Step-by-Step DIY Dining Bench Plans

February 21, 2013, In: creative DIY ideas

If you’re like me you love the look of Pottery Barn, West Elm and Restoration Hardware, but you hate the sticker price. That’s why I created my own furniture and put these DIY dining bench plans together so you can too. Read on to find out how you can craft a dining bench at home with simple materials from your nearest big-box hardware store.

I have always loved the look of a dining table with a bench on one side. I think it just helps keep the space less cluttered if you have an open dining area (like we do). All of those tall table backs can really start to close off the space, but a bench tucks neatly away.

This bench is very similar in construction to the DIY Pottery Barn Hyde Dining Table Knockoff. The legs are put together first, given shape with the long side aprons, and topped off (in this case) with 2 long planks. We used standard lumber from a big-box home improvement store so I’m pretty sure all of the pieces are pine. After construction, it was sanded down and stained with 3 coats of Minwax (Jacobean color). I used a pre-stain first to try and help keep the coat even. I finished it off with 2 coats of polyurethane.

This post is a long time coming and I apologize to those of you who have been waiting to build a bench with your . Here are the detailed plans to help you build a bench of your own.

The plans were put together using Google SketchUp and while I tried my hardest to keep all of the measurements exact, sometimes the program just would not work with me. So please follow the measurements and do not rely solely on the photos.

52″ wide x 14.5″ deep x 18″ tall

Supplies List:

* 2 1/2″ Screws
* 1 – 4×4 post 8′ length (we used some left overs from the dining table)
* 8″ of 1 – 1×4 8′ length board (use scraps from the table project if possible)
* 1 – 2×2 8′ length board
* 2 – 2×4 8′ length board
* 1 – 2×8 8′ length boards
* Sandpaper (100, 150, and 220)
* Wood putty (If you want to cover the screws. We left the screws exposed and they still look great)
* Stain, varnish, paint or other finishing product
* Paint brush


* measuring tape
* square
* pencil
* hammer
* safety glasses
* hearing protection
* mitre saw (or have the hardware store cut your wood for you)
* drill
* sander

Cut List:

A) 4 – 4×4 Posts @ 16.5″ (Legs)
B) 2 – 2×4 @ 10″ (Leg Joiners)
C) 2 – 2×4 @ 43″ (Side Aprons)
D) 4 – 1×4 @ 2″ (End Apron Spacer)
E) 2 – 2×4 @ 6″ (End Aprons)
F) 3 – 2×2 @ 10″ (Tabletop Supports)
G) 2 – 2×4 @ 14.5″ (Breadboard Ends)
H) 2 – 2×8 @ approx. 45″ (Benchtop Pieces – Measure the bench before cutting these boards)

Cut out all boards except H. To get the best fit, you will measure and precisely cut out each of the boards H to fit the bench. Remember, use the 2 1/2″ screws unless otherwise noted and always pre-drill and countersink your screws. Use glue on all joints to keep the table from separating later.

Step 1: Attach the end apron spacers (D) into the legs first, because the small space between the legs will make this step difficult later.

Building a farmhouse bench

Step 2: Screw the leg joiner (B) to the legs (A) as shown below. Do this on both sets of legs. Leave 1 1/2″ of space on the side of the leg joiners so the side aprons fit tightly.

DIY Dining Table Bench

Step 3: Screw the side aprons (C) into the ends of the leg joiners (B) as shown below.

How to build a bench

Check for square. Measure from one end diagonally across the table. Then measure on the other diagonal. If the measurements are the same, your table is square. If not, evaluate where you are off and make the necessary corrections.

Step 4: Screw the end aprons (E) into the end apron spacers as shown below.

Dining table bench plans

Step 5: Screw in the tabletop supports (F) as shown below, spacing the supports approximately 10″ apart.

DIY Dining Table Bench Plans

Step 6: Now screw the breadboard ends into the tops of the legs as shown below. The edge of the breadboard is centered on the leg.

Making a Dining Table Bench

Step 7: Take a length measurement between the breadboard ends. Be very precise and cut your first bench top piece(H). Place the board with one edge centered on the table and screw in place from the bottom through the supports (F). Measure the second bench top and put in place, screwing in through the supports.

DIY Farm House Bench How To

Step 8:  Stand back and admire your beautiful bench.

Our bench and matching table (pictured below) were stained using Minwax in Jacobean. There is one coat of wood stain primer, three coats of stain and three coats of polyurethane. We built it over a year ago and has held up very well so far.

DIY Pottery Barn Dining Table and Matching Bench

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  1. Reply

    Hey Deanna,

    This table and bench set turned out amazing. You did a really great job on the sketches as well.. Thanks for talking about using hearing protection during this project, it’s quite often overlooked.


    • florence
    • September 2, 2015

    Is your stain oil based or water based? Lovely table!

    • Reply

      Thank you! The stain we used for this project was oil based. It's stinky so make sure you're in a well ventilated area.

    • Beau
    • May 9, 2015

    I made this today. Your plans are excellent and very well spelled out. I would suggest one minor change, which would be to attach one breadboard, then the two seating planks, and then the final breadboard. BTW, I had to go to three stores to find non-pressure treated 4x4s. Thanks you!

    • lisa
    • May 2, 2015

    I made the bench from your design and it came out perfect.This was first time ever building anything and I’m so proud thanks to you.

    • Liz
    • December 13, 2014

    Thank you for the very detailed instructions, easy shopping list, and easy cut list! I made this bench for my condo, and my husband was a little wary, but I proved him wrong and it’s beautiful! So much fun to build it myself too :)

    • Becky
    • July 4, 2013

    Did you use treated 4x4x8s? We went to purchase today and that is all the big box stores here carry. I was warned to let either treated or untreated season (dry ut) for about four months before sealing. Ugh! I want this bench, LOL!

    • Lisa
    • June 21, 2013

    Can three college girls fit on the bench side of the table? We are considering making this for their house this fall, but 6 girls total in the house. Thanks!

    • Reply

      Yes. You can easily fit 6 people around the table – 2 on each long side and one at the head and the foot of the table. You can fit 3 people on the bench, but it is a bit tight.

    • Brennan
    • April 22, 2013

    I am a bit confused and I’m only on step one! Are all the posts to be identical when I attach end apron spacers onto the legs? I did this and stopped because I feel like maybe they should be mirror image as opposed to identical placement.

    • Reply

      Yes. They should be mirror images of each other so that the end apron fits snuggly in place. Let me know if you have any additional questions about the plans and I'll try to help.

    • Elizabeth
    • March 1, 2013

    Your supply list calls for 2 1/2″ screws but in the instructions paragraph below it says to use 2 3/4″ unless otherwise noted. Could you clarify which to use? Also, when you lay the benchtop 2x8s side by side for 16″ (right?), how does the 14.5 inch breadboard end match up? It looks even like it is also 16″ in length. Thanks, this is my first project, my “mom-brain” and I want to make sure this turns out awesome!

      • ken
      • April 19, 2013

      A standard 2×8 if measured is about 1.5″ x 7.25″. There is a long explanation as to why which your local lumber salesman should be able to explain

    • Reply

      Sorry for the discrepancy. I believe they are 2 1/2" screws. They are in a black and purple box at Home Depot. And the measurements for the breadboards are correct. Even though the seat boards are 2" x 8", the actual measurements are 1.5" x 7.25". Not sure why lumber measurements are so crazy! It's just how it is. Good luck with your 1st project!

    • DeDe@designeddecor
    • February 23, 2013

    This is a gerfeous table! I absolutly love the stain color! Nice job!

    • Candice
    • February 22, 2013

    Oh my word- I love it! I am going to build one for my boys room and one for my kitchen. LOVE! Pinning! Here from TT&J

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