Custom Work Bench

I hate the mess of my garage. If there was just one more room for photos, I would show you what I was working with: a piece of plywood propped on two saw horses, with loads of supplies taking up every last inch of space. I was beginning to wonder why I didn't want to go into the garage, what I hoped would be my haven after a crazy day of singing the ABC's with my 3 year old and giving chemo treatments to my 6 year old with leukemia.

Then it dawned on me: I'm not organized!!! I start to get the shakes if things are not in their place. So, I started to dream up my perfect work bench, one place where I can store my main necessities.

I don't work well without plans. Of course it dawned on me too late to contact Ana herself to help me. But when I thought about it, I realized that it was basically a box. Just start with a box. So I checked out a few of Ana's plans that started out as a box and went from there. By the way, I couldn't have gotten through 1% of this project without Ana and the inspiration and encouragement from her site. Love you!! Anyway, I knew I wanted drawers on one side and shelves on the other. As I went along I decided to add a few contained shelves on the side of the bench to store the wood glue, wax, and other smaller items. On the other side of the bench (because I HAVE to make use of all space), I saved the cans from some crushed tomatoes I had used to make a sauce, and used some hose clamps to keep them in place. I keep all my brushes in these babies. I made the shelves adjustable and decided that looking at the back of the drawers was undesirable, so I purchased a $5 curtain and stapled it in place to hang behind the shelves hiding the drawers -- so girly! Gotta have that little feminine flavor to my work bench (as if the color didn't do it enough).

The drawers were the biggest hassle because I made a very bad builder mistake. I rushed them and I don't even think I took out a square once to make them. Bad builder. Bad, bad, BAD BUILDER!! I was tired and was in such a hurry to finish this so I could get organized and the shakes would stop. So, in the end, the drawers don't work perfectly and I'm constantly reminded of my shortcut every time I open them. (And every time my husband reminds me as he helped me with the drawer slides and cursed the whole time.) Each drawer is trimmed out differently as I was just using the different wood and choices I had laying around. The knobs were a great flea market find at 25 cents a pop.

In the end, I love her. I'm organized, or as organized as I can be right now. Besides my power tools, I have everything at my fingertips. And if the garage becomes a mess again, I know it won't be because my stuff doesn't have a home. And with this paint color, I'll be able to find her no problem. :) Oh yea, that is a beer on top. I deserved it.

Built from Plan(s)
Estimated Cost
Estimated Time Investment
Weekend Project (10-20 Hours)
Type of Wood
pine, MDF
Finish Used
I combined a green and blue paint I had to make this little magical number I'll call "Afternoon Cocktails at the Beach." I actually made it into a chalk paint by adding one part plaster of paris to 4 parts paint. Just thought I would give it a whirl and liked the way it turned out. I distressed in appropriate areas then decided to use some dark wax to create the "dirty, worn" look. It turned out a little darker than I wanted, but that's why I experimented with MY stuff.
Recommended Skill Level



Wed, 05/02/2012 - 09:32

Wow, with so much on your plate with the little ones.... my heart goes out to you with the chemo treatments. This workbench is AWESOME!!! I may have to copycat you with it... love all the storage you have and how pretty it turned out. The different scraps and pieces came together Great. At least you have an excuse for your drawers not turning out perfect. I still can't get mine to work properly even when I use a square :) All part of the hobby though right, learning with each one! Great work...keep it up :)


Thu, 05/03/2012 - 18:54

I do love it. It's nice that it's on wheels so I can get it out of the way if need be. No more sawhorses with a piece of cumbersome plywood. Building/up-cycling/refinishing is my therapy. It probably saves us $150/hour with a psych. :)

Sharon W (not verified)

Sat, 06/16/2012 - 09:40

So I am confused on how you used both plans. Could you give a little more detail and instruction? I would love to make this particular piece. What are the measurements of your piece, as well? Thanks for sharing!!!

In reply to by Sharon W (not verified)


Wed, 07/11/2012 - 13:59

Hi Sharon. What I meant by highlighting Ana's plans, is that I learned I just needed to start with a box. As for the size, I made it 48" wide, 31" deep, and 37" tall. Since it was custom, I could make it any size I wanted. I wanted it to be comfortable to work on, so no bending over. Also, it had to be small enough to move around the garage as needed.


Sun, 08/05/2012 - 18:34

I need a cutting table for my sewing room and have been looking for something big (have to be able to lay out at least a yard of fabric) with some concealed and some not so concealed storage. This is it!

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