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.
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1x12s - the width of your closet X 3 plus 18" per leg
1x3s - the width of your closet
See steps for cutting instruction
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.
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).
Mon, 12/09/2019 - 16:42
Help with Top
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?
Mon, 11/16/2020 - 12:44
I'm wondering the same thing…
I'm wondering the same thing! I am assuming the 1x3s (appears to be 1x3s) must be strong enough to support the top shelving + partitions?
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!