As promised, I’m back today to give you the step by step tutorial for making the farmhouse upholstered benches that you saw when I shared the new board and batten wall in our foyer last week.
This isn’t a difficult project at all, but a detailed start to finish tutorial turned into such a long post, that I’ve split it into two parts. Here in Part 1, I’ll show you how to build the base of the bench and in Part 2, I’ll show you how to upholster the bench seat and put it all together. 😀
SUPPLIES TO BUILD ONE BENCH BASE:
Enough 2″ x 2″ boards to build a bench base that measures 36″ wide x 15″ high x 9″ deep. (The finished bench height will be 20″ when the upholstered top is added.)
One ¾” thick piece of plywood
One 1″ x 2″ board – you only need about 14″ total
Drill and Drill Bits
Circular Saw or Jigsaw
Screwdriver (if not using a drill)
Palm Sander or Sandpaper
2½” – 3″ Wood screws
Before I start with the directions, let me show you the finished bench frame giving you all of the board measurements.
When buying your lumber, make sure you get the straightest pieces possible. Wood that has waves or curves in it won’t make a nice finished product.
We recommend that you countersink every single one of the screws as you are attaching the pieces together. Fill the holes with wood filler and sand for a more polished end result.
We found it handy to have two drills – one that is holding the drill bit for drilling the pilot holes for the screws and one that is holding the screw bit for screwing the screws into the wood.
Make sure that all edges are square and that the ends of each piece of wood line up with one another.
For extra sturdiness, we recommend applying wood glue to every joint before it is screwed together. Make sure to wipe any excess glue away before it dries.
You’ll find it much easier to assemble the bench if you have another person helping you hold the pieces as you attach them together.
STEP 1: Cut all of the wood for the base – this doesn’t include the wood for the seat.
To build a bench that’s the same size as mine, (36″ wide x 15″ high x 9″ deep), you need to cut:
4 – 34″ long, 2 “x 2″
4 – 15” long, 2 “x 2″
6 – 7” long, 2 “x 2″
2 – 7″ long, 1″ x 2”
STEP 2: Assemble what will become the front and the back sides of the bench.
You should be able to look at the photo to tell how we assembled the two boxes that will become the front and the back of the bench.
STEP 3: Assemble the rest of the base.
Stand the front and back boxes up. Holding them parallel to one another, attach the 7″ long, 2″ x 2″ pieces of wood between them. Attach one at the bottom and one at the top, on each end. This is how the base will look when all the pieces have been attached together.
STEP 4: Add the bottom shelf.
Insert the two, 7″ long, 1″ x 2″ wood pieces in between what will be the bottom of the bench. The bottom of each piece should be flush with the bottom of the bench front and back. These pieces will support the bottom shelf.
Cut a piece of plywood, that measures 34″ long x 7″ wide and place it on top of the 1″ x 2″ pieces of wood. attach it, lying over the 1″ x 2″ spacers. We simply glued ours in place.
STEP 5: Add supports for the seat.
Add 2 of the 7″ long, 2″ x 2″ wood pieces in between the front and back boxes of the bench. The tops of them should be flush with the top of the front and back boxes. I don’t have a photo of this step, but basically it should look like the spacers that were added to support the bottom shelf.
STEP 6: Fill all holes and seams with wood putty.
Fill all holes and joints with wood putty and allow to dry. Once dry, sand them all until you have a smooth surface. I recommend giving the entire bench base a light sanding as well, to remove any splinters or rough spots.
And now you have your completed bench base! Click HERE for Part 2 of the tutorial, where I cover building and upholstering the seat.