How to Build a DIY Window Seat with a Bookcase

If you want to give a room some character and function, build this DIY window seat with a bookcase. It’s not hard, and any book lover will love the result.

Your window seat bookcase’s dimensions will depend on the size and placement of the window in your wall.

A mother and daughter read a book while sitting on a DIY window seat bookcase built around an arched window. The bookcase is filled with toys and books.
This window seat bookcase appears built into the home.

The structure starts with a 2-by-4 frame that will form the toe kick for the unit. This frame is 15 inches wide and runs the length of the wall. Nail it to the wall and the floor to secure it.

We use ¾-inch cabinet-grade plywood to create this DIY window seat. It will be 18 inches deep, so we’re cutting the top and bottom to that dimension.

From the remainder of the sheet, we cut five 18-inch by 12-inch pieces. These will act as dividers and vertical supports.

We nail those pieces together to form a long, open-ended box divided into four equally spaced smaller boxes.

This box goes on top of the toe kick, and we will nail the box to it and to the studs in the surrounding walls.

We’ll make the bookcase portion of our DIY window seat with 1-by-12 primed shelf boards.

We need four vertical supports of identical length — two on either side of the window. These will run from the top of the window seat to just above the window.

Next, we mark the shelf locations on one of these and transfer the marks to the other three so all the shelves line up.

Then we nail together the two different shelf units — one for either side of the window.

Next, we position them on top of the window seat, check them with a level, and nail them to the adjacent walls.

We’ve left the tops of the shelf units open. Now, we will join them with one long shelf that spans both units.

Once it’s nailed in place, the DIY window seat / bookcase’s basic structure is complete.

The last step is adding 1-by-2 facing to all forward-facing edges. This hides the edge grain on the plywood window seat and adds strength and dimension to the 1-by-12 shelves.

After a few coats of finish paint, this DIY window seat / bookcase unit is complete!


  1. Keep up the great work! Love reading the articles as well as watching he videos. I watch every Sunday morning and love the father daughter antics y’all carry out while doing the jobs so well, don’t ever lose the closeness y’all have together while working and i am sure outside of the work force. Stay close and carry on with such an awesome show and emails

  2. I was thinking of a raised Patio, off my back porch. This would consist of a 12 X 24 concrete-block foundation filled with trap-rock and faced with granite stone.
    This would be a maintenance free addition to the north side of the house.
    What are your thoughts on this?

    • It sounds like a nice addition, Mark!
      Of course, to determine whether it’s suitable for your home, a professional contractor would need to be involved.
      Good luck with this project!


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