Shelf to Bench Transformation
We renovated a breakfast nook for a large family who entertains all the time, and we needed an inexpensive way to create more seating. A built in bench seat wasn’t in the budget, but we knew we had to come up with a plan because adding more seating was the only request of the client. Like they say, necessity is the mother of invention! After a little research, this is what we came up with: A window bench made from Ikea’s Expedit shelves. Here’s the before and after of the project! Hack a way!
Although this idea is not new, it certainly is beautiful (in the words of our client). We quickly discovered that Ikea’s Expedit shelves are being used for everything from bedframes to kitchen islands! Creating this bench was simple, fun, and cost just under $200. The best part of making this bench was that it took about 2 hours to create start to finish. Want to create your own? Follow the steps below.
Step 1– We purchased the shelf at Ikea. We used white although they come in 2 others colors. We also purchased navy blue Werna curtains which serve as the seat cover, and three storage bins. Ikea trip complete!
Step 2– We went to Home Depot and purchased a ¾” thick piece of medium density fiberboard (mdf) and had it cut to size (they will cut it onsite). * Make sure to use the measurement that is the depth of the shelf because when you turn it over on its side to use it as a bench, that’s what will serve as the seat.* We also purchased furniture legs and brackets. We found that at Home Depot, there were standard furniture brackets that paired with several different styles of furniture legs. The brackets came with their own screws and were sufficient for what we needed. We bought 5 brackets; one for each corner and one for the center.
Step 3– Assemble the shelf and turn it horizontally making it appear as a bench.
Step 4– Face the bottom side upward and screw the brackets in (there is no specific bottom or top so just select a side).
Step 5– Paint the furniture legs. * While the paint is drying complete Step 6.*
Step 6– We cut the curtain 2 to 3 inches larger than our mdf piece and used a staple gun to attach the fabric, in our case the Werna curtain, to the mdf. Why buy fabric by the yard when you can purchase curtains that work just as well for a fraction of the price?!
Step 7– Place the mdf on the top of the bench and screw it in from underneath. *We used 2” screws.*
Step 8– Place storage bins and pillows and there you have it, a completed window bench!
Let us know what you think of this idea! Create. Innovate. Decorate!