build a window seat of your own!

How to Built A Window Seat with Storage

Supplies:

2 sheets (4×8) of 3/4 in birch plywood (box)
1 sheet (4×9) of 1/2 in birch plywood (top)
kreg jig
1 1/2 in kreg jig screws (NOTE: Kreg jig recommends a 1 1/4 in screw for 3/4 boards but in our case 1 1/4 didn’t hold the wood together tight enough so we moved up to the 1 1/2 in screw and that worked like a charm)
(3) 12 in piano hinges
(2) 1/2x3x6 pine board for trim
nail gun – this is one we have – no air compressor needed!
finishing nails
wood filler
paint

The first step is to measure the window you’re building a seat for. Ours was 71 inches, we planned to have the seat 71 inches long, 17 inches deep, and 18 inches high. We asked our friends at The Home Depot to cut our boards for us. Here were the dimensions of our boards.

From the 3/4 in birch plywood boards:

17 x 71 in (bottom)
(2) 16 1/2 x 69 1/2 in (front and back)
(2) 16 1/2 x 17 in (two sides)

From the 1/2 in birch plywood board:
17 x 71 in (top)

Building the seat is very simple, it’s just a basic box. We used pocket holes to join together the boards.
Window Bench with Storage

Storage Window Seat-19

First we joined the two short sides to the bottom using the kreg jig pocket hole system.

Storage Window Seat-20

Then we joined the long sides (front and back) to the bottom and the sides. That gives you the base of the window seat.

Storage Window Seat-14

I decided to add trim to the front for a more polished look. For that, I simply re-measured the entire box and cut my 1/2 x 3 in wood to fit. So (2) long pieces at 71 inches (I actually purchased (4) 36 in boards because my store didn’t have a 6 ft board in 1/2 in. so I ended up having a seam in the middle you can see it in the photo below.) and 3 shorter pieces (measure between the two pieces of trim so about 12 inches).

Storage Window Seat-15

Attach the boards to the box using the brad nailer.

Bench-3

Here’s a snapshot of the fully built seat. Then we sanded the entire thing, and sanded, and sanded until it was reallyyyyyy smooth.Storage Window Seat-13
After it was pretty smooth, we filled all the seams and holes from the nailer with wood filler. After the wood filler dried, we sanded some more.Bench-4

After it was all smooth, we wiped it down really well, inside and out then it was time to paint! The plywood isn’t the smoothest surface so it was necessary to sand after every coat. This was pretty time consuming because we had to wait for the paint to dry, sand, wipe it down, then paint the next coat. It’s completely worth it to have that nice smooth finish.Storage Window Seat-18
The last step was to attach the top. For this, we used piano hinges. One reason we decided to use the 1/2 inch plywood instead of say the thicker plywood or mdf is that we didn’t want the top to be too heavy to lift. The 1/2 plywood seemed to be the perfect weight. Storage Window Seat-17
To attach the piano hinges we set them in place – making sure all three hinges are even on the box. We first attached the hinge to box portion of the seat. This was simple – drill a hole, screw in screws. The top required a bit of muscle. Matt held the top in place while I marked a couple of the holes with a marker. Then he drilled a couple of the holes and placed the screws. We did about two on each hinge, then the top was in place so I didn’t have to hold it up any longer (phew). We continued to screw in the rest of the screws. Window Seat with Storage

That’s pretty much how to build a window seat. We added felt pads so it would close softly. They also leave a bit of a gap just in case little fingers get in there, I don’t have to worry about them getting stuck or slammed on.

window seat with storage 1

Guys! I can’t be happier with how it turned out!
DIY window bench with storage
I mean, look at all that storage! I’ve got my bread machine, crock pot, stand mixer, all in here and it frees up cabinet space for the items I use more regularly.

storage bench

DIY Window Seat

I still have to sew a cushion for it so stay tuned for that. For now, I’m borrowing a few pillows from the living room.

DIY Storage Bench

breakfast nook - window beach with storage

You can see the kitchen and breakfast nook in full detail here.

More building projects with full tutorials that might interest you:

DIY BUILT IN BOOKSHELVES

IKEA Billy Bookcases Built Ins

DIY CONSOLE TABLE

DIY NIGHTSTANDS

 

 

 

 DIY Storage Bench Tutorial- How great to have that added storage space for small appliances!

 

Join the Conversation

45 thoughts on “How To Build A Window Bench with Storage

  1. This is such a great idea! I am totally saving this post for later. I think I can find a place in our home for a window seat with some storage. It turned out so nice, I love it. I can’t wait to see how it comes together with a cushion.

  2. This is on my 2016 goals for my mudroom. I like how your bench turned out and am pinning to my DIY board.

  3. This is a great project and I’m totally saving it for the future. And the storage space is perfect. I’d add a padding on the top, so many options!

  4. I’m pinning this. I just moved in to a small home and have a nice dining room window that needs a window seat under it. I love how ‘easy’ it was in the tutorial. More sitting room in my small dining room!! Yay!!

  5. It’s absolutely perfect Chelsea! I’d love to make a pretty seat like this under the window in our breakfast nook too! LOVE it!

  6. Thanks for sharing this detailed tip, Chelsea. We have a smaller window but I think I can make something the same

    1. Hi Charli, the materials are fairly inexpensive since we decided on plywood instead of a MDF or other product. I would say around $100 – $150.

  7. How sturdy is it? Do you think it would hold two-three adults at once?

    Thanks a bunch for the tutorial! It’s beautiful! 😀

    1. Hi Jenn, absolutely! We’ve had it for about a year now and it’s very sturdy. Often, we have two adults and a child sitting on it. It’s one of my favorite and most useful projects!

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  10. Thank you for this post! I was just curious…. what size pedestal table do you have? We have a very similar arrangement in our eat-in kitchen, and I am searching for a table that fits.

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  12. Hello! Amazing project!
    I wanted to know how one can build this, but with screwed on seat on it, for e.g. a sofa cushion? So it’s comfortable when someone sits on it.
    Thanks!

    1. Hi Sameena, to add a cushion to the top you’d could take another piece of plywood, cushion it with foam, batting, and fabric, then attach it to the top. Or you could just create a cushion for the top adding velcro to the bottom and attach it to the top with velcro. Easy!

  13. Hi! This is so great. Quick question: Did you attach the bench to the wall? If so, did you remove the baseboard first? Or does it sit in front of the base board? I can’t tell from the pics and am wondering how it’s working out. I know a lot of banquette seats are attached but I’m considering building one that floats away from the wall… thanks so much!

    1. Hi Betsy, it is not attached to the wall. We move quite a bit so I wanted something that we could take with us. It’s pretty heavy so it doesn’t shift. I hope that helps!

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  19. I’m curious why you decided to use 1/2 ” for the top rather than 3/4 plywood all around? It looks great and practical. Thanks.

  20. I like this design, but it seems to me the that demensions of the top (the seat) are incorrect. If the box is 17 x 71 before adding the trim to the front, after it is added the exterior demensions are 17 3/4 x 71, yes? This would indicate that the top piece should be at least that size, or perhaps 18 by 71 so there is a slight lip for fingers…Your photos show the top as slightly larger before the trim is added, also.

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  24. Such a simple and clean look. What are the dimensions on the finished product? Just trying to decide how long we are going to make ours.

    Thanks!

  25. Hi! Your instructions are so simple, I’ve never built anything large before. I am actually going to try to take this on!
    Could you just let me know if the math would be correct if I made it 60″ wide instead.
    17×60 (Bottom)
    (2) 16 1/2 x 58 1/2 (front & back)
    (2) 16 1/2 x 17 (two sides)

    17 x 60 (top)
    Thanks!

  26. Hey, thank you so much for this tutorial! I actually ended up building it and now I’m looking for a cushion for the top. Did you end up putting one? If so do you mind sharing which from where or do you have any suggestions as to ones I can get or places to get them or maybe even something diy that’s not tooooo hard?Thanks!