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.


Petit Debutant (not verified)

Tue, 01/19/2010 - 04:57

I just found your site and I just wanted to say THANK YOU! My to do list just grew and I can't wait to try out some of these projects. Thank you for your generosity in sharing your talent!

Anonymous (not verified)

Tue, 01/19/2010 - 07:22

I'm so inspired by you. My husband and i recently moved into our first home andwe need a ton of furniture on a 'new home owner' budget. awe have been looking all over town for furniture I like that we can afford, and needless to say after 3 months of looking I still am using Yaffa blocks as nightstands. I love your furniture and you make it look so possible. My new goal is to pick one of your peices to start with!

shelly (not verified)

Tue, 01/19/2010 - 07:52

Ok...so every time I come to your site my favorite "next" project gets bumped by your latest post!!! Love, love, LOVE the bench!

Anonymous (not verified)

Tue, 01/19/2010 - 08:09

Oh boy, you really have done it. I need to make myself a new bed. Thank you for the inspiration.

Anita (not verified)

Tue, 01/19/2010 - 08:33

Wow, just found your site and have become a follower. I can't wait to do some browsing. I love furniture and anything related and can spend hours looking through magazines or walking through furniture stores. Come visit with me when you have a chance.

Anonymous (not verified)

Tue, 01/19/2010 - 09:21

I just came across your site last night and I must say, I am SOO excited! We are doing some MAJOR remodeling on our home right now and I, like you am a stay at home mom with expensive taste, but a very frugal lifestyle. Thank you, I may just be able to get my home to look the way I've always wanted with your help!!

Rachel@onepret… (not verified)

Tue, 01/19/2010 - 13:18

Yay! I am loving your site so, SO much! I actually have this bench and use it a ton... I would love to make one as well. Thanks so much for this, I'll be linking.

kathi (not verified)

Tue, 01/19/2010 - 14:42

Oh goodie goodie goodie! I love your blog!! I'm making dollhouse miniature furniture and I LOVE this bench! Your plans could be done in 1 inch equals 1 foot. PERFECT for a dollhouse! :D
Thank you so much! I'm following!

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