Custom furniture can do a lot to complete a space. Every space that we have renovated or redesigned has included a piece of custom DIY furniture. Not only have we saved a ton of money on beautiful furniture, we’ve learned a lot about building and woodworking. I have to admit that all of the complicated woodworking is courtesy of my handy husband.
This DIY bench came about as I was completing our Master Bedroom. About a week before the entire room was supposed to be finished, I decided I wanted a last minute bench, lol. In looked in some stores, but the items I wanted were in the $300-$400 range, and I just couldn’t afford it. So I drew out what I wanted, and my husband built this beauty for me in an afternoon for less than $100!
How to Build Your Own Modern Leather Bench?
Start by download the free build plans here:
A full list of materials and tools can be found on the build plans!
Once you have the build plans in hand, you can follow along with these directions. I’ve combined a few of the tutorial pictures into a collage, which you can follow from top left to bottom right.
- Cut your parts to width/height/length as shown in the diagram.
- Take “Part A”. Using a 1’ Diameter Fostner bit drill a hole at the end as noted in the drawing. This step can also be completed on “Part B.”
- Continuing with “Part A”, cut out the notch that allows Parts A and B to join. This can be cut out using a table saw and kerfing, or a router with a flush cut bit. This step can also be completed on “Part B” – ensure you cut the notches on the correct side to allow Part A and B to create an “X” shape when fitted together.
- Continuing with “Part A”, cut out the Mortise (for the Mortise and Tenon joint) as shown in the drawings. Pay attention to which side you cut the mortise from, as it should be on the inside face of the leg. This step can also be completed on “Part B.”
- Take “Part D” and cut out the Tenon on the end. Once cut, dry fit and lightly sand Tenon as required to ensure a tight fit into the Mortise of Parts A and B. You may want to mark the Tenon end of Part D and the Mortise you are dry fitting to make re-assembly easier.
- Take your dowel which was cut to length and nail two 1” wide square blocks on each end – ensure the dowel is mounted flush with each side of the square block. This will allow you to safely route the groove on the dowel. Route the groove as detailed on the drawings. Once groove on dowel is completed you can remove the square blocks for either end.
- Sand all pieces prior to assembly.
- Glue, fit, and clamp the piece together. Start with assembling Parts A and B to create an “X”, then glue and install the bottom braces, followed by the dowel with the groove facing upwards and inwards, the dowel will need to be nailed into place (ensure nails do not go through the frame). Once the dowels are installed the slats can be glued and nailed into place (as per the drawings).
- Once glue has set lightly sand the bench. Apply desired stain and finish.
- Take your leather or faux leather and cut it to 24” long to 17” wide.
- Fold over ¼” of material on either side of the leather (width not length) and hem. This should result in a piece 24” long x 16 ½” wide.
- Install your leather over the dowels and slats. Start with stapling the fabric on the underside of one dowel, then stretching the material and stapling it to the underside of the opposite dowel. Depending on the material (how stretchy it is), you may have extra length. If so remove, allowing at least ¼” of material between the edge and the staples.
Connecting the dowel into the bench, is the most complicated part, but it’s also what sets this bench apart from all of the other benches out there!
If you are a builder, you may love one of these great projects: