Elegant DIY Tufted Bench

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About: Empowering women (and their husbands and boyfriends) one DIY project at a time -- We teach basic home maintenance and home improvement skills.

HOW TO BUILD A TUFTED BENCH FOR THE BEDSIDE, LIVING ROOM OR ENTRYWAY.

Hi Guys! Timisha here from Toolbox Divas. Home decorations may just might be the most expensive part of home ownership, Hahaha. I have been dreaming of getting a tufted bench that I could place at the foot of my bed for years now but the price always made it seem out of range. So I was excited when I received these coffee table legs. This is one of my favorite DIY projects to date. This bench is both beautiful but it's very practical with hidden storage. I mean a person could never have enough storage. Here’s how I did it.

Click HERE for the FREE downloadable plans.

Step 1: ​Materials & Tools

Step 2: CUT THE PIECES TO SIZE.

For this, I actually did a lot of the cutting as I went along. To be perfectly honest, I wasn’t entirely sure I had measured the bottom shelf and storage areas correctly. To reduce the likelihood of mismeasurements, I measured liked 3 to 4 times before cutting every piece.

Step 3: ​ATTACH THE LEDGES TO THE UPPER AND LOWER RAILS OR APRONS.

I used square wooden dowels for the ledges because I didn’t have to worry about ensuring that the boards were straight. Also, I didn’t want to go through and make a ton of repetitive cuts on my circular saw or miter. You can easily use scrap wood for the ledges as long as its straight and creates a flat even surface for the boards to rest on. I didn’t cut the ledge the entire length of the rails. It’s just important that there is enough support to hold the plywood base in place as you secure it to the rails or aprons to the legs.

For the lower rails the ledges should be 3/4″ or 1/2″ from the top depending on the thickness of the plywood you use. For the bottom shelf I used a plywood that was 3/4″ in thickness, so I dropped the ledge 3/4″ from the top.
For the top rails, the ledge should be flush with the bottom of the rail. The plywood will sit on the ledge, creating the bottom of the storage cavity. 1/2″ plywood works fine for the bottom of the storage area. This will provide a little extra depth in the storage area.

Step 4: DRILL POCKET HOLES ON EACH END OF THE RAILS.

I strongly recommend drilling the holes for the pocket screws prior to attaching the ledges to the rails. It’s hard to fit the rails in the Kreg jig once the rails are attached. The screws I used were 1 1/4″ pocket screws.

Step 5: MARK THE POSITION FOR THE RAILS ON EACH SIDE OF THE LEGS.

Before attaching any of the rails to the legs, it's important to ensure that it's evenly positioned when attached. Using a pencil mark the placement of the rails from every angle on every side of the legs. A carpenter L square came in very handy.

Step 6: ASSEMBLE THE LOWER PORTION OF THE FRAME OF THE BENCH.

When using pocket screws for assembly I strongly recommend using Kreg Jig’s right angle clamp. You want to keep those joints at a perfect 90-degree angle. PLACE A MIDDLE SUPPORT AT THE BOTTOM OF THE BENCH AND ENSURE ALL SIDES ARE LEVEL AND SQUARE. I used a 1×2 board cut to size in between the two middle legs.

Step 7: CUT THE PLYWOOD FOR THE BOTTOM STORAGE CAVITY AND THE BOTTOM SHELF.

To cut the plywood for the bottom shelf and the bottom of the interior of the storage cavity I used a circular saw with a Kreg Rip cut jig.

Step 8: NOTCH THE CORNERS AND MIDDLE OF THE BASE PIECES FOR THE OPENING OF THE LEGS.

With the bottoms cut to size, I then needed to cut a notch into each of the plywood pieces for the legs. This is easily accomplished with a jigsaw.

Step 9: INSERT THE BOTTOM SHELF.

Before attaching the top rails I inserted the bottom shelf 3/4″ plywood base. I secured using glue, and brad nails. Then I proceeded with attaching the top rails. Attach the middle beam for support at the top. It should be flush with the bottom of the top rails.

Step 10: DROP IN THE BOTTOM OF STORAGE CAVITY.

Place the plywood into the storage area. If measured correctly it should drop right in place.

Step 11: PLUG THE POCKET HOLES. AND USING a MULTI-PURPOSE TOOL FLATTEN THE INNER CORNER OF THE LEG.

Prep the corners for the addition of the corner supports. To do this use an all in one tool and cut straight down the width of the corner support piece. For the top corner supports, I used 1×3 scrap wood. So I cut down into the corner of the leg about 2.5.” on the top. The lower corner supports were make using scrap 1×2 boards.

Step 12: ADD THE CORNER BRACES.

The corner pieces were cut to size at a 45- degree angle on each side. I attached the corner brackets with Spax screws on the ends.

Step 13: ATTACH THE HINGES TO THE BENCH TOP.

Finally, it was time to prepare the bench top. With the top cut, I routed out the area where the hinges would be placed. I wanted the hinges to be flush with the bench so that the bench top would close seamlessly.

Step 14: CONDITION AND STAIN THE BENCH.

It's important to treat the wood prior to staining.

Step 15: TUFT THE TOP OF THE BENCH.

I tufted the top of the bench using a really easy no-sew method. It was my favorite part of making the bench. I did it without a peg board nor drill holes and upholstery thread. And I can’t wait to share with you what I actually used for upholstery fabric. Stick around for the next tutorial on how to tuft a bench.

Step 16: LINE THE INTERIOR OF THE BENCH & ATTACH THE BENCH TOP

I lined the interior of the storage cavity with upholstery underlining, securing it with spray adhesive.

Step 17: Completed Bench

Thank You so much for sticking through till the end with me on this tutorial. I really love this bench and how it turned out. Click HERE for the FREE downloadable plans. And check out the video detailing how I built this tufted bench.

Step 18:

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    6 Discussions

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    Alex in NZ

    8 months ago

    An awesome end result. I love the no-sew tufting as well.

    1 reply
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    ToolboxDivasAlex in NZ

    Reply 8 months ago

    Thank you so much! The tufting process was my favorite part.

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    BLASTFEMI

    8 months ago

    Amazing work! So beautiful! thanks for sharing your project!

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    gm280

    8 months ago

    Very nice project. I applaud you for posting it. I get the feeling you've been working with wood for some time. I did like the Kreg vice grip tool to hold the pieces in position as you drove the screws in place. You should be proud!

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    ToolboxDivasgm280

    Reply 8 months ago

    Thank you so much! I really appreciate it. I have been trying to improve my craftmanship. It takes time but with every project I see improvements.