Essential Entryway Bench

Submitted by Ana White on Mon, 08/09/2021 - 11:38
Difficulty
Intermediate
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Build your own entryway bench in a custom size.  This tutorial will walk you through the steps, with a video of the build, step by step diagrams, and even a free configurator to help you design your own!

This entryway bench is a classic design, turning any entry into a mudroom!  Matching wall organizer plan coming soon.

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This entryway bench is one of our favorite pieces for an entryway.  It's a hard working piece, that looks great, but is also easy to build and customize in size.

Here is my build video, showing how I built this entryway bench:

This bench build is based off a plywood carcass, with 1x3 trim out:

entryway bench diagrams

So you can build a carcass out of plywood in your desired size, and then just trim it out with 1x3s to turn it into this bench!

Matching Entryway Shelf with Hooks Plans

We also have matching entryway shelf with hooks plans here, so you can have a complete set.

pottery barn samantha bench shelf free plans

Essential Entryway Bench Plans

Here's the step by step tutorial:

Dimensions
dimensions for entryway bench
Can be made custom in sizes up to 91-1/2" wide, as shown about 6' wide

Preparation

Shopping List
  • Plywood Pieces for Carcass (see step 1)
  • 1x3s for bay supports and trim, you'll need approximately 5 times the overall width of the bench
  • 1-1/4" pocket hole screws
  • 1-1/4" brad nails
  • wood glue
  • Primer and paint or stain for finishing

Cut List

Carcass cuts are determined through the configuration from Shelf Help.

Bay supports are equal to the width of your bays.

Top and bottom trim should be cut to fit for a perfect trimout.

Tools
Tape Measure
Speed Square
Pencil
Safety Glasses
Kreg Jig
Drill
Brad Nailer

Instructions

Step 1

Design Your Bench

Use our free configurator tool here to design your bench carcass, here are the parameters to set:

  • Depth - recommend 15-1/4" depth, but can use 20-1/4" and 23-1/4" too
  • Width - any width up to 90" 
  • Height - recommend 18"
  • Bays - as many bays as desired, but keep bay width less than 36" as it is supportive of the top and will keep the top from sagging
  • Top - yes
  • Bottom - yes
  • Space Under Bottom - 2-1/4" for 1x3 base trim (as I did) or 3-1/4" for 1x4 base trim

You can order the plywood pieces direct from Shelf Help (my cutting service) or you can download the drawings and cut the plywood pieces yourself.  You will need to edge band the front edges if you cut your own plywood.

Step 2

Creating a Cut List and Shopping List from Your Configuration

Once you have your configuration done and the drawing printed, use the drawing to create a cut list by printing it out, and drawing all the added parts on.

Once you have a cut list, you can create a shopping list from the cut list.

Step 3

Main Carcass Assembly

On the bottom shelf, drill three 3/4" pocket holes at each end (four if you went with a 23-1/4" wide carcass).

Attach bottom shelf to the two sides, with 2-1/4" gap underneath, using 1-1/4" pocket hole screws.

Then attach dividers to bottom shelf using 1-1/4" brad nails and wood glue.  TIP: Use the bay supports as spacers to guide you in placing the dividers as shown in the video.

Step 4

Top Bay Supports

You'll need some support at the top.  Cut 1x3s to match the bay widths and attach as shown with pocket holes.

TIP: Also drill pocket holes facing upward on the back bay supports for attaching the top in later steps.

Step 5

Bottom Support

For longer benches, you may need additional support in the middle to keep the bench from sagging.  You can either add a center "leg" as I did in the video, or add some blocking as shown here - the base trim will attach to it and work as the support.

Step 6

Base Trim - Sides

Measure and cut 1x3 base trim for the sides and nail and glue on with 1-1/4" nails.

Step 7

Base Trim - Front

Measure and cut the front base trim and nail and glue on, make sure you nail to the hidden support blocking (if used) and the side trim.

Step 8

Top Back Trim

Measure and cut the back 1x3 trim and nail and glue to the back.

Step 9

Top Side Trim

Measure and cut the side top trim.  Cut the top front corner at an angle (optional).

Nail and glue on with 1-1/4" brad nails.

Step 10

Attaching Top

TIP: It may be easier to attach the top after painting or staining.

The top is attached with equal overhangs on the sides and flush on the back.

Attach with 1-1/4" screws (yes you can use the pocket hole screws) through the bay supports.

Finishing Instructions
Preparation Instructions
I sanded with 120 grit sanding sponge by hand. There wasn't much to sand since the plywood is presanded.
Then I used a leaf blower to blow off the sanding residue and wiped with a just damp washcloth.
Then I primed using a small roller and brush.
Finish Used
Finish is Sherwinn Williams ProClassic in off the shelf white.

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