How to Create a Child's Step Stool

Bathroom step stools are a must for homes with small children. This DIY version is simple to make with basic woodworking skills and is just the right height to give little ones the leg-up they need.

Child’s Step Stool

Child’s Step Stool

Bathroom step stools are a must for a house with small children. This DIY version is simple to make with basic woodworking skills and is perfect to give those little ones the leg-up they need!

Photo by: Marian Parsons, Mustard Seed Interiors

Marian Parsons, Mustard Seed Interiors

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Materials Needed

pine wood panel cut to following dimensions:
2) 9” x 10-1/2”
1) 11” x 16”

pine 1x2 board cut to 12”
measuring tape
Kraft paper
scissors
pencil
jig saw
eye and ear protection
pocket hole jig and ten 1-1/4" screws and matching driver bit
drill equipped with drill bit
3/4" forstner bit
orbital palm sander
sandpaper (80, 100, 120, 180, 220 grits)
desired paint, stain or finish
2" angled-sash paint brush

Cut Wood

With a circular saw or table saw and a miter saw, cut wood to dimensions listed in materials list above. Tip: Most home improvement stores will cut wood to desired dimensions for free.

Make Template for Legs

Cut paper to same dimension as wood pieces cut for the legs (9" wide x 10-1/2” high). Draw desired leg shape on half of paper, fold over and cut (Images 1 and 2). This way, the template sides are symmetrical. Trace template onto two 9" wide x 10-1/2” pieces of wood cut for legs (Image 3). Tip: It’s just paper! If a mistake is made, just throw it away and start over.

Cut Leg Shape

While wearing ear and eye protection, cut out traced shape on legs with a jig saw. Smooth rough edges with orbital palm sander and 80-grit sandpaper.

Cut Leg Shape

Cut Leg Shape

While wearing ear and eye protection, cut out traced shape on legs with a jig saw. Smooth rough edges with orbital palm sander and 80 grit sand paper.

Photo by: Marian Parsons, Mustard Seed Interiors

Marian Parsons, Mustard Seed Interiors

Create Handle in Stool Top

Use measuring tape to determine center point of stool top. For a 3” wide handle, measure and mark 1-1/2” out length-wise from center point to the left and right. Use 1/2” forstner bit affixed to a drill to drill a hole just to the inside of both of those marks (Image 1). Use a jig saw to cut between the two holes, completing the handle cut out (Image 2).

Attach Legs to Top

Using a pocket hole jig and drill bit, drill three pocket holes on the inside top of both legs. Place top on workbench face-down. Hold one leg perpendicular to top, centered from front to back and 1-1/8" inset from the side. Clamp in place, if necessary. Insert 1-1/4" wood screws through pocket holes to secure. Repeat on second leg.

Attach Legs to Top

Attach Legs to Top

Using a pocket hole jig and drill bit, drill three pocket holes on the inside top of both legs. Place top on workbench face down. Hold one leg perpendicular to top, centered from front to back and 1 1/8” inset from the side. Clamp in place, if necessary. Insert 1 ¼” wood screws through pocket holes to secure. Repeat on second leg.

Photo by: Marian Parsons, Mustard Seed Interiors

Marian Parsons, Mustard Seed Interiors

Secure Leg Brace

Using pocket hole jig, drill two holes on left and right side of bottom edge of 1x2x12” support brace. Place support 1-1/8” up from leg arch and centered from left to right. Insert a screw in each pocket hole to secure. Tip: Pocket holes can be filled with wood plugs and sanded smooth, if desired.

Secure Leg Brace

Secure Leg Brace

Using pocket hole jig, drill two holes on left and right side of bottom edge of 1 x 2 x 12” support brace. Place support 1 1/8” up from leg arch and centered from left to right. Insert a screw in each pocket hole to secure. Tip: Pocket holes can be filled with wood plugs and sanded smooth, if desired.

Photo by: Marian Parsons, Mustard Seed Interiors

Marian Parsons, Mustard Seed Interiors

Sand Stool

Use an orbital palm sander to smooth flat surfaces of wood as well as rough edges left by the jig saw. Start with 80-grit and gradually increase grit number to 220 until wood feels smooth to the touch.

Sand Stool

Sand Stool

Use an orbital palm sander to smooth flat surfaces of wood as well as rough edges left by the jig saw. Start with 80 grit and gradually increase grit number to 220 until wood feels smooth to the touch.

Photo by: Marian Parsons, Mustard Seed Interiors

Marian Parsons, Mustard Seed Interiors

Paint or Finish Stool

Wipe away dust from sanding with a damp cloth. Apply paint, stain, and/or finish to stool to achieve desired look. 

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