When you’ve outgrown your twin bed, take a cue from the blogger at My Repurposed Life by cutting off the headboard and footboard, then using the headboard for the back of the bench, the footboard for the arms, and a repurposed dresser drawer for the seat. Give the piece a coat of paint and a few drawer pulls, then top the seat with a no-sew fabric-covered foam cushion. Surround the versatile bench with creature comforts and homey touches like framed portraits and favorite books to create a pampering porch retreat.
Related: 20 Insanely Easy Ways to Build Your Own Furniture
State of Play
Stash toys, games, and other knickknacks that make their way onto the playroom floor inside this clutter-clearing storage unit from A Beautiful Mess. Cut the frame from a 4' x 8' sheet of plywood, and use DPI board for lightweight sliding doors.
The bibliophile behind My Love 2 Create put this bookworm-friendly bench together by laying an old laminate shelf on its side, reinforcing the seat and base with 2x4's and topping the unit with a sleek plywood bench seat. The wide, tall shelves are big enough to accommodate books and comforters alike.
File under “DIY”
Tax returns, medical records, and other must-keep documents are safe and sound in this file bench from Better When Built. The design of the hinged, fabric-covered plywood bench lets you prop open the lid, survey your files, and pluck out precisely the item you need in seconds.
Crate Minds Think Alike
Add rustic flair to your patio without breaking the bank with this storage bench from The Kim Six Fix, built for less than $40 with low-cost lumber and thrift-store storage crates. The X-shaped embellishments on the ends of the bench, coupled with the use of lighter wood sealant on the crates and darker stain on the frame, make the bargain-priced bench look like a craftsman-quality showpiece.
Feeling Blue and Lovin’ It
Jen Woodhouse’s slate-blue entryway bench is much more than meets the eye: The built-in flip-top bench seat conceals a compartment for hats, scarves, umbrellas, and other bad-weather essentials.
Related: 12 Doable Designs for a DIY Bench
Armed with the tutorial from Crafting in the Rain, you can build this all-wood shoe bench for your entryway (or even closet) to keep clutter and odor at bay while still letting the footwear fiends in your home showcase their collection of kicks.
No More Mayhem in the Mudroom
When paired with coat hooks above, this storage bench from Honey Bear Lane, made of MDF and covered with a seat made of pine, adds warmth and purpose to a drafty corner of the mudroom. To prevent it from sliding or tipping, the bench is screwed into the studs.
Mudroom in a Minute
Though it consists of little more than a store-bought bench-and-cushion set and a trio of crates to hold paperwork, shoes, accessories—whatever you need!—this semi-homemade sitter from A Night Owl Blog serves as the anchor point of a makeshift mudroom that sits next to the laundry room, right at the entrance to the garage.
Behind Closed Doors
This long expanse is actually two benches screwed together side by side. At the back, the top of each bench was extended with a hinged wooden board that flips up so little hands can drop in boots, keeping all available space easily accessible and efficiently used.
Related: 7 Ways To Transform Your Mudroom in 48 Hours
After removing the central doors and right-hand drawers from an oversize vintage dresser, the blogger behind My Repurposed Life retrofitted the empty dresser shell with a wooden bench seat, supports made of scrap wood, and a few storage baskets. With a cushion covered in cheerful, geometric-patterned fabric and a few pillows to match, this sofa-and-end-table unit would be right at home in front of the TV.
Made using narrow eight-foot-long boards and door hinges, this re-creation of West Elm’s Wood Slat Storage Bench is such a convincing replica of the original—-and such a lifesaver for patio party hosts—that you might not believe that blogger Ana White made rather than bought it.
Related: The Best Outdoor Furniture for Under $100
Boost your bedroom’s luxury quotient and define distinct sleep and work zones with this dreamy no-sew upholstered plywood storage bench from The Created Home that comes together with nails and fabric adhesive.
Find inner peace outdoors with this patio storage bench from Jen Woodhouse that features ornamental fretwork on the backrest and a flip-top bench seat (courtesy of a piano hinge) for storing oversize pillows. Potted plants stationed on either side of the bench and a few playful pillows along the seat strike a relaxed, welcoming tableau.
Related: 15 Doable Designs for DIY Outdoor Furniture
Arrival of the Aztecs
The application of painter’s tape in an artful arrangement helped clinch the Aztec pattern on this awe-inspiring entryway bench from Erin Spain that perfectly complements a Mesoamerican runner-style rug.
Fresh and Functional
If you’re after a bright and airy ambience in the bedroom, re-create this lightweight storage bench from Why Don’t You Make Me. The piece incorporates a large wooden board as a bench seat and wooden dowels for supports and shelving to elevate the elegance of a soothing sleep space.
Related: 8 Sneaky Ways to Furnish Your Home for Less
IKEA Hemnes shelves and the Hemnes TV unit are a match made in design heaven in this mudroom storage solution from House by Hoff that keeps coats, boots, and small everyday accessories off the floor and out of sight.
The Art of Asymmetry
Featuring a large flip-top seat for shoes and a small drawer for keys and other easily misplaced items, this bespoke red oak plywood bench from Anika’s DIY Life is a great solution for the homeowner with heavy-duty storage needs. This sturdy entryway accent even provides a welcome spot to sit and take a quick breather on the way in or out.
Fun with Foam
When little ones are done playing Picasso in the craft room, cleaning up can be as simple as dropping their paints, crayons, and other art supplies into the baskets lining this L-shaped bench from Simplifying Mom Life. The storage unit consists of two Ikea Kallax benches set corner to corner, with a small custom cube dropped in where they meet. Cushions made from upholstery foam covered with curtain panels are attached to the unit with extra-strength Velcro.
Down on the Farm
A two-tiered bench crafted by the blogger at Cherished Bliss completes this farmhouse-style entryway. The rustic appeal of this stained and shellacked unit, which was designed to house the galvanized metal bins, stems from its mix of materials, its simple frame, and the oversize chalkboard.
Related: 10 Ways to Furnish Your Home at Target for Under $50
There is no such thing as too much storage. Any storage bench you make is a win.
If you have the money to hire a handyman for every household woe, go ahead. But if you want to hang on to your cash and exercise some self-sufficiency, check out these clever products that solve a million and one little problems around the house. Go now!