Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Leftover Drawers into Bench


Thanks for coming to check out how to either make a dress up station, (as I covered a couple weeks ago), or a mud room bench, or maybe both! Both of these projects are fairly simple and easy enough for any DIY'er. And if you are like me, you hate throwing away things, and get a high when you discover a way to repurpose something that looks like trash to everyone else. If you are like that, then most likely you have some drawers that need a purpose (or you will find some in no time).
If you search "repurpose drawers" on Pinterest, or search that under my Pinterest boards, you will find projects like these:

Source

Link to source doesn't work via Pinterest, but cool idea anyway

Source
All of these ideas (plus over 100 more I've accumulated), are great, but none of them really spoke to me. Plus the drawers I had were so big and didn't seem like they would work well with any of the Pinterest ideas I had found.

Well one day my husband had had enough of seeing the drawers I had been saving, (from the dresser I used for the dress up station ,) sitting on our lawnmower in the garage, and asked if I would throw them away, or give them away (since he knows how much I cringe at the phrase "throw them away"). I said yes I would get rid of them, and took this picture: 


I then posted the picture on a Facebook page for crafty people, and asked if anyone wanted them. As soon as I posted the picture I started having second thoughts, and within 10 minutes I had removed the listing. I had an idea brewing in my brain and I didn't want anyone to claim them.

At first I thought about making a funky bookshelf with the drawers stacked somewhat like the above picture. Or to be more traditional I could have them stacked directly on top of each other. But noticing the size and strength of these drawers, I lined them all up next to each other and had my 4 year old sit down on one. Bingo. They were going to be made into a bench. 

20 minutes later I had thrown my 2 year old and 4 year old into the car and headed to Lowes for a 1x10 board to go along the top. I debated about using some 2x4s that I had laying around, but I didn't really want that thick of wood for the top, and I also wanted just one board, rather than two side by side. I choked at paying $16 for the piece of wood, but hoped it would all work in the end.

Unfortunately I had a Lowe's worker cut my 1"x10" board to the size I thought I wanted, so that it would fit easier in my van. When I got home I realized I had him cut it 2" too short. Whoops. So I used my Dremel Sawmax (love that tool) and quickly cut off the lip on both sides of what was the front's of the drawers, so that each drawer could fit snugly next to one another.

Next I screwed each drawer together like so:


I chose to screw them together right under what would soon be the seat of the bench, so that they wouldn't be in the way or be noticeable. Also, do you notice that white piece of wood that is running along the base? I found some scrap pieces of wood and cut them to size and screwed them into the bottom of the drawers. This also helped hold the drawers together and made the bench stable.


In the above picture, you can see that I had 3 of the 4 pieces of wood making up the base already screwed in. Make sure you pre-drill before screwing in your screws to prevent the wood from splitting. 

After I put on the last piece for the base, I found some scrap pieces of trim that I cut to cover the bottom of the drawers and the base pieces of wood. I used my miter saw to miter the edges, and then used wood glue and my nail gun to put the trim on.

Next I lightly sanded down the gunk and grime that was inside the drawers from the prior owner, as well as the rest of the piece so that the paint would adhere to the wood. I then used my paint sprayer and sprayed it with the color Clear Moon, since I had some on hand. (I believe Clear Moon is Benjamin Moore's color that I had Lowe's color match. Supposedly others have found that color to be the closest match to Ikea's white,) 

I then sanded down my 1"x10" with 220 grit and used some leftover General Finishes brown mahogany gel stain. I did one coat, and let it dry overnight. I then gently rubbed it with 0000 steel wool and then did two coats of satin polyurethane (letting each coat dry before applying the next coat). Once the wood was dry I screwed the board to the drawers:



I also used some of the pre-drilled holes from where the drawer's knobs used to be to make my life easier.

And that is it. Here is what it looks like:



 I am such a sucker for the beauty of wood. I could stare at it for hours.


I had two of boys pose on it for me so that you could get an idea of it's size. :)

I think some books would look cute in a section or two, and maybe some of my kids trucks and dinosaurs in another? Or just stick with the traditional usage of a mudroom bench, and use it as a drop zone with the bins being used for shoes, etc. 

I am amazed at how strong and solid this bench is though. You would never guess it was made from three drawers huh?

So in case you want to pin these steps for a future quick reference, here is a simple breakdown:


Do you have any other ideas for what this bench could be used for? Have you found a unique idea of what to do with leftover drawers that you can share with us? I love finding new ways to recycle items.

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