How to build a storage bench seat

Updated February 21, 2017

A storage bench seat can be made from a supply of scrap lumber that you might have lying around, or you can buy your material at your nearest lumber yard. Once completed the bench makes a fine addition to your home or bedroom.

Select your lumber. One inch lumber will work very well, even though the actual thickness is about 3/4 of an inch. You can go a little bit thicker with your wood stock if you like, but make sure the lumber has been milled to a finished state or you will have to do that yourself.

Plan the size of your bench seat. That includes height, width and depth. If the bench is going to be going in a specific place like the foot of your bed, then make sure to measure the bench for that place.

Build the table part first. This will be the top. The frame will consist of four 1 X 4's. they will be turned on their edge and screwed together with 1 1/2-inch wood screws. When finished you will have two end pieces about a foot in length, and two long pieces three to four feet long. This will be the frame for your top.

Lay the planking on top of the frame to form a table top. Cut one piece at a time and make sure each piece is exactly the same width as the frame. Screw each piece with a 1 1/2" wood screw, making sure that you drill a pilot hole first. It is probably best to span the width of the frame instead of the length. This means you will have to make a lot of short cuts. Make sure each pilot hole is countersunk with a special bit before you insert the wood screws.

Build the legs. All four legs should be made with 1 X 4's and they should be the same length. Attach them flush on the inside of the frame that you just built in step 3. They should be screwed flush against the the long part of the frame with 1 1/4 inch wood screws.

Build the frame for the storage platform. The frame goes on the inside of the legs, thus making it a bit smaller than the top platform that also forms the seat. Take some 1 X 4' stock and run two pieces from the outside edge of one leg to the outside edge of the other leg. Attach these pieces with some more of the 1 1/4-inch screws. The frame only needs to be a few inches off the ground. Next attach the end pieces. These will be relatively short and they can be attached with slightly longer screws.

Don't forget to use pilot holes and countersinks. The end pieces will need an extra 1 1/2" in length to cover both the legs and the frame for the platform. This also adds extra strength to the storage bench.

Build the deck for the storage platform. This is very similar to Step 4. Simply cut and fit the bottom frame with short pieces of 1 X 4" planking. These pieces will need to have pilot holes and countersinks, just like in Step 4.

Sand and add your favourite finish. Some choices are varnish, shellac and polyurethane. Make sure you follow directions on the can, for some finishes may require several coats and sanding in between.


You can put cushions on top of your seat.


Make sure you sand all edges to remove any sharp corners.

Things You'll Need

  • Lumber
  • Work space
  • Wood screws
  • Circular saw or mitre box
  • Sandpaper
  • Wood finish
  • Electric drill
  • Countersink bit
  • Drill bits
  • Safety glasses
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About the Author

Henri Bauholz is a professional writer covering a variety of topics, including hiking, camping, foreign travel and nature. He has written travel articles for several online publications and his travels have taken him all over the world, from Mexico to Latin America and across the Atlantic to Europe.