Mimi's (Free!) Storage Bench

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Submitted by leamboyd on Tue, 05/29/2012 - 19:37

I've been looking for a bench for our hallway for months and have yet to find one I love, but I did fall in love with Mimi's Storage Bench and Hall Tree.

I was determined to make this bench for free. My husband scavenged construction sites for salvage and brought me home quite a bit of scrap. Once I had a nice assortment of boards, I began the job of making them fit the specs. This was much more time consuming than purchasing boards that were the right size to start with. I got quite familiar with the planer (I had to plane down 2x's to 1x's) and even faced the terrifying table saw to rip a few boards down to size.

The lid was made from an old shelf and the inside panels are an old painting from art school--on masonite--that I finally brought myself to part (with). I already had the paint left over from a table I made over, so that was also free!

It didn't take much convincing to get my husband to pick up a pockethole jig. He's been wanting one himself. It was actually a lot more fun and much easier to use than I expected.

Overall, I'm very pleased with the way it turned out. It's made out of some pretty rough wood, so there are a few holes I'll go back and fill in the future--or maybe not. There are also some rough spots and less-than-true boards, but not bad for a free piece of furniture.

This was my first big woodworking project. It was a lot of fun and I gained a lot of knowledge and confidence that I'll use to build more ambitious projects in the future. I think woodworking is actually easier than sewing because boards generally don't stretch, shift, snag, and unravel while you're working.

I plan to scale this plan down, add some safety hinges, and notch the board under the front of the lid to make a bench/toy box for my little girl's room.

Built from Plan(s)
Estimated Cost
Estimated Time Investment
Weekend Project (10-20 Hours)
Type of Wood
Pine, Construction Salvage
Finish Used
Sherwin Williams Enamel in "Cut The Mustard."
Recommended Skill Level



Tue, 05/29/2012 - 19:45

While I love the bench (great job!) that rug is just fantastic! Do you mind sharing where it's from?


Tue, 05/29/2012 - 20:04

Thanks. The rug is from T.J. Maxx. The brand is Zalya. Downside: It can't be washed. The dyes on a similar rug I had bled all over and ruined it. It'll be nice while it lasts. :)

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