You’ve probably seen this project on Pinterest before and this is actually my second time doing one of these (the prior one used material that was just too flimsy to stand up to people sitting on it and after two years, it needed to be replaced).
For reference this is the guide I used to make my bench. However I didn’t follow that model exactly, so I will share my step-by-step process below:
(1) The Furniture: My room dimensions don’t allow me to use the most popular choice for this project, the Ikea Kallax units. So I found something similar that would fit – these Room Essentials storage units. As you can see from the pictures, I purchased three and made an L-shape with them. They were very simple to put together and no additional tools were needed.
(2) The Bins: I wanted bins that would fill the entire space (search for anything 13×13) but also had a handle to easily pull them out. I bought six of these from Target.
(3) The Bench Materials: You will need to buy (1) Approximately 2 yards of fabric, depending on the size of your bench (I purchased the remainder of a bolt of unicorn printed fabric for a whopping $7 at Jo-Anns); (2) Medium-Density Fiberboard pieces cut to the specific dimensions of your bench (Home Depot will have these in their lumber department and can also cut them for you); and (3) Foam approx. 2-3″ thick, also cut to the dimensions of your bench (I purchased this at JoAnns).
**Before actually assembling the bench you may want to consider drilling the necessary holes into your MDF board, as I feel that this makes Step #5 a lot easier.**
(4) Assembling the Bench: This step is really pretty simple but you definitely need a staple gun to do it properly. First lay the fabric print-side down, then lay the foam on top of that and then the MDF. Tightly pull the fabric around the sides and use a staple gun to attach the fabrix to the MDF.
(5) Attaching the bench to the storage unit: Firstly, I should clarify that the way I decided to do my bench was to have the short side and the long side of the “L” be separate pieces instead of connecting all three units together. I did it this way because I wanted to be able to access the bin in the corner and I didn’t feel like building a corner piece myself (which is something I have seen in other tutorials). So, I did connect the two units that make up the long side of the “L” together, but I didn’t attach that piece to the third unit.
I think attaching the bench to the storage unit is the toughest part. You need a drill and screws that are around 2.5 – 3″ long depending on what the thickness is of the furniture piece you are using. You will then need to have someone hold the bench down on to the storage unit while you drill upwards to secure the bench to the unit. But be careful to use the right size screw because you don’t want it cutting through your foam and fabric layers.