DIY Small Wood Bench

This adorable small wood bench is the perfect accessory to a small area that needs seating! This small bench can be used outside, in a bathroom, or even a small entryway! You don’t need a lot of materials either, one 2x10x8 board will get you a new bench built!

Small Wood Bench painted gray with distressed brown showing through

Hope you all had a wonderful Fourth of July weekend! We were out of town for the holiday, but before we left, I was able to spend a little time building this adorable, small wood bench!! Woot woot!! I plan on using it in my bathroom…not the front yard, but I needed to take some pictures of it, and well, my bathroom was not exactly photo ready! Lol! It is in need of a deep clean and makeover…which I am working on!!

Isn’t it precious?! I am not sure exactly why, but I cannot walk by this little guy without thinking it is so cute!! Lol!! I think it’s because it is small and chunky and reminds me of my boys when they were babies!! 😄

Small Wood Bench sitting in green grass up against a tree

Looking for other bench ideas and inspiration? Check out these other bench plans! This DIY Upholstered Storage Bench is such a great option when you need storage in any room! And then there is this modern bench that I built in two different sizes, using the large modern bench in my dining room and the small modern bench in our entryway…and both are beautiful!

If you are all in on this small wood bench, then we better get to it!

Gathering Supplies for the Small Wood Bench

I FINALLY went against my norm and stained, painted, and then distressed this piece and I am so happy I did! You want to know another really great thing about this bench…it only cost $9.00…yep, I built the whole thing out of one 2×10…with three small scrap 1x2s… even if you have to buy a 1×2 furring strip you only have to add 99 cents to the cost!! 

**Update: in 2022 lumber isn’t quite as cheap as it used to be so this same small wood bench will cost you around 20 bucks!

Materials for the Small Wood Bench:

**Note: Amazon links below are affiliate links! Affiliate links are links that pay me a small commission (at no extra cost to you) should you make a purchase after clicking one of the links! It’s a real win-win for us both as you get cool stuff from Amazon and I can keep the plans coming for free!

Cut List for the Small Wood Bench:

  • 1 – 2×10 @ 30″ ( you can go longer…I just went with this measurement so it would fit where I wanted to place it in my bathroom)
  • 2 – 2×10 ripped down to a 2×8 @ 14 1/2″ ( you can go taller here as well, I just wanted it to be shorter than my bathtub)
  • 2 – 2×2 @ 14″ (mitered at 45 degrees off square, ends not parallel) (I used the ripped side of my ‘legs’ to create this ‘2×2’)
  • 2 – 1×2 @ 5 1/2″
  • 1 – 1×2 @ 8″

Building the DIY Small Wood Bench

So, to start out, I just cut my 2×10 board into the top and legs of the small wood bench.

Small DIY Bench

I picked the most beat-up 2×10 I could find…as you can see from the picture above…Lol…but I knew I wanted this to be old and distressed looking so this board was perfect!!

Next, I had to cut my ‘legs’ down to size. You can easily just buy a 2×8 board for this, and have plenty left over for numerous other projects, but I ripped mine down…yes, I did it on my miter saw….and no, you are not supposed to do this on your miter saw!! Lol!

I just turned the wood long way and cut as far as I could and then flipped it over and cut the rest of the way because my miter saw couldn’t cut 14 1/2″ in one cut…it came really close but not quite…I always hold the wood in place with another piece of wood and not my hand just in case…but it worked just fine…ideally you would just use a table saw and rip it down…but I have yet to invest in one!!

*Note: This is improper use of a miter saw and if you choose to rip wood on your miter saw, you do so at your own risk…a miter saw is only designed to do cross cuts! I placed a table saw in the materials needed because it can safely be ripped on a table saw.

Next thing after ripping your legs down to size…or you could leave them 2x10s and it probably would look just fine…you have to make the cut-outs on the legs!! This was fairly easy…even though I thought it was going to be rather hard!! I was fine with imperfection on this part… and trust me, they are NOT perfect in any way!! Lol!! I did some measuring, I measured 4 inches down from the top of the leg and 4 inches up from the bottom of the leg.

Small DIY Bench
Small DIY Bench

See that ugly blister on my hand…yep, those are working hands…I got that blister push mowing the yard!! 😅

Now that we measured, I placed a gallon paint can perfectly in between my two marks and traced around it to make the circular line to cut on!

Small DIY Bench
Small DIY Bench

I sat a scrap piece of 2×10 under the other end of the can to hold it steady for me while I traced it. I did this on both sides of the leg and then I repeated the process for the bottom, only I measured in 1 3/4″ on each side and used a quart can to trace for the smaller bottom opening. Apparently, I was so excited to mark the bottom and start cutting that I forgot to take a picture of this step…sorry!!!

So I then clamped the board to the table and cut with my jigsaw along all my markings. I have about the cheapest jigsaw on the market and it was able to cut them rather easily…so don’t let the thought of having to use a jigsaw stop you from trying this project!!

Small DIY Bench

After cutting the cut-outs on my first leg, I just laid this leg on top of my other board and traced the cut-outs so they would match better because yes…I did get off my lines in a few places!! Hahaha!!

Small DIY Bench

After getting both of my leg cut-outs done, I drilled the pocket holes to attach them to the top! I am SO excited to announce that I have moved on up in the building world and now have a KregJig K4!!! Woohoo!!! Lol!! I am VERY excited about this if you can’t tell!!

Let me give you a quick run-through of how this one works…I have to say, although there is NOTHING wrong with my R3, I am so glad to have a new upgraded version because it is a little easier and I can’t lose this one like I used to constantly do with my small R3…this one stays clamped to my table so I always know where it’s at!! You can get one at any Home Depot, Lowe’s, Woodcraft, or Amazon.

So like the R3, you set your jig to the right depth of the wood you are drilling into, this is 2x wood with an actual measurement of 1 1/2″ so we set the drill guide to 1 1/2″. It has this small gold screw that you loosen and then slide the blue drill holes up or down and then tighten the gold screw when you find the correct measurement you need.

How to Use a Kreg Jig - adjusting the thickness of wood

 That part is ready to go!

The K4 has the drill bit guide right on the actual jig which is helpful as well because there again, I make SUCH a mess while I am out in my garage working that I LOSE EVERYTHING…my tape measurer, my pencil, drill bits, the drill bit guide to my R3…you name it, I am looking for it!!🤣

So you just set the drill bit in the space provided, and it is backward from my R3, the tip is where you are measuring to…with the R3, you are using the bottom where the band is at…that took me some time to become accustomed to!!

Setting up the drill bit for a Kreg Jig K4

Make sure that you set it by the end of the larger part of the drill bit, not the tip!! Once you have that set, you just place the drill bit in your drill and place your board inside the clamp that is secured to the jig and drill your holes!! I was able to bust out the holes quite a bit faster than with my R3…even though I was determined at first to not like this one as much as my R3!! Lol!!

board clamped in a kreg jig k4 to show how to set up the kreg jig
Kreg jig set to depth for drilling with drill inserted into drill slot

This board was just an example…I did not use this piece of wood on this project!

After the pocket holes are drilled, here is what your legs look like before attaching them to the bench top!

Small DIY Bench

Well, yours should be missing that one pocket hole closest to the edge…I stuck my board in and forgot I had set it for 3/4″ holes for another project I was working on…so whoopsies!!

I wanted my small wood bench to be even more beat up than the board was when I bought it, so I made knicks with a wrench and small cuts near the edges with a hand saw before I attached the legs! I also decided to go ahead and sand the top and legs before I attached them…I don’t know why but I have found I feel like I am getting done with a project faster if I sand the pieces before I put them together…I know, my reasoning is SILLY!!!

Small DIY Bench

I made sure that the side I did all that beating and cutting on was placed down on the ground and placed the legs where I wanted them on the bench…I came in two inches from the edges of the board on the ends and then just centered the legs width-wise!

Small DIY Bench

I traced around the ends of where each leg was sitting so I would not have to measure again once I placed my glue!

Small DIY Bench
Small DIY Bench

I then used 2 1/2″ pocket hole screws to screw the boards together!!

It was looking good…but of course, it still needed some braces and character since it’s small it has to have character! So I took the leftover pieces that I ripped off my 2×10 legs and mitered the ends at 45 degrees off square…not parallel, and in doing that I also cut a half inch off of the pieces to make them 14 inches from long point to long point!

Small DIY Bench

To attach these to the bench, I chose to drill countersunk holes so I wouldn’t need to fill in pocket holes…and then there wouldn’t really be a front and back! I used my 1/2″ countersink drill bit for this.

Small DIY Bench

I attached them to the bench with glue and 2 inch pocket hole screws, but any two inch screw will work, I just love the rounded head of the pocket hole screws!! To measure where to place the mitered supports…I just measured in between my two legs, along the underside of the bench…found the exact middle…which I believe there were 23 inches in between.

I marked 12 1/2″ and then came away 1 1/2″ on each side of my mark and started the mitered supports here and angled them out towards the legs, and made sure the sides were flush. Then screwed them in! Is that confusing? I didn’t manage to take a picture at this point either…how does that always happen?

Next, I just cut the two 1x2s @ 5 1/2″ to go below the side supports, I just glued and stapled them with my Ryobi Airstrike Brad Nailer…I must tell you that this is my absolute FAVORITE tool that I have!! It is so much fun to play work with…and you need to RUN to Home Depot and grab one if you don’t already have one!! Lol!!

Small DIY Bench
Small DIY Bench

Last, I cut the 1×2 @ 8 inches and glued and brad nailed it to the top underside.

Small DIY Bench

Tada!!! You have built this adorable small wood bench!!! Now…again, I was obviously really excited to get this baby done because I forgot to take a picture of it completed…before I stained it!! My apologies AGAIN! Oy!

I stained it with a coat of Minwax Dark Walnut…this is not my favorite dark walnut stain, but seeing as how I didn’t seal the lid on my Varathane Dark Walnut…I had no choice, it was all dried out and I didn’t want to wait until I made a trip back to Home Depot…plus I was painting over it anyway so I wasn’t going to obsess about the perfect dark walnut!! Annnnddd, guess what…I didn’t take a picture after staining it either…stupid, stupid me…I know, I know!!! Lol!!

In the final step, I painted the small wood bench with Waverly chalk paint…I found this stuff at Wal-Mart for a pretty decent price, I think I paid 5 bucks for each one when I was working on another project…I mixed Silver Lining and Elephant, along with a little black acrylic paint to try and get rid of some of the blue hues it was getting! In the pictures of it outside, it still looks like it has a blue hue, but in my bathroom, it looks gray!!

Small DIY Bench

After the paint dried, I sanded it with my mouse sander using 120 grit sandpaper!! As apprehensive as I was to sand on it…I was sooo excited once I was done!!! I love it!!

DIY Small Wood Bench up close view of the leg
Small Wood Bench sitting in green grass up against a tree
Small DIY Bench showing the seat
Small wood bench up close of the support brace

I am so excited to get this small wood bench into my bathroom and start using it…once I get everything settled in there!!

If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them below!! Follow me on Instagram and Pinterest to keep up with all my latest projects!!

Whatever you BUILD or CRAFT, I just hope you LOVE every minute of it!! Have a great week!!

Happy Building,

Cara - The Inspired Workshop signature says XOXO, Cara

Want to save this Small Wood Bench for later? PIN It!

DIY Small Wood Bench from two different angles painted gray and distressed
DIY Small wood bench from several differrent angles and showign up close the leg cutout details
DIY Small Wood Bench in the green grass with a tree behind it
DIY Small Wood Bench


  1. This is sooooo cute! I need a bench to go under my new coat rack (DIY-ed, of course) And yours has gotten the planning gears turning


    1. Thanks so much Riann!!! Glad to help you get those gears turning!! Lol!! Hope it turns out great…I would love to see what you come up with!!! Have a good one!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *