The DIY Bench

Categories: Benches, DIY Projects, FurnitureTags: , , , , , Author:

Alberto has been itching for a bench under the big windows in our dining room for years now, but all of our furniture hunts have only turned up things that were too tall, too deep, too narrow, too short, or too expensive!

This past weekend while shopping for fabric (you can never have too much spare fabric at home!), we ran across an amazing looking pattern that is perfect for our dining room. Alas, we didn’t have a bench that we could recover.

Well, if you can’t find what you want, why not make it, right?! We went to the Depot to get pre-cut legs and MDA for just a few dollars and now we have a beautiful bench that perfectly fits the space. We love these projects!!!

Here’s what we used to make the bench:

  • 2 6-foot 1×4’s
  • 2 6-foot 1×2’s
  • 4 furniture legs
  • 2-foot by 4-foot MDF
  • Classic Cherry stain
  • High gloss polyurethane
  • 1 1/2-yards of fabric
  • 1 1/2-yards of 3-inch foam
  • 2-yards of batting
  • Fabric adhesive

This is what we needed to put it together:

  • Saw
  • Electric screwdriver
  • Drill
  • Stapler
  • Electric knife

Let’s Make a Dining Room Bench!


  • Start by staining and sealing the four furniture legs.
  • Next cut the 1×4’s into two pieces 4-feet long and two pieces 14-inches long. You should have pieces of the 1×4 left over. Save these pieces because we will use them later.
  • Now screw the 1×4’s into a box with the 4-foot pieces on the outside.
  • Measure the dimensions of the square, and cut the MDF that size and screw the MDF to the top of the 1×4’s
  • Using the same directions as above, cut the 1×2’s 1/2-inch shorter than the 1×4’s, and attach the same way. You may want to pre-drill the holes for the screws so that the 1×2’s don’t split.
  • Cut the two pieces of 1×4 left from the previous section in half. Then attach them to the corners of the 1×2’s to square the corners. We’ll also attach the legs to these pieces.

Let’s Do Some Padding!


  • Place the 1×4 box on top of the foam, and trace the outline and using the electric knife, cut the foam along the lines. (It sounds odd, but there really is no substitute for an electric knife when cutting foam. We’ve tried several!)
  • Next, spray fabric adhesive on the MDA and attach the foam.
  • Now, place the foam and box (foam side down) on top of the batting and pull the up the side tight against sides, and staple on the outside edge of the 1×4’s.
  • Once the batting has been stapled all around, cut the batting at the edge of the 1×4’s. For the corners, fold a triangle, and cut down the edge of the corner.
  • After placing the fabric face down on a flat surface, put the box, batting down, on top of the fabric.

  • Starting in the middle of the box, pull the fabric tight up the side and fold over the 1×4. Then staple in place. Repeat this step on the opposite side.
  • Turn the box over to make sure that the fabric is in the right place. It’s much easier to take out the staples at this point if something doesn’t line up!
  • If the fabric looks good, continue stapling the fabric in place by going back and forth over opposite sides. Now fold the corners over the end like wrapping a gift, and staple in place.

Cocktail Break!

The legs aren’t quite ready yet, so we might as well relax! Now that the fall season is here, we’ve been really craving Bourbon! With that in mind, we decided to have a Manhattan. Alberto makes a very sweet and smooth drink. We love it!

Being Benched Never Felt So Good!


  • Attach the legs to the 1×4 pieces on the 1×2 frame. Make sure the legs are on the opposite side of the 1×4 than the 1×2. This will add height to the bench.
  • Slip the 1×4 box over the 1×2 frame and screw the 1×2 frame to the box the keep it in place.

Place the bench in a featured spot in your home and be proud of it! It’s really amazing how wonderful this bench looks, and because we made it from scratch, it’s the perfect size. As I always say, if you can’t find what you want, make it!


3 Responses to The DIY Bench

  1. Brett says:

    Hey Guys, great bench and by the way a Manhattan is one of my favorites.

  2. Brett says:

    Come back to Maine this winter and be our guest on Bailey island. We will have a Bourbon mix off.


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