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DIY Entryway Shoe Storage Bench with Cushion

Tired of tripping over shoes at the front door? This DIY shoe storage bench is the perfect solution for your entryway! The cushion top provides seating while you remove your shoes, and the storage bins below hold plenty of pairs.

DIY entryway shoe storage bench with cushion

Our entryway is always a cluttered mess! There's an overflowing basket for shoes, but nowhere to sit and put them on. But not anymore! This DIY shoe storage bench gives us the seating we need by the front door, and these industrial metal storage bins hold all the shoes for the entire family in one place.

Check out more DIY shoe storage ideas here!

This post is sponsored by Leather Hide Store and contains affiliate links for your convenience. Purchases made through these links may earn me a small commission at no additional cost to you.

Sometimes I stumble upon a single object that becomes the inspiration for an entire piece of furniture. In the case of this shoe storage bench, these industrial metal bins from Target just jumped into my shopping cart and demanded to be incorporated into my living room!

farmhouse style wire bins for shoe storage bench

The antique pewter color coordinates perfectly with the gray leather from Leather Hide Store I had left over from my DIY ottoman project.

gray leather ottoman with white base next to gray couch

The front door is behind the couch, which creates an mudroom area in the living room. Using the same gorgeous leather for both projects brings the whole room together!

Materials Needed for DIY Shoe Storage Bench

Materials Needed for the Cushion

Don't forget your safety gear when woodworking! Here are my recommendations for safety glasses and ear protection. No excuses!

How to Make a Shoe Storage Bench

Download the free woodworking plans

Sign up for my email newsletter to get the free woodworking plans for this storage bench delivered straight to your inbox! It includes the cut list and a plywood cut diagram so you get the best use of your materials, plus step by step instructions with 3D models to help you along the way.

Drill pocket holes

First, read my guide to pocket holes if you aren't familiar with the process. One additional tip for this project:  Set your pocket hole drill bit for slightly less than ¾". Plywood is a tiny bit thinner than ¾", and you don't want your screws poking through!

setting the depth on the Kreg Jig drill bit for plywood

Drill pocket holes down the short sides of the back piece, and along three sides of the top and bottom piece.

At the same time, drill pocket holes along three sides of the center support. If you're not planning to plug the holes later on, you'll want to avoid putting one close to the front edge where it will be visible.

pocket holes drilled into plywood pieces for entryway bench with shoe storage

Cover the exposed plywood edges

Some of the plywood edges will be exposed after assembling the bench. I decided to cover these ends with edge banding.

First, check out my tutorial on how to apply edge banding. Basically, you just iron it on, then trim the edges away!

applying iron on edge banding to the exposed plywood edges of the shoe storage bench

It's a lot easier to do the edge banding before assembling the bench. You can also apply wood filler and sand it smooth later on in the process.

applying wood filler to exposed plywood edges

Assemble the frame

Start by attaching the back of the bench to the sides with 1 ¼" pocket hole screws. I used these corner clamps to keep everything square while I inserted the screws. They're like another pair of hands!

back and side of the shoe storage bench held together with corner clamps

Next, attach the top piece 1 ½" down from the top of the side pieces. This will hold the cushion in place on three sides, so it doesn't slide around when you sit down. It's recessed slightly from the front to make room for the trim later on.

bottom of DIY entryway bench being attached

Now, measure and mark the middle line of the interior and install the center piece. I used the corner clamps again to hold it upright, and a square hanging from the top to make sure it went in perfectly straight.

installing the center divider of the shoe cubby bench, making sure it stays straight

Finally, screw the top in place. It should rest on top of the center divider and be level on both sides.

completed DIY mudroom bench frame

There will be a lot of weight centered in the middle of the bench when you sit down, so it's probably a good idea to support that long span underneath. Attach a piece of wood the same height as the "feet" to the bottom with brad nails. You can cut it shorter than the full depth of the bench so it won't be seen from the front.

nailing support to bottom of DIY entryway bench with Ryobi Airstrike

Install the trim

Plywood edges aren't very strong, so I wanted to reinforce the most used areas of the bench with trim. The trim should be flush with the top and bottom so the bins move in and out easily.

Apply wood glue along the plywood edge, then align the trim with the front edge. You can use a brad nailer or finish nailer, or just clamp it in place until the glue dries.

attaching trim to outside of shoe cubby bench with a brad nailer

Fill any holes or gaps with wood filler, then sand smooth when dry. Now it's ready for paint!

I used Benjamin Moore Advance paint in Decorator's White, which is my go-to color for anything white in my house. There are a lot of white paints out there, so pick one and stick with it for all your projects!

Upholster the bench seat cushion

Cut the ¼" plywood slightly smaller than the top section of the bench. The batting and fabric will fill the gap and make the cushion fit snugly.

Trim the 1" thick upholstery foam to the exact dimensions of the top of the bench. I just cut around the edge of the plywood backing.

cutting foam padding for DIY shoe storage bench cushion

Cut the batting and fabric about 4" bigger than the foam all the way around. This gives you plenty to grab onto when pulling it taut.

Staple one side of the batting and fabric to the plywood backing. Pull the other side taut, then staple it in place. Leave a few inches free at each corner.

stapling leather to back of DIY shoe bench cushion

One benefit to working with leather is that the edges won't fray when cut. Only the front edge of the bench cushion will be visible, so I cheated a little when creating the corners.

I folded the corner over to the short end, cut the bulk from behind the fold, then wrapped it around to the bottom and stapled it in place. This will keep the cut edge up against the side where it won't be seen. It took a lot of fiddling to get just right!

corner of leather bench cushion

I did the same thing for the back edge, in case the cushion starts to sag over time and needs to be flipped around.

Now the cushion slides into place on top of the shoe bench, and the raised back and sides prevent it from sliding around.

shoe storage bench with cushion

Load up your shoe storage bench!

It was kind of amazing how many shoes fit into the bins of my new bench! It's much easier to find a matching pair when you can see through the metal wire mesh.

DIY shoe cubby bench with bin pulled out

The cushion provides the perfect place to sit and take off your shoes at the end of the day!

DIY entryway bench with farmhouse style metal baskets and leather cushion on top

The crisp, clean lines contrast nicely with the industrial metal baskets. It would have been difficult to find a store-bought bench that fit their not-quite-square size, but that's not a problem when you make your own furniture!

modern DIY shoe bench with cushion

You could also use this as toy storage in a small space! I wish I had one of these when my son was younger and toys were strewn everywhere!


Check out these other DIY bench ideas!

Steav Smith

Monday 27th of August 2018

I was looking for information regarding this and finally got one. Thanks for sharing the information with us. The article was a great help to me.

Jann Olson

Tuesday 12th of June 2018

What a great bench! Thanks for sharing the how to's with SYC. hugs, Jann

MaryJean

Thursday 7th of June 2018

What a great idea! Love it!

Chas

Wednesday 6th of June 2018

I love this bench, so very fantastic! Pinned. Thanks for sharing on To Grandma's House We Go! I'll be featuring you next week!

Anne - Leather Hide Store

Tuesday 5th of June 2018

The bench looks absolutely wonderful! The leather looks great :)

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