Closet Mudroom Bench with Hinge Up Boot Storage Compartment

mudroom built in closet with hinge up boot storage compartment
Beginner Projects
| Print this plan

These clever and easy to build benches turn a closet into a mudroom with hidden boot storage.  With shelves on the front for shoes, and a hinge up compartment on the back for boots, there's no wasted space and everything is accessible. 

Use off the shelf 1x12s to build the benches.  Check out our free tutorial with diagrams and helpful tips and lots of build photos from


My sister has an entryway closet that wasn't working for a family of five with small children.  With winter fast approaching here in Alaska, this closet needed to become a mudroom fast.

But a couple of problems.  This closet is in a tight hallway, with the entry door swinging into the hall space.  So a bench with drawers under it, or bins or baskets that slide out is not an option - the entry door could not be used at the same time as the bins/baskets/drawers were being accessed.

The closet is 24" deep - we didn't want to create shelving that is 24" deep at below the knee level - especially since most of the shoes are small kid shoes.  Stuff would get lost in the too deep shelving, and no one wants to get down on their hands and knees and dig it out.

So we came up with an idea to have shelving on the front, and a hinged top on the back for boot storage.

No wasted space, no too deep shelving, no door/drawer collisions!  

We love how this one turned out, and it was one of the easiest builds ever!  Here's how it went down -

We screwed a 2x2 cleat to the back wall, hitting studs in the wall.  The pencil line is at 18" and is also the height of the finished benches.  The cleat is attached 3/4" below the pencil line.


Then using 1x12s, we built two simple benches.  We built two so the benches could be easily set inside the closet without destroying the drywall.

We screwed the benches together at the front of the closet opening.   (We also added a back, I'll get to that in the plans below).

Then we just measured the distance from the back of the bench to the wall and ripped a 1x12 down to fit, giving about a 1/4" to allow the tops to open easily.  Those boards are attached to the benches with hinges.  (Holes are drilled later to assist with opening the lift tops)



The Marquee paint is a true one coat coverage, making quick work of transforming lumber into .....



Pin For Later! 

Closet Mudroom Bench with Hinge Up Boot Storage Compartment

mudroom bench dimensions
dimensions for closet bench mudroom


Shopping List
  • 3 - 1x12@  the width of your closet plus 18" per leg
  • 2 - 1x3 @ the width of your closet
  • 1 - 2x2 @ the width of your closet
  • 1/4" plywood for the backs of the benches
  • Benches can be assembled with 2" self tapping screws or 1-1/4" pocket holes
  • 3/4" brad nails for attach 1/4" plywood to the back
  • 3" wood screws for attach the 2x2 cleat to the back wall
Cut List

See steps for cutting instruction

Tape Measure
Speed Square
Safety Glasses
Hearing Protection
Circular Saw
Power Sander


Step 1

We recommend building two benches if longer than 40" (so shelves don't sag) or if you are trying to install inside a closet (so it's easy to place the benches in the closet). 

For benches inside the closet: Measure the overall width of your closet and divide by two.  Subtract a 1/4" (so you have some "play") and cut the tops to this measurement.  The bottom shelf is 1-1/2" smaller than the top.  The legs are consistent regardless of width.

Using 1x12s, build bench frame as shown in diagram.  We used a Kreg Jig and 1-1/4" pocket hole screws, but predrilled wood screws (2" length) will work as well.

Step 2

Cut two 1x3s the same length as the bottoms shelf.

1x3s are added to back top (inset in the cabinet) and front bottom (inset in the front bottom).  Can be nailed (1-1/4" brad nails and glue) or screwed or Kreg Jigged in place.

Step 3

The back plywood needs to be held down 3/4" to allow for the hinged top.  Nail to sides and 1x3 at top with 3/4" nails.

Step 4

Additional shelves and vertical dividers can be added with pocket holes, screws or nails as you see fit.

If adding vertical dividers, add before shelves.  You will need to be notched out for the top back  of the divider for the top 1x3 with a jigsaw.


Step 5

For install inside the closet, place the two benches inside the closet, at the front of the closet.  Screw together.

Place a 2x2 cleat at the same height as the plywood on the back of the benches on the back side of the closet.

Measure the opening between the back closet wall and the back of the benches.  Cut plywood or 1x12s to fit.  Hinge to the back of the benches (so the tops rest on the cleats when closet).

Step 6

Diagram showing the hinge step.



Mon, 12/09/2019 - 16:42

I need help with the top part.  I have a shelf in my closet already just like in the picture here.  How did you create the second shelf underneath with the partitions, and how did you install it?


Fri, 07/24/2020 - 12:25

I’d like to make this without the bottom part so I can just slide boot trays in and out directly on the floor. Would this be structurally strong enough without the bottom piece? Also, can the hinge be at the back of the shelf against the wall instead of in the middle of the bench? Thanks!