One of my favorite builds for our Carolina Room Remodel with Home Depot was the DIY Window Bench with Storage. It was the largest piece of furniture I’ve ever built to date! I know one of the hardest struggles with having children is keeping all the toys organized. Fear not parents! I have found the perfect solution – a window bench with toy storage.
How to make a DIY Window Bench with Storage
A window bench with storage is the perfect way to have a permanent place to store some of those unsightly things. What’s great is a window bench does not have to be a permanent fixture. It doesn’t have to be attached to the wall so it’s perfect for a rental too! I’m sharing the DIY tutorial and FREE plans!!
Shopping List, Supplies, FREE PDF plans and Costs for this project are all at the bottom of this post.
This area of the Carolina Room that was going to be dubbed ” Liv’s Play Area” had no structure at all and it was somewhat of a clean slate!
Step 1: Make your cabinet base
Make the cabinet base out of the 2×4’s. (2) 2×4’s cut at 104 7/8″ in length and (2) 35 3/4″ in length. Part of 3rd and 4th 2×4 will be used as slats between the longer 2×4’s and cut at 16 3/8″ each and screw the 16 3/8″ pieces into place using 2″ wood screws. Remember to drill pilot holes before attaching with wood screws.
Attach all the short 2×4 pieces into one side first. When attaching the opposite long 2×4 I braced it between my legs and used my body weight to hold it in place while screwing in place. Use an impact driver for the 2x4s. The 2″ wood screws are tough to get in even with pilot holes.
The base should look like this once you are finished assembling. My base is in 2 separate pieces due to length, the brick pavers uneven height, and some issues with our dog door we had to build around. If you are attaching to the wall, find your studs using a stud finder and screw the base into the wall between your 16 3/8″ pieces.
**TIP: Use wood filler to cover up screw holes before attaching to wall for ease of sanding.
Step 2: Rip your plywood sheets
Use a circular saw to rip your 4×8 sheets of plywood for the entire window bench. I lay my 4×8 sheets over a few scrap 2×4’s (you can also use a sheet of foam). For a saw guide, I use a scrap piece of wood that’s 8ft long and use 2 clamps on either side to keep the guide in place. Kreg jig also has an awesome circular saw guide too!
**TIP: If you do not own a circular saw Home Depot will rip your plywood for you at the indoor lumber yard.
Step 3: Assemble window bench shell
Use your Kreg Jig to make pocket holes on the underside of the 19 3/8″ x 96″ plywood piece so the holes are not visible inside the storage bench. The plywood is 3/4″ so use 1-1/4″ coarse Kreg screws. I made 6 pocket holes on the underside of the base on each end due to the size and weight of the board.
The storage bench should look like this when you’ve attached your sides to the base – a giant U shape!
Make 4 pocket holes each on the ends of the 2 plywood sides cut at 96″ x 19 3/8″. Your pocket holes for the front piece will be on the inside of the storage bin.
Attach the back board by making pocket holes on the backside where the wall will hide them.
Flip the cube on it’s side and use a brad nailer to secure the sides into the bottom piece.
Here’s a glance at how the side pieces should fit on top of the base and between the ends.
Step 4: Assemble dog door cabinet base
Use your Kreg Jig to make pocket holes on the underside of the 19 3/8″ x 43″ plywood piece so the holes are not visible inside the storage bench. The plywood is 3/4″ so use 1-1/4″ coarse Kreg screws. I made 3 pocket holes on the underside of the base on each end. Attach end piece cut at 17 3/4″ x 19 3/8″ to hide the rough edge of long plywood piece when attached.
Step 5: Add divider pieces
Make 3 pocket holes on each of your 17″ x 19 3/8″ pieces so that the pocket holes are hidden inside the storage bin. The dog door entrance will be the 12 3/4″ space, so make your pocket holes accordingly.
EDIT 3D MODEL GRAPHIC TO REFLECT 4 POCKET HOLES
Make 4 pocket holes on the sides and bottoms of the 17″ x 11 1/2″ and 17″ x 17 3/8″ pieces. The pocket holes on the left of the 17″ x 11 1/2″ pieces will be used to attach the dog door piece to the large 96″ x 19 3/8″ piece.
Step 6: Attach 2 Pieces Together
Attache the two assembled pieces together on the underside and the sides using the pocket holes previously made.
Step 7: Attach Inserts
Attach inserts inside the longer cube cut at 17″ x 18″. Measure and mark the front and back of the longer cube at 33 3/4″, 33 1/2″, and 33 3/4″. Using clamps to hold your insert in place use a brad nailer and 1″ brad nails on the front, back and bottom. Your faux drawer fronts will cover these brad nails.
Step 8: Frame Faux Drawer Fronts
Cut all of your frame pieces for the faux drawer fronts and sand with 180 grit and 220 grit.
Use a speed square and measuring tape to measure a straight line between your faux drawer measurements: 33 3/4″, 33 1/2″, 33 3/4″.
Dry fit two of your 1x2s and use 4 cards as spacers and mark where your pieces will go.
Dry fit all your trim pieces to make sure your measurements are all lined up and square., be sure to mark where they will all go! If you cut any a tad short you can use wood filler to fill.
Use wood glue, clamps and brad nailer with 1″ brad nails to secure trim pieces in place. Use your 4 cards to as spacers between each faux drawer trim piece.
Step 9 (Optional): Attach your 2×4 base + Storage Bin
Use 2 1/2″ wood screws to secure 2×4 base to wall studs. Use 1 3/4″ brad nails to attach storage bench to 2×4 base and wall studs. You can see a small gap between our wall and window bench. Our wall had slanted siding on the interior causing the wall to not be level and even.
Step 10: Attach hinge piece
Cut your hinge piece at 141 1/8″ x 1 7/8″, this will be two separate pieces since plywood sheets are 96″ in length. This piece will be used as an anchor to attach all the hinges to the lids. The hinge piece will be placed in the middle of the back edge. The hinge piece will hang 3/4″ off the back edge. Our window bench sits right underneath the window ledge and 3’4″ from being flush with the wall. I added a scrap piece of plywood where my wall studs were so the hinge piece could be more secure.
Use wood glue and 1″ brad nails to secure hinge piece to back edge.
Step 10: Secure lids
Lids should all have a front lip over hang of 1/2″. The 73″ x 19 1/2″ and 36 1/2″ x 19 1/2″ lids should split the right insert. Splitting the insert gives the lids extra support for weight.
Step 11: Add supports and stationary lid
Add a wood bracket (same 1x2s used for trim) on both sides of dog door entrance to brace permanent plywood piece. Use wood glue and 3/4″ brad nails to secure. The 19 3/4″ x 12 3/4″ piece will be stationary and will not move. Use wood glue and 3/4″ brad nails to secure to back edge and brackets just secured.
Step 13: Paint window bench
Sand with 180 grit and 220 grit sand paper, make sure all of your wood filler is sanded down smooth. Paint 2-3 coats with BEHR Premium Plus Ultra White Paint or any color of your choice! Be sure it’s a Satin finish. I did not paint the inside of the dog door entrance or the inside of the storage bench including the underside of the lids.
Step 14: Attach door hinges and hardware
Attach two hinges per “drawer” totaling 8 hinges. Lid supports are based off of weight and the lid supports used for this project are swing hinges so they can be used as left, right or center lid supports. A left hinge and right hinge are used for the large lid, a center hinge braced on the insert for the middle lid and a right hinge on the small right lid.
SHOPPING LIST :
- 4 – 4×8 Plywood Sheets @ 3/4″
- 4 – 1×2 @ 10FT
- 4 – 2×4 @ 10FT
- 7 – black hardware overlay hinge
- 7 – drawer pulls
- 4 – lid support hinges
- 36 – 2″ wood screws (for 2×4 base)
- 1 1/4″ coarse Kreg screws
- 1 Box of 1″ Brad Nails
- 1 Box of 1 3/4″ Brad Nails
- 180 and 250 grit sand paper
- Wiping Cloths
- Paint Brush for Water Based Paint
- Foam paint roller
- 1 Gallon BEHR Premium Plus Ultra White Paint – Stain Finish
Drill and Impact Driver
Circular Saw (or Table Saw)
Sander (or Sanding Sponge)
CUT LIST :
- 2 – 2×4 @ 10FT cut at 104 5/8″
- 1 – 2×4 @ 10FT cut at (8) 16 3/8″
- 3 – 96″ x 19 3/8″ C
- 2 – 19 3/8″ x 17 3/4″ C
- 2 – 18″ x 17″
Right Cube With Dog Door
- 2 – 19 3/8″ x 17 3/4″ C
- 1 – 43″ x 19 3/8″ C
- 2 – 17″ x 11 1/2″ C
- 1 – 17″ x 19 3/8″ C
- 2 – 17″ x 17 3/8″ C
- 73″ x 19 1/2″ C
- 36 1/2″ x 19 1/2″ C
- 18 7/8″ x 19 1/2″ C
- 2 – 19 3/8″ x 1″ C
- 1 – 19 3/4″ x 12 3/4″ C
- 1 – 1 7/8″ x 144 1/8″ C
Framed Drawer Fronts
- 8 – 17 3/4″ x 1″
- 4 – 33 3/4″ x 1″
- 2 – 33 1/2″ x 1″
- 1 – 12 3/4″ x 1″
- 2 – 16″ x 1″
SKILL LEVEL :
$250 – $300
Let me know if you have any questions about anything building wise or product questions! I’m an open book