Emmie Storage Bench

Beginner Projects
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DIY storage bench from one sheet of plywood!

Hello DIY Friends!!!

My sister has got just one month to go before my newest niece arrives! We are all very excited and can't wait to meet her!

But before new baby comes, my sister wanted to create storage for bigger sister, 20 month old Emmie. Something that a toddler could use to put her own toys and books away, and also climb on visitors could sit on for extra seating.

So with a month to go before new baby arrives, my sister bought a single sheet of plywood, and had the store rip it into three pieces, each 15-3/4" wide x 8 feet long. Then she took one of those strips, and had it cross cut into 6 pieces, each 12" long (see step 1 diagram for more information). That way she didn't have to use a table saw while pregnant, and the pieces are light and easy to manage and transport without a truck.

Then she just screwed the boards together with her Kreg Jig, stained it up, and added some $6 Target baskets and an animal and tree wall decal set for just $8
, and for about a TOTAL of $100 - she made this!

Emmie loves the bench because she can climb on it. She also likes to put her own toys away in the baskets. And it's a great little spot to read a book or two (or ten) before bedtime.

I'm so thrilled that I get to share these plans with you! Enjoy!

XO Ana + Family

Dimensions shown above. NOTE: For standard bench height cut dividers at 16" instead of 12"


Shopping List

1 - sheet of 3/4" thick plywood, ripped into strips 15-3/4" wide x 8 feet long
(36) Fine Thread 1-1/4" pocket hole screws
Stain or paint
Wood glue

1 sheet of 1/4" thick plywood or other sheet goods
3/4" long nails to fit your finish nailer or staples

Cut List

2 - 3/4" plywood 15-3/4" wide x 8 feet long
6 - 3/4" plywood 15-3/4" wide x 12" long

Tape Measure
Speed Square
Safety Glasses
Hearing Protection
Kreg Jig
Circular Saw
Power Sander
General Instructions

Please read through the entire plan and all comments before beginning this project. It is also advisable to review the Getting Started Section. Take all necessary precautions to build safely and smartly. Work on a clean level surface, free of imperfections or debris. Always use straight boards. Check for square after each step. Always predrill holes before attaching with screws. Use glue with finish nails for a stronger hold. Wipe excess glue off bare wood for stained projects, as dried glue will not take stain. Be safe, have fun, and ask for help if you need it. Good luck!


Step 1

Cut the plywood into strips 8 feet long x 15-3/4" wide. Discard the remaining scrap piece.
From one of the strips, cut 6 dividers, 12" long.

NOTE: If you wish to conceal front plywood edges, apply with an iron edge banding to the front of each of the plywood pieces.

NOTE: For true bench height, cut the dividers instead at 15-3/4"long.

Step 2

Drill (3) 3/4" pocket holes on each end of each divider (6 total per divider).

Attach to top and bottom with 1-1/4" pocket hole screws.

Step 3

Attach 1/4" plywood to back for structure and stability (optional). Must be done if you do not attach with pocket hole screws to prevent project from racking to the side.

Finishing Instructions
Preparation Instructions
Fill all holes with wood filler and let dry. Apply additional coats of wood filler as needed. When wood filler is completely dry, sand the project in the direction of the wood grain with 120 grit sandpaper. Vacuum sanded project to remove sanding residue. Remove all sanding residue on work surfaces as well. Wipe project clean with damp cloth. 

It is always recommended to apply a test coat on a hidden area or scrap piece to ensure color evenness and adhesion. Use primer or wood conditioner as needed.
Finish Used
For the finish, my sister simply sanded the entire project and applied gel stain. 

If you wish to hide front plywood edges you could iron on edge banding to the exposed front plywood edges. I would recommend doing this before assembly.