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.
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
2 sheets (4×8) of 3/4 in birch plywood (box)
1 sheet (4×9) of 1/2 in birch plywood (top)
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!
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.
First we joined the two short sides to the bottom using the kreg jig pocket hole system.
Then we joined the long sides (front and back) to the bottom and the sides. That gives you the base of the window seat.
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).
Attach the boards to the box using the brad nailer.
Here’s a snapshot of the fully built seat. Then we sanded the entire thing, and sanded, and sanded until it was reallyyyyyy smooth.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Guys! I can’t be happier with how it turned out!
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.
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.
You can see the kitchen and breakfast nook in full detail here.
More building projects with full tutorials that might interest you: