Drill and Driver
Crown Stapler or Brad Nailer and 1 1/4″ staples or brad nails
1 x 12 board
2 x 12 board
Pocket Hole Jig
2″ pocket hole screws
2 1/2″ wood screws
Countersink drill bit (optional)
Speed Square (or board to use as a straight edge)
Paint with Primer
Polycrylic or topcoat of choice
Wood Stain (I used Special Walnut)
Furniture feet (x4)
Drawer Pulls (x3)
Teachers! Did you use this instructable in your classroom?
Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.
Step 1: Step 1: Cut Your Wood
Cut to the following dimensions:
2 – 2×12 boards, each cut to 5 ft. long
4 – 2×12 boards, each cut to 11 3/4″ long
6 – 1×12 boards, each cut to 17 1/4″ long
6 – 1×12 boards, each cut to 9 1/4″ long
3 – 1×12 boards or 1″ thick project panels (that’s what I had on hand) cut to 15 1/2″ x 9 1/4″ (cut to fit bottom of boxes)
Be sure to sand everything smooth.
Step 2: Step 2: Assemble the Base of the Bench
I chose which board I wanted to serve as the top of the bench and flipped it upside down on my work surface. Then, I attached the end pieces (11 3/4″ long boards) using pocket holes and 2″ long pocket hole screws. (This way, the screws will not be visible from the top of the bench later on.)
I attached the two cubby dividers/partitions the same way, making sure they were spaced 18 inches apart. To do this, I used my DeWalt compact drill and driver set.
Then, I attached the other 5 ft. long board to the top by countersinking 2 1/2″ wood screws from the top. (This will later become the bottom when the whole thing is flipped over, so the screws will not be visible.)
Step 3: Step 3: Assemble the Storage Bins
I built my boxes by using wood glue and a crown stapler (a brad nailer would work fine too). Just be careful to keep everything square as you’re attaching everything, and be sure that your depth is set so that your staples or brad nails countersink themselves. That way, you can go back and putty over them later. (I used wood filler to putty over the holes as well as any knots in the wood to prevent bleed-through later on.)
Step 4: Step 4: Stain the Front Side of Each Storage Bin
I used a Special Walnut stain to stain the front side of each storage bin. We will be painting our design over it later, and then peeling away the tape to reveal this stained wood.
Step 5: Step 5: Prime and Paint
Prime and Paint. I used an interior latex paint with primer in one and used two coats. (You can find my furniture painting tutorial here.) I painted everything except for the stained front side of each bin. If your paint does not have a built-in primer, you’ll definitely want to use a good stain blocking primer first.
Step 6: Step 6: Create Your Aztec Design
I allowed the paint to dry completely, and then I applied my design using painter’s tape. First, I laid a strip of tape horizontally across the center of each bin. Once you have this on straight, you can use it as a guide for the rest of the strips of tape. I applied 3 strips above this one and 3 strips below it, leaving a tiny sliver of space between each one (I just eyeballed it). You should end up with 7 strips of tape in total.
Measure and mark your tape strips, then cut. Pictured is a shot of where I marked each strip. The measurements indicate distance between that point and the outer edge of the box. I drew a dot at the top of each strip and one at the bottom and then connected them, creating a diagonal line on each end of each strip of tape. (This is demonstrated in my YouTube video, if you'd prefer to see it in video form.)
Then, I went in with my X-Acto knife and cut along the line and peeled away the excess tape. I cut small triangles to add to the top and bottom.
Step 7: Step 7: Paint the Storage Bins
After my designs were cut, I went back over and smoothed the tape down with my fingernails. Then, I painted that entire side of the box, including over the tape. I let that coat dry and then applied a second coat, and peeled away the tape while that last coat was still damp. (This is the most satisfying portion of the project, as you can see in the video.)
Step 8: Step 8: Attach Hardware
I added the drawer pulls and furniture feet, and then I was done! I linked to everything I used in my blog post and in the description box on my YouTube video.