I thought I'd give one last not-so-festive post about something that I'm really excited to share with you...
What we have here is a bench made for $14. Yes. Couch change, for some.
I was keeping an eye out for a dining bench for the harvest table I refinished this past summer, but was shocked at some of the prices for them. Well, with a vague idea in mind, and a FIL who helped it come into fruition, here we have a $14:
What made our costs so low was that we used some of his leftover wood pieces for the legs (they were not the nicest looking pieces, but I figured paint would cover that!)
The first thing we did was cut the legs to size, and trace around something round (like a roll of duct tape;) for a cut-out:
After using a jig saw, which my FIL used (thankfully! I'd be slicing & shredding the wood wildly if it were up to me!), we had two neat little legs:
I wanted to have a shelf on the bottom for extra storage, so we measured where it would be, and screwed L-brackets onto the legs first using the same method I used for my sofa tables:
Then we screwed the shelf in place.
Because the L-brackets aren't the strongest for holding everything in place, we added screws into the sides of the legs, securing the leg & shelf together:
Taking the parts into the basement (or the dungeon, as we call it), I took the bench tops (we decided on using two pieces of wood for the top), and stained it with the same stain as these tables:
I used my new sofa tables & some dresser drawers as supports for the staining, and ever so carefully gave the tops one coat.
After they dried, we didn't want to drill into the top of the seat and ruin the seamless look, so we decided to screw in a piece of wood from underneath, also screwing the piece into place from the side of the legs. We did this on either end of the bench.
When they were secure, we also added a skirt on the side of the legs:
To prevent the wood from bowing, we added another piece of wood into the centre, and screwed it into place. This made the whole bench feel more solid.
And we made sure they were screwed into place as well.
For the bottom half of the bench, I wanted it to be similar to our harvest table, and decided to paint it white. It needed about three coats before it looked complete. I also gave the bench top another coat of stain.
When it was all complete, it was such a nice addition to our dining table:
I'm hoping to give it a good slathering of polyurethane in the spring when it gets warmer... I want my bum to be sliding on that bench in sheer glossy glory. ;)
Speaking of slipping & sliding, thankfully the bench is quite heavy, which is great with the little guy, so it doesn't wobble or tip (no bench shenanigans for him). And with felt pads on the bottom, the floors are spared any scratches when it's moved around.
I also love how it helps to keep our living/dining area pretty open (without having the backs of the chairs breaking the space up). me like.
And with that shelf for storage, this is what it looks like (on a brighter day, as well!):
I love that the bench can store stuff, keeping my table top fairly clear.
I have a basket for dinner napkins (the prettier the better!), and wet naps for goopy baby fingers/ unexpected spills,
In the larger basket, I have my collection of greeting cards & gift tags for easy access,
and in the last bin, my guy's favourite books that he loves flipping through (usually from back to front, or with the book upside down;)
In case you're wondering, the two smaller baskets were from Ikea, and the larger dark one was a find from Home Sense (the Canadian equivalent to Home Goods for the States).
...and the bookworm himself.
enough bench-talk, mommy. Give me that electronic!
As mentioned, the cost for the bench ended up being $14, because all the wood (except the skirt, and the bench top) were scraps from my FIL's wood collection. Pretty awesome, I'd say! :)
This bench is my new favourite blogging spot, to which I am planted right now while sipping egg nog & eating tangerines.
'tis the season! ;)