Perfect Cubby Bench

Beginner Projects
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A perfect cubby bench, featuring three cubbies sized to fit standard fabric drawers.



Shopping List

2 – 1×12 @ 8 feet long
1 – 1×3 @ 8 feet long
Scrap 1/4″ plywood for the back (optional)
2″ screws or 1 1/4″ pocket hole screws
1 1/4″ brad or finish nails
wood glue
wood filler
paint and primer
3 Fabric Drawers (make sure yours fit!)

Cut List

2 – 1×12 @ 21″ (Sides)
3 – 1×12 @ 34 1/2″ (Shelves)
2 – 1×3 @ 34 1/2″ (Footer/Back)
2 – 1×12 @ 11″ (Cubby Dividers)
2 – 1×12 @ 2 3/4″ (Top Cubby Dividers)
1/4″ plywood or other backing @ 36″ x 21″ (Back, optional)

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


Step 1


Start by rounding off the top corners of the sides with a jigsaw. Clamp the two cut edges together and sand as one to get the same curve. Then mark then sides for the placement of the shelves. Predrill holes and attach the shelves to the sides with 2″ screws and glue or pocket hole screws and glue.

Step 2


Attach the front and back as shown in the diagram. For the bottom piece, make sure you also attach from the top into the top edge of the footer.

Step 3


Attach the back with 1 1/4″ finish nails and glue. If you have some smaller nails on hand, attach to the top. Otherwise, glue and clamp in place. Don’t worry, we’ll be adding more shelves to help with attaching the back better. The back is also optional.

Step 4

Cubby Dividers

This should be pretty easy – just mark, place your cubby dividers in place, and predrill holes. Screw down.

Step 5

Step 6

Top Dividers

Now this step isn’t so much as tricky, but will require some trust in glue. Measure out the placement of the final dividers and apply glue. Slide the dividers in place. Screw the dividers down through the seat and with 2″ screws. Let dry. They won’t budge. Not when the dividers are that s


Tara (not verified)

Tue, 01/11/2011 - 18:55

I would love to have one of these in my entry way with a bin for each child's hats, gloves, shoes, etc. And, I would love one in my homeschool room as a reading seat with a bin for each child's books.

Shandra (not verified)

Tue, 01/11/2011 - 19:52

I love this plan! I may have to make it a little longer and add a fourth cubby since we're adding baby #4 in a few months, but it's fantastic to have the two separate shelves there. I love having cubbies for things like hats and mittens!

Niki (not verified)

Wed, 01/12/2011 - 02:12

I would love to build this. I don't see a form to enter though, it says "This Giveaway has closed. Be sure to check back for more project fund giveaways!"

Jennifer (not verified)

Wed, 01/12/2011 - 02:20

How long was this open? I went to bed, and the post wasn't up. I wake up it is and it is closed. I would love this bench. I have 3 boys and it would give them each a place to stow their things in my livingroom with their stuff out of sight of Dh.

Becky S (not verified)

Wed, 01/12/2011 - 03:03

Same here, no form.

It is a perfect cubby for the 3 of us though. finally a place to corral all the hats and mitts. The little shelf is perfect for papers belonging to each person.

Jen Shorey (not verified)

Wed, 01/12/2011 - 03:09

I love this! My Mom is looking for a storage bench (2 actually) and I think this would be the perfect project for us to build together! I know she will become as addicted as I am!

LeaAnn White (not verified)

Wed, 01/12/2011 - 03:21

I love this bench, and have needed something like this for quite a while - a place to sit down and take off the boots and store the snowgear! I hope I'm not too late for the giveaway!

Mark J (not verified)

Wed, 01/12/2011 - 03:34

It says the contest goes to 1.13, yet the form is closed. Is it already January 13 in Alaska? :)

aSprinkling (not verified)

Wed, 01/12/2011 - 03:56

It looks like the form isn't working. It says that the Giveaway is over. :(

I would love to make this. I have not made anything to this point and I have been looking for something similar for our playroom. My kids need lots of storage to keep me from going crazy and I thought a bench seat would be great to go under our windows!

Trinity Whitley (not verified)

Wed, 01/12/2011 - 04:02

I would love to use this bench in our bedroom. Currently my husband has to sit on the toilet to put on his shoes. The additional storage would be great during this cold spell we're having. I could put my scarves, gloves,etc. In the bins.
This would be our first build.

Kristyn (not verified)

Wed, 01/12/2011 - 04:10

This looks like THE perfect bench for our newly(over the Summer, new to hubby still :( yipes) plastered hallway. We need a storage place and a seat for our two little ones when leaving the house.

Would love to try this!

cathyb (not verified)

Wed, 01/12/2011 - 04:12

This would be absolutely perfect for our entryway. My sons always fighting over the stairs for when i need to put their shoes on and this would be perfect, granted I'll probably have to make it longer to fit all three boys on there with room for them so there's no fighting. Ana, you're so amazing at what you do. Envious of your talent!

Sara S (not verified)

Wed, 01/12/2011 - 04:27

I'd love to make this, too! It would be really helpful with SO many hats, mittens, and scarves! I'm getting the same message as Niki though: “This Giveaway has closed. Be sure to check back for more project fund giveaways!” :( GREAT bench tutorial, though! I LOVE your site! :)

Jennifer (not verified)

Wed, 01/12/2011 - 04:27

This would be a first build! I have 3 daughters, so the 3 cubby bench would be perfect for storing their to and from school stuff. I am currently using my Lane cedar chest as a bench in our little "laundry hallway" between the garage and kitchen, but this would be so much more functional.

Amy Wolff (not verified)

Wed, 01/12/2011 - 04:29

i wish I had a picture of my entry. You would understand why this bench makes my heart litter patter. I have three kids so I think the three drawers are perfect!

Kristen C. (not verified)

Wed, 01/12/2011 - 04:50

I have been stalking your website, looking for different storage ideas for all of this winter stuff we have acquired. This would be perfect in our mud room and would provide a cubby for each of my children.

John Kemp (not verified)

Wed, 01/12/2011 - 04:52


I've been following for a bit and I think this is the project with which I'm going to start my maiden voyage. This would definitely help with some basic toy management (if that exists) in our living room. Love it!

Ariane (not verified)

Wed, 01/12/2011 - 05:05

Surely Alaska isn't a whole day ahead of the rest of us?
I would love to make this cubby/ bench for my entrance (which is a stair landing; talk about NO SPACE).

Kristin (not verified)

Wed, 01/12/2011 - 05:26

I would like to enter the giveaway, but it says it is already closed. It says it doesn't close until Thursday night 1.13.11, but today is Wednesday 1.12.11 and it is already closed. What should I do?

Amanda (not verified)

Wed, 01/12/2011 - 05:42

THIS is exactly what we've been looking for! I am attempting to add a smidgen of organization to the playroom :)

Laree @ Ever H… (not verified)

Wed, 01/12/2011 - 05:44

I'm a bit confused at why the giveaway closed so fast - the post says it's open until 1/13, but the form states it's closed.

So I guess I can't enter it - but I can't wait for the plans for this one. This is exactly what I've been looking for to put in my basement!

Randi (not verified)

Wed, 01/12/2011 - 05:51

Well I'm going to still enter since it says Thursday 1/13 as the cutoff.

I've been searching your plans for the perfect bench for inside my kitchen where all shoes and coats and scarves and mittens seemed to be dropped on the floor. This is exactly what I've been looking for!

Jodi (not verified)

Wed, 01/12/2011 - 05:52

This bench would fit perfectly in my house. Is the Giveaway over? I don't see the form:(

Nat's mom (not verified)

Wed, 01/12/2011 - 06:11

I would love to make this to go at the end of my Farmhouse bed. I really want a hope chest/blanket box, but now that I think about it, my grandmother's quilts would look lovely stacked in these cubbies, and I could sit on top to put shoes on in the mornings. Win, Win.

I would love to enter the contest, but like everyone else, it says it's closed.

Sheila (not verified)

Wed, 01/12/2011 - 06:13

Yes, I want this bench!! We're building our house and I need a bench like this for our mudroom. Hope I'm in the drawing! I'm so glad I found your site-- I think our new house is going to be furnished with the Ana White line :o) I'll send pics.

Stephanie E. (not verified)

Wed, 01/12/2011 - 06:18

This bench is exactly what I've been looking for to use in my entryway to hold my kids' backpacks, shoes, etc...I love it!!!

Sally (not verified)

Wed, 01/12/2011 - 06:28

OMGoodness! This is perfect for our home! We've been looking at several of your other bench plans to make for the cluttered, catch-all spot by the backdoor, but this one is PERFECT for the spot we have and for the need. Thanks so much for posting these plans!!!! (and will be stalking this post to see if the contest reopens! :) )

lauren (not verified)

Wed, 01/12/2011 - 06:28

i would love to win this!! I have always wanted to try one of your projects and this would be the perfect way for me to do just that! i would either put this right inside my front door or put it in our new youth group room!!

[email protected]

Jamie (not verified)

Wed, 01/12/2011 - 06:29

My husband and I are purchasing our first home and we have the EXACT same problem as you, walking right into the living space. I even mentioned to him that we should build your locker system to really create an entryway! Regardless of whether we do the locker or not, we WILL have a bench under the window next to the front door. It's almost serendipitous that you would be holding this giveaway right now! We would love to make this bench for you!

mel zeiger (not verified)

Wed, 01/12/2011 - 06:43

Just in case the contest isn't over, I would love to retro-fit my entry way closet with horribly ugly bifold doors, to fit this bench and maybe a shelf above it!

tarajo (not verified)

Wed, 01/12/2011 - 06:57

i really need this bench.. or perhaps 2 or 3 of them.. i need something in my bathroom for storage as well as a place in the entry way for all the 'extra' stuff... but the form appears to be on a different day than i am as it says the giveaway is closed.

IPlayOutsideTheBox (not verified)

Wed, 01/12/2011 - 06:57

Shoot....earlier I couldn't get the entry form to work right... when I hit the space button ...all my letters were back to back. Now it's closed and I was so wanting a chance to win. Boo-hoo!

Stefanie (not verified)

Wed, 01/12/2011 - 07:02

Love love love this giveaway idea and that bench. I'll add it to my to do list and hopefully get in on the next giveaway! Thanks Ana! You're the best!

chojham (not verified)

Wed, 01/12/2011 - 07:06

Love the bench. I'm a total sucker for benches and who doesn't love help being more organized. Thanks for all the great ideas. Missed the giveaway though-bummer.