3 Entryway Makeover Woodworking Projects

Three projects designed to create an inviting space in your home.

Next Project

Three Days






Welcome family and friends to your home with a pretty spot to hang coats and a comfy bench to make it easy to remove shoes and boots. The eye-catching shelf is positioned here to create a stylish boundary for an open entryway, but it could grace any living space. That’s the best part of this project — you can build one or two pieces, or the whole trio!

Tools Required

  • Band saw
  • Basic carpentry tools
  • Cordless drill
  • Dowel jig
  • Miter saw
  • palm sander
  • Pocket hole jig
  • Table saw

Getting Started

6/4 cherry board 9″ x 8′1
4/4 cherry board 8″ x 6′3
4/4 cherry board 3″ x 8′3
4″ x 60″ premade drawer stock2
1/4″ x 20″ x 30″ plywood drawer bottom1
Steel bench legs4
Wooden dovetail drawer slides2
Steel bench legs4
1″ washer-head screws16
1-1/4″ fine-thread pocket screwsBox
A21-1/2″ x 55″ x 8-1/2″Bench seat
B47/8″ x 8″ x 12-1/8″Drawer case side
C27/8″ x 8″ x 19-1/2″Drawer case top
D17/8″ x 17-7/8″ x 3″Cross member
E17/8″ x 11-1/4″ x 3″Drawer slide support
F2Cut to fitSkirt—front and back
G2Cut to fitSkirt—side
H41/2″ x 16″ x 4-1/4″Drawer box front and back
J41/2″ x 12-5/8″ x 4-1/4″Drawer box side
K27/8″ x 17-1/2″ x 5-1/2″Drawer face
L21/2″ x 16-1/2″ x 12-1/8″Drawer bottom
M2Cut to fitDrawer case back
4/4 cherry board 6″ x 8′3
36″ x 12″ melamine shelf4
3″ No. 10 wood screws3
1-1/2″ fine-thread pocket screwsBox

Project step-by-step (27)

Step 1

Make The Routing Templates

  • To save money, I wanted to cut the shelf legs and coat rack legs from the same boards and routing templates make it easy to produce multiple parts consistently.
  • I made my routing templates from 1/2-in. MDF.

Leg Parts and Routing Templates

Step 2

Cut and Rout The Parts

  • After tracing all the shapes on the boards, cut close to the line but not up to it. I used a combination of double-sided tape and micro pins to secure the routing template onto the wood. Rout the parts on a router table.

Using a Router Template

Step 3

Working With Cherry

  • Cherry, a common North American hardwood, is one species I rarely stain. It naturally darkens over time and develops such a beautiful patina on its own.
  • On the downside, it tends to burn when milling.
    • Pro tip: Use sharp blades or expect to spend time sanding out burn marks.

Wood Texture Series

Step 4

Project 1: The Coat Rack
Entryway Coatrack Tech Art

Step 5

Cut The Center Block

  • This three-legged coat rack presents a unique challenge during assembly because there’s no good way to use a clamp. A combination of glue and screws will suffice.
  • I glued the three legs together around an inner triangle of wood. Cut this triangular block on the table saw with the blade set to 30 degrees.
  • Each face should be the same thickness as the legs.

Cutting the Center Block

Step 6

Glue the Legs Together

  • When I can’t use clamps, I use a trick called a rub joint. It's rubbing two pieces of wood together until the glue becomes tacky. Hide glue works well for this because it dries fast.
  • Glue the center block to one leg first, and let it dry. Glue the other legs onto the center block one at a time, allowing the glue to dry before gluing the next leg.
    • Pro tip: Use tape to keep things from shifting around while the glue dries.

Assembling the Coatrack Legs

Step 7

Make The Hat Hooks

  • The hat hooks will need a double bevel on the inside edge to fit between the legs of the coat rack.
  • You’ll need to make two passes on the table saw with the blade set to 30 degrees.
  • Once the parts are cut out, predrill for the assembly screw with a 1/8-in. countersink bit.

Tracing Hat Hook Parts

Step 8

PreDrill For Final Assembly

  • Using thick CA glue, attach the hat hooks onto the legs, staggering each one a few inches.
  • Let the glue set up for 10 minutes, then drill pilot holes and countersink for 3-in. screws.
  • The 3-in. screws will connect the hat hooks, the center block and the opposing leg. This will give this coat rack strength for the heaviest of winter jackets.

Predrilling Hat Hook for Assembly

Step 9

Project 2: The Shelf

Entryway Shelf Tech Art

Step 10

Glue Up The Legs

  • The way these angled legs join makes using clamps difficult. Again, use the rub joint technique, cleaning off any glue squeeze-out.
  • Let the glue joints set up overnight before moving on to the next step.

Rub Joint Gluing the Leg Parts

Step 11

Make The Assembly Jig

  • A jig makes shelf assembly easier. Clamp the legs to a 2-ft. x 4-ft. piece of MDF, making sure they’re evenly spaced.
  • Attach guide blocks using thick superglue and accelerator. I used 1-in. blocks for the legs and 3-in. for the shelves.
    • Pro tip: Use only dabs of glue or you'll risk gluing the legs, too!

Making the Shelf Assembly Jig

Step 12

Mark For Pocket Screws

  • With two legs in the assembly jig, place the shelves in the jig and mark where the pocket holes need to go.
  • Mark two holes per joint and drill them with a pocket hole jig.

Marking the Shelf for Pocket Holes

Step 13

Assemble The Shelf

  • After drilling for the pocket holes, place the shelves back in the jig. Using 1-1/2-in. pocket screws, attach the shelves to the legs.
  • When you’ve completed the first side, flip everything over and repeat the process for the other two legs.

Screwing the Shelves to the Legs

Step 14

Project 3: The Entry Bench
Entryway Bench Tech Art

Step 15

Make The Bench Top

  • Glue the two halves of the bench top together using hide glue. I used a few dowels to help keep the two halves aligned during glue-up.
  • After the glue dries, sand the joint smooth and finish the bench before the next steps.
  • I used General Finishes Satin Gel Topcoat. This along with the natural characteristic of cherry will create a beautiful, deep patina in just a few years.

Gluing the Bench Seat

Step 16

Attach The Legs

  • I found steel legs in the style I was after at tablelegs.com, so I decided to save time and buy, not build.
  • Screw the legs to the bottom side of the bench with 1-in. washer-head screws.
    • Pro tip: I made a positioning jig out of scrap 1/2-in. plywood. This easy-to-make jig will ensure precise spacing and alignment of all four legs.

Attaching the LegsLeg Positioning Jig

Step 17

Cut Skirts To Size And Attach

  • Use a bevel gauge to determine the angle of the leg, then transfer that to your table saw blade.
  • Cut that bevel on one edge of a little more than two feet of the skirt material. With the legs attached, mark the two end pieces against the legs and cut them to length.
  • Once those have been screwed into place, set the longer skirt pieces up against them and mark for cuts.
  • Cut them on the miter saw and attach them with pocket screws.

Copying The Angle Of The Legs

Step 18

Make The Drawer Case

  • The cabinet case will be made from solid cherry and feature mitered corners. Make the 45-degree cuts using a table saw.
  • To glue these parts together, lay them flat with the insides facing down and tape the edges together. Burnish the tape with a piece of wood.
  • Flip everything over. Apply glue to the joint and tape the two sides together, keeping them square.
    • Pro tip: Drill your pocket holes before glue-up. As you can see in the photo, I forgot to do this...

Gluing The Drawer Case

Step 19

Fit The Drawer Case Back

  • Once the drawer case is glued together, take an exact measurement and cut the back to fit.
  • Use a few clamps to hold it in place and secure it with 1-1/4-in. pocket screws.

Attaching the Back to the Drawer Case

Step 20

Attach The Case to the Bench Top

  • The drawer case should be offset 1/2-in. from the side and front of the bench. Use a clamp to help keep it in place while you drive the screws in.
  • Start with the outer side first, attaching it to the bench top with 1-1/4-in. pocket screws.
  • Double-check for square and then repeat that process for the inner side.

Attaching the Drawer Case to the Bench

Step 21

Assemble the Cross Member

  • Assemble the cross member with a little glue. Then screw the dovetail drawer slide perfectly centered.
    • Pro tip: I cut the cross member parts a little oversize, and then cut them to fit once the case was assembled and installed.

Assembling the Crossmember

Step 22

Complete The Case

  • Install the lower dovetail drawer slide for the lower drawer and repeat that process on the cross member.
  • Cut the cross member to fit and attach it with 1-1/4-in. pocket screws. I used a 5-5/16-in. spacer block to help me position it perfectly.

Finishing the Drawer Case Assembly

Step 23

Make The Drawers

  • Cut the drawer stock to length and cut the bottom from 1/4-in. plywood. I used cherry veneer plywood to match the bench.
  • Assemble the drawers using 1-in. pocket screws.
  • Notch a space in the drawer back for the center-mounted drawer slide. Using a small square, make sure the slide is square to the box, then glue it in place.
    • Pro tip: Premade drawer stock saves a lot of time — it’s preslotted for the drawer bottom and comes prefinished. Woodcraft sells 60-in. lengths for $16.

Attaching the Drawer Slide

Step 24

Attach The Drawer Faces

  • I used wood spacers to help me achieve a 1/8-in. reveal around the drawer faces.
  • With the drawer box inserted, place two dabs of hot melt adhesive on the back of the face then press it against the drawer box.
  • After the glue sets, secure the drawer face with 1-in. washer-head screws through the drawer box.

Attaching the Drawer Face

Step 25

Install the Drawer Pulls

  • Center and mark the holes for the drawer-pull mounting screws on the drawer face.
  • Using a 5/16-in. drill bit, drill completely through the drawer face and drawer box. Mount the drawer pulls with the supplied mounting screws.
    • Pro tip: Make your marks on a piece of tape on the drawer face. Your marks will be easier to see, and you’ll protect the wood while it’s being drilled.

Marking for the Drawer Pulls

Step 26

Shopping For Materials

  • The table legs shown are available at tablelegs.com (No. LC-IMTP-16-ST; $37 each). The faux leather seat cushion is available for $60 at wayfair.com. Made by Latitude Run in Espresso, it’s 34-in. x 16-in. x 2 in.

Completed Bench With Legs And Cushion

Step 27

Shelf and Coatrack Cutting Diagram

Leg Parts Cutting Diagram