Saturday, September 3, 2011

Rustic Front Porch Bench

Whenever we drive through new neighborhoods I love to look and see how people decorate their front porches. A personal touch makes a home feel welcoming. So you'd think when we bought our little fixer-upper house the first thing I'd decorate was the porch, right? Wrong. There was so much to be done to the inside that other than a good cleaning and a few coats of paint the porch was forgotten. And now 4 years later, it's finally getting a little attention. I started developing the plan for the bench last year because I wanted something to put my seasonal pillows on.


This is my makeshift bench from last year (behind the adorable little cowgirl.)

Sooooo I looked and looked at thrift stores to find something I could re-create but didn't find anything that would fit this little space. I then asked Matt's dad to make the bench. He collects wood so he had a ton in his garage but due to time and health issues he was unable to finish it. So this is where the bench was when I got it. He had already cut the legs. Because they were thick, my circular saw may not have been able to cut them properly.

The seat was one long board he cut in half and connected to make it wider. I'm not sure what the technical term for that joint is but doesn't it look cool?

Had he not of done the initial work on it, I would have connected the seat boards by screwing 3 smaller boards underneath the seat across the middle of the two seat boards and used thinner legs so I could cut them with the saw I have. So if you wanted to make your own bench, the first thing you would need to do is determine the size of your seat and cut your wood accordingly. If you buy the wood from Lowe's or Home Depot they will cut it for you (time saver!). My seat measures 33"x17 3/4". You also need to determine how tall you want it to be. I measured another bench I already had and decided to make it the same height (17 3/4"). You would just subtract the thickness of the seat and cut your legs that length. My seat board is 1 1/2" thick so the legs are 16 1/4" tall. I flipped the seat over and put the legs in the corners where I wanted them to go and measured the boards for the apron. I wanted the apron to be 1" from the edge on all sides.

I measured from the outside of the legs on the two short sides and on the long sides I measured from the outside of the aprons on the shorter sides (see above photo). That way from the front of the bench you would just see the front apron. The two long sides were 31" long. And the two short sides were 13 1/2" long.

 I cut the boards using my circular saw. (This table is another side of the road find that has yet to be redone.) 

Then I put them back in place on the bench and screwed them into the sides of the legs through the outside of the apron using 2 1/2" wood screws.

To connect the legs to the seat I used scraps of wood and cut them to fit in-between the apron. I'm gonna call these the bottom boards to help explain this. These are 13 1/2" (the same as the side apron pieces). I screwed the bottom boards into the seat using 2" wood screws. Make sure the screw is short enough so it  doesn't come out the other side. Then I screwed the apron to the bottom boards from the outside. This is also how I would have connected the seat boards had they not already been joined together. I would of just added a 3rd board to the middle and screwed them all into the seat at the beginning.

Here's a close up of one of the bottom boards. I used 3 screws to attach the boards to the seat and then where the board is touching the apron on the sides I used two, screwing them in from the outside. I know you probably aren't suppose to see the screws but I'm a beginner and it didn't bother me that you could see them. I'm going for the rustic look anyway.

After every thing is secure, flip it over and hope it doesn't fall apart! This was my first piece of furniture so I wasn't sure how it would turn out. Matt actually stood on it and said it felt sturdy.


 I washed it off, stained it and gave it 2 coats of polyurethane. Here's a closeup with my pillows.

The chalkboard I made from our first "launching pad." You know, the place where you put your keys and stuff you need right before you walk out the door. It had been in the attic waiting for a redo. More on that later.

I added some random fall items I found in my seasonal stash that didn't make it to the attic last year. So what if it's 90 degrees outside, fall starts in September right?

Here is the mason jar lantern I made by just tying some wire I found in my picture hanging kit around the top of the jar.

Another closeup of the bench.

Now I just need to get started on my fall wreath for the door and get the rest of the fall decor out of the attic so I can get started on the mantel. September 24 Pumpkin Patches are open here!! Woohoo I can't wait! 






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6 comments:

Blankenship said...

Love it! I can't wait for fall, either. =)

Coy Beth said...

and this is why I need you to come and help me decorate my home. I can so do the big picture, but this amazing finishing touches are so not on my radar! I love this!!!

mymaddyclaire said...

Thanks guys! Coy Beth anytime you need me I'd be happy to help! I love to decorate for the seasons! We still need to get together and run sometime!

Stephanie said...

Love it! Thanks for showing us how to build it! I love the pillows!!

Eileen @ Cottage Beach House said...

Great bench. I love the touch of the seasonal pillows. so simple and so pretty!

Mary @ Framed and Tagged said...

I love it!! That is one sweet FIL you have! He needs an extra hug!

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