Complete Step-by-Step to Teach You How to Build a DIY Mudroom Bench. This mudroom / entryway bench project includes cubbies and hooks to keep your family organized, and is a fairly easy project for a beginner woodworker.
A while back, I shared what turned out to be one of the most popular articles on this site and a favorite renovation project… how to open up a staircase!
After sharing that project, I received a number of requests to share this mudroom entryway project (and specifically the mudroom bench you can see in some of the photos of the entryway in the staircase post).
I realized I never shared how we made this DIY mudroom bench on this site!
Which is crazy because it’s such a great project for storage, style, and function.
It’s one of those fairly simple DIY projects that will make a big difference, and make your entryway or laundry room / mudroom so much more enjoyable to use.
In Search of the Perfect Mudroom Entryway Bench
I’ve long been convinced that I need a mudroom bench somewhere in the front part of the house.
We’ve never had one before, and I just was adamant that building a mudroom bench would make our lives easier.
There were a few parts of the entryway bench I could be swayed on, but also a few criteria I couldn’t bend on.
Whatever the final entryway bench DIY plans we came up with, I knew I wanted a section with open cubbies and another section with closed doors for messier storage.
After arranging and rearranging the new walls on our blueprints no less than 57 times, we came up with a final home improvement plan and design that worked.
After living with this new space for a little over 2 years now, it’s still perfect and the built in entryway bench works perfectly for storage, a place to put on shoes, and a general staging area for going out and coming home.
Planning our Mudroom Bench DIY
Since we were planning this space right down to new studs in the wall, I was worried we were building these walls around a coat bench that might become a source of frustrating mess in the entryway.
We had never had an entryway bench before, let alone an entryway bench with hooks and cubbies and baskets galore – I wasn’t sure whether the kids would use it properly.
I was a bit nervous that it would end up a disaster zone and then it would be the first thing you saw when you walked through the front door.
Disaster zone is definitely, not what anyone is going for when planning a mudroom entryway!
I actually mentioned this concern before we built it. And suggested if we ended up hating it, we could just frame out the space and make it an enclosed closet.
As it turns out, WE LOVE IT!!
This DIY mudroom bench has to be one of the most practical home improvements for an old house that doesn’t have a designated mudroom.
It gets used daily. And while there are definitely messy times… it never stays messy. Because we decided on making an entryway bench with hooks and cubbies and plenty of storage, it’s surprisingly easy to keep organized!
It’s convenient and functional and opens up the space so much more than a closet with doors would!
Notes Abut Our DIY Mudroom Bench Reno (And Why You Might Need to Adapt it)
Because we built the mudroom bench into our blueprints and our entryway (and designed the new walls around it), the measurements are very specific to our space.
You can adjust the measurements to make this as wide as you would like for your own home. Or to increase or decrease the storage you want built into the mudroom bench and area.
I do think the height and the depth of the seat is fairly important, though.
I actually agonized over both of those measurements, but they really do work out so well!
The seat height works well for all of us (we range from 5’4″ to 6’1″), and I wouldn’t change it at all if I had the project to do over again.
How We Use Our DIY Mudroom Bench
This entryway bench has been a godsend for storage in our house.
There are 4 of us in my family, so we assigned 2 people per section of the mudroom bench.
That means we each have our own storage basket at the top of the bench, above our coat hook, and the dividers in the middle keep the baskets in place.
The storage basket is used for whatever we need for the current season.
We use the section behind the doors as storage for things that are off-season (i.e. gloves, scarves, the dog’s winter coat).
How to Build a Mudroom Bench with Cubbies, Hooks and More
Before I Get to the Step by Step Instructions and Tutorial
I want to preface this part by saying upfront that we are very much novice woodworkers!
We basically jumped in during this renovation and just started trying our hand at it. So I very much realize these are not “real” plans or a full tutorial!
But I’ll do my best to explain the steps we took and hopefully you can follow along!
Build The Frame
The very first step was to purchase a sheet of bead board and nail it to the back wall. Personally, I think the bead board works really well, aesthetically, but if you had a wider area to work with, shiplap could also work.
Once you’ve firmly attached either bead board or shiplap, start building the frame for the bench. The frame is made out of 2×4’s and 3/4″ MDF.
You can see on the left side of the picture that we doubled up the MDF against the wall.
That is only to fill in the gap that was created by the baseboard. If you don’t have baseboard in that spot, you will not need to attach a double width of MDF.
You can see in the above picture that we’re using a Level to make sure everything is level. We also used a Speed Square to make sure our right angles were correct and everything was squared up. I would not even attempt this project without a level and a speed square!
The Bench Top
Once our bench base was secure to the wall, attach a piece of pine as the seat bench / bench top.
We rounded the front corners first out of personal preference and I stained it before we attached it.
Cubby Sides / Wall
Then we got to work on the sides or the “wall” for the unit.
The sides are also made out of 3/4″ MDF.
We cut ours to go from the seat bench the entire way to the ceiling. We measured for where we wanted our cubbies to end and marked it off on both of the sides.
Then we used a circular saw to cut grooves into the MDF for both shelf supports.
Just set the depth on your saw to 5/16″ and follow your pencil marks.
Then do the 2nd pencil line the same way.
You will still have MDF left in the middle between your cuts – just keep making passes until your groove is flush and even.
Shelves for Storage
We cut 2 more pieces of MDF for our shelves and slid them into the grooves on the side pieces.
We did use a small amount of wood glue in these grooves for extra support, and I’d definitely recommend the wood glue for peace of mind over the long term.
Once your shelves are in, bring out your Speed Square again and make sure everything is a perfect angle.
When you’re checking each corner, make sure you check the top and bottom of everything! Basically, check the corner at the bottom and the top of the shelves as well as the front of the shelf and the back of the shelf.
You want to make sure every corner is a right angle in every spot, otherwise you’ll have a much harder time when it comes to adding the cubby doors.
Support and Trim the Structure
Once those horizontal shelves were in place, we added the vertical support in the middle of the shelves to make sure they stayed put and didn’t shift at all. They also serve as dividers for the baskets and cupboards – anyone who has had kids share space before knows dividers can be helpful.
Then we added wood trim across the front top and back. We also added a piece of wood trim across the bottom back to help the sides stay in place.
Then we just had to lift it into place and attach it to the seat and the mudroom walls.
We also added some wood trim to the front of the bench legs just to help finish them off. Where the sides meet the wall, we bought some cheap trim and just attached it with a finish nailer.
Added some mitered crown molding to the top and then everything got caulked and then painted white!
Tools Needed to Build This DIY Mudroom Bench with Cubbies
Measurements for this DIY Mudroom Bench
This sketch should prove just what newbies we are at woodworking!
I’m hoping you can follow them, but just remember that these measurements are very specific to the space we were working with!
Pay most attention to the height of the seat and depth measurements.
The rest you can change to suit your specific space.
Door Knobs and Hooks: D. Lawless Hardware
Navy Paint: Sherwin Williams Salty Dog
White Paint: Sherwin Williams Pure White
Final Thoughts About Building a DIY Mudroom Bench
Whether you have an entryway in need of some organizing love, or extra space in a laundry room / mudroom combo, I hope this post inspires you to add some DIY magic to your space, amp up your storage, and create something that’s beautiful and functional!
Other DIY Projects You Might Be Interested In:
- how to open up a stairwell
- How to Build a Pantry
- Faux Tile Backsplash
- $35 DIY Barn Door
- DIY Produce Stand
- Console Table out of 2x4s