I’ve been searching for the perfect bench for my front porch. It’s a narrow and smallish space. Then I spotted a super cute bench from Simply Jenna’s instagram feed, I love her style. (I’m sorry I’m not sure where here instagram feed went.) I modified the look a bit to make it longer and added an extra X.
So far I’m really liking it on the porch. The bench is 42″ long x 18″ high and 14″ deep.
I have an updated version of this bench. It’s easier to assemble and doesn’t require a Kreg pocket hole jig. See it here.
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How to Build a DIY Double X Bench
- 4 – 2″ x 4″ x 8′ boards (actual lumber dimensions 1 1/2″ x 3 1/2″)
- 1 – 2″ x 3″ x 8′ board (actual lumber dimension 1 1/2″ x 2 1/2″)
- 8 – 2 1/2″ pocket hole screws
- 32 – 2 1/2″ screws or 2 1/2″ pocket hole screws if you like the rounded heads showing
- wood glue
- vaseline – optional
- paint brush
- miter saw
- countersink bit
- corner cat sander
- measuring tape
- Kreg pocket hole jig
- These are the tools that I used, you can substitute for what you have.
- 4 – 1 1/2″ x 3 1/2″ x 15 1/2″ with 15 deg miter cut on both ends
- 1 – 1 1/2″ x 3 1/2″ x 27″
- 4 – 1 1/2″ x 3 1/2″ x 42″
- 1 – 1 1/2″ x 3 1/2″ x 34 1/2″
- 2 – 1 1/2″ x 3 1/2″ x 13″
- 2 – 1 1/2″ x 2 1/2″ x 9″
- 4 – 1 1/2″ x 2 1/2″ x 16 1/4″ with 45 deg miter cut on both ends
Cut all of the pieces for the bench, see the cut diagram for visual reference.
If your boards are rough, you may want to lightly sand them before assembling the bench.
Drill pocket holes for 1 1/2″ material in both ends of the 34 1/2″ and 27″ boards.
Measure and mark the center of the 13″ and 9″ pieces, also mark the center of both ends of the 34 1/2″ and 27″ pieces. Using wood glue and 2 1/2″ pocket hole screws, attach the center of the 9″ pieces to the ends of the 34 1/2″ piece. Repeat for the center of the 13″ pieces and the 27″ piece.
(If you don’t have a Kreg pocket hole jig, you can toenail the screws in.)
Measure and mark 1/2″ in from each 13″ piece end. The legs will inset 1/2″ in from each 13″ piece end.
Use the countersink bit and pre-drill countersink holes for screws to attach the legs to the 13″ pieces. Use either 2 1/2″ or 3″ screws to attach the legs to the 13″ pieces. (Note: the legs won’t fit perfectly onto the 13″ pieces, overhang the same amount on each leg.)
Turn the leg assembly upside down and mark 2″ down on each leg end. Pre-drill countersink holes in the outsides of the legs (I drilled the holes about 3″ down from the leg ends). Attach the 9″ pieces between the legs using 2 1/2″ or 3″ screws.
Measure and mark the center line for the length and width on the 34 1/2″ piece. Mark 3/4″ on both sides of the length center line mark. Repeat the same marks on the 27″ piece.
Slide 2 of the 16 1/4″ X pieces in between the top and bottom supports, trim the 16 1/4″ pieces if necessary. Line up the ends of the X pieces with the 3/4″ marks and the center line mark between them. Drill countersink holes in the 34 1/2″ and 27″ pieces, attach each X piece with a 2 1/2″ or 3″ screw.
Flip the bench over, slide the other 2 – 16 1/4″ X pieces in between the top and bottom supports, trim the 16 1/4″ pieces if necessary. Line up the ends of the X pieces with the 3/4″ marks and the center line mark between them. Drill countersink holes in the 34 1/2″ and 27″ pieces, attach each X piece with a 2 1/2″ or 3″ screw.
Yay, now the base is done.
Measure over about 6″ from the 42″ board ends, pre-drill countersink holes to attach the top pieces to the base.
The top will overhang 1/2″ from the 13″ pieces on the side and about 4″ from the ends. Attach the top boards to the base with 2 1/2″ screws.
The double X bench assembled and ready for finish.
I decided to go for a highly distressed (chippy paint) look. First I stained the bench a dark brown color.
Once the stain dried fully, I used a little petroleum jelly (Vaseline) and applied a small amount on the corners and edges where I didn’t want the paint to stick.
I used a white latex paint and painted the whole bench white and let the paint dry.
Anywhere I put the Vaseline, the paint kind of cracked and didn’t stick. I used a corner cat sander to distress the paint and rough it up.
I’m excited how the bench turned out, it’s looking at home on my front porch!
If you would like the printable plans, you can grab them here.
Denise Barkel says
I am in Love with this Bench, thanks for sharing the plans
I love this design Amy and the finish is perfect!!
Where are the plans? I can’t seem to find anything to click on
Here’s the link to the printable pdf https://www.hertoolbelt.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/Double-X-Bench-plans-hertoolbelt.pdf
The ‘Double X Bench Plans’ is the link to the pdf. Enjoy.
I love this bench! Thank you for sharing the plans! Ours is almost complete. I do have a question for you! I have stained it and painted it. I used Vaseline, which worked great! Just this morning, I lightly sanded the areas where the Vaseline was placed. I do have shine in spots that I’m not sure how I should remove and then also, I’m thinking it should be sealed, especially if we place it outside. Do you have any ideas for me?
Is the shine from the vaseline? I would try and use a degreaser type cleaner to get rid of the shine.
You can put a clear topcoat to protect the paint. If your paint is a light color you’ll want to use a water based top coat like polyacrylic because it dries clear. If the paint is darker then you can use polyurethane (oil based) which is better for outside but dries slightly yellow.
Thank you so much! I will use the cleaner and get the topcoat. I painted it red. It looks great with the brown stain coming through!! What a great project! Thanks again!!
Lindsay @ The DIY Mommy says
What a beautiful addition!! But seriously, your tutorial is aaaamazing. So easy to follow. Beautiful job!
Emmy Melchior says
Do you remember how much it cost to make this? Love it so much!
The wood cost $13-$14, I had left over screws, stain, paint and wood glue.
Sue fiddes says
Luv this bench !thank you!
DIY Home Sweet Home says
Just what I was looking for for my front porch. Thank you
Perfect plans! Dimensions were spot on…THANK YOU!!!
Hi! Where is that pillow from? Everything is perfect!
Thank you. I got the pillow many years ago from Costco. The name of the pillow is: Brentwood Starburt Petals 16-Inch Pillow.
Hope that helps!
On your finished bench none of the places where screws were countersunk shows. The holes appear to have been filled to give the bench a more polished appearance. Am I correct? And what product was used to fill holes?
The holes do appear to be filled, However it was just a really thick coat of paint. 🙂 If you do want to cover up your screws, I usually use ‘wood filler’. It is generally by other stain products in the store. HTH
Deborah Johnson says
My hubby and I are retired and were looking for a project to do. Searched Pinterest and found your bench. So glad we did. We”ve made 7 so far for family and friends. Great project and easy to follow printable instructions!
That’s awesome! Lucky family and friends!!!
I love this plan!! It was relatively easy to make with your AMAZING detailed instructions! I’ve made two and am working on the double X console! Would love to share pictures.