A DIY mudroom bench and built-ins will help you stay organized and provide a place to slip on shoes before running out the door. See how you can get a custom-built storage unit without hiring a professional. 

By Hannah Bruneman
Updated February 09, 2019

A mudroom without a proper storage unit is a disaster waiting to happen. Get your storage fix quick with a custom-fit bench that you can build yourself. Our model has a comfy seat, coat hooks, and five storage cubbies to hold organized baskets. The unit tucks nicely into the corner and can easily be adjusted to fit your measurements. Once you get started building this, you'll be one step closer to a cleaner, more organized house. 

  • Working time 1 day
  • Start to finish 1 day
  • Difficulty Hard
  • Involves Carpentry Skills, Cutting, Painting

What you need

Tools

Materials

Cuts

How to do it

Step 1 Make Cuts

Before you begin, first make all necessary cuts according to the cut list above. You can make these cuts yourself with a table saw. Keep in mind that you may need to make slight adjustments to the boards as you work, so keep the saw handy as you continue. 

Step 2 Attach Sides and Dividers

Using the pocket hole jig, drill 3 pocket holes in each of the 16-1/2-inch sides of the bench side and divider panels.

Once you have the pocket holes drilled, place the 16-1/2-inch edge of an end piece on top of the bench bottom, aligned with the edge. Leave 1/2-inch overhang on the bench bottom, secure with wood glue, clamp to hold still, and finish with screws. Repeat this process with the other side. Measure in 15 inches from the inside of the piece you just installed, and secure a divider panel in the same manner. Measure over another 15 inches and secure the final divider.

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How to Make a Pocket Hole

A pocket hole is a special type of woodworking joinery that makes super-strong connections. Learn how to make one with our easy instructions.

Step 3 Place Bench Top

Once you have all sides and dividers secured to the bottom, turn the bench over and place on the top panel. Secure the sides and dividers in the same manner as you did with the bottom board. The pocket holes will help make the screws inconspicuous.

Step 4 Attach Trim

After you have secured the panels to the top and the bottom, line the 1x3 trim board that is trimmed to 48 inches up with the top edge of the bench. Secure it with glue and a nail gun with 1-1/4-inch nails.

Line the edge of one of the 1x2-inch trim pieces up with the outside edge of the bench, and secure it with wood glue and a nail gun with 1-1/4-inch nails. Repeat on the other side. Center one over a divider panel and secure in the same manner, repeat on the second divider.

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How to Use a Nail Gun

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Step 5 Attach Beadboard

Once the bench is assembled, tack the bead board on the back side of the box using a staple gun with 1/2-inch staples.

Step 6 Install Bench

Remove baseboard, if needed. Install bench to the wall with 2-inch screws directly into studs. Studs are typically 16 inches apart and can easily be found using a stud finder.

Once installed, add base shoe along the front and exposed side edges securing with a nail gun.

Step 7 Attach Dividers and Sides

Using a pocket hole jig, drill three pocket holes in each of the 12-inch sides of the end and divider panels.

Once you have drilled all the pocket holes, place the 12-inch edge of an end piece on the bottom board of the shelf and secure with wood glue and screws. Make sure it’s on the side that will be in the corner. Repeat this process on the other side, with the 12x15 piece, keeping the front edges flush, allowing the 1 inch to hang over the back side of the shelf. Measure to the center of the shelf and install the divider in the same manner.

Once you have the sides and divider installed, flip the shelf over and align the front edges with the front edge of the shelf top, leaving the 1 inch of the long side hanging out the back side of the shelf. Once they are lined up, secure with screws in the same manner as you previously did on the bottom piece.

Step 8 Attach Trim

After the end panels and dividers are secured to the top and bottom of the shelf, align the top edge of the 1x3 trim piece cut at 48 inches to the top edge of the front of the shelf, attach it with wood glue and a nail gun with 1-1/4-inch nails. Repeat this process with the 48-3/4-inch trim piece along the bottom edge, lining it up with the top edge of the bottom of the shelf and leaving an overhang on the bottom. Secure with wood glue and a nail gun with 1-1/4-inch nails.

Using one of the 1x2 trim pieces, line the edge up with the outside edge of the shelf and secure it with wood glue and a nail gun with 1-1/4-inch screws. Repeat on the other side. Center the last 1x2 trim piece on the center divider of the shelf, and secure it in the same manner. Align your 15-inch 1x3 trim piece with the overhang from the from the front trim piece, along the extra deep side.

Step 9 Attach Beadboard and Crown Trim

Once the shelf is assembled, tack the bead board on the back side using a staple gun, butting it up to the 3/4-inch edge.

Cut crown trim to length for the front and one side of the shelf. Attach with a nail gun and 1-1/4-inch nails.

Step 10 Install Cleat

Using a table saw, cut down the center of the 3-1/2x47-inch pieces of poplar board at a 30 degree angle with a miter saw, this will create a cleat mount to secure the shelf to the wall.

Measure up 3-1/2-inch from the bottom of the shelf and secure the narrow side one piece of the cleat to the back of the dividers with wood glue and 1-5/8-inch screws. Align the top narrow edge of the other cleat to the top edge of the shelf and secure into the top board of the shelf with wood glue and 1-5/8-inch screws.

Step 11 Attach Beadboard

Attach beadboard to the back of the wall between the bench top and shelf bottom using a nail gun, directly into studs.

Step 12 Mount Shelf

To mount the shelf, measure up 72-inches from the floor and draw a level line. This is where you will mount the bottom narrow edge of the second half of one cleat. From that line, measure up 8-1/2-inches and draw a level line. This is where you will mount the bottom narrow edge of the second half of the other cleat. Take care to locate your studs and mount the cleats directly into them.

Step 13 Attach Sides

Using the pocket hole jig, drill 2 pocket holes on each of the 12-inch ends of your 1x12-inch board. Line up the 12-inch ends with the side face of the bottom of the shelf inside the 15-inch 1X3 board and secure with screws. Repeat along the bottom of the 1x12 on the top of the bench edge.

Secure your base shoe along the top and bottom of the bead board and along the outer corner where the panel meets the wall with a nail gun.

Step 14 Install Hook Board

Measure up 42 inches from the top of the bench, and make a level mark. This will be the top of your 1x4-inch board to mount your hooks to. Using 2-inch screws at each stud location, secure the 1x4 board.

Fill wood holes as needed with wood filler and let dry. Once the wood filler has dried, sand smooth and remove all sanding residue.

Step 15 Paint and Install hooks

Paint your new built in storage unit the color you want it, allow it to dry before applying a second coat followed by a clear poly sealer. Once your paint and poly have dried, install your hooks along the 1x4 board.

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