Built-In Window Seat Tutorial

It’s finished!  There are still are few nail holes to patch, a couple paint touch-ups, and some trim to add, but it’s done for the most part.  We are so happy with how it turned out.


  • 2x4s
  • MDF
  • nail gun and nails
  • stud finder
  • level
  • jigsaw
  • table/circular saw

We built the base of the seat of out 2x4s.  This was cost effective {because we had a bunch on hand} and gave the MDF some extra strength.  We started by drawing out our plan and took our measurements to fit right into our built-in bookcases.

Once we knew what sizes of boards we needed, Mike got to cutting.

We started building the base of the box by attaching the boards to the wall into the studs.  We made sure it was level before attaching.

And then secured it to the wall.

You’ll see on the right side of the light switch that we put two boards under the top board.  This was because there was concrete {or something} in the area where we needed to attach the top board so we attached the lower boards to the studs and the top board to the wall.  Because we still had the baseboards here, Mike had to notch out the bottom of these boards to fit around the base.  Hopefully that mumbo jumbo makes sense.

Here is the completed back of the box.

Then we built on from there.  Three vertical supports in the front, one horizontal support in front, and two horizontals on the sides.  Mike screwed them together in the garage before attaching them to the back.

Mike also added one more bar to the bottom in the front to keep everything in place but I didn’t snap a pic of that.  Here is the basics of the structure.

Then it was time to add the MDF.  We had precut our sheets during the bookcase building process and had them ready to go.  We simply grabbed the board and nailed it into the 2x4s.  Then we were ready to work on the top/lid.  We want this to function for storage so we wanted to build a top that would open.  We started by setting the board on top to attach the trim.  The trim has two purposes: a handle to open the top and also to be pretty:)

Then we took the top piece off and hauled it back outside to cut out our lid.  We marked 6″ in from the sides:

And 2 1/2″ from the back.

Then cut it out with a jigsaw.

The last step was the piano hinge to open and close the lid we just cut out.  Screw this into the top {not the bottom as we originally did…oops} of the lid.  You will be able to see the whole thing, but the cushion will cover it later so don’t worry about looks.

Next we hauled it all back inside and nailed it into the 2×4 base we built.

We have added the same trim we put on the lid to the bottom of the front.  We plan on adding some to the sides also but ran out of steam.  I’ll post an update when we get all the trim work done.  We’re planning some fancy schmancy boxes to echo the trim on the adjoining doors.  For now, we’re calling it done.  Here are some more views.





It’s hard to believe that is our bedroom. The cushion is a whole other tutorial in itself so I’ll have that coming up later this week.  I also have a super simple tutorial planned for that sweet little pillow.  Here’s the rundown:  this project took about 5 hours to finish and cost around $20 {the only costs were the MDF and trim}.  Hard to beat, right?  I’m hoping to make a few more pillows this week to cozy the place up.  So, what do you think?  Do you think it’s as great as we do?  I love the whole darn thing.

If you missed any of the previous tutorials on this big project, you can catch up by reading about how we did everything here:  fabric covered roller shades turned faux roman shades, bookcase styling and revealbuilt-in bookcase tutorial, and how we added arches to the tops.  And just as a fun before and after, let’s take a look back at how this room has changed:



We’ve come quite a long way, haven’t we?



I’m linking up to the Creating with the Stars Challenge at East Coast Creative!  Wish me luck:)


I’ll be sharing this at Traci’s monthly link up!

These are the fabulous blog parties I link up to each week:

DIY Showoff: DIY Project Parade

I Heart Naptime: Sundae Scoop

Skip to My Lou: Made By You Mondays

Today’s Creative Blog: Get Your Craft On

Tip Junkie: Tip Me Tuesday

Home Stories A to Z: Tutorials and Tips Tuesdays

Not Just a Housewife: Shoe Me What Ya Got

Blue Cricket Design: Show and Tell

Hooking Up with Hepworths

Shabby Chic Cottage: Transformation Thursday

Miss Mustard Seed: Furniture Feature Friday

CSI Project: Challenge

5 Days, 5 Ways

Remodelaholic: Blog Link Up

30 Handmade Days

Serenity Now

Tatertots and Jello: Weekend Wrap-Up



  1. This looks so good! I actually love that you just have one simple little (adorable!) pillow on the window seat. Keeps it open and lets all that light in.

    Definitely saving this tutorial for if we ever get our hands on a saw and a free weekend. One of the guest rooms in our new house is just begging for a window seat ;)

  2. Very nicely done! A window seat with storage is great — and what project is complete without an oops (or two) I would love it if you would consider linking your projects to Busy Monday at A Pinch of Joy, a Sunday through Thursday link party for ideas that make life easier, better and more fun

  3. Holy cow, girl! I came here for this window seat project, but then I saw ALL of the amazing things you’ve been doing in that room! Hubby and I live in a 120 year old house, and its filled with a bunch of built in charm. But we’re moving soon and I’m going to have to find a way to make a modern home feel the same way. You’ve gone a LONG way to inspiring me with all of these amazing projects! Thanks so much for sharing. If you get a chance, I’d love for you to stop by my Sweet Sharing Mondays party! http://saynotsweetanne.com/2012/sweet-sharing-monday-2/

  4. I would love to have a window that I could do that with. Turned out simply beautiful!

  5. I love this so, so much! I would love to do something like this in my son’s room :)

  6. What a great window seat! I love your curtains. :) Thanks so much for this great tutorial. I’m pinning it for future reference.


  7. This is just a beautiful addition to the place.

  8. It looks perfect in the that spot! I’m also loving your blinds too:)

  9. It looks really good and you definitely can’t beat that price. I love the pillow too! So cute!

  10. Omygosh! I LOVE this space so much! especially with the bookcases tying it together, I’m going to need to live in your house haha -Jessica

  11. Thank you for such a detailed how-to! This now looks like something anyone could undertake – and wow! it’s beautiful!!

  12. I just love built in window seats! We hope to build one for our dining room window, it’s on our LOTTD.
    Your home is just lovely, I especially like the barn style board and bat.

  13. I love it! What a great use of that space. My office/guest bedroom has a smaller, but similar space between two closets, and I’ve been contemplating putting a window seat in. The only problem is that the window doesn’t come anywhere near as low on the wall as yours – I’m jealous of your pretty window. :)

    Stopping by from 5 Days, 5 Ways Feature Friday Free-For-All! :)

  14. Wow! That looks awesome! Looks like it was always there :)

  15. Ooooo…I love a window seat! This bookshelf/window seat wall is gorgeous and so inviting. (And can you imagine how much it would have cost you to have custom built-ins made?!)
    ~ Cheryl, visiting from the linky party at Beneath My Heart

  16. How cozy! I’d love to have a window seat. We just don’t have the space for one, even though we have a window that would be perfect for one. You did a fantastic job. I can imagine myself sitting there with a book on my lap being distracted by the outside.

  17. We did something almost identical when we built my son’s room five years ago. I just recently turned the room into a nursery for our latest addition to the family. It looks like even our windows are the same size. Here’s a link if ya wanna take a peek: http://rindymae.blogspot.com/2012/01/babys-room-reveal.html
    I cheated with the cushion covers though. That style is a son of a gun to sew. :)

  18. Awesome! I love the DIY projects in this room and this one is amazing and gorgeous too!

  19. Jessie, this is FABULOUS! I’ve always wanted to make a built-in bench with a top lid storage like this. Thank you so much for sharing and for joining the DIY Talent Parade!

    • Jessie says:

      Thanks so much, Brittany! Thanks for hosting the party-lots of great inspiration linked up!

  20. Those look fabulous! I would love for you to share this (and any other house projects) at my “May House Par-tay” at http://www.cheapcraftymama.com!

  21. Wow it came out really nice, great work

  22. Thanks so much for sharing this tutorial! Best window seat one I have found, and I have looked at a ton!

  23. Great job on the window seat and love the faux roman shades. I recently helped a friend make some, and while they aren’t difficult they are tike consuming! :)

    We are running a Before and After Link party to support Habitat for Humanity, with a chance to be featured on other big blogs and win gift cards. Would love if you entered! http://www.oneprojectcloser.com/2012-before-after-series/

  24. This looks great. Did you ever get around to putting the trim on? I’d love to see the finished project. Also would love to see what the boxes look like inside.

    Nice job!


  1. […] tutorial is a how-to on how I created the simple pillow on our new window seat.  This little project came from a lack of inspiring fabrics.  I couldn’t find anything that […]

  2. […] colors-it was gorgeous.  Today, I have a simple tutorial to share.  Last week I shared our built-in window seat tutorial and I promised a how-to on the cushion also.  This cushion is a little different that just a […]

  3. […] Polished shares a tutorial for making a custom built-in storage bench. I am really in love with this idea and might need to customize the design for the dormer windows […]

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