Monday, July 9, 2012

Building a bench

Well, we finally did it! After weeks of staring at plans to build this bench featured at we finally rolled up our sleeves, sawed some boards, drilled some holes, and built a bench. Whew, what a project!

It all started about two months ago when my husband asked me if there was anything I would like him to build. See, two years ago when we got married and were first living together, he noticed that the basket I kept all my makeup in on the counter didn't have a flat surface on the bottom so all my makeup would tip over and get disorganized. One day he surprised me and cut a board to fit the bottom of the basket so everything could be organized on a flat surface. It was a very sweet gesture and one that got brought up again in conversation not too long ago.  I may have slipped into the conversation the fact that I really loved that he made me something =) Ladies, take note - if you want to make your man to feel 10 feet tall, give him a compliment about something they did for you! There wasn't a hidden agenda to my compliment, but when he offered to build me something else, too, I certainly didn't turn him down. It did end up turning into a "we" project instead of a "he" project, but I was perfectly fine with that. It was fun to build this together.

For awhile now we have both been talking about getting a bench for the end of our bed so we have a place to sit and put our socks and shoes on in the mornings.  As luck would have it, I had seen building plans for a bench at and knew that we could turn the outdoor bench into a nice, cushioned indoor bench with some creativity and the right tools.

Here's how the whole project went down:

We started with a trip to Lowe's to purchase wood. Unfortunately, the directions for building the bench aren't very clear for beginner's like ourselves, so we had the wood cut too short on a few of the pieces and had to purchase more wood than planned.

The project called for a miter saw, which we didn't have. Luckily, our birthdays were coming up, so my husband's parents graciously gifted us a new miter saw. Being that it had a price tag of $130, this was a huge help in keeping our cost of the project down. We also purchased some other necessary supplies, such as a drop cloth for staining, straight edge, nails, etc.

The biggest pain was all the sanding. Not only did I sand the individual boards after they were cut, but once the bench was assembled I also re-sanded to make sure everything was extra-smooth before staining.

Once all the boards had been cut and sanded, the assembly of the bench didn't take too long. We found that using an instant-drying wood glue (pricey, but worth it) saved us a lot of time, since we could glue the boards together and then drill the nails into it. This was extremely helpful for boards that were connected at an angle. We don't own work clamps, so the instant wood glue was a huge time saver.

Here's what the bench looked like before we stained it:

Here's what it looks like with the stain:

I love how it turned out! The stain matches the color of our headboard, so it will blend in well with the bedroom furniture.

The next step is to add a cushion to the top. We purchased the foam at JoAnn's during a 50% off sale for $15 and I just need to get particle board and fabric. More on that project in the next blog post =)

So there you have it, our first big DIY building project! I can't wait to make a cushion for the top and put it in our bedroom.  Has anyone else made anything from

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