Entryway Bench and Storage Shelf with Hooks

So I built this and it was in my house for forever. And I loved it. The only problem was in the winter, there were so many coats piled on it . . . so I gave it to one of my very happy friends. Then my husband commented that he missed it, and it was one of his favorite pieces :(

Guess what? I'm planning to build it again.

Another note, I also built this in a smaller size (as many others have) to custom fit a small space. This system really is perfect.


Projects built from this plan. Thank you for submitting brag posts, it's appreciated by all!


Shopping List: 

Shopping List for the Bench
1 - 1x12 @ 12 feet long
1 - 1x12 @ 6 feet long
2 - 1x4 @ 8 feet long

Shelf Shopping List
2 - 1x8 @ 8 feet long
1 - 1x3 @ 6 feet long
1 - 1x6 @ 6 feet long
Scrap Plywood
3 Double Hooks

measuring tape
safety glasses
hearing protection
48" wide x 14" deep x 18" tall (seat) - Bench
Cut List: 

Bench Cut List
2 - 1x12 @ 17 1/4 (sides)
2 - 1x12 @ 13 1/2" (vertical dividers)
1 - 1x12 @ 46 1/2" (bottom shelf)
2 - 1x12 @ 48" (top shelves, doubled up)
1 - 1x4 @ 49 1/2" (back lip for top)
2 - 1x4 @ 11 1/2 (side lip for top)
2 - 1x4 @ 11 1/2 (side toekick)
1 - 1x4 @ 49 1/2 (front toekick) plywood for back, 18"x48"

Shelf Cut List
2 - 1x8 @ 46 1/2" (bottom shelf and vertical board for hooks)
2 - 1x8 @ 15 3/4" (sides)
2 - 1x8 @ 7 1/2" (vertical dividers)
1 - 1x8 @ 48" (top, bottom piece)
1 - 1x3 @ 49" (top, top back piece)
1 - 1x6 @ 49" (top, top front piece)
plywood for back 8" x 48"
3 double hooks

Step 1: 

1. Box. Begin building the bench as shown, keeping all edges flush and leaving 3" from the bottom of the bottom shelf and the bottom of the bench. Make the cubbies 15" wide.

Step 2 Instructions: 

2. Top. Place one of the top pieces on top of the bench as shown, keeping everything flush.

Step 3 Instructions: 

Top. Now add the second 1x12 @ 48" on top of the previous one (from step 2), placing a 1x4 behind it. Overhand the 1x4 3/4" on either end, and nail the 1x4 into the top 1x12, and the top 1x12 into the bottom 1x12. The top 1x12 should be flush on the sides, and overhand the front 3/4".

Step 4 Instructions: 

Top Sides. Take the two 1x4 side lip pieces, and attach to the top 1x12 x 48" as shown.

Step 5 Instructions: 

Side Cut Down. Find the midpoints of the side lip pieces and draw a diagonal and trim as shown above.

Step 6 Instructions: 

Bottom Sides. Add the bottom side toekick pieces, keeping everything flush as shown above.

Bottom Front. Add the front toekick, nailing into the side pieces as shown. Cut the front toekick piece out as desired. The diagram shown was not cut out.

8. Back. Add the plywood to the back, and fill nail holes with wood filler. Sand and finish as desired.

Step 7 Instructions: 

Shelf Construction. Begin building the shelf by attatching the side pieces to the bottom shelf piece as shown. Leave 7 1/2" on either side of the shelf. The shelf will be centered on the sides, as pictured. Attatch the board where the hooks will be placed, and the vertical dividers. Leave 15" between each divider, making each cubby 15" wide.

Step 8 Instructions: 

Top. Attatch the 1x8 48" board on top of the shelf as shown.

Step 9 Instructions: 

Second Top. Now attach the 1x3 board as shown, on top of the 1x8 attached in step 3. Leave a 1/2" overhang on either side.

Project Type: 
Estimated Cost: 
Skill Level: 


I can not believe this....I just sent this same photo of this bench and shelf to my dad to make for me. I was giddy that I found the plans on your site! Thank you! Thank you!

Thank you so mcuh for these plans. I have been looking all over. I cannot wait to get started and I love your site! I recently got some new tools from my husband for Christmas and can't wait to use them.

Hi Ana, I'm preparing a cut plan for the bench and wonder about the 2x12 for the sides and vertical dividers. In the pic they sure don't look 2". Can you clarify?

Hi Ana! I am wanting this for my entryway space, but I am tight on space. What are the actual measurements when finished? Also, what are the cubby measurements? THANKS!!!

i am so excited to find your blog and these plans! i have been wanting this storage bench for a LONG time. i have a couple questions though...first, what kind of wood did you use to make the bench? second, i see it notes to use plywood on the back, but from the pictures i see beadboard on the inside of the cubbies. did you nail that to the plywood and then attach to the back? thanks so much for the help! i can't wait to make one of my own!!

The bench measures approximately 49" wide.

I did use beadboard on the back, 1/4" thick. You can usually interchange plywood beadboard with beadboard. My bench is made of simple pine boards.

This is fantastic we need a bench and shelf/coat rack for our front hallway. I am going to be daring and try to build this without my husband.
I see you have a cut list for both but do you have a buy list?
It may be a silly question, sorry new to the whole built it myself:)

ana, i have another question. what kind of hardware did you use to assemble the bench? screws, nails, wood glue? thanks so much for the tips, i am trying to convince the husband i can do this by myself!!

Hi, I used wood glue and finish nails, 2" long. The piece has been in my entry way for several years, and we have hand no structural problems. You could also predrill and screw if you do not have a pnematic nailer. I will try to get to a materials list at some point.

LOVE the site! Bought the wood yesterday to build the bench. A few comments to fellow builders. Karen is right, the online instructions call for 1x12 boards but when you print them it lists 2x12 boards; I bought 1x12's. Also the wood for the project cost me $95.63 before tax from Lowe's so fellow builders have an idea on the cost. Great thing about Lowe's is that you can purchase the wood online and it will be ready for pickup within 30 minutes! This was my wood purchase list: 1-1x4x6, 2-1x12x8, 1-1x4x8, 1-1x12x4, and one piece of plywood (didn't know what type so bought the best looking for the cheapest price; cost $10.47). All pine boards as Ana has indicated. Hope this helps someone else out!

Hi all not sure where the 2x12 comes in (did fix a typo earlier) but this bench and shelf is made of only 1x boards. Thanks for catching this, Ana

HI Ana,

My husband and I made this yesterday!!! Will share pics soon but I have a question, how did you notch out that curved part of the shelf?


I use a jigsaw to cut out the arches in the bottom bench and the shelf sides. Just get a round object or a protractor and trace out your desired pattern and cut. I like to cut one, then use the scrap as a pattern to cut the other.

Hey Ana! I love your blog and plan on building a bunch of different things when I finally move in a few months.

I want to build a window seat/bench and I was thinking I could use this plan if I alter it enough. I'm not sure on the width off the top of my head, but it's 6-7 feet long.

Do you have any advice on altering this to work as a window seat?

This is the space I'm hoping to use it in.


I know that I need to hang the shelf from studs on the wall,but is there directions or an easy way where to drill the holes in the shelf to hang it? I looked at previous readers pictures and did not physically see any screw holes, but wanted to know where I should put them. Thanks & I just love your blog!

I printed the instructions for this bench a couple of weeks ago and told my husband that I wanted one for our entry, which we are in the process of redoing. He never made any comment about it then, but when I got home from work last night, there it was, sitting in the entry with a vase of daffodils sitting on it! Now I just have to decide what color to paint it, get it painted and send you a picture! It is perfect!
Gotta print off some more instructions . . .

Two ways of securing to the wall would be to hang heavy duty picture hanging hooks on the back and secure the hooks to screws into the studs. Another method is to screw at the bottom of the cubbies, where you will not be able to see, directly into the studs in the wall. Or screw under the hooks where the hook hardware would hide your screws.

I am dying to make this bench, but I'm concerned about the cost, this will be the first thing I have ever tried to build. Is there any way to make the wood more affordable, can I use something other than pine with the same results. I plan on finishing it in a dark cherry.

Hi Ana!

I am a newbie to your site, and finished building my first piece, this bench, this past weekend. It was seriously simple!! I did not post step by step instructions in my blog because there's no way I could've made it any easier or more detailed than you did.

I did make a few minor mistakes, but in looking back through the instructions, I'm not sure where I got off track. My edges for the top of the bench were off by 1/4th inch. No biggie, I just trimmed them down and sanded!

Because I can't figure out how to upload a picture or send you an email (I'm not a morning person, I'll blame it on that), I'm just going to send you a link to my blog for pics. It's here: http://mekhart.blogspot.com/2010/04/bench.html

Thank you so much for posting all these plans. I'm hoping to make the stratton storage daybed this weekend.

To Lu: I bought pine wood at Home Depot for this project for $50. Make sure you're smart with what size pieces (longer ones typically cost less and can just be divided) and it shouldn't cost that much!

Thanks again Ana! You're awesome!

I made this shelf and bench and am wondering where you all get your baskets that fit? I am looking for light tan colored baskets and am having a heck of a time trying to find ones that all match and fit! I have tried Michaels, hobby lobby, big lots, target, walmart and even searched online, but I refuse to pay the amount that pottery barn sells them for!

These look great. There are two pieces of the same collection made to fit into a corner. Any ideas on where i could find plans for that?

Hi everyone. The backing of the second photo does not look like it's just plywood. It looks like a number of single boards.

Ana, can you please tell me how to finish is like that?


I posted about wanting something similar on fb but as one peice and with 5 compartments. How could I do that? add a plywood back and large supports on the sides with smaller center supports? Can this be expanded to say 4.5 or 5 feet? thanks!

I really want to make this bench. But Im really new to building and its 14in to long.

can I cut it down in size or will I mess everything up?


Hi Ana!

Thanks again for your plans/ideas! Do u have the depth and height of the shelf? You mentioned the width was 49". Any other shelves than "floating" straight shelves on your site? I am looking for something in my mudroom that is informal... Thanks!

Melissa, the depth of the base should be right at 12 1/4". If you find this too shallow, you can simply build the base from 1x16s or 1x24s (3/4" plywood ripped to 15 1/2" widths or 23 1/2" widths). The width is right at 49 1/2". The shelf is 8 1/2" deep. I loved this system so much, ended up gifting it to a friend because in Alaska, there were so many coats stacked on it, you couldn't find it . . . and then missing it terribly!

I am working on a super easy shelf tutorial. Expect plans very very soon . . . the paint is drying!

[...] Build an Entryway Bench/Shelf System — Ana White So I built this and it was in my house for forever. And I loved it. The only problem was in the winter, there were so many coats piled on it . so I gave it to one. [...]

Hi Anna I love your site but have not yet been brave enough to tackle any larger projects. I have finally worked up the nerve to build this bench/shelf for my entry way but I have a smaller space than 49'', would it be possible to give me the list for a 45" space? I would greatly appreciate it! Thanks for all your help and great ideas!


All these plans are awesome!! Thanks for sharing your gift with others! I love this entryway bench/shelf system, but by the back door of my home (of course the most frequently used entrance, but "miles" away from the coat closet) there is no room for a bench, however a small corner seat would fit. As I was searching for examples I came across the "Nantucket Corner Storage Bench" sold by Hayneedle (http://www.hayneedleshopping.com/indoor-benches/cubbie-benches/nantucket...). Not only is it around $100, but it is also sold out! I would just, love, love, love to create this corner bench seat to match your shelf system. Please consider designing one, not only would I love it but so would my family! Thanks again for sharing your talent!

I love this bench. I have always wanted to build things but have not had the courage. I want the same bench and shelf\hooks with 5 cubbies and hooks. Anyway you can help me change the cut list and plans?

Love, love, LOVE this bench! I want to combine the plans with the coffee table/storage bench with the hinged seat so that there is a tad bit more storage. I think I can figure it out with the help of my handy and loving husband, however, do you have any advice on doing that? I'm thinking of just raising it the few inches on the top. Would that be too high?

Wow! I've had this picture cut out of a magazine for three years, waiting for my husband to figure out how to build it. A friend told me about your sit and here it is!!!!
I can't wait until spring so I can give it a try. Thanks for your hard work and commitment.

We made this bench one weekend and its been great! My daughter loves that she has a cubbie to put her shoes in and my husband loves that the shoes are always picked up! Thanks for the plan! I really like your website its full of great ideas!

I made the bench and am now working on the top part! It is so fun, I can't wait to put the pictures up when they are both finished!

Beautiful, Ottimo! I never would have thought to split them up - but what a great solution for your space. I've been thinking if making these in white, and your photo has convinced me!

Oh sweet Ana, thank you so much for sharing your gift. I made up my own plans based on a Crate and Barrel entry bench three years ago using MDF which I have been so proud of - but your plan is so much more intuitive then my earlier design! And cheaper! And easier! And includes the shelf! Your site is incredibly empowering and inspiring, and has enabled me to have a beautiful, functional home without sacrificing our family budget. My most sincere thanks.


[...] First, as I mentioned in my original post, here, I got the original plans for this system from Ana White.  I used these plans, but then tweaked them a bit for our space.  I needed to make my bench a [...]

I'm really nervous to get started but this is exactly like the one I LOVE from Pottery Barn... for about $600. So maybe I'll go for it :)

@Chatty - did you ever find baskets that fit? My husband made this bench/shelf six months ago and I have been trying ever since to find baskets with no luck! I've tried everywhere too and I'm getting ready to make him rebuild the bench with different sizes ;)

ok, so my husband made this for me about a year ago and i have yet to find baskets that fit in the bench. has anyone found any?? i am about to just order the pottery barn bench and baskets, because what good is a bench if no baskets are made for that size?? we followed the original plans, so we have a rectangle shape rather then a square....a barely squeezed the shelf baskets from pottery barn into the shelf that we made. they over hang just a little and are a bit hard to get in and out, but not too bad. any suggestions would be great!

My husband built the bench a month ago and we love love love it. Cost us less than $75 from Home Depot. However, baskets are a problem. I have looked at Target, Michael's and IKEA. Nothing fits, the cubbies are not deep enough. I saw an earlier post for the container store, which we will check out. If we were to do it again, I would have purchased IKEA baskets and then used those measurements to make the cubies for the bench.

I was wondering about the color you painted or stained this system. It looks stained but not sure. What did you use (brand/color) because I want it to look just like yours. I love it! Thanks so much!

what kind of wood did you use when you made this? have you tried different kinds and find one works better for this project? (: lovvvveee this bench!!

Hey Ana, I am new to your site and just love, love, love it! My husband and I want to build this bench and shelf, but we need to down size it to fit our small space. I was wondering how you would adjust your cut list to 30in. instead 48in. I would like to keep the 3 sections, but if we may have to just have 2 sections to make it work. Any help with adjusting the size would be greatly appreciated!

Hi! I just bought all my wood for this project over the weekend, and I've noticed there's a 1x6 on the shopping list and cut list for the shelf... but I can't find it on the plan anywhere. Am I blind or is it not listed in the steps?


It goes behind the 1x3 on top of the shelf. It took me a while to figure it out as well.

Why do you need baskets? You've all made this beautiful project, so I know you could easily whip together some wooden crates - probably from scraps - that would fit perfectly in your space and look fantastic, too! These made by Robohead are especially nice, http://ana-white.com/2012/02/vintage-workshop-storage-bench. But even some simple ones like this, made to fit your opening, would be functional and sturdy: http://ana-white.com/2010/09/vintage-crate-carts.html

Is it just me or should these angled lid piece cuts be made before attaching? I'm trying to figure out which tool you'd use to make them since there's no saw listed here. The rest looks pretty simply. Can anyone help me out on making those cuts?


This was my first attempt at making any sort of furniture so I tried this project. The instructions were easy to follow and the shopping list was a great help. Thank you for the instructions and drawings.

When I download the PDF and even the printer-friendly version, the instructions stop at Step 9 with the shelf. I am really wanting to build this shelf, but the instructions just look like they are missing some. Can someone please help?

What is confusing is that the 1x3 is laying down and not standing up. It says to refer to step 3 for directions. The 1x3 should stand up and the 1x6 lays in front on top of the 1x8. (I think anyway! This is the conclusion I came to! lol)

Great work! I can't believe you really make it! We are a factory which can make them in a very low price. wall storage cabinet + entryway storage bench= $70.

Hi Ana! Love the design! I'm going to be building this next weekend and I'm confused as to how the 1x3 works with the 1x6 work together with the top shelf? In Step 9 it is showing as laying down but I don't know what to do with the 1x6? I am hoping you can clarify, seems others had the same question.

I would imagine that the 1x6 goes in front of the 1x3. From the main photo, it appears there's a small lip on the top. That would make sense since she has it listed as "top, front"

Thanks for the reply! I'm just wondering why that would be the way to do it, as opposed to buying a 1 X 12 and cutting 3" of the width, to have one 1 X 9 piece instead of 2 boards on the top?

In the bench, the 1 X 3 makes sense as it serves as the backing of the seat of the bench, as the 1 X 3 sits vertically. This is my first jab at furniture making, so just trying to understand.. :)

I love these plans and they would work great in the space I want to use them in, but I have 5 people that I would need spaces for --- is this easily expanded? And if so, would there be an easy calculation for adding additional cubbies?

this might be a dumb question but how are the pieces of wood staying together are they glued or nailed like how is assembled I guess is what im trying to ask because she doesn't say where to nail or how too. I'm a city girl i know nothing about building except maybe molecules in my lab lol... thankyou so much if you respond...

Are the plans for the shelf portion available someonewhere? I can't find them.

The finished dimensions say this bench is 14 inches depth. How do you get that measurement with a 1 x 4 and a 1x12 ?

This is great! I've been looking for a piece of furniture like this for my dining room and our last name is also Olson so I thought it was totally meant to be for me to build this one when I saw that! lol. I sent this to my dad. :)

My youngest's daughters room has that rustic feel to it and this bench would be a perfect addition for her stuffed animals and some loose toys. (Also as she gets older she could sit and get ready or watch TV on it)

I have looked at furniture stores, and other sites trying to find the perfect shelves for her and well I should have known to come here first.
(The bed was built from here, tables from here, doll furniture from here)

Now my issue is converting the plans and measurements to be able to use pallets. (The planks are 1x12x36). Using these saves me so much money. They are oak (from what I can tell) and don't split on me when I use screws which for her is usually the best. (The nailer is great and holds but I like the extra protection I get with screws for my rough little girl)

My first thought is to make it shorter and just make the cubbies smaller. (No problem there. But I would really like to keep it true to size. So if I can get some ideas I would love it.

Thank you So much

For some reason, I can't see the whole list of plans (it stops at step 9 for the shelf). Does anyone have the full list? I want to do this for my wife when she is away this weekend.

The wall mount piece won't go flush against the wall what type of hanger did everone use. I used two D-Ring picture hangers. The wall is perfectly flat. I either am not completely flat on the back of the piece or the hangers are making it kick out.

Any advice would be helpful. I made this for a friend and Im trying to fix it.

Does anyone know how to make this bench but with hinged doors? This would be my first piece, but I really want to use it to store shoes and I'd like to hide them with doors. Any help would be greatly appreciated!