We have been hard at work finishing up the details of Miss Maddy’s “new playroom”! I’m excited to post about the seating we chose, because (1) it was a time-consuming decision (2) we were able to create it ourselves and (3) it turned out really well!
I had seen ideas on Pinterest and various blogs of having a bench to sit on that would also double with cubes to hold toys. I loved this idea! Many of the options I saw used the Billy or Expedit bookcases from Ikea. The problem we had with this plan was that we don’t live anywhere near an Ikea, and the dimension of both of those bookcases didn’t fit our room how we would need them to. My husband, Bryan, had the brilliant idea to create something ourselves that would fit the room.
Bryan will be the first to admit that he is not a handy man. He has picked up things here-and-there as we have been living in our home, but he’s not the first to jump up and want to create something himself. With that said, these benches turned out FANTASTICALLY! I am so proud of him and all the work he put into them. Here is what the finished product looks like:
How did we build them, you ask? Here’s how.
1. First, we had to determine what size and shape the room would allow. We have heating vents on the floor, so this was the required first step.
2. After determining the proper total size, we decided to find the ideal basket next–that way we could choose the proper spacing for each cube. Now, I had several things I was looking for in a basket, and I found them all with the ones pictured above. I ordered these cubes online from Target, and they are called the Room Essentials Yweave Basket, XL. They are truly the perfect cube to store toys because: (1) They hold a TON of toys. (2) They are really easy to clean. (3) They are plastic, but look nicer, so they give the room a nice look, but are also easy enough for Maddy to move around without doing too much damage to herself or anything else in the room 🙂 (4) They were affordable — I paid about $9 per basket. Unfortunately, I have not been able to find these on Target’s website (in the XL size) since we purchased them. They do have some in other sizes and colors, though.
3. Once the total allowable size and cube dimension was chosen, it was time to purchase materials! We decided to use sanded plywood for this project–so we headed to Home Depot and picked up 3/4 inch plywood for the majority of the project, and some 1/4 inch plywood for the backing. In order to keep the project as neat and clean as possible, we cut the plywood to size, right at the Depot!
4. After some light sanding of the plywood, Bryan pre-drilled all the holes for the project–this ensured there was no “wood splitting” while assembling with wood screws later.
5. Once the pre-drill work was done, we headed to the local Ace Hardware store and picked up a Gallon of Kilz Latex primer and a gallon of Benjamin Moore Paint. Because the area Bryan was working in was well ventilated, we decided to pass on the low odor, zero VOC paint. We chose a simple white color called Vanilla Milkshake (yum!), to ensure the most flexibility with accent colors later.
6. After a few coats of primer and paint, the “cubes” were ready to be assembled! Bryan stuck with a standard wood screw to hold these babies together–and fastened the 1/4″ plywood backing with white finish nails.
Something to mention is that we did have to build a corner support unit out of 2 x 4’s and 1 x 2’s in order to be able to sit in the corner with enough support. Here are some pictures of that:
Here’s an update on where we are at with this project:
- Determine location of playroom. (Done!)
- Choose storage for toys. (Done!)
- Develop a plan for seating — for both adults & kiddos. (Started!)
- Decide on a decorating theme and color.
- Change the light fixture in the room to something more inviting.
Part Three of this project will explain how we upholstered the cushion for the top of these benches!
Looking for more?