Window Bench

Building a window bench in your home is both practical and a great way to improve the overall looks of your home.  They can have built in drawers that can increase your house’s storage capacity, or just be for show.  Many people like to put pillows on their window bench that match other colors in their home.  Some people even install shelves on them to put books and other decorations.

Window benches come in many different shapes, sizes, and designs.  Some of them are rectangular, while others mold to fit curved windows.  Whether you design yours for practical means, or for decoration, building a window bench for your home is a great way to increase both the beauty and the value of your house.


  • 2x4s for the frame
  • Birch veneered plywood
  • Two or more hinges depending on how big it is
  • Cushions (Can be bought or made.  I bought mine as I’m a woodworker not seamstress!)

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Getting started

First we’re going to create a frame for the bench out of 2x4s.  The shape of the frame is up to you.  You can use a straight frame, or something that is U shaped.  Use your imagination, it’s your home!

Next you’ll have to cut the plywood to size up to the front face of the frame.  I used birch veneer because it’s both beautiful and inexpensive.  I attached the plywood to the front by using both wood glue and finish nails.  I kept my face 1/8” off the ground so it doesn’t absorb liquids that will potentially be spilled near it.  This could cause warping or rotting of your wood.

Cut four 2x4s so they fit around the inside of the bench’s frame creating a lip that the lid can be closed on.  Attach them with wood screws, using glue if you want for extra strength.

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It’s time to cut the lid of the bench.  It should be 1/8” smaller all around than the opening of your bench.  This allows it to fit snuggly, but not too tight.  Attach the lid to the frame by using the two hinges you purchased.  You should also add an approximately 1 1/8” hole in the front-center of the lid so you can easily open it with your fingers.  Of course the hinges are optional, but I figure if you made this piece of furniture you might as well build in an option for additional storage.

At this point you can decide if you want a backing to it or not.  If it’s going to be used for sitting, a back will add a lot of comfort.  You can use the same plywood as the lid and face of the bench for the backing.

Now it’s time to stain your project.  A rub on stain works wonders, and is a lot easier than brushes.  Apply in circular motions for best results.  After that’s done it needs a clear coat to seal in the color and shine of the stain.

Final thoughts

Building a window bench is actually pretty easy to do with the right plans.  Using basic lumber like 2x4s and plywood makes this project relatively inexpensive and adds a lot of value to your home.  You don’t need fancy woodworking skills and machinery to create beautiful furniture such as this, you just need the dedication.