Affiliate links within this post. Thank you for supporting Settling in Sawdust.
You know it still surprises me that we’re parents of a toddler. Full blown, running, talking toddler. And of course, she wants to do everything herself because she’s two going on twenty-three. So when it comes to things like getting dressed, washing her hands or brushing her teeth, we figured anything we could do to help her gain her independence was a good thing. When I was explaining to Phillip how we needed to pick up a children’s step stool the next time we were out, I figured he just had a lot on his mind because he disappeared about halfway into the conversation. Weird…But then reappeared about 30 minutes later with a newly made wooden step stool! Tada! Cute and helpful. Sorry ladies, he’s taken. 😉 Anywho, I thought there might be one or two other families out there with their independent little toddlers who might enjoy learning how to make their very own children’s step stool with this super quick DIY.
What you’ll need…
- 2in screws
- 1 ⅛in drill bit
- Countersink bit
- Wood glue
- Tape measure
- Something to draw with
- Miter saw
- Sandpaper or power sander
- 1 2×6
- 1 2×2
- Tung finish oil*** see notes
We’re going to get started by making a few cuts. Mark and cut 2×6 at 12 in.
Then, mark your 2×2 at 6 ½in. Cut four 6 ½in pieces. Then cut another two pieces at 3in. Take the remaining section of 2×2 and cut at 9 ½in.
Adjust your miter saw settings to 10 degrees and blade bevel to 5 degrees. This is how you get the angle cut you need for the legs. Taking your four 6 ½in pieces (these will be the legs of your stool), cut two pieces on the right side of the saw. Then cut the other two pieces with the left side of the saw.
Change the bevel back to 0, but leave the miter angle at 10 degrees. Take your 3in pieces and cut the ends on both sides against that 10 degrees. Your 3in pieces should now look like a rhombus.
Remember that 12in 2×6 you cut at the beginning? That will be the top of your stool. Decide which side will face up and turn it upside down so you’re now looking at the bottom of your board. Mark the corners ¼in from the outside edge.
Flip it back over and predrill holes with your ⅛ drill bit in each corner about ¾in from the edges (they should line up about center with the markings you just made underneath). Using your countersink bit on your drill, countersink roughly a ¼in in the same holes.
Angle your legs so that they sit flush underneath the top portion of your stool. You want to make sure the angle of the legs is going away from the four corners of the stool. Dab a little wood glue on the top of each leg. While holding the leg firmly, drill the screw into the leg through the previously drilled hole from the top.
Take your 3in rhombus pieces and line them up between their respective pair of stool legs. Once you have them lined up where they will go, mark the center of the rhombus piece on the side that is facing you. Then drill and countersink a hole where your markings were. Leaving them in place between the legs, set the stool on its side, then drill and countersink along the leg leading into the rhombus piece. Then remove the rhombus pieces, add glue and resecure with screws.
Flip your stool upside down and gently twist rhombus pieces slightly inward so that the inner faces are parallel with each other.
Now take your 9 ½in piece from earlier and add wood glue to the ends (this is now the stringer of your stool) and center it between your newly secured stretchers (those rhombus pieces we were just playing with). Secure with screws through your previously drilled holes.
Sand with 220 grit making sure to round off corners and edges.
To finish, take a cloth or paper towel and wipe ***tung finish oil across your newly created children’s stool. Allow drying for at least 24 hours before using.
*** Because tung finish oil is made from a nut, if there is any chance of someone with a nut allergy coming in contact with your stool please differ to an alternative finish such as linseed oil, shellac, or beeswax. Please refer to manufactures drying instructions when using an alternative finish.***
And while I know you can pick these up at the store for pretty cheap, I just love the natural look of the wood. So if it’s left out when company comes over, no big deal! It actually looks like it goes with our bathroom decor. Children’s decor that actually blends with my home? I can work with that!
Hope you enjoy making your own children’s step stool for the little independent toddler in your life!