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Today I am sharing how to build a window seat. A couple weekends ago we had a spell of really warm weather. Well, warm for New England in the winter, and I get bursts of energy when that happens. It was a Sunday morning and I decided I wanted to build a window seat for our family room with some scrap wood we had left over from another project.
Building a window seat doesn’t need to be expensive. We made our own wooden cleats instead of purchasing hinges and hardware to save money. Wooden cleats are not the prettiest option but they will not be seen from the outside and they save a tremendous amount of money. Hardware can be expensive!
We took 2 pieces of wood cut to the length. We glued and nailed “glue blocks/cleats” around the perimeters with a 1/4” indent (see below) so the sides would fit snug.
The cleats or blocks of wood (glue blocks) are really any pieces of wood (we used 1×2) cut to the length you need. Again, if you don’t want to see the “glue blocks/cleats” you can buy a biscuit machine or use brackets purchased at your local hardware store.
My grandfather, can you believe he walks around outside like this?
My grandfather was so disgusted we didn’t biscuit the wooden pieces together. I said to him, “what the heck is a biscuit machine?” My dad just laughed at him. Apparently, it’s the correct and very long way to make a piece of furniture. You basically carve out holes with a “biscuit machine” and place little wood pieces in the holes with glue (no glue blocks/cleats and much prettier) but it takes 3x as long and I was all about getting this sucker built in an afternoon and calling it a day! My dad said I crushed his (my gramp) dream. He would have me biscuitting for weeks. Sorry cute little gramps.
Each side was 2 pieces of 8” wide pine. Make sure you use more glue blocks/cleats for support on the longer pieces as shown below. Also make sure you reinforce with nails! A nail gun with finish nails is perfect for this kind of project.
We made the top a little wider than the bottom to allow for a 1/2” overhang in the front and sides, so make sure you allot for that when doing your top. We also added extra glue blocks/cleats to the top as it needs to be sturdy for seating.
I bought a piano bracket to secure the top and the safety hinges for the inside.
Here is a picture of the window seat near our door with different fabric coordinates.
I purchased bright colorful fabric and made some pillow covers for existing pillows that I had already had. I used two bed pillows and sewed them together for the bench cushion and recovered with coordinating fabric. Learning how to build a window seat is a great afternoon or weekend project. This project cost under $100 which essentially was the cost of wood & fabric. It was a last minute project for us but turned out to be one of our best pieces in our family room.
UPDATE: We used this same tutorial for our DIY Pottery Barn Apothecary Media Console, just different dimensions.