DIY Project: Farmhouse Bench

Posted by: on June 9th, 2014 | 14 Comments
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DIY Project: Farmhouse Bench

There’s hardly a DIY project that Natalie Dalpias won’t tackle. She’s the author of the blog The Creative Mom, where she has advice and DIY projects covering decor, cooking parties and more. Here, she shares with us her tutorial for a cute and practical farmhouse bench. 

I’ve been wanting to build my own pieces of furniture for a while now, so when I came across this DIY farmhouse bench plan from Ana White, I knew I had to try it out–with a few modifications. This bench really isn’t too hard. I actually built the entire thing 100 percent by myself, which really impressed my husband. I know that if I can do it, you can do it too.

This bench is 76 inches long, and can easily seat four adults. It is the perfect bench for anywhere in your house, or even outside. I’m using mine in my entryway, but it would also look adorable next to a dining room table, or imagine it out back by the firepit. A firepit bench is definitely next on my list.

Oh, and did I mention it cost less than $20 in lumber? Yeah, that’s pretty awesome!

DIY Project: Farmhouse Bench

Materials for the DIY Farmhouse Bench:

  • 7- 2×4 studs
  • 2.5 inch grabber screws
  • 2.5 inch pocket hole screws
  • Wood Glue
  • Wood Filler
  • Stain or Paint

Tools:

  • Compound Miter Saw
  • Kreg Jig
  • Sander and 150 grit sandpaper
  • Drill
  • Countersink Drill Bit (comes with the Kreg Jig)
  • Measuring Tape
  • Pencil
  • Eye and Hearing Protection

Tools needed for Farmhouse Bench DIY Project

Cut List:

  • 4- 2×4′s @ 76 inches
  • 2- 2×4′s @ 14 inches
  • 1- 2×4 @ 58 inches
  • 1- 2×4 @ 54 inches
  • 4- 2×4′s @ 15.5 inches. Both ends cut at 10 degrees off square. Ends are parallel.
  • 2 – 2×4 @ 12.5 inches. Both ends cut at 10 degrees off square. Ends are not parallel. (12.5″ from long point to long point).
  • 2 – 2×4 @ 13 3/8 inches. Both ends cut at 45 degrees off square. Ends ARE parallel.

Instructions for the Farmhouse Bench DIY Project:

Start by building your legs. For each leg, you’ll need your 15.5 inch boards, one 14 inch board, and one 12.5 inch board.

Use your Kreg Jig to drill your pocket holes.

DIY Project: Using a Kreg Jig to build a farmhouse bench

Apply some wood glue to your joint, and screw your support pieces to your legs using your countersink drill bit.

Securing support pieces in farmhouse bench DIY project

Below is what your legs should look like once they are assembled.

Lets assembled for farmhouse bench DIY project

After you’ve got your legs built, you will use your 54-inch board (on top) and 58-inch board (on bottom) to hook them together. You’ll also need two 13 3/8-inch boards (not pictured), which will be your diagonal supports. [Originally, this section mistakenly had reversed the position of the two boards. That error has been corrected. -ed.]

Assembling a farmhouse bench DIY project

Next, you’ll assemble your top piece. You don’t have to hook the boards together, but I wanted mine super sturdy, since I have three kids who will do their best to ruin this bench, I’m sure. So I used my Kreg Jig to create pocket holes and screwed the boards together. If you are using this for an outdoor bench, I would recommend leaving a 1/4-to-1/2 inch space between the boards to allow for drainage.

Assembling the top part of the farmhouse bench DIY project

After you’ve got your top and your bottom assembled, fill in any holes with wood filler (make sure you get the stainable kind if you are planning on staining). If you want the bench to look really sleek and smooth, you can putty or caulk the joints on your bench. I wanted mine to look more rustic, so I skipped the caulking.

Once the glue, putty, and caulk is dry, take your sander and sand everything smooth. I made sure to round the corners on my bench too.

Sanding the edges of the farmhouse bench DIY project

Since I wanted a farmhouse look. I stained the top and painted the bottom of my bench white.

Stain used in farmhouse bench DIY project

I used a Wipe-On Poly to finish the wood and add some durability.

Wipe-On Poly used in farmhouse bench DIY project

Then I took my sander and lightly distressed the edges of the lower part of the bench.

My husband hates when I do this, but I know that after I put this much work into the bench, I would cry the first time my kids chipped or scratched it. So I beat them to the punch. Plus, I think it looks cuter distressed, and it’s my bench, so I get to decide.

Distressing the farmhouse bench

Once your pieces are stained and painted, you’ll use some grabber screws and attach your legs to your bench top, from the underside. (I didn’t fill the holes that face the wall, or on the underside, since nobody will see them.)

Attaching the legs in the farmhouse bench DIY project

All in all, this project only cost me about $20 in lumber. And it only took me two afternoons from start to finish, which included a trip to The Home Depot, drying time, and doing all the necessary mom stuff, like feeding children and taking them to school.

DIY Project: Farmhouse Bench

And doesn’t it look fabulous in my entryway? It is the perfect mix of sleek lines and rustic, farmhouse charm.

DIY Project: Farmhouse Bench

DIY Project: Farmhouse Bench

For $20, this DIY farmhouse bench is a project you should definitely tackle this weekend. You could even let your husband help if you want.

DIY Project: Farmhouse Bench

Natalie Dalpais describes herself as “a crafting,  DIY-ing, decorating, Photoshopping, handy-woman.” Her blog The Creative Mom has tons of fun and useful tutorials and inspiration. 

Take a look at more DIY projects here on The Home Depot blog. And follow our A Few of Our Favorite Things board on Pinterest for more great DIY project ideas.

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  1. Mallory says:

    The only way this project is $20 or under is if you have 99% of the materials on hand. The studs alone are $22 at Home Depot.

  2. Carl Brown says:

    I am making this bench for my wife. I found some issues with the dimensions of the material. The 13 3/8″ braces are 5 7/16 inches too short. In order to check the dimensions before buying any material I drew up the project in Autocad to verify dimensions and angles. In order to verify my drawings I would need to know the assembled dimensions across the top and bottom of the legs when looking at the end of the bench. I also would like to know the dimension from the floor to the cross brace between the legs. Would like to verify dimensions to cut once. Thank You

    • Hi Carl,

      The cross braces are 2 inches off the ground. Also, the 13 3/8″ braces should fit exactly perfectly if you cut them at a 45 degree angle. You can make them longer, if you cut them at a much higher angle.

      I’m not sure the dimensions you are asking for, but the legs are 16 inches wide at the base and almost 11 inches (more like 10 3/4″) wide at the top of the legs where they attach to the 13 inch 2×4′s. There is a 54″ span from side to side, which is the same dimension as the cross brace you use directly under the bench seat.

      I hope that answers all your questions. And I would LOVE to see a copy of your drawings once you make them, if you don’t mind. Nat@TheCreativeMom.com

      Good luck on your bench! Your wife is going to LOVE IT!!!
      Natalie

  3. I love the simplicity of the bench but one last question. I notice in your pictures that their is a pencil mark on the legs but you left out that info as to what height the cross brace on the legs was and which pieces and ends you used your kreg jig on. sorry first timer

    • Hi Tom,

      The supports on the legs and the cross-braces are 2 inches off the ground. If you look on the photos in the post, you can see where I used the Kreg Jig. Basically anywhere one board intersects with another board, you will need to create a pocket hole using the Kreg Jig.

      Thanks for the comment. Hope that helps.

      Natalie

  4. Sarah says:

    Did you use glossy white paint for the bottom?

    • Hi Sarah,

      I used a semi-gloss paint on the bottom. Since it’s going to be an indoor piece of furniture, and I don’t mind the dings, scratches, and wear (I think it adds to the charm of the piece), I just used a basic, water-based paint that my Home Depot paint guy suggested.

      Thanks for reading.
      Natalie @ thecreativemom

  5. Larry Maddox says:

    What degree is the cut for the leg’s?

    • Hi Larry.

      The legs are cut at 10 degrees off square, and the ends are parallel. You will know you’ve cut it right if you measure from end to end on one edge of the board and it measures 15.5 inches, and the opposite edge of the board also measures 15.5 inches.

      Hope this helps! Thanks so much for the question.

      Natalie @ TheCreativeMom

  6. nate says:

    I think you have it backwards 58 inch board should be on bottom 54 inch on top

    • Hi Nate.

      You are right! It’s so funny, because while I was building the bench, I was working on it upside down, so when I turned it right side up, I must have been confused on which side was actually up :) Thank you for noticing!

  7. Jim Farwell says:

    Nice looking bench — good design, easy to make, and easy enough for any DIYer. But I have a couple of suggestions.

    First, I think you might mention that, on the four 15.5″ legs, the miter cuts you made “10 degrees off square” were done with the pieces resting on the 1.5″ side (i.e., vertical), while the cuts your made on the bottom stretchers and the braces (10 degrees and 45 degrees off square, respectively) were made with the pieces resting on their 3.5″ sides (i.e., horizontal). I realize that this becomes obvious when you start putting the pieces together, but it might not sink in for dolts like me when I’m cutting the pieces…and then I go get more wood.

    Second, as long as you are keeping the bench indoors, I see nothing wrong with your idea of stabilizing the seat by joining the seat-boards with pocket screws. However, you mention that this bench would serve well outdoors, as well. For outdoorf use, I would NOT join those boards. Sooner or later the finish will wear off, and the seat will absorb water, and those boards will swell, pulling the screws loose or splitting the wood, and likely making the whole seat curl like a canoe. I know, because I’ve been there, done that (2×4 table-tops placed on log rounds for coffee tables). I’d add an inch to the length of the under-seat cross-bars (make them 15 inches long), and separate the seat boards by a full third of an inch. That gives you room to get in with a (slightly ground-off) toothbrush and bleach to remove the inevitable mold or fungus or dirt or….

    Just my two cents worth. Again, this is a dandy project.

    Jim

    • Hi Jim,

      Thank you for pointing out the confusion on cutting the angled pieces. Sometimes it is tricky to know how to write all the instructions. I wish I could have all of you with me in my garage.. haha.. these building plans just don’t seem to translate as well in a blog post as they would in person. :) But you are exactly right on the way you stated the cuts. Thank you for clarifying that!

      Also, you are correct about doing this for an outdoor bench. If you were building this bench specifically for the outdoors, I would skip the pocket holes on the seat, as you have suggested, and leave more space between the 2×4′s. Isn’t it funny how things change when you have to plan for water, drainage, and withstanding the weather? :) I really liked your suggestion for the seat. You have done this before, I can tell!

      Thanks again for reading. I really appreciate your comments!

      Natalie @ TheCreativeMom

  8. [...] to save you money! Our feature project, above and below, is a great step by step tutorial for a farmhouse bench from Home Depot. I love that this project takes just basic carpentry skills that anyone can learn. [...]