54" Bench with Cross Bracing - Made with 1x boards

Submitted by Ana White on Fri, 01/18/2019 - 23:05
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A simple bench gets stylish with some clever cross bracing and false notching. We love the easy nail and glue joinery.  It's perfect for the entryway, end of the bed, or anywhere you might need ocassional seating.

See why so many have built this bench already! Special thanks to our readers for sharing their photos. 

easy to build bench with cross bracing
easy to build bench with cross bracing
dimensions shown above
54" Wide x 18" Tall x 12" Deep


Shopping List
  • 4 – 1×3 8′ boards 
  • 1 – 1×2 8′ board 
  • 1 – 1×12, at least 54″ long
Common Materials
1 1/4 inch screws
2 inch screws
120 grit sandpaper
paint brush
Cut List
  • A) 4 – 1×3 @ 17 1/4″ (Leg Pieces, notch out in step 1) 
  • B) 4 – 1×3 @ 11 1/2″ (End Aprons and Side Stretchers) 
  • C) 4 – 1×2 @ 17 1/4″ (Leg Pieces to complete the legs) 
  • D) 3 – 1×3 @ 45″ (Aprons and stretcher) 
  • E) 2 – 1×3 @ 25 3/4″ (Cross Supports) 
  • F) 1- 1×12 @ 54″ (Top)
Tape Measure
Speed Square
Miter Saw
Power Sander
General Instructions

Work on a clean level surface. Use good boards. Cut all of your boards first. Check for square after each step. Because this is a bench, I recommend using screws instead of nails. Always use glue. Predrill and countersink your screw heads. Have fun and be safe.


Step 1

Notch out the Legs. Mark the 1×3 parts of the legs as shown above. With a jigsaw, cut out as shown above.

Step 2

Attach the End Aprons/Stretcher. Attatch the end aprons, B, to the 1×3 legs pieces, A, as shown above.

Step 3

Complete the Legs. Fasten C, the 1×2 part of the legs, to the rest of the leg. Keep the outside corner flush.

Step 4

Cut the Cross Supports. Cut the cross supports as directed above. Use your square to determine the cuts and mark on the board prior to any cutting. The overall length, from the longest point to the longest point is 25 3/4″. This is by far the trickiest step. What you will need to do on the end cut at two different angles, is first mark out the 60 degree angle from the top corner (when imagining the board in place on the bench). Also mark and cut the bottom angle. Then cut these angles and fit on the bench. Center the bottom on the stretcher. Then mark off where the top overhangs the top of the bench and clip off. This cut does not have to be perfect – you will just need to make sure it sits lower than the top of the bench.

Step 5

Step 6

aprons are not shown in the above diagram 6. Fasten the Cross Supports. Fasten the cross supports as shown above.

Step 7

Top. Fasten the bench to the top, as shown here. If you wish to hide your screw holes, you will need to either predrill through the apron and screw into the underside of the bench or you can purchase small L brackets and fasten the top in place. If you are painting, you can simply predrill and scew through the top into the aprons.

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Brooke (not verified)

Tue, 01/19/2010 - 18:47

You are amazing. Yet again you design beautiful furniture. I am asking for a nail gun for my Valentines, Mothers Day, Birthday, Anniversary gift :). Thanks Ana!

Jaymie (not verified)

Wed, 01/20/2010 - 11:21

I gasped out loud when I saw this bench! I have been looking for a bench for a long, long time, but refuse to pay a lot of money for one. Thank you, thank you!

Tami (not verified)

Mon, 02/08/2010 - 05:02

I just found your site and LOVE it! I want to make so many of your projects. Your site has given me the inspiration to believe that I CAN build it! My husband and I picked a simple plan to start with - the Hyde Side Table.

Michelle (not verified)

Mon, 02/08/2010 - 09:04

LOVE this bench....would love to see it in a console table height as well. Something for behind the couch, it is FABULOUS!!! Thanks so much for your inspiration!

Julie (not verified)

Sat, 03/13/2010 - 18:53

I just built this today and I did it all by myself!!! I'm soooo proud!
I did find out though that you need more 1x3 boards than you have listed for materials and thought I would let you know. The 3 1x3's added up equals 288 inches. and if you add up the measurements of what you need cut it comes to 288.68 and that's without taking in to consideration that you will lose some length with each cut made.
I can't wait to paint it. And I will post a picture and a link when I'm done.
thank you for all you do and I am looking forward to building MORE!!!!

the Rew Crew (not verified)

Tue, 03/16/2010 - 09:33

Hi! Love your blog! I just started working on this project today and have a question. My table is small, and I only have about 40 inches between the legs. So, I had my 1x12 cut only to 36" so that it would fit nicely under the table between the legs when not in use.

Now I am having trouble calculating the aprons/stretcher/cross supports. Help! To be precise, my bench top is 36 1/4" long. How do I calculate the size of the other parts? (I'm assuming my legs can remain the same)