Weekend Projects: Build a Custom Window Seat

Have a niche to fill? Build a window seat. It takes less than a weekend and costs less than $100 in materials.
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This once-empty nook now provides seating and storage.

Tools and Materials:

4x1 poplar
3/4” birch plywood
molding (optional)
utility knife
tape measure and laser level
table saw and circular saw
wood glue
paintbrush and roller
primer and paint
nail gun and nails




1. If the space you’re using has baseboard remove it with a utility knife and crowbar. We recycled ours to use in front of the window seat.

2. Start building the frame by cutting down four pieces of poplar to run along the back, sides and front of the nook.

3. Use glue and the nail gun to attach the frame pieces to the wall at the desired height. Use a laser level to align them all perfectly. Attach the front piece to the two sides.

4. Mark out the dimensions of the top and face pieces of the seat onto the birch plywood and then cut them out using the circular saw.

5. If you want to add a storage compartment to the bench with access from the seat, cut a rectangle out of the top piece. You may want to give it rounded corners for a more decorative look. Sand the edges of both pieces until smooth.

6. Create a ledge on the underside of the seat to hold the cutout piece in place. Cut two pieces of poplar to the exact length of the opening on seat and cut two pieces of poplar a little bit shorter than the width of the opening. Attach the ledge pieces to the underside of the seat leaving at least a one inch overhanging into the opening to hold the cutout piece. Drill a hole in the center of the cutout piece so it can be pulled up with a finger.

7. Prime then paint all pieces and allow all them to dry completely.

8. Attach the top and front face into the frame with the nail gun.

9. Install baseboard and shoe molding across the front.

10. If you want to dress it up even more, add molding along the top of the bench. Cut it down on the table saw making mitered-edge cuts and install it with the nail gun and wood glue.

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