Have you ever wanted to learn how to make your own storage bench seat? Are you like me and think, “Man, but this is too much.” Well I’m here to tell you if you think that, you’re wrong! It is super easy to make your own bench seat and I’m going to teach you how. Making your own things can be challenging, frustrating, and overwhelming. However, it can ALSO be very rewarding to look at something you’ve made and know that you created it with your own hands.
This was not my first time making a bench seat. I did it once before and it lasted 5 years and could have lasted longer! But guess what… I made mistakes. A lot. The mistakes wasted time that I want to save YOU. In this post I’ll teach you how I remade my storage bench seat, solved some problems, and did what worked for me. Maybe you’ll decide that a different way works for you. You might even find easier ways of doing things than I did! The beauty of creating something is it can be whatever you imagine it to be! So if you are ready for a quick and easy project, let’s get started!
Things You’ll Need
*2in thick foam (I used 1in last time and it was NOT thick enough)*
Here you’ll find the foam I used.
*Bookshelf from Ikea*
HERE is the one I used
*Fabric of your choice*
(Hobby Lobby or Joanns are great places for fabric)
*Plywood (I used 1/2in thick wood)*
Home Depot will cut the wood to your desired size!
*Screwdriver, 2 – 2 inch screws, and washers*
1. After you’ve gathered all your materials, the first thing you’ll do is assemble the bookshelf from Ikea.
2. Once the bookshelf is put together, line up your plywood with the bench seat and drill a pilot hole through both pieces (the wood and the bench) to ensure they line up. This is how they will be attached to one another. Drill a hole on the left and right side of the board to give it an even support.
3. After you have drilled your holes, use your screws and washers to attach the plywood to the top of the bench to create your seats. Be sure the screws fit through both pieces of wood. Once you know they will secure both pieces of wood, you can take it off to begin making your seat more comfortable.
4. Now you are ready to create the bench part of your seat! Cut your foam to fit on top of the wood. Now there are fancy tools for cutting foam…. I did not do that. I used scissors. It took more time and was a bit of a challenge, but it worked out well! One thing that helped was lining the foam up against the wood and cut along the edge of the wood.
5. When all the foam is cut to the size of the wood, you will then cut enough fabric to be able to wrap it around your foam AND wood. At this point, you’ll want to make sure your screws are BACK in the top of the wood before you begin assembling the foam and fabric together.
*In the picture, I have my fabric laying on the ground, foam on top, and wood on top of that. My fabric is wrapping around all the components and you can see the screw sticking out of the wood. Once everything is wrapped and stapled carefully, you will use that screw to attach your seat back to the bench. *
6. When you begin stapling, you’ll want to pull the fabric tight but not too tight. When stapling, you’ll want to flip it to look at the top to ensure the fabric looks how you want. Staple along each side, and be sure to check out how it looks frequently to get your desired look. Stapling the corners takes more care. First you’ll staple one edge of the wood. Then you’ll bunch the edge of the fabric and staple. Again, make sure you check the top to ensure that is how you want the edge to look when you’re finished.
7. Once your fabric looks exactly how you want, attach the bench to the bookshelf by lining up the screws with the holes. Then, screw the washers onto the screws so they are secure. Now you’re ready to add books and/or drawers!
Here is an example of the finished product. I absolutely love these because they are functional and the students love them. They last forever and hold up really well… even with destructive first graders!! If starting a DIY project is scary to you, I hope this eased your hesitation with this SUPER easy construction. Just remember, doing it yourself can be frustrating, yet really rewarding. I hope you enjoy creating your own storage bench seat and have fun doing it! Please comment below with how the process went for you and new things you learned.
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Does the bench (bookshelf) hold up to the weight of the wood and kids sitting on it? I’m afraid it would break.
Hi Shannon, yes it does! Me and my first/second students used to sit on it all the time together.