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Streamlining the home’s entryway or mudroom poses a real challenge for bustling households. Add up all of the jackets, the bags, the umbrellas, and the shoes for each family member, and you’ll find yourself hard pressed to find a place for each last item. Sure, a leaning coat rack can corral the most-often used outerwear, but each member of a household may rotate through three or more pairs of shoes in a given week. Alleviate part of the mess by giving favorite footwear a home in the entryway between uses via this DIY shoe storage bench. Not only will its cubbies organize up to six pairs of shoes—and floor space below for taller boots—but the sturdy bench top provides the perfect perch as you lace up on the way out the door in the morning.
MATERIALS AND TOOLS
- Over-shelf hanging storage baskets (3)
- Metallic spray paint
- 2×6 lumber (10 feet)
- Wood glue
- Trigger clamps
- 2-inch by 3-inch gauge mending plates (4)
- Palm sander
- Sandpaper (60- and 120-grit)
- Wood stain
- Wood oil or varnish
- Paint brush
- Measuring tape
- Cup holder hooks (15)
- ¾-inch galvanized pipe (36-inch pieces, 2)
- Round file
- ¾-inch floor flanges (4)
- 1-inch screws (16)
The storage space for shoes beneath the bench is actually constructed using three white wire under-shelf baskets. To give them an industrial look that more closely matches the legs, so we spray-painted them a metallic silver. Coat with several layers on each side of the baskets for the most uniform color.
If you’ve purchased an already silver or bronze wire basket, go ahead and skip this first step altogether!
Next up: the seat part of the bench. Take the 10-foot-long 2×6 lumber and cut it in half, so that you have two pieces of the same dimensions. (You might even ask to have the big box hardware store that sells you the lumber cut it for you, too—it’s often free and makes transporting the wood home easier.)
Put some wood glue along the 1-½-inch-thick edge of one board, and slide the two 5-foot-long boards next to each other so that the glue bonds them. Be careful to place the boards perfectly next to each other without leaving any gap. You can use trigger clamps to hold them together.
Strengthen the board assembly by affixing four equidistant mending plates to what will be the underside of the bench. Make sure each is centered over the crack between the boards, then lightly hammer it into place.
Once the glue has dried, sand the bench seat. Start with a 60-grit paper to remove the glue residue, and finish with a 120-grit for a smooth finish surface that is free of splinters.
Stain the top and sides of the wood—all but the bottom—with the color of your choice. After you achieve the right depth of color (it may take a couple of coats) and the stain dries completely according to the manufacturer’s instructions, finish with wood oil or varnish to protect the DIY shoe storage bench from dust and stains.
Once dry, flip the board so that its underside is up. Center the three metallic baskets across the board, and mark the location of each basket’s corners in pen. Each basket will be hold by five cup hooks: two on each side and one on the back (opposite the opening).
Drill five small holes into the wood, and screw in the hooks so that each faces inward toward the center of the basket. Then, hook up your first “cubby”! Repeat the same process to fix the other two baskets.
Working upside down like this will leave the basket feeling a little loose—don’t worry too much about this. It will be resolved once you turn the bench right side up to attach the bench’s legs, as gravity will pull the baskets to hang from the hooks. As long as you know that each fits, you can unhook the baskets for now and continue working.
Cut each of the two 36-inch-long, ¾-inch galvanized pipes in half so that you end up with four legs of the same lengths. (Ours are 18 inches apiece.) Sand the edges using a round file to remove any metal flakes. You can also put some rubber or plastic tip under each leg to prevent the pipe to scratch your floor.
Attach a floor flange to each corner of the bottom of the board with 1-inch screws, and twist the pipe into it until it’s snug.
Once each leg is in place, flip the bench right side up and replace the baskets onto the designated cup hooks. You’re ready to start moving your shoes out of a pile and into their new homes! Whenever you head to the store next to buy DIY supplies for your next project, you’ll find your footwear right beneath your seat—and slide them on easily from your spot on this new storage bench.
Ama is a DIY addict and the creative mind behind Ohoh Blog. She likes home decor, lighting, and furniture projects that may involve painting, sewing, drilling…no matter the technique! Whatever she has on hand is inspiration to create, and fodder for her serious addiction to upcycling.
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