A few years ago, I decided to tackle a project that would bring more order to my home. The constant mess of backpacks, coats, shoes, and kids’ stuff strewn all over was getting to me. Our mudroom serves as the entry point from the garage to the kitchen. While it’s kind of a small space, I needed something to make it feel bigger. How could we get more room in the space we had?
My dream was to create the stylish mudroom lockers that are a hallmark in many modern homes. I knew I had to do something about the cluttered coat closet. So, I rolled up my sleeves and embarked on a DIY adventure to transform that space into a functional DIY built in mudroom bench with storage.
Tackling this project myself, saved me so much money! I actually was asked to make a built-in mudroom bench and lockers for someone and my quote was over $1600. And that was for a friend, so I lowballed that estimate.
So, I knew making my own mudroom bench was going to save me a ton of money. Not to mention, the reward of knowing, I built this–priceless!!
Looking at your mudroom, the first step is choosing the right spot for your DIY mudroom bench. Consider your space and traffic flow to incorporate the bench seamlessly.
Placing it by the entrance ensures easy access to coats, shoes, and more. This complements your home’s flow and keeps things organized. Choosing the perfect location sets the stage for a stylish and practical addition to your mudroom space.
Once you’ve decided on the ideal location for your DIY built in mudroom bench, it’s time to dive into the design and measurements. Begin by envisioning the style you want to achieve. Do you prefer an organic modern, traditional, or maybe a modern farmhouse look?
With the design direction in mind, take precise measurements of the designated area. These measurements will guide your project and ensure everything fits just right. It can be helpful to take a piece of paper and make a rough sketch of what you’re envisioning.
This step helps lay the groundwork for a well-organized and aesthetically pleasing mudroom bench.
Source: Jennifer Radakovic Design
When it comes to picking out the best wood for your mudroom bench plan, think about both durability and aesthetics.
Hardwoods like oak, maple, and cherry are known for their sturdiness. This makes them excellent choices for a bench that can withstand daily use and the demands of an active household. Along with their natural strength, they boast an appealing wood grain and finish.
However, if you’re looking for a more budget-friendly option, softwoods like pine and cedar are an excellent choice. I use pine boards and cedar in most all of my projects. It’s much more affordable and holds up well.
You’ll just want to be sure to give it a few coats of poly when you’re applying the finishing touches. This will ensure that it lasts a long time and holds up to the wear and tear it will endure.
How to Build a DIY Built In Mudroom Bench
Supplies and Tools Needed
Wood Needed for DIY Built In Mudroom Bench
- 3/4″ 4ft x 8ft sanded plywood sheet (cedar is another option, but will be more expensive)
- 2×6’s (for bench and top shelf)
- Wood screws
- Nail gun nails
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Preparing the Space
Before starting the building process, you’ll want to remove any carpet or baseboards in the space where the mudroom bench will be. Giving yourself an empty slate to work with will make the process a lot smoother.
DIY Built In Mudroom Bench: Building the Frame
Step One: The base
The first thing you’ll want to do, is cut your 3/4″ plywood to the dimensions needed for your base. My mudroom bench will fit between two side walls and a back wall. Therefore, I measured the length and width of where I wanted my base to sit.
I then ripped my plywood to those dimensions, using my table saw. A circular saw will work just the same, if you don’t have a table saw.
Drill 1/4″ pocket holes on each end of your plywood base. Spacing your pocket holes about 4″ apart from one another. For the width of my plywood base, I was able to add 5 pocket hole groupings on each end.
Here’s the space I started with. Sorry for the blurry picture. It was the only one I could find. 🙁
Here’s a peak at what the frame will look like when it’s finished. (Minus the boards on the top).
DIY Built In Mudroom Bench–Step Two: The sides
Once the base is finished, you’re ready to build the sides.
Rip two side boards at 15″ tall (width) each, using your table saw.
The length you’ll need to rip them at will vary with how deep your bench will be. I ripped both of mine to 28″.
Note: Both of these side boards will be the exact same dimensions.
Once you have these two side boards cut to the dimensions needed, you’re ready to attach them to the base.
Use scrap boards to raise your base board off the ground approximately 3 1/2″.
Place your sideboards on each end of your base board and attach using 1 1/4″ pocket hole screws.
Step Three: The dividers
Rip 2 dividers. They both should stand as tall as the side pieces (when standing on the base board). Their length needs to be the same length as the side boards.
Drill 1/4″ pocket holes on one side (long end) of each board.
Place both boards evenly between the two side boards. Attach using 1 1/4″ pocket hole screws.
At this point, I brought my DIY built in mudroom bench base inside and placed it in its new space.
TIP: It’s a good idea to paint the base now. Much easier to do before we add the top of the bench. It gets a little crowded in those cubbies after that.
Step Four: Add the bench top
Now we’re ready to add the mudroom bench seat.
For this step, I cut 2×6’s to fit across the top of the base. I then attached each 2×6 to the base, using my nail gun.
As you can see in the picture below, I extended my bench base out further (by adding another base board past the side board). However, I did not extend my bench seat out. My reason for this is, I wanted this open space for all of my floor tools. I.e: vacuum, broom, etc.
Step Five: Add the trim pieces
Such a necessary step. Let’s get rid of all of those rough edges that plywood has when cut. For the cubbies beneath the bench, I cut a stop stick to fit and nailed it to the front of the face frame (cubby dividers). (The white strips in the picture below).
I then added a 1×4 pine board to the bottom of the bench seat. Cut to fit. This bottom piece covers up the openings and gives it a more finished look.
At this stage, the DIY built in mudroom bench is framed out and built. I went on to add lockers on top of my bench. (Here are the plans for that project, if you would like to do the same).
Step Six: Finish work
And here comes the fun part! All of the finish work! Initially, I painted my DIY built in mudroom bench white. And to the bench seat, I applied Java gel stain. I was very much into the farmhouse look. At the time, I loved it.
But then, after remodeling my kitchen, I wanted a more modern look. I painted the mudroom storage bench cubbies and lockers Naval by Sherwin Williams. And to the bench seat, I used my favorite wood stain technique. Here’s the link, if you want to check it out.
I then changed out much of the decor. Adding storage baskets to the top made it much more functional, while still pleasing to the eye. These are a great place to hide all the stuff that is not pleasing to the eye. Haha!
Adding the coat hooks was a huge win! Amazing how coats now end up hung up, versus when the kids had to grab a hanger and hang them up. Who am I fooling, that never happened.
I had some leftover metal bins that I added to the bottom cubbies. These are great storage spaces for all of the winter hats, gloves, scarves, mittens.
And in the summer, all of that gets switched out for beach towels and shoe storage. So convenient and easy to just grab and go. Such a great way to keep things organized.
I love how my DIY mudroom bench is like a piece of furniture. The kids use this little nook to sit down and put their shoes on. And, with it being right off the kitchen, when we have lots of guests over, it’s often been used as extra seating.
I’m so happy I opened up my coat closet and transformed it into a DIY built in mudroom bench. Such a great move. Much more functional and visually appealing.
As my kids are getting older and we’re down to just 2 still in school, I love seeing them use this space. It makes me so happy. The little things. 🙂 But I know this time is fleeting and in a few years, they’ll be off to college and these cubbies will be bare. Savoring this time as much as I can.
Let’s go beyond the design to build something beautiful together!
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