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.

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!

Watch the video above to find out more.

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Danny Lipford


Danny Lipford is a home improvement expert and television personality who started his remodeling business, Lipford Construction, at the age of 21 in Mobile, Alabama. He gained national recognition as the host of the nationally syndicated television show, Today's Homeowner with Danny Lipford, which started as a small cable show in Mobile. Danny's expertise in home improvement has also led him to be a contributor to popular magazines and websites and the go-to source for advice on everything related to the home. He has made over 200 national television appearances and served as the home improvement expert for CBS's The Early Show and The Weather Channel for over a decade. Danny is also the founder of 3 Echoes Content Studio, TodaysHomeowner.com, and Checking In With Chelsea, a décor and lifestyle blog.

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