Options for building a bench include converting a bookshelf or bed frame into seating or building one from scratch. The bookshelf bench is a relatively easy conversion that is a good beginner woodworking project. However, bookshelf benches do not always provide adequate support for adult seating.
Build the bookshelf bench by turning a narrow unit on its side. Add six legs to the bottom of the case to lift the top of the bench, so it is at the correct height. Adding cushions provides seating that is more comfortable. The shelves provide cubbies for storage.
An old wooden bed frame with a level lip along the side rails and footboard provides an option for a sturdy bench. Cut the side rails, so they provide the desired seat depth. Add slats to support the cushions. Paint this bench with exterior-grade enamel, and add water-resistant cushions for outdoor use.
Building a bench from scratch requires cutting lumber to length, fitting and securing joints. Build a mudroom bench by constructing a storage box, attaching a hinged lid and topping with cushions. Options for this bench include adding a beadboard back, shelf and hooks for hanging coats. Adding trim gives the project a more finished look. This bench project is most appropriate for advanced woodworkers.