Mimi's Storage Bench

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Mimi's Storage Bench

Free easy plans to build an entry bench featuring lift top storage compartment. Step by step plans include shopping list, cut list, diagrams, and instructions.

HANDMADE FROM THIS PLAN >>

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

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Author Notes: 

Hi everyone and happy Friday!!!

This last week, I've had the head cold that so many of us are dealing with. Annoying for sure!   May have something to do with going from 80 degrees to -54 degrees in a few hours?  
I am so thankful for each and every contributor who has helped me this week, making sure we keep delivering more plans. I truly wish I could post plans for every single request you send our way, and am committed to taking on as many as possible.
Today, I have a special treat for you.  Mimi, from Blue Roof Cabin, DIYed this amazing hall tree for charity.
Yep, that's DIY!  
And she's been kind enough today to also give us an opportunity to build our own, to use in our own homes, or to build for charity ourselves.
Really pretty, eh?  If you love this, I highly recommend stopping over and visiting Mimi at the Blue Roof Cabin for lots more DIY projects.  Very inspiring!
Today, we will start with the bench.  I wanted to do plans for the bench and hutch seperately to avoid confusion for people out there just trying to make the bench.  The hutch plans will come next week.
PS Mimi - I'm with your husband - everything you do DOES looks good :)
Shopping List: 

3 - 1x4 @ 8 feet long
1 - 1x8 @ 6 feet long
1 - 1x3 @ 8 feet long
1/4" plywood scraps or 1/2 sheet - If you are building the hall tree, consider using beadboard
1 - 4 1/4" base moulding 7 feet long
1 - 1x12 @ 28 3/4" long
1 - set narrow profile hinges

3/4 inch finish nails
2 inch finish nails
1 1/4 inch pocket hole screws
wood glue
wood filler
120 grit sandpaper
Tools: 
measuring tape
square
pencil
safety glasses
hearing protection
drill
compound miter saw
nailer
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!

Dimensions: 
Dimensions are shown above.
Cut List: 

FRONT/BACK PANELS
2 - 1x4 @ 27"
2 - 1x8 @ 27"
4 - 1x4 @ 17 3/4"
2 - 1x4 @ 7"
2 - 1/4" plywood @ 32" x 17 3/4"

SIDE PANELS
4 - 1x3 @ 17 3/4"
2 - 1x4 @ 7 1/2"
2 - 1x8 @ 7 1/2"
2 - 1/4" plywood @ 12 1/2" x 17 3/4"

TOP
2 - 1x4 @ 15"
1 - 1x4 @ 29"
1 - 1x12 @ 28 3/4"

Optional moulding cut to fit at base

Step 1: 

You will need to build two - one for front and one for back.

Step 2 Instructions: 

Also build two sides.

Step 3 Instructions: 

Then attach all four panels to make a box. You can drill pocket holes to attach with pocket hole screws as well.

NOTE: you may wish to attach plywood pieces (next step) before assembly - especially if you are using small scrap pieces.

Step 4 Instructions: 

Plywood the insides with 1/4" plywood or beadboard and attach with glue and nails.

Step 5 Instructions: 

Build top frame first, then attach. Be careful to attach so that the front opening is square and measures 29" wide as well so your top goes on nice. Another option is to attach top to top frame (see last step) with hinges before attaching to base to make sure everything fits just right.

Step 6 Instructions: 

I really like the added moulding. I recommend cutting to fit, mitering corners with a miter saw.

Step 7 Instructions: 

You can attach hinges by setting on top (easiest method) or in the joint.

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.
Project Type: 
Estimated Cost: 
Skill Level: 
Style: 

Comments

Yes, this is built open bottom. To add a bottom, I'd recommend 3/4" plywood, cut to size and attached on underside with 3/4" pocket holes and 1 1/4" pocket hole screws and glue.

Great, thanks! I'll add this to my "to-do" list. Which seems to have more "to-do's" on it than I have time "to do" them!

Is there an estimated cost on this? I LOVE it but am wondering if it would fit in my budget... A total on the whole thing, not just the bench?

This is beautiful. What a generous gift for charity. Ordered my pocket hole jig today....this is DEFINITELY going on the list. Thank you Ana and Blue Roof Cabin for sharing these plans!

Is it possible to make the original google sketchup file available for this plan so I can make some adjustments? I'm going to build this for a friend, but we need to change some dimensions, etc. I'd love to be able to show her the sketchup according to her dimensions instead of having to recreate the whole drawing myself in sketchup.

I was looking for plans to build a window seat for my small kitchen, when I came across your website. I am so impressed and inspired with all the designs and the talent of yourself and your contributers. I have never built anything, but the high cost of particle board furniture with their off gassing fumes along with the ease of your plans has got me believing. I read your website last night, called my best friend shared it with her and bought the kreg jig today. I'm ready to buy wood and supplies, but need some help with modifying the dimensions. I would like to make it 50" long to fit under my window. Any help you could provide would be greatly appreaciated!

I too have been looking for a window bench plan. If Elle's best friend finds a plan or if we can pressure Ana to create one :) let me know.

Hi,

I must admit that your site has given me lots of inspirations lately regarding in the process of creating wooden storage bench among other things.

Thank you very much for your detailed and inspiring site...it provides in-depth knowlege about the phases of contracting usable hand-made pieces of furniture. in-down-to-earth manner.

I've drawn these plans to scale on SketchUp but I'm having trouble figuring out how to adjust the lid. I've extended this to become seating/storage for my tiny kitchen/"breakfast nook"...and I need it to hold some, oh, 250-300 lbs if possible. I've made mine to be 53"x20". Can you please help?Thanks I advance. :-)

Hi EMarshall.MA,

In Ana’s plan, her top is 7 ¼” shorter than the overall finished length, and 3 ¾” narrower than the overall finished width.

If we apply that to your top which is 53” x 20”, yours would come out to 45 ¾” x 16 ¼”

I would recommend waiting to cut this piece till after you have attached the top frame in Step 5, and re-measure your opening just to make sure. It would be ¼” overall shorter and ¼” overall narrower than your opening.

To make the bench sturdier for seating, a center upright of 3/4" plywood inside the bench would help strengthen it. I would recommend to add this after step 4. Your sides are 5” wider than the original plan, so I’d use the side measurement of 12 ½” + 5”, and then subtract ½” to account for the 1/4" plywood added in step 4, which would give you 17” as the width, and using 17 ¼” as the height (same height as the plan). Measure after you assemble step 4, just to make sure the 17” will fit. Using pocket holes, you can attach it from the inside to the upright front frame (top, middle & bottom), and the back frame (top & bottom).

Hope this helps? Happy building! :)
Joanne