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Remember last month’s Fab Flippin’ Furniture Contest? That was a tough challenge for sure, but this month, oh this month, General Finishes (my go-to for stain) challenged all us “Flippers” with the theme, “Geometric Design”. My heart was jumping for joy! I’ve used and love GF’s stain and I love geometric design! #fabflippincontest

General Finishes

General Finishes is giving away one case of product to the winner. I want to be the owner of one case of paint and stain as much as I wanted a horse every Christmas growing up. #crossingmyfingers. Whether or not I win, I’m already a winner because General Finishes supplied me with a quart of product of my choosing. I picked Klein Blue because it’s the most beautiful blue ever. But I changed course mid month and I ended up buying Antique White. Thank you GF for the free paint!

Whoa. I’m so happy to show you my West Elm Daybed Inspired Bench for the foot of the bed! I’m going to give you a tutorial on how Big Daddy and I constructed our FIRST piece of furniture from scratch, but I’m also going to share how I re-vamped an existing West Elm hack into my Foot of the Bed Bench design and cut list!

Oh. my. goodness. I’ve hit a real milestone. Actually a few.

First attempt at building furniture? Check.

First attempt at modifying plans from Ana White? Check.

First attempt at using a paint sprayer? Check.

First attempt using milk paint from General Finishes? Check.

There were so many ways this project could have gone terribly, terribly wrong. But it didn’t!

Oh wait, there was that one time we couldn’t figure out a Kreg Jig for like 2 hours and went into Plan B. Oh, and there was that time that I forgot to redesign the height of the original plan to make it work as a bench rather than a daybed. But really when you consider the giant failures lurking behind every DIY step, I’d say Big Daddy and I totally nailed it.

I mean, just look at it!

West Elm Daybed Turned Into Bench with Tutorial, Plans, & Cut list


West Elm Daybed DIY

West Elm Daybed Hack - New Build with Plans & Cut List

Plans & Cut List to Make a Bench For The Foot of The Bed


Remember my mood board that I created?

My Mood Board Geometric Design

I was so pumped about the challenge but I couldn’t decide on what to do (big surprise). I remembered a great daybed from West Elm from a couple of years ago. When I googled it I found a blog post from Ana White detailing her version of the West Elm Daybed in her plans for what she called the Rectangles Daybed.

I took a quick look at the design plans and convinced myself that I could re-work the design to accommodate my much smaller bench for the foot of my bed.

Here’s the daybed before I Frankensteined it.

rectangle day bed window west elm 3

via Ana White

I figured out that the size of a typical bench for the foot of a King sized bed was about 14″D x 54″W. Using this measurement, in addition to checking out the depth of the bench in front of my guest (Queen) bed and the bench that we were using in front of our (King) bed, I came up with the following measurements.

Dimensions: Foot of the Bed Bench — 54″W x 18″D x 34″H

Original Daybed –78″W x 42″D x 30″H

The long story short is I was able to keep the same measurements for the rectangles (thank goodness!) by eliminating two rectangles from each arm and 2 rectangles from the back.


*I used Select Pine Boards found at Home Depot. The original plans call for regular lumber but I chose the straight, blemish free, wood instead. Be forewarned that Select Pine is more expensive than regular lumber. I spent about $85 on wood.


4 qty. – 2 x 2 @ 8ft

3 qty. – 1 x 2 @ 8ft

5 qty. – 1 x 3 @ 8ft

1 qty. – 1 x 2 @ 6ft

Common Materials:

2 1/2″ Screws

3″ Screws

1 1/2″ Staples

Wood Glue

Wood Filler


Sanding Block 120 Grit





Ryobi Miter Saw

Ryobi Crown Stapler


Countersink Drill Bit

Paint Sprayer

Measuring Tape


Safety Glasses

Orbital Sander

Cut List:

a. 12 pcs. – 1 x 2 @ 12″ (Sides of Rectangles)

b. 3 pcs. – 1 x 2 @ 5 1/2″ (Rectangle to Rectangle Joiners)

c. 6 pcs. – 1 x 2 @ 4 1/4″ (End Joiners)

d. 12 pcs. – 1 x 2 @ 6 1/2″ (Tops & Bottoms)

e. 3 pcs. – 2 x 2 @ 51″ (Back Top & 2 Cleats)

f.  4 pcs. – 1 x 3 @ 51″ (Aprons) *Note-We used wood glue to attach 2 1×3 to make 1 2×3.*

g. 4 pcs. – 2 x 2 @ 34″ (Legs)

h. 2 pcs. – 2 x 2 @ 15″ (Left Arm & Right Arm)

i. 4 pcs. – 1 x 3 @ 15″ (Arm Aprons) *Note-We used wood glue to attach 2 1×3 to make 1 2×3.*

j. 12 pcs. – 1 x 2 @ 2 1/4″ (Top & Bottom Joiners of Rectangles)

k. 12 pcs. – 1 x 3 @ 14 7/8″ (Slats)

Cut Wood


Step 1: Make All Cuts

There will be many, many cuts. Make sure you get comfortable with the saw. You’re gonna be BFFs by the end of this.

Using the Ryobi Miter Saw, make the necessary cuts for the bench

Step 2: Make 3 “H”s

After you’ve made your cuts, begin by constructing your “H”s. There will be a total of 3 for the back. We used the Ryobi Staple Gun to secure the 12″ sides to the 5 1/2” connector. To make 3 “H”s, you’ll need 6 – 1 x 2 @ 6 1/2″ and 3 – 1 x 2 @ 5 1/2”.

rectangle day bed window west elm 4

via Ana White

Using Stapler

You should have this:

3 Hs

Step 4: Make The “T”s

Next you’ll want to build 6 “T”s by connecting 1 – 1 x 2 @ 4 1/4″ to the center of 1  – 1 x 2 @ 12”.

rectangle day bed window west elm 4.2

via Ana White 

Building a bench for your bed

Step 5: Join The “H”s and “T”s For A Visual Check

First, lay out your 3 “H”s. Second, grab 6 – 1 x 2 @ 6 1/2” and place each one at the top and bottom between the “H”s to create the rectangle. Finally, take 2 “T”s and place them on either end. You should start to see how the back will look with 4 rectangles (3 “H”s + 2 “T”s + 8 Tops/Bottoms = 4 Rectangles).

Build a West Elm Daybed Inspired Foot of the Bed Bench

IMPORTANT: Step 5 is for my visual peeps. DO NOT connect the tops and bottoms or the “T”s yet! Go to Step 6.

Step 6: Attach The Top & Bottom Connectors

Check out the above photo again. Do you see the middle rectangle? Do you see the top and bottom pieces are not attached? There’s a good reason for it. Grab your 8 – 1 x 2 @ 2 1/4″. You’ll need to attach one to the top of the top rectangle and one to the bottom of the bottom rectangle. The easiest way to do that is to mark your center on one of top/bottom pieces (6 1/2″) and attach the 2 1/4″ to the center. Once you’ve done that, you should have 8 small “T”s.

Building a West Elm Inspired Bench

small T


Step 7: Connect Your Small “T”s

Go back to your set up from Step 5. Now, attach the small “T”s (the tops and bottoms) to the “H”s.

Connected Back


Step 8: Connect 2 Big “T”s With 2 Small “T”s

Now that you’ve attached all the pieces for the back, you can attach 2 big “T”s by attaching a small “T” to the top and one small “T” to the bottom. To do this you should have a total 4 big “T”s and 4 small “T”s. These will be your right and left arms.

Build the arms


Step 9: Attach The Top & Sides To the Back

Using a drill, countersink drill bit, and screws, attach the 2 – 2 x 2 @ 34″ to the sides and 1 – 2 x 2 @ 51″

countersink drill

After you pre-drill your hole, replace the bit with a countersink drill bit to create the large entry hole you see in the photo above.

drill countersink screws

Once the top and sides are attached you should have the entire back piece done! Congrats!

Step 10: Attach The Back Apron

Before attaching the apron, be sure to use wood glue and attach the 2 – 1 x 3 @ 51″ together. Follow the instructions on the bottle of the wood glue you use. Once it’s dry, take your orbital sander and sand off any glue that seeped out. Be sure to sand down any area of the seam that has an overhang. You probably won’t have much but enough of a difference to make you want to sand it smooth.

Wood Glue & Clamps

We used our workbench as a level surface (a level surface is crucial) and a couple of walls to butt up against. Here, Big Daddy made center marks where the apron and small “T” meet. This is where he will pre-drill, countersink drill, and screw to connect the apron to the back piece.

attaching the apron

back of bench

Here’s the back of the bench before I realized I didn’t have the correct measurements for the height. Oy vey. I forgot to adjust the height. At 30″ tall this was not going to work as a bench. On the brighter side, it would have made a killer pet bench!

A few minutes later, the saw came back out and we cut the correct size of 34″ and reattached the legs. Onwards!

Step 11: Attaching The Arms/Sides

You’ll just need to be patient. This part is slow because you’ll want to make sure all of your angles are 90 degrees, and that the tops are level. By now, you know that attaching all of pieces AND keeping things level all by yourself is a no-go. At times, I put my whole weight on the pieces to keep them from moving when the drill did it’s thing.

west elm bench

west elm daybed hack

Step 12: Attach The Front Apron

See Step 10.

Step 13: Attach The Left & Right Aprons

See Step 10.

Step 14: Attach The Front & Back Cleats

Grab your 2 – 2 x 2 @ 51″ and attach them to the apron by using your drill. You’ll want to drill from the inside so your screw holes will be hidden.

Attaching cleats for the slats to rest on

Step 15: Attach The Slats

We attached the slats to the front and back cleats using our stapler. Feel free to just eyeball the distance between slats.



Finished West Elm Daybed build

west elm hack daybed turned bench

West Elm DIY Bench

Step 17: Fill Holes, Sand, Caulk Joints, Sand, Sand, Sand, Paint, Sand

wood fillers

You’re screw holes will be deep. No worries, wood filler will work wonders. Make sure to let it dry to the appropriate amount of time before sanding and painting.

Finish work on bench

No matter how precise you try to be with cutting and installing, you’ll have gaps. You might be tempted to skip caulking every. single. joint. but don’t. If you don’t caulk, then the after you paint, the gaps and small cracks will become obvious. I’m to particular for that. #notgonnamakemyselfcrazybybeinglazy.

caulk the gaps

And finally, the paint. Oh my goodness the paint. I used General Finishes Milk Paint in Antique White. Truth be told, GF is quickly becoming my favorite brand for paint and stain. I absolutely love their beautiful deep saturated colors. I originally intended to use their Klein Blue but that was before I knew what my project was going to be. I LOVE Klein Blue. This color will be making an appearance on the blog soon…

I used a paint sprayer for the first time but since this post is already a over a million words, I’ll skip that tutorial for now.

*This was the longest blog post eva’. Let’s reward ourselves for reading the entire thing!

Here’s my beautiful bench!

West Elm Daybed Turned Into Bench with Tutorial, Plans, & Cut list

West Elm Daybed Hack - New Build with Plans & Cut List

Plans & Cut List to Make a Bench For The Foot of The Bed


I’m so dang proud to entire my first build/redesign into the Fab Flippin Furniture Contest. If you’re interested in joining me in this group, just email info@fabfurnitureflippincontest.com for more information.


Want more Fab Flippin’ Furniture inspiration? Check out this month’s hosts Lynn’s Sofa Table and Carrie’s Chesapeake Cabinet! Oooo La La!


Head on over to our Fab Flippin’ Contest link party to see all of the great contest entries and to vote for your favorite!

About The Author

9 Responses

  1. Megan Karetny

    My 4 year old daughter just said to me “Wow! That’s Beautiful! Can you make that?” 😀 I have to totally agree & now I need more tools. Great job!

    • Christine Leahy

      LOL! I wish I had a video of her saying it! I would replay it over and over to motivate me when I get stuck or when I feel like quitting! Please tell her I said “thank you”!

  2. Brenda Young

    Super job, Its really beautiful. For so many milestones, you rocked them all I must say!


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