Easy How to Build a Modern Bench

October 24, 2019

Hi! I'm Nicole

Fearless DIY. Sharing building project tutorials and interior design tips. Let’s build something beautiful together. For more projects, design tips and behind the scenes, follow me @designtobuild.nicole

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Let’s build a modern bench!

Wrapping up our 2-week bench series with a modern bench build. Last week I shared how to build a bench with purchased legs. This week I’m sharing how to build a bench AND legs. Such a super-easy build! And like I said last week, if you can build a bench you can build a table. Legs, frame, top–that’s it!

Last week’s bench was all farmhouse, this week we’re going modern. I love this timeless bench I built for my brother and sister’s-in-law modern home. So, let’s get to it!


Materials Needed:

2x4x8 (3)

1x5x8 (2)

2x6x8 (3)

2.5″ pocket hole screws

2.5″ finishing screws             (Amazon Affiliate Link)

Wood filler

Tools Needed:

Miter Saw

Kreg Jig (easiest tool for pocket holes)          (Amazon Affiliate Link)


Step One: Build the legs

First you’ll want to determine how long, wide and tall you want your modern bench to be. My bench was 71 inches long, 16.5 inches wide, and 17.5 inches tall (height).

Note: You’ll want to allow for some overhang, therefore, the width and length of your bench frame will be 4 inches shorter than the top (seat) of the bench. This allows for a 2 inch overhang on each side. For example: bench frame measurements are: 67″ long; 12.5″ wide. The height stays the same (17.5″ tall).

Legs: Cut four 2X4’s at 17.5 inches (height).

Join your legs together: Cut two 2X4’s at 9.5 inches. Drill 2.5″ pocket holes in the ends of each of these boards. Attach with 2.5″ pocket hole screws….

2 modern bench legs built

Now you have your legs for each end of the bench.

Step Two: Long Expanders

Next, we need to connect the legs with expanders.

Cut two 2X4’s at 60″ each….

two 2x4's on a sheet of plywood

Drill 2.5″ pocket holes on each end and attach to the legs using 2.5″ pocket hole screws….

drill, wood glue, pocket hole screws on plywood

bench frame built

Step Three: Supports

Now, your frame is built and ready for supports. Cut three 2X4’s to fit in between the expanders. (This provides support for the middle of your modern bench). Drill 2.5″ pocket holes in the ends of each 2X4 and attach with 2.5″ pocket hole screws, as shown below….

bench frame with supports

Step Four: Short Expander

Cut two more 2X4’s at 9.5″. Attach using 2.5″ finishing screws from the sides (as shown below) It’s kind of tricky to get your dril in this compact space, so I found it easier to attach them from the sides….

bench leg with expander added

Step Five: Visible Expander

Cut a 1X5 board to fit snug between the two short expanders. Drill 2.5″ pocket holes on each end. Attach to the short expanders using 2.5″ pocket hole screws (bottom board in picture below)….

bench frame with long expander

Cut a 1X5 board to fit 3/4’s of the way across each short expander. Attach with 2.5″ finishing screws. (top board in picture below)…

bench frame with long expander

Step Six: Build the top (seat)

Cut three 2X6’s at 71 inches long. Drill pocket holes on one long side of two of the boards and attach all three boards together using 2.5″ pocket hole screws….

bench top being built out of three 2x6's with pocket holes

Attach to bench frame using 2.5″ finishing screws. Fill in nail holes with wood filler. Paint and voila! You have a nice, sturdy, modern bench for your family to enjoy….

bench painted black

I love how it looks in my brother and sister’s-in-law dining room…

dining room with farmhouse table and modern bench


Pinterest pin modern farmhouse table and bench

Until next time,

Happy Building, Friend!!

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Other building project posts:

How to Build a Functional Organization Board

How to Make a Super Easy, Farmhouse Picture Frame

How to Build a Large Word Sign

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