How to make a window seat with storage
By Ellie Reeves | 3rd November 2023 | 7 min read
DIY window seat: a step-by-step guide
Are you dreaming of a cosy nook where you can relax, soak up the natural daylight, and watch the world go by? If you’re not sure what to do with the empty space in your window bay, consider building a window seat with storage space – perfect for keeping spare cushions or blankets. In this article, we’ll guide you through the process of building a window seat in a bay window. Whether you're a seasoned DIY pro or a novice looking for a new project, carry on reading to find out how to make a bay window seat.
As you begin building your window seat, ensure that you have all the necessary safety gear within reach. This includes protective eyewear, gloves, and a dust mask. When using power tools, take extra caution and care. Always read the instructions and familiarise yourself with how they work before powering them up. Keep the work area clean and well-lit to avoid any accidents. If at any point you feel unsure or uncomfortable about a particular aspect of the project, seek assistance from a professional or someone with more experience.
Tools & materials you’ll need:
How to make a window seat
Watch our video guide:
Step 1: Clear the area beneath your window and measure the space. Mark out the height for your new window seat (we recommend 45cm as a comfortable sitting height).
Step 2: Mark out the height of your bench. Use a spirit level to draw a horizontal line all along the walls to mark where the top of the bench will be.
Step 3: Use an angle measurer to work out any joining angles for your horizontal pieces and use a saw to cut your timber.
Step 4: Measure and mark the height of your vertical pieces and cut them with a saw.
Step 5: Use a stud finder to find the stud and avoid pipework and electrics. If you know there are no pipes or electrics, you can try to find the stud by drilling small pilot holes and mark.
Step 6: Make pilot holes in your timber and screw into the wall with double-countersunk screws.
Step 7: Repeat the process until all pieces of timber are affixed to the wall.
Step 8: Sandwich the vertical pieces by adding another timber piece for additional strength.
Step 9: Secure the two front horizontal pieces in place.
Step 10: Measure and cut two pieces of timber to create vertical support beams. Add them equal distances across the length.
Step 11: Use a countersink drill bit then screw the timber pieces together.
Step 12: Measure and cut two pieces of timber to create horizontal support beams. Add your horizontal beams either side of the window seat.
Step 13: Measure and cut strips of MDF to the size of your front face.
Step 14: Cut out a small section to go around your skirting. Secure the MDF in place.
Step 15: Use a multi-tool to cut a section of your skirting out about the thickness of your MDF. This allows space for moulding.
Step 16: Use wood glue to stick the moulding to your bench and use a clamp while it dries.
Step 17: Before cutting your top plywood, choose how many lids you want (we’re going for two).
Step 18: Measure your angles and cut your plywood to size. Add an inch to the front pieces to create a lip. Sand down your rough edges.
Step 19: Secure your pieces of plywood into place. Line up the top edge pieces with the centre of your horizontal support beams.
Step 20: Measure the distance between your edge pieces and divide it by the number of lids to find your lid width.
Step 21: Use a router to make a bullnose on the lids.
Step 22: Attach hinges to the back edge of the lids
Step 23: Then attach the lids to the bench.
Step 24: Use a ready mixed smoother to cover any holes or joins
Step 25: Use caulk to seal around the edges against the wall.
Step 26: Use a sanding block to sand down any rough surfaces and edges.
Step 27: It’s time to prime and paint your window seat. Using primer underneath will help the paint to stick and give you a better, longer-lasting finish. Water-based primers are best for wooden surfaces. Follow the instructions on the tin of your primer.
Once dry, it’s time to paint your new window bench. Use a small paint brush to get into the grooves, and the finish it off with a small paint roller. Wait for it to dry and then go over it with a second coat.
There you have it! You’ve made your very own window seat with storage. Sit down, relax, and enjoy your new window seat. If you’re looking for more DIY furniture ideas, check out our range of articles for advice and inspiration.