How to Make a Mudroom Bench
DIY Bench for Mudroom for under $100!
So, this DIY project was definitely a “I can probably make that” kind of thought! I knew I could figure out how to make a mudroom bench and now I can share with you!
We have this great mid-century peg leg bench that we placed in our mudroom as a short-term fix for needing somewhere to sit down to put our shoes on. Ultimately this bench was far to wide for the space, and we knew it was only a temporary solution. The way our mudroom is set up there is a minimal space from the doorway to the corner, so we needed a very narrow bench.
So, after our temporary bench had lived in the mudroom for about 6 months, I really started to fixate on making the space more useful! I started looking at all the normal places for a narrow bench to fit our space – Home Goods, Target, and online at Wayfair or Amazon. The issue I kept running into was when the bench was narrow enough, it wasn’t long enough! So, then I ended up on Etsy looking at custom benches. I wanted something very simple but had very specific measurements I wanted for my space. I found a few options I would have been happy with but the price tag + shipping cost they were just too high. That’s where the light bulb went on, I will just have to build it.
If you are comfortable with a few power tools this is very beginner friendly!
Now my bench does not match my initial design, but I couldn’t be happier about that! The way it turned out is perfect.
I had planned for two 6” wide boards placed together and knew I wanted black metal legs. I was planning on using my Kreg Pocket Hole Jig to attach the two boards together.
With my design, my bench plan and my material list I headed to Home Depot.
This is where things changed. They didn’t have any 6” wide boards that I liked, not in the type of wood or in the depth. I thought I was leaving with nothing, but as I walked through the aisles, I stumbled on these 5/4” pine boards with very square corners. I liked them – I liked the depth, I like the wood grain, I like the hard square corners! The only issue was they were 4” wide boards (3 ½” actual measurement). That’s when I started playing with boards on the floor of Home Depot. I grabbed two 6” boards and three 4” boards and made a bench top!
I went back and forth and even went as far to sit down on the boards laid out on the floor to see how the bum capacity was.
The two 6” boards together were 11” wide, where the three 4” boards together were only 10 ½” wide and while I was looking at it that ½” was really making a difference for me. So, I called in a second opinion! While on FaceTime with my sister and my mom and bouncing back and forth from sitting on one set of boards on the Home Depot floor to the other and showing my virtual team – we all agreed that we preferred the three-board set up but that taking advantage of the full 11” width was also important. Finally, that’s when my mom said put spaces between the boards! Make up the difference with a little bit of spacing! With that revelation I headed to the check out carrying three 6’ long 4” wide boards over my shoulder!!
Of course, I didn’t grab a cart. I had thought to myself I’ll check and see what they have then I’ll go grab a cart if they have something….I did not do this.
Now, came my next hurdle. If I was going to space out the boards, I couldn’t use my Kreg Pocket Hole Jig as I was planning.
Either way I got started on laying out my bench, deciding the actual length and the spacing. I carried the boards inside and again laid them out on the floor in our mudroom. 6’ would fit in the space, but left just a few inches on the side of the bench and would I want more of a space? Maybe for decorations, an umbrella stand, or even tall boots that maybe wouldn’t fit under the bench?
I thought some extra spacing on the sides would be more important than a longer length bench
After looking at the boards for a while, I thought some extra spacing on the sides would be more important than a longer length bench, after all this was just something to sit on for a short period to put shoes on, we likely wouldn’t have 4 people sitting on it at one time. So, I settled on a 65” bench – I liked this length because after attaching legs I could still have about 60” of space underneath for basket or bins to put shoes.
I used my miter saw and cut the boards down to 65”. Next, I gave them a light hand sand with 220 grit stand paper. Then I wiped the boards down with denatured alcohol to clean them and prep for staining! I used my all-time favorite stain, General’s Finish Gel Stain in Antique Walnut, which I use for mostly everything at this point and I have not found a wood that hasn’t taken this stain well.
Now, with the length decided and the boards cleaned and now drying with stain I need to figure out how I was going to put the bench together and create a spacing between the boards.
This is when I decided to look back at the mid-century peg leg bench we had, the way it was put together was by attaching the spaced boards to two perpendicular boards on the bottom of the seat slats. So, I decided I would do the same thing! I popped out in our shed and pulled out some scrap ¾” poplar wood that we had on hand. I cut these to 10” and gave them a light sand and stained them to match the pine boards I had already stained.
After staining everything, I let it dry for a full 24 hours before assembling.
To put the mudroom bench together, I laid out some cardboard so that the face of the boards would not get scratched up on the floor. Then I dug through a stack of cardboard boxes to find one with a thickness I liked and cut up some spacers to create the spacing between the boards.
Then I used Liquid Nails and my Ryobi battery powered nail gun to attach the poplar brace boards. I set the brace boards 9 ½” from the edge and then the two middle brace boards 12” from those. While our Mid-Century bench only had two boards holding it together, I decided to add the additional support.
The Liquid Nails set for about an hour and then my excitement got the best of me! I had to move the bench into the mudroom to set it down and see how it looked. I ordered metal legs from Amazon (which are linked below), and I was still waiting for them to arrive! During this time, I put the General Finishes Gel Topcoat to protect the bench from wear.
I absolutely loved it and couldn’t wait for the legs to arrive. The legs came with all the hardware needed to attach.
I had them on within about 30 minutes of them being delivered! I set the legs 1 ¼” from the edge.
Now I love my DIY mudroom bench as it is but for our family and for real functionality, it needed storage bins to go underneath. I had always planned for this but had second guessed it with the clean look. For special occasions, I will likely still stash the bins in bedroom closets. I found these bins that are 11” cubes at Target and they fit perfectly under the bench. The space between the bench legs is 59” so I was able to fit a total of 5 baskets to hold shoes!
I am so happy with the end result! I love it and I can’t wait to decorate the space for fall!!!
Total spent for our bench was $72; The pine boards were only $11.68 each and the legs I used were $36.95. Of course, I used some scrap board I had on hand, but you can purchase 2’ poplar cut offs for roughly $0.50 (depending on store).
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DIY Mudroom Bench
- Miter Saw
- Nail Gun
- 3 5/4 in. x 4 in. x 6 ft. Pine Lumber
- 2 3/4 in. x 2/5 in. x 2 ft. Poplar Boards
- 1 Tube Liquid Nails
- 1 Can Denatured Alcohol
- 220 Grit Sandpaper
- General Finishes Gel Stain Color of your choice
- General Finishes Gel Topcoat
- 1 set Metal Bench Legs & Screws (Most sets include hardware)
- 20 1¾" Nail Gun Nails
- Measure your space and decide roughly the size you want your bench to be and the design.
- Head to your local hardware store and buy some boards that fit your design.
- Cut your bench boards and your brace boards to your desired length, then give them a light sand.
- Wipe down the boards with denatured alcohol to ensure a clean surface for staining.
- Stain all the boards in your chosen stain and leave to set for about 12 hours.
- Apply the topcoat prior to putting the bench together.*
- Lay your bench board top down and place your spacers in between the boards.**Steps 6 and 7 are interchangeable - I choose to put my bench together and then apply the topcoat.
- Measure and align your brace boards in the appropriate locations.
- Apply Liquid Nails to the brace board, press onto the bench board.
- Use your nail gun to nail the brace boards to the bench board.
- Use screws to attach your bench legs.
- Flip your bench over and enjoy!