If you're looking to get into woodworking, a great place to start is to build a bench. This beautiful woven-back bench caught my eye and I'm so excited that our guest, Korrie, agreed to share it with us!
While this bench is a more advanced project, there are beautiful bench plans to fit all skill levels. The simplest bench plans is a bench without a back, but if you are using the bench outdoors or as a room divider, you definitely need a bench with a back! Here are a few other DIY plans I've found to build a bench with a back, for indoor or outdoor use:
How to Build a Garden Bench | This Old House
The Cinch Bench | Lowe's Creative Ideas
Cottage Bench with Storage Cubbies | Ana White
The Pallet Chair Anyone Can Build | Funky Junk Interiors
And here's the lovely Korrie to show you how she built her bench and modifications she made from the original plans:
Build a Bench with a Woven Back
Hello, Remodelaholic Readers! I’m Korrie from Red Hen Home, where I blog about furniture, furniture, and more furniture! I am a trifle obsessed! I’ve been refinishing and renewing pieces for a couple of years now, but recently I decided to try my hand at building furniture as well. Some of my recent projects include building ALL of the furniture for my son’s bedroom, including a great queen-sized storage bed here. I’ve also tried my hand at several farmhouse-style dining tables, with the most recent one shown here.
I promptly e-mailed my friend for whom I have built a table, buffet, coffee table, and the gray bench, knowing she was on the look-out for a bench to put outside at her new home…I’m nice like that. She fell in love with it too, so I had an excuse to build!
The construction of the body of the bench is pretty straight-forward. One tricky part is that the back pieces are cut out of a 2×4 to have an angle to them, which makes the back much more comfortable! I traded homemade bread for another go at the band saw, like I did for this project.
Sorry I forgot to take a picture of that piece, but I was pretty proud of myself for cutting them, so you at get to hear about it anyway!
The beautiful woven back was challenging, but fun!
I’m learning that for these angled pieces, it’s easiest to cut one angle, hold the piece in place, and then make a pencil line where the other angle goes.
Everything fits better, and I make fewer mistakes that way!
I had NO desire to drill ninety-eleven pocket holes to hold all these short pieces together…
And that may be (in some measure) due to the fact that while drilling pocket holes, I caught a still-spinning drill bit in my jeans just behind my right knee. I was left with a good-sized hole in my jeans, but thankfully a much smaller one in the skin behind them!
…so after dry-fitting everything, I used glue and 2” brad nails to hold it all together. Then I could slip everything back in place.
Ta-da! I took a picture of it and sent it to my friends! I’m geeky like that.
The most frustrating part?? Running out of boards to finish the seat! But I still posted a sneak peak on Facebook!
My friend wanted a dark walnut stain. I learned another lesson…staining all those short pieces BEFORE assembly would have been a good idea! There were a lot of little corners to get in to.
One change I made to the plans was to add a 2×4 cross brace under the middle of the seat (it runs perpendicular to the seat slats, and attaches by pocket holes to the front and back frame pieces). When my 100-lb son sat down and it made an ominous creaking sound…I decided a little extra support was in order! Now we can both sit on it, and it’s quiet as can be!
It looked so inviting, I thought I’d “break it in” for my friend and have a little snack out on the bench on a beautiful day…
…but I took too long snapping pictures, and one of the local wildlife got to my snack first!!
Aww, that wildlife sure is cute, though! Thanks for sharing your bench with us, Korrie — I think we all need a friend like you who will build us beautiful furniture! Don't forget to hop over to Red Hen Home and see what else Korrie has been building lately.