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Pretty Handy Girl: Mudroom Tour and Building a Shoe Storage Bench

Friday, August 20, 2010

Mudroom Tour and Building a Shoe Storage Bench

Thanks to The Lettered Cottage's tour of mudrooms today, I interrupt our regularly scheduled programming (renovation of our living room), to bring you my most sought after tutorial. The mudroom bench (and coat rack)!

Welcome! If you are a friend, you know that all our friends and family enter through our mudroom. This door is the closest to our driveway. Only the door-to-door salesmen go to our front door.

Come on in! This blackboard, mirror and memory board used to be a discarded window.
Make one of your own! Tutorial here. 

This is my pride and joy! My mudroom bench and coat rack. Yes, I made it myself.
And no, I didn't have any help from my husband. I am the handywoman of our home.

I'll give you a little background about how this bench came to be. I really loved having a mudroom to begin with. But, the piles of shoes and coats that accumulated behind the door were making me nuts! Who knew that a flip flop could double as a door stop, not allowing me to enter my own house!

My son tried to help out by piling all the shoes on top of the coat rack. Better, right?!

Sure, I could have hopped over to Pottery Barn and bought a mudroom bench and shelf, but I balked at the price tag. So, I continued to ponder a solution. I dreamed of having a perfect storage solution to streamline my mornings of getting two little boys out the door to preschool. A bench to perch the kids on while putting on their shoes. (A task I know someday I will miss doing, but for now I can't wait for them to learn to tie their own shoes.)  Everyone's socks and shoes would be at hand but not in the way. And a place for every jacket, book bag, and hat. The final product was beyond my dreams. I love it more than any other piece of furniture in my house. It is my sanity saver!

My dreams began to form when I stumbled across some kitchen wall cabinets on clearance at Lowe's. These are the short cabinets that mount over your fridge. They were marked down to $45 each.
The wheels in my brain began to turn. I started to see how I could use these cabinets to solve our shoe dilemma.

I bought some lumber. I also had some salvage pieces that had been collecting dust in our attic. An old door with recessed panels, four ornate old coffee table legs, and some shelf brackets from a yard sale.

After a few days of distressing and staining boards, cutting lumber, rounding some edges, hammering, nailing, driving screws and sweating, this is what I ended up with!

 Chain throwing and hammer marks add a distressed look to new wood.

Decorative shelf brackets add nice character to the back rest.

Salvage coffee table legs add that much needed detail.

The finished bench (the only time it was ever empty.)

Loaded with shoes and with the salvage door on top as a coat rack.
And, the tutorial for the coat rack is here!

A mudroom bench with shoe storage and a clear floor! My sanity has returned.

If you are intrigued as to how I constructed this bench – keep reading. If not, thanks for stopping by. I hope you will come back again soon.

Here is the abbreviated tutorial:

I flipped the bench on its back to show you the base construction:

 I built the base frame by nailing 2x4s together.

Added a 1x4 board (toe kick) to hide the cheap 2x4's. 
Then finish nailed this to the base frame.

Now the upright view to show you the bench construction:

I screwed the two wall cabinets to the base frame.

Added a 1" thick pine board cut to size to fit between the two cabinets. 
This board also hid the base frame.

Used two 1x4 pine boards with rounded top corners for the back rest.

Mounted decorative coffee table legs by driving a screw down through the bench seat.

 Next a back view of the bench: 

 You can see the two wall cabinets from the back side.

Another view of the two 1x4 back rest boards.

Shelf brackets used to mount back rest to bench seat.

Screwed 2x2 cleats to back of cabinets, then attached the bench seat by driving a screw down through the seat and into cleats.

Now to show you how the pieces were attached, here is a close up of this section:
A guide to the hidden screws and nails as seen from the back corner.

Base cabinets had fiber board ends, so I added veneer end caps.

Close up of end cap veneer with base moulding profile cut out.

Then I added L brackets inside the cabinets to support a shelf.

Add the shelf and you've got double the shoe storage.

Hmmm, but if you have shoes, you need to have sock storage as well.

I purchased one magazine basket at Target

 Added some recycled baby wipe containers to separate son #1 and son #2's socks.

And voila, I have an efficient sock storage spot.

Loaded with socks, shoes and coats!

The coat rack is made from an old door, antique hooks, and yard sale shelves.
 Coat rack tutorial is here!

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At August 20, 2010 at 12:32 PM , Blogger gnee @ Singing With Birds said...


You are amazing and this is terrific! I'm passing this on to my kids who are suffering from shoe build up at their homes! Thanks...

At August 20, 2010 at 12:37 PM , Blogger marty (A Stroll Thru Life) said...

This is absolutely fabulous. It is so creative and looks wonderful. Super storage and it's beautiful too. What a great creatie solution to a problem. Hugs, Marty

At August 20, 2010 at 2:22 PM , Blogger Rhiannon said...

you amaze me with your talent! i wish i could be as handy as you.... my hubs is not handy either! its awsome!

At August 20, 2010 at 3:33 PM , Blogger Lois@frugaldecormom said...

This is so great! Makes me wish I had a mudroom. I love how it turned out and the creativity involved.

At August 20, 2010 at 5:41 PM , Blogger Kim said...

I've had a wonderful time looking through several posts today. This is just brilliant. I especially like the brackets as side pieces.

At August 20, 2010 at 6:27 PM , Blogger Angie@Echoes of Laughter said...

What a gorgeous AND functional mudroom!

At August 20, 2010 at 7:08 PM , Blogger rebecca @ older and wisor said...

Those legs are SCRUMPTIOUS and look like they were meant to be there! The dark stain is perfect, and of course I'm a fan of anything that didn't have boy help (something I never get either).

(not that I'm complaining)

(because I've seen my hubby's "work")

Linked over from the Lettered Cottage

At August 20, 2010 at 10:52 PM , Blogger Erin @ Two Story Cottage said...

WOW. How beautiful! Great tutorial too. Your handiwork is inspiring!

Socks with shoes. Now why didn't I think of that?

At August 21, 2010 at 12:28 AM , Blogger Sharon@thisthriftyhouse said...

I've always thought you were amazing--but now seeing how you put this together--I am even MORE AMAZED!! You are the woman!

At August 21, 2010 at 1:59 PM , Blogger Flower Patch Farmgirl said...

"Pretty handy" is an understatement. I'm WAY impressed!!

At August 21, 2010 at 2:12 PM , Blogger Faith Like Potatoes said...

oh my gosh I love that!!! i have been rying to figure out how to make one forever!!!

At August 21, 2010 at 4:37 PM , Blogger Ronnie said...

You WOW me!!!!

At August 22, 2010 at 9:05 AM , Blogger Dawn-Hydrangea Home said...

Love it! Great tutorial!

At August 22, 2010 at 10:09 PM , Blogger The Pennington Point said...

That bench is fabulous! You did a great job of taking hardware store stuff and making it look original and custom. I am completely impressed! Lisa~

At August 24, 2010 at 8:41 AM , Blogger Pam @ diy Design Fanatic said...

Love your mudroom bench! Your tutorial deserves an A++++. As a kitchen designer I can say you did an outstanding job! I have designed many a mud room bench/locker, etc. and I just use cabinets and other cabinet accessories to create them. The same goes for custom range hoods! You have discovered our secret!!! Great job!

At August 24, 2010 at 9:12 AM , Blogger Liz said...

What a great idea! I wish I had something like that for a mudroom!!

Please come and join my link party!
All About The Boy @ The Nifty Nest!


At August 24, 2010 at 9:46 AM , Blogger Mandy [Mandy's Yellow Corner] said...

This is fabulous! And what a great tutorial! :]

At August 24, 2010 at 9:52 AM , Blogger Meg said...

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this! Will you make one for me???

I'm having a Target giveaway at my blog! Love it if you could stop by.

At August 24, 2010 at 10:06 AM , OpenID 1bellastager said...

This is beyond awesome. Great job:)

At August 24, 2010 at 10:10 AM , Blogger Cathy @ The Far Fifty said...

Holy Cow, you're a rockstar! Do you just love power tools? Fantastic job!

Your newest follower, Cathy

At August 24, 2010 at 11:45 AM , Blogger Candice Pair said...

That is insane...and overwhelming haha! How about you just make it for me and I'll pay ya ha!

At August 24, 2010 at 12:15 PM , Blogger Julie said...

Great job. And such a great detailed tutorial!

At August 24, 2010 at 6:08 PM , Blogger Kathy@ Gone North said...

WOW!!! Amazing!! Very creative + a fabulous job!!
Great tutorial.. My 1st time here, but I'll be back...
You are an inspiration!!

At August 24, 2010 at 10:35 PM , Blogger Tina Grimes said...

This is wonderful! I soooo want one. Gonna have to show this to my Hubs, because I myself am not quite that handy. But HE is! LOL Thanks for the wonderful tutorial. I'm visiting from All Thingz Related.

At August 24, 2010 at 11:03 PM , Blogger Debbie said...

Not only intrigued, I am extremely impressed! That is are really good, and should be very proud of your work!

At August 24, 2010 at 11:35 PM , Blogger Kirsty said...

That is GORGEOUS. Love it. Love it. Love it.

At August 25, 2010 at 3:52 PM , Blogger Rhiannon said...

ok so we tackled our first big project and im feeling a little more comfortable now. Still have to paint but I also found a great website that is a cheaters... I mean beginers/idiots guide to building a bench. I'm ready to tackle my next project!

At August 25, 2010 at 8:54 PM , Blogger Little Lovables said...

wow, this is truly amazing, you are so talented!!

At August 26, 2010 at 12:31 PM , Blogger Amanda@Imperfectly Beautiful said...

AMAZING!!! You are a creative genius woman. I love all the slavaged materials you used to construct this piece. Everything about it is fantastic. Great job! Thanks for linking up with us over at The CSI Project.


At August 26, 2010 at 3:34 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

First of all, amazing blog. I'm blown away by the both of you.
Second, can you please make sure your husband checks his FB message. My phone is inoperable. I was trying to steal him away for much of the afternoon Sunday, and it turns out it won't be possible. Sorry for the hassle. You are both missed.

At August 26, 2010 at 10:53 PM , Blogger Amy said...

This is awsome!!! Beautiful and functional. I would love to have room for one of these in my laundry, but alas there isn't...guess I will just admire yours! Thanks for sharing!

At August 26, 2010 at 11:18 PM , Blogger Robin said...

You are so amazing. I want this mudroom storage for my house. Thank you so much for linking you awesome project to my upcycled awesome linky party.

At August 27, 2010 at 12:42 AM , Blogger Sherry @ No Minimalist Here said...

Wow, This is absolutely fabulous! How creative you are to use the shelf brackets for the back rest. Love it! Hugs, Sherry

At August 27, 2010 at 1:56 PM , Blogger Rene said...

I love your project and most of all admire you for taking on something like this. Great job.


At August 27, 2010 at 4:33 PM , Blogger Autumn said...

You totally rock! Can we all say GIRL POWER! Amazing!

At August 27, 2010 at 7:11 PM , Blogger Allison Shops said...

Gosh, your project was so creative! Nice job!

I wanted to let you know about Atticmag's new linky party - Giveaway Friday! It's a convenient place for bloggers to link their giveaways each week. We've kicked it off with a fantastic giveaway of our own. Five lucky winners will win material to do a backsplash in their homes. Hope to see you there!


At August 27, 2010 at 10:42 PM , Blogger Linda said...

Just hopped over from Debbiedoos! This is really a fabulous project~ very creative and well done! Thanks for sharing!

At August 29, 2010 at 6:32 PM , Blogger Rebecca said...

All I can say is WOW-that turned out GREAT!

At August 30, 2010 at 8:49 PM , Blogger ★All Thingz Related★ said...

It's beautiful! We are so glad you joined us for Anything Related! Come back tomorrow for another great party!

At September 6, 2010 at 1:06 PM , Blogger Lisa said...

I'd give my eye teeth for a mud room that size. the bench and coat rack are stunning. You are definitely very talented.

At September 13, 2010 at 9:56 PM , Anonymous Abigail Prescott said...

What a fabulous bench! Kudos to you!

At September 14, 2010 at 1:56 AM , Blogger Taija said...

Oh wow!! What a very very cool bench! You are awesome!

At September 14, 2010 at 10:47 AM , Blogger Ann Marie @ Twice Lovely said...

I am blow away by this project!! It looks like something that would cost thousands at Pottery Barn or Ballards or the like. It's one of my great desires and something I don't have in the house we're in now is an entry way or mud room, but when I do, you better believe I'll be referring back to yours for inspiration! Awesome!

At September 17, 2010 at 7:59 AM , Blogger Krista said...

Phenomenal! I love the way you used materials from several different sources. Be proud!

At October 25, 2010 at 2:00 PM , Blogger Marion said...

LOVE this one! We have a less fantastic version of this in our hallway and could have used this tutorial beforehand - what a beautiful work of (furniture) art - and it's practical!!! You are masterful.

At November 24, 2010 at 9:23 PM , Blogger Easy Peasy Chic said...

TOTALLY CHIC!! Love the mudroom!

At December 15, 2010 at 8:54 PM , Blogger My Sweet Prairie said...

that is incredible that is gorgeous! you are amazing. !!!

At January 7, 2011 at 5:56 PM , Blogger Chandra Chinnis said...

I love this idea. If only I had a mudroom I would definitely try it.

At January 24, 2011 at 2:02 PM , Blogger Emy Parham said...

Love all your wonderful projects, Brittany!!! Hope that you, Link and the boys are doing well!

At February 7, 2011 at 11:22 AM , Blogger Emily said...

Wow! This is so cool!! Really great job making that bench!!

At February 9, 2011 at 10:49 PM , Blogger Leslie said...

NO WAY! I was just thinking today about how I desperately need to make/buy one of these. Thank you so much for sharing this. Very, very cool that you made this all by your pretty (handy) little self.


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